Quantcast
Latest Stories

The boodle fight

By

The Urban Dictionary defines “boodle fight” as “a military style of eating,” in which food, piled on top of banana leaves laid out on long tables, is to be taken with bare hands washed with water from jugs prepared on the side, which “eating combat” begins when the signal is given.

The dictionary adds, rather jocularly, that this is “Philippine fine dining,” in which everyone has to eat fast and can have his fill.

On occasion, newspapers carry photographs of boodle fights, as when a high-ranking military official visits a military camp, or the soldiers celebrate a special event. Each time, I would look at the pictures with amusement, even as, being squeamish, I could not imagine myself joining such a combat, myself preferring to dine seated at a table, with proper utensils.

And yet, not too long ago, at the lunch meant to culminate a weekend camp, the wife and I, together with 50 or so other couples, were asked to stand alongside three long tables put end to end and lined with banana leaves loaded with food—noodles, fried chicken, blood pudding, slices of fruit (papaya, mango), dried anchovies, salted fish, and many others.  We were going to have a boodle fight. If not for my hunger and there being no other lunch available, I would have moved back, and passed up being a combatant.

As it turned out, it was fun. I dipped my hand into the rice and pulled out a fistful, and then reached for a clutch of noodles and a pinch of the anchovies. I mixed them up, together with tomato slices, their seeds oozing out of my squeezing fingers. Everyone marked his territory with a tower of food, and thereafter everything was hand to mouth, except when there was need to replenish a stockpile, and then hands would extend across or through, wherever there was available supply not yet manipulated.

After the boodle fight, we all felt like victors, having had our fill in such a rustic fashion, as we lined up before the faucets to remove the greasy evidence from our hands.

Because of their number, Jesus and the apostles could very well have decided to have a boodle fight for their Passover meal. Only a long table would have been big enough for them. But, of course, they were not free to improvise, the food being strictly prescribed. There had to be unleavened bread, bitter herbs, the roasted lamb, and four glasses of wine, aside from other items (fruits, nuts and vegetables).

As in the boodle fight, and as directed in Exodus, the Passover meal begins with the washing of hands, is eaten standing and in haste. But perhaps the resemblance ends there.

Mark writes that, during the meal, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to the apostles, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

In fact, if we look at it again, Jesus’ Passover meal with his apostles was a spiritual boodle fight. Jesus turned the food—the bread and wine—into his own body and blood (and this he repeats everyday at the Holy Mass). It was not just a meal of ordinary food, but of Jesus himself. And so, in the Eucharist, if one knows that the bread and wine one is partaking of are the body and blood of the Lord himself, one would help oneself to them until satiety, which, fortunately, never comes, because one can never have enough of the Lord, who gives of himself without limit. In effect, in the Eucharist, the Lord has offered himself as food for a never-ending boodle fight.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: bible , boodle fight




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement