What's a family holiday without a big feast — and a lot of bickering?
Easter Sunday has both, with stand-up comedian Joe Valencia (played by Jo Koy) traveling to the Bay Area to celebrate the title holiday with his loud and loving Filipino-American family. True to the spirit of the film, for the latest edition of EW's Around the Table video series, we brought together Koy, co-stars Tia Carrere, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jimmy O. Yang, Lydia Gaston and director Jay Chandrasekhar for a kamayan feast, and had them make the case for their favorite Filipino dishes.
As Koy explains in the video above, a "kamayan is a traditional style of eating with some banana leaves and food, no silverware — it's just enough food for the whole family and then some, and you eat with your hands." (As Phillips refers to hands, they're the "Filipino fork.")
The Easter Sunday crew then debates whether they prefer pancit bihon, a noodle dish, to canton, sinigang or nilaga (in true mom fashion, Gaston, who plays Joe's mother, suggests the latter since it's "healthier for you"). Other topics of contention: halo-halo or leche flan, and whether or not cream cheese belongs on a fruit salad.
And, when it comes to suka or patis (a.k.a. fish sauce), Phillips gets a scowl for choosing neither and opting for soy sauce instead. "Heresy," Carrere chides. "Look, I know I got Americanized early on," he says. "Fish sauce, man — it's a birthright," Carrere counters, having none of it.
Ed Araquel/Universal Pictures Lydia Gaston and Jo Koy in 'Easter Sunday'
Yang, who is one of the non-Filipino members of the group, admits that gatherings like our Around the Table are a sort of "Filipino bootcamp" for him. "It's hilarious and it's great to learn about," he says.
Easter Sunday, which also stars Tiffany Haddish, Eva Noblezada, and Brandon Wardell, is now in theaters.