Top 20 Table Etiquettes You Must Know by Heart

(Plus extra hugots that could either make or break your day. *laughs*)

Practicing proper table etiquette is a must. Different culture have different rules for proper etiquette, although here are the basics that each one of us must know…. by heart.

  1. Do not talk rudely while eating and make sure that you won’t offend your co-diners. Maintain a positive attitude while eating. Huwag manakit. Simple lang.
  2. When chewing, chew with your mouth closed all the time.
  3. Keep your smartphone off the table and set to silent or vibrate. Wait until you are finished with the meal before you check calls and texts. In case of emergency, make sure that you would ask politely that you will take a call and take it not in front of the table.
  4. Do not pick your teeth at the table. Excuse yourself for a while and go to the restroom if you badly have to.
  5. Remember to use your table napkin. Place it immediately in your lap upon sitting. Pang proteksyon kasi ‘yan. ‘Eh sa panahon ngayon kailangan talaga natin ng proteksyon. Protection from the people who’ll come into your life at mag-iiwan lang ng mansta.
  6. Do not use your utensils like a shovel or stab your food. Do not stab your food. ‘Dyan ka pa naman magaling- mang-stab.
  7. Wait until you’re done chewing before you sip or swallow a drink, unless of course when you are already choking. Matutong maghintay.
  8. Cut only one piece of food at a time. ONE piece at a time. Isa-isa lang. 
  9. Avoid slouching and do not place your elbows on the table while eating. Also, do not raise your feet on the chair. Do not raise your feet just like how you raised my hopes up.
  10. Instead of reaching across the table for something, ask for it to be passed to you. You know if it’s already far from your reach when you still have to lean to be able to get it. Parang sa tao lang ‘yan, alamin mo kung far from your reach ba. Masakit kasi umasa.
  11. Take part in the dinner conversation but talk moderately. Refrain from shouting.
  12. Simply say “excuse me, please; I’ll be right back” when leaving for the restroom. Leaving without a word is rude. Sa lahat naman ng bagay ‘eh, masamang mag-iwan na lang ng basta at walang paalam.
  13. Eat quietly. Do not scrap the plate or chew loudly.
  14. When a platter contains a combination of foods, take a moderate serving of each, including the garnish. If a course is presented that contains another food underneath, such as toast or lettuce, take the entire portion. Kung kukuha ka, kunin mo ng buo. Hindi pwede yung nasa pagitan lang ng meron at wala. Mahirap yan.
  15. Never gesture with a knife or fork in your hand. Baka hindi mo alam, nakakasakit ka na pala.
  16. Never serve yourself first. Offer the food to the guests first before taking some for you. Isipin mo naman ang iba, ‘di yung puro sarili mo lang. 
  17. When finger food is taken from a tray, place it on a plate. Don’t lick your fingers; use a napkin.
  18. Never blow your soup. If the soup is too hot, stir it to allow air to enter, don’t blow. Baka kasi dyan ka magaling ‘eh. Sa pag-ihip. Tulad ng pag-ihip mo sa mga pangako mo sa mga babae mo.
  19. When eating in a restaurant and you have a problem with the food that has been served, call the attention of the waiter and quietly discuss the problem. Kausapin mo ng maayos. Hindi yung pwede namang ayusin ‘eh papalakihin mo pa.
  20. Always take small bites. Take only enough food to chew and swallow in one easy bite. Oo, tama, yung sapat lang. ‘Dyan man lang makontento ka. ‘Di tulad mg ‘di mo pagkakontento sa iisang babae lang.

These are only some of the table etiquette (and hugots) that you must remember wholeheartedly. Happy eating!

P.S. Please do not take the hugots seriously. 😂


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Catherine is a 20-something BS Nutrition student of the University of the Philippines, but her heart screams for the art. She is a freelance creative and model, an artist and a writer, and an advocate of human rights and the environment.

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