Pinoy Internet Culture Has Found Its New Obsession: What’s Your Ulam, Pare?October 20, 2017
- Jasmine TingWords
From an intimate group of administrator AJ Braga Jr.’s family and friends, to what is now a group of over 125,000 Filipinos from all over the country—things sure escalated quickly for Facebook group “What’s your ulam pare?” (WYUP). It’s gotten so big that even actress and comedian Ai-Ai De Las Alas (under the username “Martina De Las Alas”), as well as celebrity host Gretchen Ho, have become active members of the community, posting photos and videos of their meals. And, of course, like all other users they subscribe to the petmalung lingo.
A lot of what really lends to the group’s continuing popularity has been the humor and the lingo. Words like lodi, rapsa, and petmalu began circulating not only in the WYUP group, but throughout Pinoy social media. Braga, who tells Pepper he is “forty years young,” explains that the group started with members within the age range of 25-45 years old. A lot of the people in the group tended to use old-school expressions like ‘More power!,’ pare, and idol. “The group started as a place where our barkada and their families could share their daily food experiences. A digital form of ‘salo–salo,’ so to speak.”
But one day, he says, “I started noticing people who wanted to join but had no mutual friends in the group at the 9k mark.” This was definitely overwhelming, but the founding lodi himself says that anyone who has a love for food and for the community is more than welcome to join. And as the group got bigger, younger people who found the old-school speak funny took the language and had their own fun with it.
“Good vibes, food and sharing your blessings” is all that WYUP stands for, says Braga. The photos in the group aren’t all well-composed food shots you’d find on blogs. The fun actually comes from the candidness and the variety of the posts from lodis everywhere. This includes everything from rapsa restaurant meals to your daily baon—and even crazy food obsessions. Evander Dizon says that his viral post of a carton of siomai drowning in chili oil was his very first food post. It was his girlfriend who urged him to show the world his “crazy chili addiction.” His post got over 4.5K likes. Pawer!
Home-cooks and food enthusiast orbskis like Carlo Maraingan don’t necessarily take themselves too seriously either. His post, which got over 4K likes, was an image of an egg in a can of Century Tuna with the caption, “Hi mga sir! Eto po ulam ko. Century Egg. happy eating po!”
Maraingan says that he was drawn to the group mainly because it made him laugh, seeing what other people being clever about their food posts. “Feeling ko kaya bumenta yung groups kasi naghalo yung dalawang hilig ng Pinoy dito sa group na to. Ang kumain at magpatawa.” (“I think the reason why the page was such a hit was because two things Filipinos love came together: to eat and to be funny.”)
Braga says, “Now we are one big barkada.” More werpa!