what is PAGPAG food: How Poor Filipinos are surviving on them

Have you ever realized how people use McDonald’s waste for livelihood? If yes, then this article is definitely for you. Check it out

What is pagpag?

Pagpag is a term used to describe leftover food and meat gathered from trash and dumps. It is then washed, cooked, and sold to poor communities in Manila, Philippines. They eat this meal regularly.

These are the poorest of the poor, unable to pay for a single meal. Pagpag can be eaten immediately or later.

Restaurant owners occasionally purchase meat from pagpag collectors, which has become a profitable business.

Dictionary meaning of pagpag: Dusted off, recycled

-The price of pagpag varies from 20P (Philippine Pesos) to P30 ($0.59 to $0.39).

Process Of Making Pagpag

Individuals own a few pagpag groups, recruiting 2-3 pagpag collectors for as little as $6 a day.

They search the streets all day and night for leftover food from dumps and garbage.

After washing and removing dirt from the meat, they clean it, remove bones and other unwanted elements, pack it in a plastic bag and sell it to potential customers.

The cook in Tondo, Manila, creates pagpag in traditional Filipino cooking styles, such as kaldereta or adobo, using leftover chicken from Jollibee and KFC as the main ingredient.

The Philippines suffer from acute hunger. According to the Bordon Project, Metro Manila has a poverty rate of 6.5 per cent.

Health hazards

Rodents and rats are frequently found infesting the dumps where this food is collected. Health risks include poisoning, toxins, and food-borne illnesses.

Despite the risk of malnutrition and infections such as Hepatitis A, typhoid, diarrhoea, and cholera, the National Anti-Poverty Commission has repeatedly discouraged eating pagpag.

On the other hand, a pagpag vendor claims that no one has ever died from eating pagpag cuisine.

Increasingly more underprivileged areas are turning to pagpag, presenting a problematic situation for the government.

What do people think?

Every person who consumes this food knows where it comes from and isn’t afraid to serve it to a one-year-old. People on the verge of starvation have no other choice, and pagpag is better than nothing at all.

When you buy a bag for a few pesos, you can feed an entire family. “Reuters spoke with a slum resident.

Eating garbage food is hazardous to one’s health in general.

As a result, the government has enacted several policies to combat the spread of pagpag.

As a result of CNN’s 2012 report on pagpag, the world became aware of the Philippines’ hunger problems. Other media outlets and YouTubers have produced documentaries about pagpag since then.


story of two sisters

We came across their heartbreaking story while visiting the slum in Tondo(Philippines) recently. Careful at first they decided to let us into their lives and slum homes and it quickly became clear that the issues they faced went beyond earning money. Poverty, severe malnutrition, and disease is an everyday reality for Marjorie and Tasyana’s family. They lived there miserable life in this slums where government didn’t nothing for them as poverty is rising in philippines.


dark truth of kfc and mcdonalds

As we went deep into their lives we learned how indirectly McDonald’s and KFC are helping them run their homes and feed them everyday not only this fast food chains but other local restaurants will play a huge role in their everyday life so how fast-food chains like KFC, Mcdonald’s and other hotels and restaurants  permitting them. To know this first we have to understand what pag pag is. This is a dish made by Filipino people so how this pag pag is made come let us know.


pagpag making

There are a few groups of pagpag collectors having different owners. They hire 3 or 4 pagpag collectors and pay them 6 or 7 dollars depending on how much they have collected the waste food from different places as you can see they not only get food but they willget paid for this.

These pagpag workers give their best to collect more waste food from dumps of various outlets of KFC, McDonald’s and other fast food places and some collectors will strike a deal with the restaurant owner for future to earn more money.

After collecting it they wash the food until its dirt is completely gone from the meat. They remove bones and other miscellaneous things. They pack in plastic bags and sell them to the clients. For 50 cents because of poverty slum people have to eat this. Pagpag is widely famous in the Philippines because of poverty. Next time whenever you throw unfinished food in hotels and in functions just think  how you are so privilege to eat this food where other children sleep hungry or eat this unhealthy and dirty food.


money making food

Even if you go to a restaurant in the Philippines they prepare pagpag in traditional Filipino cooking such as pagpag à la kaldereta or adobo.In Philippines not only slum or poor people will eat pagpag even well settled will enjoy this food and Encouraged tourists to eat this. 

This shows that Marjorie and the Tasyana family are suffering from extreme hunger. Still, most people in the Philippines are going through a rough phase.

And now pagpag is becoming a profitable business to various restaurant owners who buy meat and chicken from pagpag collectors.


pag pag food

All who eat this food know where it comes from and they don’t even fear feeding it to a one-year-old baby. They have no other choice for those living hand-to-mouth. Pagpag is better than none at all.” the way we live here this helps in many ways. When you buy a bag worth a few pesos you can already feed one whole family,” one slum resident has Said.

All in all the consumption of garbage food is potentially harmful to health. To stop the rise of pagpag the government has addressed the issue and developed several policies. After CNN reported on pagpag the truth of the hunger problems in the Philippines was brought to the attention of the world. Since then numerous documentaries have been made by many media houses on pagpag.

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