‘Home-based Filipino food entrepreneurs’

The days after Thanksgiving Day have been associated with shoppingand bargain hunts.This shopping tradition became widespread with the birth of big shopping malls and huge department stores in the 1950s.

Black Friday, the informal reference for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day, is now regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.Thesuccessthat Black Friday brought to many mall and big brand retail outlets gaveonline commerce a cue and online shopping is now raking huge revenues as well from shoppers.

With shoppers trooping to the malls and onlinefor bargains, we have seen a decline in the presence of smallfamily-owned shops and mom-and-pop stores in our neighborhoods.  It became very hard for these shop owners and family-owned shops to survive and to compete with big business and conglomerates.

This is why we now have the “Shop Small Campaign”(also known as “Small Business Saturday”) which is another shopping extravaganzaheld during the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Shop Small isthe opposite ofthe Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  It remindsshoppers about the importance of supporting businesses that are family-owned, small, and are local within our neighborhoods.

Analysts often watch and pay attention to the sales performance and revenuesof Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday to check the overall health and the pulse of both the local and the nationaleconomy.

There are“business enterprises” though that are not connected to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday because they are not visible or lack visibility to the public but nevertheless generate income for families and give satisfaction, service,and convenience to their customers.

I refer to the many home-based food entrepreneurs that are now a part of the U.S. economy but are not regulated by any state, city, or federal agency.

In the Filipino community, the food products prepared by home-based food entrepreneurs are in demand during the holiday season.  Home-based cooking and preparation has been a long-held tradition among Filipinos not only in the Philippines but also in communities where there are overseasFilipino immigrants and workers.

In big cities in Italy, Great, Britain, and in places like Hong Kong, we see many Filipinos congregate in central train and bus stations, parks, town squares, and church premises.  They often bring and enjoy food, mostly delicacies and home-cooked dishes, to share with and to sell to their compatriots.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, perhaps this is also common in other parts of the United States where there are Filipino communities, home-based food entrepreneurs serve as consistent suppliers of Filipino delicacies and holiday fares.  We also see these small-food entrepreneurs sell their stuff in front of churches and places of worship where there are many Filipino churchgoers and worshippers.

Most of these home-based food entrepreneurs have other day jobs or are employed elsewhere but they sell food because they use the revenues that they generateto augment their household incomes.  Others treat their income as additional money that they can send or remit to their families in the Philippines.

The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for home-based food entrepreneurs as well.In San Francisco, the annual Parol Lantern Festival and Parade has incorporated the culinary tradition of the Philippines in their Taste of Filipino Christmas (also known as “Patikim ng Pagkaing Pampasko”).

Now on its fourth year, thisyear’s Christmas food-tasting event will not only aim to promote the Filipino culinary tradition during the holidays.

The event committee for this year has decided to support budding home-based food entrepreneurs in the Filipino community.Among the featured chef and cooks during the event are two Filipinoimmigrant women who help support their families through their home-based cooking efforts.

Let’s all come to the Taste of Filipino Christmas on December 8, 2018 between 3 to 5 pm at St. Patrick’s Social Hall to show our support to the Parol Lantern Festival and to our home-based Filipino food entrepreneurs.

Jojo Liangco is an attorney with the Law Offices of Amancio M. Liangco Jr. in San Francisco, California.  His practice is in the areas of immigration, family law, personal injury, civil litigation, business law, bankruptcy, DUI cases, criminal defense and traffic court cases.  Please send your comments to Jojo Liangco, c/o Law Offices of Amancio “Jojo” Liangco, 605 Market Street, Suite 605, San Francisco, CA 94105 or you can call him (415) 974-5336.