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For the film, see Pagpag (film).

Pagpag is a Filipino term for leftover food from fast-food restaurants scavenged from garbage sites and dumps.[1] The word in the Filipino language literally means to "shake off the dust or dirt", and refers to the act of shaking the dirt off of the edible portion of the leftovers. The act of eating pagpag arose from the practical challenges of hunger that resulted from extreme poverty.

Pagpag could be eaten on site, or processed further most commonly by frying it in hot oil depending on the condition of the food. Small cottage industries have arisen around pagpag with impoverished people making a living scavenging, collecting, processing, and selling the processed pagpag to other poor people.[2]

Health risks include ingestion of poison and toxins, food-borne illnesses and maladies. These could result in long-term debilitating diseases and death.[citation needed] The National Anti-Poverty Commission warns against eating pagpag because of the threat of malnutrition and disease.[3]

Pagpag is also a Filipino superstition saying one can never go direct to one's home after attending a funeral unless they have done the pagpag (stop by another place). Pagpag is a tradition to take away the soul of the dead people.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "'Garbage chicken' a grim staple for Manila's poor". CNN. 30 May 2012. Retrieved September 2014. 
  2. ^ Fritzie Rodriguez (15 March 2014). "Meal of the day: 'Pagpag'". Retrieved September 2014. 
  3. ^ Michaela Cabrera (30 April 2008). "Filipino poor scavenge for recycled food to survive". Reuters. Retrieved September 2014.