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Filipino Food Movement

What is The Filipino Food Movement?

The Filipino Food Movement is a marketing ploy created by Ramar Foods to deflect criticism of the company’s piracy of Philippine brands such as Magnolia ice cream and Pampanga's Best.

It is part of the #OMGpeke scandal involving the American company Ramar Foods, which pirated San Miguel’s brand Magnolia — including the widely recognized logo — to use on ice cream manufactured by Ramar in Northern California with no licensing from San Miguel.

Ramar Foods is owned by the Quesada family, which started marking their ice-cream products with the Magnolia name in the 1970s without San Miguel's permission. San Miguel had been developing that brand and its goodwill among Filipinos in the Philippines since the 1920s.

According to Judge Richard R. Clifton of the Ninth Circuit Court, Ramar has been surfing on the name recognition and goodwill that San Miguel had cultivated among Filipinos.

Who Owns The Filipino Food Movement?

The "Filipino Food Movement" is officially registered as a corporation in the state of California under the name of Primo Quesada.

The Quesada family owns and operates Ramar Foods, the company that stole the Magnolia brand of ice cream from the Philippines.

Filipino Food Movement

Contrary to what casual observers have said about “The Filipino Food Movement” being non-proprietary, it is in fact an entity that was founded by and is under the stewardship of the same family and company that have pirated at least two food brand names from the Philippines — Magnolia and Pampanga’s Best.

Each time you use the #FilipinoFoodMovement hashtag, you’re essentially promoting the “sponsor” Ramar Foods, which has still not been held accountable for their theft of Philippine intellectual property.

We strongly encourage Filipino Americans and Filipino Canadians to boycott all of Ramar products and activities. There are other Fil-American and Fil-Canadian companies that are honest and more deserving of our hard-earned dollars.

Support decent business practices. Do not condone trademark piracy.

Do NOT buy Orientex lumpia. Do NOT buy Magnolia Ice Cream USA.

Email the stores that carry these products and inform them about what this unethical company has done to Philippine intellectual property.

The #BoycottRamar movement was galvanized in 2015-2016 by the immoral actions of what turned out to be a rabid OMGpeke seller based in New Jersey, the Ramar Foods flunky Erwin Santos of PhilAm Food. That small grocery store is notorious for being the subject of various lawsuits.

Check the label of "Magnolia" products on store shelves in the United States and Canada. If it doesn't say "San Miguel" on it, then it is NOT the Magnolia that Filipinos grew up with in the Philippines. It is OMGpeke.

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Lawsuits Against Phil-Am Food

PhilAm Food / Phil-Am Merchandising Inc. / Philam Merchandising
Address: 683 Newark Avenue, Jersey City

There are at least THREE (3) known lawsuits filed against PhilAm Food of New Jersey.

Note that this is the Jersey City grocery store, which has been accused in a federal lawsuit of encroaching on the legal rights of the Phil-Am wholesaler, a completely separate company that wants to have nothing to do with Philam Food and its business practices.


Lawsuit filed against PhilAm Food owner Erwin Santos and Phil-Am Merchandising

This is ongoing as of October 2016.

Docket information: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/


Case Number: 2:2013cv01168
Filed: February 26, 2013
Court: New Jersey District Court
Office: Newark Office
County: Hudson
Referring Judge: Mark Falk
Presiding Judge: William J. Martini
Cause of Action: Fair Labor Standards Act

Details can be found here:


Case Number: 2:2015cv07132
Filed: September 28, 2015
Court: New Jersey District Court
Office: Newark Office
County: Hudson
Referring Judge: Leda D. Wettre
Presiding Judge: Susan D. Wigenton
Cause of Action: 15:1125
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff

Read the details: Phil-Am Trading wholesaler vs Phil-Am Food grocery store

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(Lawsuit) Phil-Am Trading vs Philam Food

The East Coast's leading Filipino American wholesaler Phil-Am Trading filed suit against grocery store Phil-Am Food Merchandising for encroaching on the wholesaler's rights under the law.
In good faith, Trading expended a great deal of time and money in two attempts to settle the matter without the need for litigation. On both occasions, Phil-Am Trading and Phil-Am Food negotiated mutually acceptable settlement agreements, only to have Phil-Am Food (Erwin Santos) renege at the last minute without any real dispute as to the salient terms of settlement. Most recently, in September 2015, Phil-Am Food reneged on a fully negotiated settlement agreement.
Ultimately, Phil-Am Trading felt compelled to file this lawsuit in federal court in order to have the judiciary enforce the settlement agreement and ensure that Phil-Am Food adhere to the terms.

Damage award sought: no less than $1,000,000

The Phil-Am Food grocery store is owned by Erwin Santos with its registered corporate name actually being Phil-Am Merchandising. There are two other publicly known lawsuits filed against it and its owners, the Santos Family.

There are no known lawsuits filed against the wholesaler Phil-Am Trading or its owners, the Arcilla family. Vice President Derrick Arcilla is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Economics.

For those familiar with this Jersey City scandal that involves two branches of one extended family, the small grocery store Phil-Am Food had long been in the shadow of the wholesaler Phil-Am Trading's stellar reputation.

Phil-Am Food itself has reportedly been the subject of several state and federal investigations and/or sanctions for improper food handling, illegal food sales, and other violations. There was even a federal lawsuit filed based on the Fair Labor Standards Act, which alleged the failure to pay law-mandated overtime pay to hundreds of workers over the years.

Many Filipino-American retail stores who procure wholesale products, and even self-described friends of the Phil-Am Food principals, have come to assume that Phil-Am Food and Phil-Am Trading are one and the same operation or at least working in cooperation. Nothing could be further from the truth. There seems to be large-scale animosity (translation: HATE) between the two companies.

Original 21-page complaint filed by Phil-Am Trading to commence legal proceedings against PhilAm Food Merchandising is available for download in PDF here.

In the face of strong evidence and case law against it, Phil-Am Merchandising (Philam Food) agreed to a settlement agreement in May 2016, finalized in July 2016, which involved changing its name to Filstop Grocery / Filstop Inc. The associated wholesale company is LS Filipino Food Merchandising.

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PhilAm Food Reviews

In February 2016, a Philam Food customer named Irene Nicholson felt she had had enough and decided to publicly voice out her grievance about receiving expired food from its online grocery store.

She wrote that she had already once before received food she had ordered past the expiration date and had decided to stay quiet that first time but unfortunately, on another order, she received expired food again. After that second time, she decided to go public.

If you want to order Filipino food, groceries, and books online, be sure to check Amazon, which now sells everything from Baguio walis tambo to Growers Peanuts.


If you feel you are a victim who can be part of one or multiple class-action lawsuits against PhilAm Food, please email [email protected]

Examples of potential plaintiffs being sought:

  • Individuals who experienced the effects of a possible data breach after making a purchase on their online store
  • Individuals who received expired food after purchasing on their online store
  • Individuals who bought expired food in their physical store
  • Individuals who witnessed rodent infestation in their physical store
  • Individuals who were told by the store clerks or company representatives in person, by email, via social media, or by phone that ALL their products are sourced directly from the Philippines
  • Individuals who have seen web/store signage or announcements that ALL their products are authentically from the Philippines
  • Individuals who were charged hidden fees on store transactions, particularly relating to Paypal refunds on the online store
  • Individuals who were told that certain items in their inventory (Ramar Foods’ Magnolia, Pampanga’s Best, Magnolia Meats, Martin Purefoods) are made by Philippine companies.

In particular, in the case of Magnolia ice cream, if you were told that “it’s the same as the Philippines'” or given that impression, you can directly email [email protected]

Please write down, even if only for your own notes for now, all the relevant details you remember, including but not limited to dates, location, and persons involved.

UPDATE: After years of scandal, Phil-Am Food changed its name to Filstop in mid-2016; however, on New Jersey’s books, Phil-am Food and Filstop are still the same entity, so if you have cause to file a lawsuit against Phil-Am Food, you can still proceed and sue Filstop.