RD had the opportunity to take part in his first boodle fight – the first he’s ever heard of and witnessed. According to the Urban Dictionary, a boodle fight is “a military style of eating where long tables are prepared and food are placed on top of banana leaves.” Viands and rice that’s ready-to-eat, using your bare hands, and jugs of water are prepared on the side to wash hands before the “eating combat”. With the signal to start the boodle fight, everyone aims for his/her position.
This was the first done ever in our town. The event was organized to celebrate the town’s 137th Anniversary and to show unity among the towns people and it’s administration. The tables measured 250 meters in length, with different organizations and offices supplying the rice, viands and drinks.
Although it is the practice for some Filipinos to eat with their hands, a group of people eating this way from one source is an unnatural and contrived practice in Philippine culture. This way of eating was devised by cadets of the Philippine military Academy (PMA), and does not represent authentic Philippine culture, but instead symbolizes fraternity and equality among PMA members by their sharing the same food without regard to rank. The term is taken from pre-World War Two West Point (to which the PMA is based) slang meaning “any party at which boodle (candy, cake, ice cream, etc.) is served.”
A boodle fight is in a way considered a “fight” since eating with a bunch of hungry army men means the food is consumed in an instant so one has to grab whatever he can get and eat fast, too. And when one is in a hurry, it would be better to do this standing up. The logic for this was because military men in the field were supposed to be ready to go as soon as the need arose. Thus eating was to be done in a hurry and standing up so they could respond immediately to whatever they were supposed to face especially in combat situations.