Filipinos have a rich culture of customs and traditions, especially regarding food. Plain steamed rice is the basis of a Filipino diet, and a meal isn't considered whole unless rice is served with it. So much rice is needed in the Philippines that three crops are harvested each year. To ensure that the country doesn't run out, the government keeps a rice surplus. In addition to rice, fresh and salted fish and shellfish are served daily. Filipino food is not spicy, and is often seasoned with garlic because it is healthy.
When dining and eating, Filipinos use forks and spoons; knives are not used at the table. It is tradition in Filipino culture to place food on a banana leaf and eat it with one's hands. It is acceptable to eat food with one's hands both at home and in a restaurant.
In the Philippines, breakfast is served at 6 a.m. and consists of food left over from the night before, and it is not warmed up. Filipinos enjoy small buns called pan de sol, and they often purchase them from vendors in the morning. Filipinos enjoy sweets and have sweet rolls, doughnuts and coffee in the afternoon, a practice known as merienda.