Before cheap plastic containers from China started flooding the marketplaces in the Philippines, the binalot was the only way schoolchildren could bring their lunches to school. Children who had to walk for long distances just to get to school and didn’t have the money to buy lunch had to bring their own food along with their books.
Those who studied in the provinces can surely remember the wonderful smell of warm rice wrapped in banana leaves that waft up as the binalot is slowly unraveled. And even if the lunch was just rice and dried fish or a boiled egg and a tomato, it didn’t matter. Food tasted wonderful.