Philippines is home to a variety of restaurants and food marts or a food stall with a small seating area, typically in a market or at a roadside that we call "carinderia". Having lived most of my life here in the US and in the Philippines. I definitely got to see a diverse culture of both. But one habit or lifestyle I have definitely adapted at a young age was "claygo".
Living my whole college life in the Philippines, I have always loved eating outside of home and to my shock and dismay, fixing up after you eat isn't really a big deal for Filipinos. Maybe you'll see a table or two who have their dishes piled and stacked up neatly, but most of the tables have a messy bunch. I think the reason why not fixing up after eating is because we've grown used to just not doing it. I remember overhearing a family say "Iwanan mo na diyan, trabaho yan ng mga waitress, yan na nga lang trabaho nila" (Leave the dishes there, it's a waitress' job to fix up, that's the only thing they do anyway).
Which by the way, is totally NOT true. Having been a server myself, we don't just "clean" your tables, we get your orders, do side work in the kitchen if we're understaffed, and run food as well. The pictures shown above are photos of how me and my boyfriend tried to always clean up our tables not just in carinderias or fast food but in very high end restaurants as well.
And let me tell you this, there are only 3 faces a server will make upon seeing a clean table, A) Smiling face B) Shocked to their core (Probably the first table they won't have to do so much work on going into their 6th hour at work; or C) Embarrassed because we have made it a notion that it is their sole job to actually clean up after ourselves, which should definitely not be the case! I am glad to say though, after doing this habit, the server's face usually has the former mentioned rather than the latter.
And that smile is contagious, they see this as an act of kindness and although the surrounding tables sometimes look at me and my boyfriend funny; some of them actually follow what we do and feel ashamed if their table looks like you're entering a dump area.
There isn't any forcing YOU to do what I do that's going to be in this article, but if it helps our place to be a little more tidy, more human-friendly, and you might even say a little more kind. Then why not try, bit by bit to catch up on it? You might be the start of a chain reaction of something big and beautiful. #