Boodle fight

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Men of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army are joined by civilians in a boodle fight.
Boodle fight in Baler, Aurora.
Variety of dishes served on a Boodle Fight

A boodle fight, in the context of Filipino culture, is the military practice of eating a meal.[1][2][3][4]


Sources indicate that the term "boodle" is American military slang for contraband sweets[5] such as cake, candy and ice cream. A "boodle fight" is a party in which boodle fare is served.[6] The term may have been derived from "kit and caboodle"; caboodle is further derived from boodle or booty.[7]

Table manners[edit]

A boodle fight is a meal that dispenses with cutlery and dishes.[8] Diners instead practice kamayan, Filipino for "eating with the hands".[9] The food is placed on top of a long banana leaf-lined trestle table and in the true military practice, diners do not sit in chairs but instead stand shoulder to shoulder in a line on both sides of the table.

A senior officer or enlisted personnel then utters the traditional command for the boodle fight to begin:

"Ready on the left,
 Ready on the right,
 Commence boodle fight!"

Common dishes[edit]

There are no set rules about dishes that may be served in a boodle fight. Common dishes include:

  • Dry dishes: Fried dried fishes (tuyo, danggit, and pusit)
  • Breakfast meats: Tocino, longaniza, and tapa
  • Charcoal-grilled meats: Fish, chicken, and pork
  • Fruits: Pineapple, mango, and papaya, which are served to balance the salty and oily viands
  • Vegetable salads and pickled vegetables: Itlog na maaalat, talong, okra, and atchara
  • Deep-fried items: Lumpia, fried fish, and fried chicken
  • Rice and noodles

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dumdum Jr., Simeon (10 June 2012). "The boodle fight". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
  2. ^ Altheyie. "Boodle fight and the battle of Filipinos – A preview of OFW's life in Canada". Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  3. ^ Marcaida, Joana Joyce (26 August 2015). "The boodle fight". Retrieved 16 June 2017.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "What is a Boodle Fight? - Ang Sarap". Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for "It's Delicious"). 2015-05-21. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  5. ^ Dolph, Edward Arthur (1942). "Sound off!" Soldier Songs from the Revolution to World War II. Farrar & Rinehart. p. 579.
  6. ^ Dickson, Paul (2014). War Slang: American Fighting Words & Phrases Since the Civil War. Courier Corporation. p. 132. ISBN 978-0486797168.
  7. ^ "Whole kit and kaboodle". World Wide Words. April 10, 1999. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  8. ^ Boorman, Charley (2009). Right To The Edge: Sydney To Tokyo By Any Means: The Road to the End of the Earth. Hachette. ISBN 978-0748113156.
  9. ^ Lowry, Dave (6 January 2016). "Hand-to-Mouth Combat: Experiencing a Kamayan Dinner at Hiro Asian Kitchen". Retrieved 16 June 2017.