Assistant Professor Ria Rafael will be presenting a paper titled “When Action Speaks Louder than Words Even in Food Commercials: A Comparison of Japanese and Filipino Advertisements” at the Language of Food Conference to be held at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore from 29 to 31 January 2024 . She co-authored this paper together with UP Lingg alumna Florida Palma Gil (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies). Below is the abstract of their conference paper.


When Action Speaks Louder than Words Even in Food Commercials:
A Comparison of Japanese and Filipino Advertisements

Food and eating are a big part of our lives. One’s food choices are influenced by culture,
beliefs, environment, and recommendations. Two countries in Asia, Japan and the
Philippines, have a shared history and have been economic partners for a long time.
However, geographical and cultural differences, and a somewhat contrasting linguistic
landscape would lead to distinct appreciation and expression of food cultures. This paper
investigates the structure and content of Japanese and Filipino food television advertisements.
By analyzing the structure and content of these two sets of advertisements, this study
attempts to answer the following research questions: 1) what linguistic features are
commonly used?; (2) how these two countries compare in their use of advertising appeals;
and (3) what values are predominant in the society of Japan and the Philippines which
influence the usage of advertising appeals. The preliminary results show that the food
advertisements in the Philippines use both English and Filipino languages, while the Japanese
commercials mainly use the Japanese language, occasionally borrowing foreign words. Both
sets of Filipino and Japanese commercials rarely used words related to taste. As an alternative
to taste descriptions, it seems that both countries put emphasis on food experience: Japanese
commercials articulate freshness, uniqueness, relaxation, among others through food;
commercials in the Philippines highlight the food experience with friends, families, and

To learn more about the conference and view the program and book of abstracts, visit this link to the conference website.

Published by UP Department of Linguistics