27 Apr2010

I do not intentionally court controversy. But I do seem to get more than my normally expected share of it, hence “Toping” of Leyte referring to me as a “jerk magnet” in an amusing sense, a moniker that has stuck with regular readers. So here we go yet again. Skip this post if rants are not your thing, there are 2,500 other food related posts on this blog so that should be enough to keep you otherwise occupied. So it started off a few weeks ago when someone mentioned the dish “balamban liempo” at a meeting and intrigued by the description, I immediately rushed to the grocery, purchased a large piece of fatty pork belly and cooked this Marketman version of “Liempo on Bamboo” that elicited quite a bit of porky reader interest at the time. It was a typical Marketman experimental approach to a dish. I described exactly how I prepared it, cooked it, along with comments on how to possibly improve it and flaming disasters along the way. Several marketmanila.com readers tried that dish, with results ranging from highly enthusiastic, to good but could be better. No one cooked it and wrote in that it was an ugly disaster leading to inedible poisonous pork. But because I had mentioned “Balamban Liempo” in that post, several comments from folks purporting to either be connected to the store in Cebu, owners, satisfied customers, etc. all started posting comments, attaching links to commercial pages, websites, facebook pages, twitter, etc. I allowed many of those through until it became clear to me there was a bit of suspected “vote padding” going on. I stopped further comments from that post, but retained all earlier comments both for and against the product marketed under “Balamban Liempo” in the city of Cebu.

When do I suspect “vote padding”? When comments from predominantly first time posters/commenters come in rapid succession in support of one product or cause or controversial topic, usually received not immediately AFTER a post is aired, but later, and with similar or questionable IP addresses, sometimes that don’t provide real email addresses, I consider those to be events of potential or suspected “vote padding.” Having run this blog for over 5 years and after some 81,000 approved comments on the blog (yes, read EIGHTY ONE THOUSAND COMMENTS), I can tell these attempts almost with the instinct and sense of smell of a hyena near a bleeding gazelle. It happens most when I write about a restaurant or food source, and that is NOT very often at all. It also happens when I write a political post. I DO SCREEN comments, but I DO NOT remove comments simply because they express a negative opinion. Folks are more than welcome to disagree with what I write, but do it in a manner you would do at a dinner table when invited as a guest to my home, that is the growing standard on this blog. To me, the situations of vote padding are OBVIOUS, and I don’t appreciate such attempts to sway public opinion using the comments section of this blog. In such cases, I usually check email addresses and if bogus or nonexistent, all the comments are immediately deleted. But in cases where there are just too many comments, rather than wasting time on email addresses, I simply shut down further comments, as was the case in the previous post on “Liempo on Bamboo” when several comments in support of “Balamban Liempo” were posted. Another 3-5 such comments were attempted along a similar vein, by folks with similar IP addresses, but those were sent to the junk folders and the comments section closed.

So several weeks later, I find myself in Cebu, and for a crew lunch at the office, I send out for several portions of Balamban Liempo, after checking out their multiply webpage and it is clear that they encourage pick-up orders and/or deliveries in addition to the obvious ideal preference of eating the liempo right at the source, the store, where it would be freshest and at its absolute best incarnation. We bought two portions, and I wrote this (INNOCUOUS, I thought) post the other day. I didn’t think the post was harsh in any way, and in fact, clearly stated I would have to give the liempo another chance, but based on the portions we had tasted, the post seemed to accurately reflect my own and the crew’s opinions. I said the meat was pinkish red, and the photos show interior (not JUST the outer rind) pieces of pork that are clearly pink rather than beige or brown in color. I wondered about preservatives that might provide the pinkish tinge, but did not have a conclusive opinion on the use of preservatives. I noted the wonderful caramelized color of the skin, but accurately described that it had gone soft, and DID NOT find that unusual as I KNOW the same thing happens with lechon skin. Oh, and we hold office about 5 minutes by car from the Balamban Liempo outlet we purchased this from, so the transit time was about as minimal as you can get in Cebu. I mentioned that I thought the meat was quite fatty, and the photos show whole chunks of fat as part of the portion we received, and I didn’t even think that was all bad, specifically writing “But then I suppose some folks like that fattiness and might consider those to be choice pieces. :)” I also mentioned that I found the chopped green onions used as stuffing to be a bit raw in taste, and if you look at the photos, the onions remain relatively bright green, which is common in undercooked green onions (they turn an olive green when fully cooked). But I might add, not as bright green as the photo on the company’s multiply site, that appears to use RAW chopped green onions in their photo of the liempo. Overall, I summed up my brief post on the liempo writing “It’s possible this was just an off day, and maybe the Balamban liempo deserves another try, preferably at the store itself so it as fresh as possible, but I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I wonder if the version in the town of Balamban is significantly different from this version we tasted in Cebu City…”

So, I was a bit surprised today when quickly perusing my junk mail folder and I found five emails with an increasing degree of irritation at my previous post on Balamban Liempo. I will now address them individually, but first, a few words of blog wisdom:

1. When you leave a comment, you also leave a unique IP address. I may not be able to trace you to your specific computer, without asking your IP to identify you, but you leave a basic code. And when several comments come from SEVERAL DIFFERENT names, but using the same IP address, you send up WARNING FLAGS in a big way. If you work in call center, it isn’t unusual to get friends sitting near each other commenting and the only differentiating factor is a SINGLE digit on their IP address. Also, if you are in a company that uses ONE DISTINCT IP address, you will only be able to vote ONCE on the polls on this blog, as they do not allow repeat votes from the same address.

2. Diction, language, tone, word use or misuse are very good indicators of individuals behind messages, so many times folks try to sign on under different names, but it becomes apparent that they are probably one and the same.

3. Using harsh language, in any of your comments, particularly words that you would NOT use face to face with someone you were having a discussion with, is risky, for the sole reason that a comment left on this blog will be permanently on the net, and as such, your brash and “in the heat of the typing moment BLURT out” will be attributed to you forever or what seems like forever, so write only that you feel strongly about and can certainly defend.

4. When folks search a term such as “dalandan” or “leche flan” or “Balamban Liempo” or many things related to Filipino food, marketmanila.com posts, simply because of longevity and the number of posts over the years, and the readers who click on them, come out reasonably well on google and yahoo searches. So when you link a business name and accompany it with an expletive, it will only probably backfire on you and the business. That’s just the way the net works. It is transparent in more ways than you can iimagine, and it works both ways for readers and for me as the writer on this blog.

Okay, to the specific comments that caused me to write this post, received on the previous post on “Balamban Liempo”:

Comment #1: IP address located in Cebu Philippines, comment received on April 26, 6:31p.m.

“John – US and Philippines, Philippines says:
With all due respect, I would imagine that a “food critic” would not actually go ask someone to pick up “Liempo” and have them brought back. Driving from 2 locations as described takes far too much time for the hardened skin to get moist and lose its texture. I suggest if you want to be critical of food, especially one of something like Liempo, you should know not to have someone go and deliver it if you want the best flavor.

Off Days Happen for Every Location! But its hard to judge food you do not get fresh. I think most people would agree. Being a food critic myself, I have to say that this article might just be an “off article”.

As for fatty? I am a bit curious, the pictures you show above are certainly not that fatty. I am starting to wonder exactly how much Liempo you have tried. Most Liempo stands, similar to the one in Balamban, are loaded with far more fat than Balamban Liempo.

Yes, I am a fan of Balamban Liempo as I think they do have the best Liempo I have tried to date. Yes, I am a published critic as well on a major radio station in the US. No, I do not think anyone who goes out and has food delivered has the right to call themselves a food critic. That a joke to the profession.”

Marketman’s response:
– Balamban Liempo’s own website encourages pick-up and delivery of their liempo. It is NOT only a restaurant with eat-in tables. And I do acknowledge that eating it away from source will affect the experience.
– I did NOT drive to 2 locations, we drove directly to ONE location and purchased it and returned straight to our office, 5 minutes away from the outlet. You need to check your ability to comprehend written english and I quote the relevant sentence: “Then just before lunch, we decided to send someone to buy two orders of Balamban Liempo from an outlet near Coco Mall, and the receipt reads Gitano Grill & Restaurant.” At what point in that sentence does it say we purchased liempo from two different locations?
– You first argue that distance and time are the source of the softened skin, and I DID NOT take anyone to task for this, in fact, I said it was a likely result of transport. But in your next sentence, you argue that I shouldn’t have something take out to get the best flavor. Well, the travel time will affect the skin, but the five minute trip will NOT affect flavor dramatically. So which is your problem, my comments on skin quality or flavor? You aren’t making logical sense. And if you don’t think the product will stand up to a take-out or delivery, then DON’T encourage those options in the company website! Duh.
– You are more than welcome to IGNORE the article on Balamban Liempo. I never once indicated to readers NOT to patronize the provedore. I never said I wouldn’t buy it again. In fact, I leave open the chance it was an off day and say I will probably try it again at the STORE. Most readers of marketmanila.com have brains of their own and ONLY THEY can decide if the product is something they enjoy or not.
– If you don’t think it’s fatty, I completely understand your opinion. But I found it FATTY. And THAT is my opinion. If you bothered to go through this blog, you would have seen this post on “Binagoongang Barbecue”, made with liempo, not visibly as fatty as the portion of Balamban Liempo we tried. Or maybe you would have seen this post on organically raised “Adobong Baboy Ramo” made with wild boar belly and ribs, that was visibly FATTY. Or maybe you would have seen this “Porchetta a la Marketman” made with a large piece of pork belly, and notice the end-piece, nowhere NEAR as fatty as the Balamban Liempo portion we got. Or maybe this post on “Fat+Fire” or grilled liempo, with a medium degree of visible fattiness. Or maybe you missed these posts on lechon kawali and bagnet, here and here, and several other closely related posts in that same vein. Or maybe you missed this post on humba or umba, also with liempo. Or homemade chicharon made with pork belly. You might have also missed a recent post on Momofuku style pork buns made with liempo or pork belly. Or these organic free range teriyaki style waton pork belly slices. Or perhaps you missed this post on homemade bacon, of course using liempo or pork belly. Or a fatty pork belly a la Gordon Ramsay. So I have tried liempo more times than most humans alive, and cooked it myself to boot. So please do not even try to suggest I don’t have a basis for my opinion that the liempo I tried that day was fatty. IT WAS FATTY. And if I may be so bold as to assert this, I have probably tried liempo in more volume and variety than you have, especially if you really are based in America.
-And good for you if you are a published critic in the U.S. Good for you. But maybe we should ask the 10,000+ marketmanila.com readers which critique they are most likely to believe given that your IP address is mysteriously based in Cebu, and is practically the same as the next three comments.

Comment #2: IP address located in Cebu Philippines, comment received on April 26, 6:34p.m.

“Daniel, Philippines says:

Starting to think that Market Manila has an alternate agenda. Why would he allow people to call Balamban Liempo a “second rate” restaurant. Your an idiot Market Man.”

Marketman’s response:
– notice the exact same IP address, different name, notice it is 3 minutes after the last comment.
– what alternate agenda could I possibly have? And why shouldn’t I allow REGULAR readers to express their negative opinions of Balamban Liempo when worded properly and sincerely, when I ALSO allowed even NON-REGULAR readers to post glaringly positive reviews of the same product?
– as for using the word “idiot” I hope you looked it up on your favorite Wikipedia source as it is defined as being “mentally deficient” and I would happily pit my scores on the NCEE, SAT, GMAT and college and graduate school records against yours. Let’s just say I am confident my mental capacity is probably comfortably sufficient. Particularly when you misspelled “You’re” as “Your”. But then again, that might not be a sign of mental deficiciency, just a typograhical error. As even I am often prone to typographical errors, and I, according to you, am an “idiot”. :)

Comment #3: IP address located in Cebu Philippines, comment received on April 26, 11:19p.m.

“hoopster, Philippines says:
Hi Everyone The pink color can be due to a reaction between the heat of the grill and myoglobin, which causes a red or pink color. It can also occur when vegetables containing nitrites are cooked along with the meat. it is totally safe and natural

Here’s an excerpt from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myoglobin

“Myoglobin forms pigments responsible for making meat red. The color that meat takes is partly determined by the charge of the iron atom in myoglobin and the oxygen attached to it. When meat is in its raw state, the iron atom is in the +2 oxidation state, and is bound to a dioxygen molecule (O2). Meat cooked well done is brown because the iron atom is now in the +3 oxidation state, having lost an electron, and is now coordinated by a water molecule. Under some conditions, meat can also remain pink all through cooking, despite being heated to high temperatures. If meat has been exposed to nitrites, it will remain pink because the iron atom is bound to NO, nitric oxide (true of, e.g., corned beef or cured hams). Grilled meats can also take on a pink”smoke ring” that comes from the iron binding a molecule of carbon monoxide to give metmyoglobin.[9] Raw meat packed in a carbon monoxide atmosphere also shows this same pink “smoke ring” due to the same coordination chemistry. Notably, the surface of the raw meat also displays the pink color, which is usually associated in consumers’ minds with fresh meat. This artificially-induced pink color can persist in the meat for a very long time, reportedly up to one year. [10] Hormel and Cargill are both reported to use this meat-packing process, and meat treated this way has been in the consumer market since 2003.[11] Myoglobin is found in Type I muscle, Type II A and Type II B, but most texts consider myoglobin not to be found in smooth muscle.” “

Marketman’s Response:
– notice the very similar or close IP address, different name, but still at the same source location
– Ah, Wikipedia, that wonderful(?) source of accurate information that many rely on more than they probably should… I don’t usually rely heavily on Wikipedia, but you seem to, so let me make a few comments:
– Since you quote extensively from the site, you obviously did a quick search to try and explain/justify pink meat, or at least provide a plausible explanation, but if you go to the original Wikipedia entry, you quote but seem to ignore these important sentences:
” If meat has been exposed to nitrites, it will remain pink because the iron atom is bound to NO, nitric oxide (true of, e.g., corned beef or cured hams). Grilled meats can also take on a pink”smoke ring” that comes from the iron binding a molecule of carbon monoxide to give metmyoglobin.”
– If you had bothered to read deeper, you would have looked up nitrites and they are typically used for curing meat, or to be blunter, meat could turn pink or red as a result of the use of salitre, salt peter or similar types of preservatives. I didn’t know if that was true for sure, but it is ONE POSSIBLE CAUSE of pink meat. And this can be addressed directly if owners of Balamban Liempo disclose whether or not they use nitrites in any form whatsoever. It is not wrong or illegal to use preservatives at all (think hotdogs, bacon etc.) but I am NOW curious if nitrites caused the pink tinge of the meat.
– If you had bothered to read deeper on ‘grilled meats taking on a “smoke ring”‘ or pink tinge, then you would have read that, and I quote again from Wikipedia, your preferred source: “A smoke ring is also the name for the pink ring that forms around the edges of meat prepared by smoking, caused by myoglobin in the meat reacting with carbon monoxide to form a heat stable pigment.” What that suggests to me is that the pink tinge on the outer part of a piece of grilled pork could be explained by myoglobin. BUT THAT DOES NOT EXPLAIN THE VERY PINK MEAT IN THE INTERIOR CUTS OF THE LIEMPO IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS. So the way I look at it, given your sources cited, the two most likely explanations for pink interior meat is that it is undercooked or it was treated to some form of nitrites. And YES, it is possible that some other reason caused the pinkness.
– If the owners of Balamban liempo categorically confirm or deny whether they use nitrites, then the mystery would be easily solved. If not, the meat would have to be tested by a pretty good laboratory to reach the same conclusions.

Comment #4: IP address located in Cebu Philippines, comment received on April 27, 3:42p.m.

“balamban liempo, Philippines, says:

mr marketman be neutral…i can sense that ur not being fair with balamban liempo publish those post that are in favor of balamban liempo…u just lost my respect! tnx!”

Marketman’s Response:
– notice similar IP address, just one number off the first two comments above
– I believe that I wrote an accurate description of the liempo which we ate that day. I did not say it was awful, I did not say it was brilliant. I did say there were several reasons why it might not have been at it’s best, and that I would probably have to give it another chance. I hardly think it was a biased review.
– as for the comments on balamban liempo, if you go back to the original post on “Liempo on Bamboo” I allowed you and you and you and maybe your friends to post repeated glowing reviews of the product, I even allowed you to put purely COMMERCIAL links to your websites to encourage my readers to check it out when I typically avoid most commercial links. And ONLY ONE or TWO readers on that post suggested that I try other liempo provedores, and NONE of them outright described your product as unsatisfactory. So who is being unbalanced now? Several repeated comments from your group with positive reviews, up against a couple of other regular readers who felt a broader net cast for other liempo sellers should also be considered?
– NEUTRAL is defined as “not supporting or assisting either side in a dispute or conflict” according to the Oxford American Dictionary. So I allowed comments from both sides in. I stopped comments from your camp when I thought they were tending towards vote padding. And now that I notice you are using the same IP addresses, I am pretty darned sure you are NOT being as transparent and honest with your comments about your own products. It is you that is looking more and more absurd in this situation.
– I may have lost your “respect”, but given the more than 10,000 regular foodie readers on this blog, whose respect I have mostly earned and for a majority my posts, are mostly trusted or they wouldn’t keep coming back for more, I think comments like yours and responses like this can only AUGMENT/SUPPORT/BOLSTER my blog credibility further, rather than HARM it.

Comment #5: IP address located in Cebu Philippines, comment received on April 27, 3:58p.m.

“balamban liempo, Philippines says:

your zubu chon sucks bigtime! if mr bourdain tasted CNT’s Lechon first then he would have said this same line too “The Best PIG Ever!”

What’s the fuss all about? it’s called MARKETING dude!”

Marketman’s Response:
– notice same IP address as previous comment, one number off the first two comments above
– I am sorry you think Zubuchon sucks, and how that relates to the posts on Balamban Liempo defies logic. But since you raise it, then let’s deal with it. You are definitely entitled to your opinion.
– We understand Zubuchon will not be liked by all and sundry, and I suspect we will never get more than 2-3% of the total market for lechons in Cebu. But we are proud of our product. We use the finest quality ingredients. We have all the required licenses. Our premises are as hygeinic as we can manage and they exceed regulatory requirements. We make our lechons with passion. The business benefits the staff and employees directly. And we TOO HAVE OFF-DAYS, but when customers raise issues, we don’t attack them, we try and make sure we can remedy the situation and address the criticism. And while we cannot put words into Mr. Bourdain’s mouth, we are indeed happy for what he said about his lechon experience, but why let that one statement bother you at all???
– We will never know if Mr. Bourdain would have preferred another brand of lechon, but I can tell you that before we cooked our own lechons, we ate at CNT several times, and the major issue I have with them is the likely use of lots of MSG, otherwise, they were likewise delicious when hot off the flames. I have also tried several other commercial lechons in Cebu, and as I have stated several times before, a well made lechon (with NO MSG) fresh off the flames is ALMOST ALWAYS a good lechon, regardless of brand.
-As for the ‘fuss” I take it to mean fuss about Balamban liempo being a result of your marketing, is that right? Yes, I did notice after some basic googling that you invited several food bloggers from Cebu and treated them to your products and some of them wrote positive reviews as a result. Well, all my regular readers know I don’t typically take freebies in exchange for reviews, I DON”T DO THAT SORT OF THING.
-Zubuchon wasn’t even a commercial product when Mr. Bourdain tasted it. And we didn’t rush out to sell it. In fact, it took a year before our staff spearheaded an effort to sell it on a retail basis. And they got coverage in every major Cebu newspaper without any effort on their part. National television programs CAME to us, we DIDN’T seek them out.

I think that the final comment is a nice way to end this post. Readers who have managed to read all the way through can draw their own intelligent conclusions. As for balamban liempo, if you wanted attention, you just got it. Over 10,000 people will read this post before the next two or three days are over. And when googled, this post will come up fairly high on the results list, I suspect. And these comments from these interrelated IP addresses, will be there for all to see.

Now I will definitely have to go and try the original Balamban liempo in the town of Balamban, as well as other liempo places in Cebu and write a post on how they all seem compare with each other. Off to get more lipitor. :)

P.S. For the owner of Balamban Liempo, it seems we have mutual friends. A classmate of yours who recently ate at your restaurant happens to be a lawyer I am acquainted with. And who is a regular reader of this blog. If you ask her, I am sure she will give you a candid description of my background, integrity and credibility. Her husband (also a lawyer) and I worked very closely on several legal cases in Cebu and I am sure he too would have interesting opinions on my personal, ethical and moral standards…



  1. Franky says:

    well-written sir. and the p.s had me laughing till my sides hurt. you certainly have a dry sense of humour.

    Apr 27, 2010 | 10:47 pm


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  3. tuhashaligi says:

    Ding! Chicken’s done.

    Apr 27, 2010 | 10:52 pm

  4. tuhashaligi says:

    Good luck on your trip. I hope you find a new liempo store I haven’t heard of before.

    Apr 27, 2010 | 10:59 pm

  5. charlie says:

    I have to say I had the Zubuchon a few weeks ago while I was in Manila it was very good. I was hoping that we would have left overs for paksiw na lechon but it was all gone.(based on the response from my guest best pig ever) Mr MM I will be trying the roasted liempo this weekend, I finally found a bamboo pole in LA wish me luck….

    Apr 27, 2010 | 11:04 pm

  6. Lerker says:

    Comments from Balamban Liempo fanboys apparently. :) I love Balamban Liempo as well. I think their Lahug branch makes the more masarap liempo. I don’t know why there’s a difference. But it does have its off days. Maybe on days when they’re swamped by orders.

    The Balamban Liempo I tasted wasn’t THAT pink. Baka na-rush lang konti. Marketman’s opinions were thought out and unbiased. Chill lang mga fanboys. :p

    MM, please visit their Lahug branch and try the liempo there. Also masarap rin yung sa Mabolo branch.

    As for Zubochon … everytime we go there, ubos na. :( So baka marami lang talaga ang may gusto ng “lechon that sucks”. :p

    But all my friends who’ve tried say that it’s REALLY yummy.

    Cge bye.

    Apr 27, 2010 | 11:19 pm

  7. Marga says:

    Great post MM! I’m sure whoever posted those comments feels like the idiot now. And for the record, Zubuchon is definitely something I plan to try when I go back to Cebu!

    Apr 27, 2010 | 11:25 pm

  8. Karina says:

    You, sir, are awesome. That is all. :)

    Apr 27, 2010 | 11:28 pm

  9. tuhashaligi says:

    Apr 27, 2010 | 11:29 pm

  10. Mari says:

    MM, dahan-dahan lang…imbes na cholesterol lang ang iintindihin mo e pati blood pressure. Ang hindi ko maintindihan dito sa mga nagbabasa ng website mo e, a blog is really an opinion of the web hoster. There is no intention of destroying anyone for that matter. I highly regard your opinions… and before I could make a negative comment, I would try it out first…but I guess as commenter is being the owner of said liempo… he should’ve just shrugged his shoulders and say to himself, `to each his own…c’est la vie!’

    In any case, keep it up because there are more of us who like to see you blogging of all the food you write about and the places you go to.

    Apr 27, 2010 | 11:30 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Mari, as I have commented several times before, my normal blood pressure is 110 over 80 or sometimes even lower. So episodes like this just notch it up to normal for a few minutes or so. :)

    Apr 27, 2010 | 11:34 pm

  12. faith says:

    Karina commented ahead of me, but I have to second her sentiments that you are *awesome*.

    Hahaha. When you tweeted about the long rant, I thought, I am so there! Because you always present your ‘case’ well and discuss thoroughly.

    Apr 27, 2010 | 11:44 pm

  13. odie says:

    oh, nabuking through their IP address, he, he, it only proves that people hide when they have nothing good to say or do, tsk, tsk,

    Apr 27, 2010 | 11:54 pm

  14. ifoodtrip.com says:

    The best he could have done was admit he could have a off day and invited you over. Anyway when is Zubuchon opening a branch in Manila?

    Apr 27, 2010 | 11:54 pm

  15. Ric says:

    Very well explained! The Balamban liempo post was fairly written so I don’t see any reason why anyone would think otherwise – unless of course there is a mental deficiency or a lack of understanding of the language used. I’m right behind you on this MM!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 12:09 am

  16. NidaFe Ortego says:

    MM: well done!!! For the folks visiting your site expecting to read opinions that only agree with theirs, they need to move on!! Better yet, they should have their own site where they can each spoon-feed one another and opine the regurgitated, unimaginative, & banal.
    As for you, don’t EVER sell out: I enjoy your work immensely, your thoughtful musings: by turns mordant, judicious, inquisitive, impudent, amused— whether food or non-food related. And how could I forget: the recipes with your honest self-criticisms after your sometimes numerous tinkerings are the best perquisites for visiting with you. Am still your fan!!!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 12:10 am

  17. Franky says:

    it makes for an amusing read when ad hominem attacks are included. it really does make for a poor argument, no? which of course earns them an intellectual beatdown from MM.

    as all juicy pinoy stories go, one thing leads to another and next thing you know, nagsusumbungan na sa pulis…

    Apr 28, 2010 | 12:20 am

  18. roland says:

    weird — i never thought you were taking a shot at the product. funny stuff – i still want to try their product…

    Apr 28, 2010 | 12:45 am

  19. James says:

    Just hilarious. People are so touchy here.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 12:51 am

  20. Footloose says:

    I knew there’s somebody with beef lurking behind all these pork posts. But I relish your rants. Shows you’re in charge when somebody is as clueless as the Palawan lobster.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 1:32 am

  21. Vicky Go says:

    some folks just can’t take “constructive criticism”. How does that saying go again? “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!” ???

    Apr 28, 2010 | 1:53 am

  22. KUMAGCOW says:

    Sometimes, IP addresses don’t lie…. hehehe =P

    Shall I say… “HULI KA BALBON!” Hahahah

    Apr 28, 2010 | 2:32 am

  23. PaChe says:

    i laughed out loud with KUMAGCOW’s Huli ka balbon! hahaha!

    anyways, it’s quite a read. well said marketman!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 4:37 am

  24. Ehba says:

    There is this thing in Ebay that when you overbid/underbid more than twice using same IP address, they take off your comments and write you a letter – disallowing you to bid on present auctions or even future ones. I forgot what the term is – but anyways – I did it unintenionally using same computer used by a relative at different date (who I did not know was bidding also). I received note from Ebay and was warned. Web hosts who really watches their site and knows what they are doing can do catch these commenters and bloggers. Good Work Mr. MM. As my Pastor said, if you leave a negative comment, have the guts to leave your name / contact info so that you can be addressed rightfully.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 4:42 am

  25. jody says:

    Marketman, I would imagine I am many years older than you so let me tell you that laughter coming from the deep pit of your stomach is truly good for you; indeed I venture to say it is better than going out for a brisk walk or a jog.

    I have a huge grin on my face reading this post. What a truly amusing rant, as you called it.

    The comment by Footloose to do with someone having a beef about the pork posts has me truly laughing.

    To top it all of, you are absolutely correct about the post and comments remaining in the google cache ‘forever’. Yesireeeeeeeeeee, the Law of Unintended Consequences. LOL


    Apr 28, 2010 | 6:03 am

  26. jojo says:

    hi MM,

    this is my second post.

    it seems we both have two things in common, one we have good products and two, we have a loyal following. we both have people with us who are passionate about their food. oh, of course, we also have common friends. let’s just not let the remarks get between us, lets just each focus on the one thing we both have a passion for– GOOD FOOD. i honestly have not tried your zubuchon, i did want to get one at the airport, but it was pretty pricey, i will just get one at your BTC branch.

    yes, this is me, jojo vergara, and i truly am a big fan, i have absolutely no doubt in my mind you are an honorable man. i reiterate what i said in your previous blog. i would be honored to have you eat at my mabolo resto, you are most welcome.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 6:33 am

  27. GayeN says:

    Well said, MM! =)

    Looking forward to your post on “the original Balamban liempo in the town of Balamban”.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 7:50 am

  28. Ging says:

    Ay naku! Here we go again! Small thing elevated into a stinking bomb.

    Let’s get this straight. Both zubu and b liempo are good food products. Both have off days (but that does not make them inferior) I have tasted both products on good and bad days.

    Both taste different, as different as day and night. Zubu is lighter, brighter and fresher in flavor. BL is stronger flavor, with a tang and aroma that fills the mouth and nose.

    Some people prefer the subtle, lighter taste wherein the sweetness of the pork can still be savored. others prefer the “slap in the palate” flavor of minced herbs and spices that offsets the fattiness of the pork. Obviously, the ones who prefer BL to Zubu would also like CNT as they are almost similar in taste to each other.

    It is obvious that Zubu and BL cater to different tastes and markets (although I like both the same as I can hanker for different things on different days). I can’t force Zubu on my brother who is a firm believer in CNT. I can’t force BL on my sister either who hates having chopped up onions and lemon grass interfering with the fat in her liempo. She likes if the Willer’s lechon way just seasoned with salt and only salt.

    And with the issue on fatty pork, hey, do you dictate to the pig how much lean meat-fat ratio they should be producing? Sure, get the ideal ratio but pay for it by grilling a waton pig.

    It comes down to this: KEEP AN OPEN MIND PEOPLE!!! Don’t force other people to eat what they don’t want to eat. And if they don’t like what you like, it does not make them stupid or idiots or what. Remember that there are also things they like but you don’t like but that does not make you an idiot either. You just have DIFFERENT tastes. No need for name calling or ranting.

    Just like a certain sector of the western hemisphere swears by the goodness of marmite but nothing in this world will make me eat it.

    So cut it and KEEP AN OPEN MIND!!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 8:03 am

  29. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Well said Doc Ging!!! I’m making some “humble pie” for myself today. Anybody want some?

    Apr 28, 2010 | 8:08 am

  30. Ging says:

    @ MM, love your rebuttal especially on the first 3 comments :-)

    @Lerker, don’t let everyone in on the L branch. That’s where I buy my BL. That branch is kinda slow and we always get good pieces. If lots of people start eating there, they might start going off :-)

    Apr 28, 2010 | 8:20 am

  31. millet says:

    “I allowed you and you and you and maybe your friends” :-)

    uh-oh…we just ran out of fishpans!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 8:44 am

  32. kitchen says:

    hahhaha haay naku … peace to all.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 9:19 am

  33. Pilar says:

    MM, these people piss me off…nakakainis sila. They have a choice of reading it or not but everyone is bound to be respected.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 9:24 am

  34. tonton sotto says:

    haha… vote-padding nga! I guess integrity’s (very) hard to come by nowadays. “Balamban liempo” obviously lacked ethics in “MARKETING”. Plugging that lechon in Zubuchon’s expense. Threatened and bitter much, eh?

    Apr 28, 2010 | 9:38 am

  35. junb says:

    Case close :) ….Everyone is entitled to his opinion but to leave a comment, disagree and name calling on someone else blog then hide yourself with different names on the same IP address is not a gentleman’s way. If you are a fan of BL that is your choice nobody can take that away from you but being critical of someone else will do more harm than good to the product you are patronizing.

    Lets all unite for the good of the PORK that we eat !!!!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 9:58 am

  36. Bubut says:

    toink! another fishpan awardee… Have a nice day MM!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 10:01 am

  37. junb says:

    hi MM, as what you said there is 10,000+ readers that will be waiting patiently on your next liempo post.

    Let the pork RULES !!!!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 10:01 am

  38. joyce says:

    hehe fishpan! that was an entertaining read

    Apr 28, 2010 | 10:06 am

  39. mardie c",) says:

    i follow MM on twitter and when i read his tweet “Long RANT. Very Long RANT.” i couldnt wait till the time i could read it. and it IS indeed a long rant. it’s funny how some people do not know how to take constructive criticisms as that, constructively. good points up there though MM. and you are right, if only readers who disagree will “do it in a manner you would do at a dinner table when invited as a guest” to your home. we shouldn’t forget our manners even in the vast anonymity of the world wide web.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 10:13 am

  40. Ed B. says:

    hahaha…dami talagang troll dito sa Pilipinas. Though it would be interesting to know if the comments really did come from the ‘Balamban Liempo’ camp.

    +1 to you Sir MM! :-)

    Apr 28, 2010 | 10:19 am

  41. Rose5 says:

    I soo love Market Manila … It’s like watching teleserye…. he3x

    Apr 28, 2010 | 10:28 am

  42. pegi says:

    ” Inggit lang sila”, di ba, MM?

    Apr 28, 2010 | 10:29 am

  43. Larees says:

    Well-written Marketman! It’s sad how some people totally forget that this is a personal blog. Which means the bulk (if not all) of your posts are of personal opinion, experiences, etc. I don’t understand why they resort to rude comments and name-calling simply because you posted your feedback on a particular product. It’s not like you are trying to undermine their business.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 10:33 am

  44. zerho says:

    There’s nothing more satisfying than reading a well explained, well though out and completely in your face rant! Brilliant!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 10:34 am

  45. Epi says:

    Nothing like an MM RANT to start the blood boiling and juices flowing to unclog my Arteries from all the fatty pork I have consumed. Lechon Kawali for dinner sounds about right…:)

    Apr 28, 2010 | 11:01 am

  46. Libay says:

    Very well said, MM. But ingatan ang puso at baka masyadong ma-stressed…

    Apr 28, 2010 | 11:04 am

  47. sc says:

    @junb: sooo agree w/ you!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 11:37 am

  48. junb says:

    Hi Artisan, sure I want your pie…but wait what is the filling? Zubuchon or ???? :)

    Apr 28, 2010 | 11:38 am

  49. terrey says:

    always liked your rant…they all made sense…:) hey Mr MM i discovered your blog when you ranted about a local airline. anyways, im hoping to find here some more eggplant recipes, im just kind of craving for them lately :)

    Apr 28, 2010 | 11:53 am

  50. Joey in Dubai says:

    Liked this post. Some people are just ignorant of how internet works. Akala nila, if they comment under a different name, they won’t be discovered. Akala nila, if they use a computer in an internet cafe, they won’t be traced. No, sirrreee!. You, anonymous commenter who writes rudely and punctuates your sentence with vulgarity, can be found. It might take some legwork and real snooping, but you’ll be found for sure.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 12:51 pm

  51. Muzzy says:

    With linux/unix (and i think the latest Mac OS’s), you can run the WHOIS utility from a terminal to find out who the registered owners are of ip addresses. i happen to use linux, and ran WHOIS on the first two addresses you mentioned. They are registered to a company called Smart Broadband Incorporated in Makati. The results also list the devices that use the ip addresses. and it also shows the names, emails and phone numbers of the people who are assigned to use those devices.

    There should also be a WHOIS service available on the web. Just google “WHOIS, ip address” and i bet it will turn up a WHOIS web service.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 12:58 pm

  52. esther says:

    Ang sipag mong maghanap ng links within your site MM! Sobra! And as usual, i applaud your vast resource base. Parang gusto ko na ring maging “idiot”… Fishpan! Clap, clap, clap!!! Dami nang fishpan awardees April pa lang. We should hold a grand Fish Pan Awards Night in December. And here are the nominees…

    Apr 28, 2010 | 1:02 pm

  53. Jerome says:

    I always admire how you explained things MM. You always put them in the right place. As always, I enjoyed reading such rant. Opening and reading your post educate me more than people that I talked. Please keep on writing about food and other things and I’m sure that there are people like me who are more interested in learning new things.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 1:13 pm

  54. Lei says:

    i so adore MM and though i humbly consider myself somewhat blessed with just a little above average school grades( so many moons ago!!! ), i would cringe at having a discussion with MM for the simple reason that his are so well thought out. he just doesn’t post blind reviews for the whim of it, in fact from his previous reviews from product to produce he is very careful and so very ‘professional’ in his actions. and to think he is not a professional food critic at that. that is why i really do believe in the man even if i don’t know him personally. this food blog speaks volumes about MM’s character.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 1:18 pm

  55. John, Bob and Ted (or whatever name i feel) says:

    Comment deleted due to non-existent email address.

    If you were sincere about an apology, you would have at least included a functioning email address.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 1:29 pm

  56. John, Bob and Ted (or whatever name i feel) says:

    Comment deleted due to non-existent email address.

    If you were sincere about an apology, you would have at least included a functioning email address.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 1:36 pm

  57. Muzzy says:

    i did not finish my previous post on whois. it will not be able to tell you specifically who the end users are (unless you know some of the network admins at smart broadband), but it does give you an idea of where these messages are coming from. and in this case it looks like you are correct that they are coming from the same person or at least a group of people who know each other.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 1:51 pm

  58. chibi says:

    I always love it when MM rants!! Galing ng rebuttals! I normally do not get to finish reading long articles as I get distracted with too much words, but this one, I did read through the end! Wish I could phrase my arguments like that! =)

    Oh, and to second what Jerome said, I sure do learn a lot from this blog.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 1:58 pm

  59. i love sta.rosa says:

    ang haaaaabaaaaaa

    Apr 28, 2010 | 2:15 pm

  60. i love sta.rosa says:

    kng aw nyo kay M wag kayo magbasa ng article nya…. heheheheehe

    Apr 28, 2010 | 2:16 pm

  61. Clairee says:

    When I read the post on Balamban Liempo earlier, I didn’t really think that much of it. I just read it like it was a normal review from a food critic. I even thought I was still willing to try out the liempo for myself.

    I thought MM’s review was unbiased and properly written. I don’t think it meant to belittle Balamban Liempo. Please don’t take it personal… everyone is entitled to their opinion, and absolutely everyone will always have a say on the food that they eat. If I had the chance to try out the liempo for myself, and liked it… I would definitely come back for more no matter what any food critic says.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 2:21 pm

  62. emsy says:

    if your jerk magnet-ness keeps up, MM, we will most definitely need a year-end voting for the fish pan award. the fish pan poll!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 2:55 pm

  63. franco says:

    Thanks for your entertaining post. I was having a bad day until I read this. More!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 3:28 pm

  64. Pinoy Pride Clothing says:

    @emsy that’s funny, we can call it – The Annual MM Fish Pan Troll Awards

    Apr 28, 2010 | 3:34 pm

  65. miron miron on the wall says:

    I can’t help but notice that you attack the comments “ad hominem” or that you always point out on grammatical errors to show that those who made those comments are inferior to you or just plain stupid so people should not listen to what they have to say. This clearly shows your superiority complex. In all the posts, however entertaining and informative and colorful they were, traces of how well you pride yourself, how well you cook, how good is your life, how well travelled and how cultured your family is was very evident. I love following your blog to get a glimpse of those things, but sometimes you have to admit that your posts were a bit insecure. Not that I disapprove of all your entertaining posts, but rather on how you deal with those persons who wrote negative things about you. You habitually attack the people who made those negative comments via blog posts, and in turn solicit “fake” sympathy from your readers who “love” you. Reading their sugary comments, they give me diabetes. But I will always be a fan of your non-rant posts.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 3:39 pm

  66. atbnorge says:

    Sabi na ngang kung hindi mo gusto ng RANT posts ni MM, marami pang posts na puwedeng pagtuunan ng pansin! Judging the “sympathy” of people you do not know to be “fake” is an insult. Reading the whole post and all the comments takes a lot of time for digestion. Isn’t that devotion in itself? What is fake in that?

    Apr 28, 2010 | 4:48 pm

  67. bearhug0127 says:

    Way to go MM!!!!
    Love the long point by point rebuttal.
    Some people just don’t know when to stop eh? And who are they to approve or disapprove of what you write about?

    Can’t wait for the next post, whatever that maybe…

    Apr 28, 2010 | 4:54 pm

  68. jojo says:

    hi jing,

    thanks for your comment and advise, KEEP AN OPEN MIND.

    i also appreciate the comments made by market man even his RANTS.

    but i have to say this, since i am the jojo he was referring to;

    MM, you are mistaken in thinking that i wrote “that zubu chon sucks big time,” i guess by now you have a gut feel that i and the person who wrote that are not one and the same. anyone can simply use an email address, even our company email you mentioned. but you can tell, because i know you are a very brilliant and anaytical person just by the use of words and sentence phrasing , and i dont have any hard feelings. i understand your reaction completely .

    harsh words were also thrown at you, so as JING advised, lets KEEP AN OPEN MIND.

    Both of us got some, so let’s just call it even shall we?

    Apr 28, 2010 | 6:06 pm

  69. Mary Kim says:

    I bet that reader didn’t understand half as much as he has read.
    Instead of those mysterious names with the same IPs, sending you the best balamban liempo ever could have been a lot better!

    And forgive him for the narrow view on meat, maybe he has been having the same thing ever since. Meat and meat fat also has a rate/degree.

    All the best to MM and readers!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 7:11 pm

  70. kaye says:

    This is one of the things I love about this website.. it is entertaining… it makes me rush out and try the dish and it keeps my brain well-oiled… thanks MM.. you not only inspire me to better my craft with baking and cooking but I also get some free review on my grammar and sentence structure… this site is soooo delicious and educational as well… two thumbs up!!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 7:29 pm

  71. Pam says:

    MM, Each time these things happen to you, I admire your patience in correcting and sharing your honest insights and opinions. I always consider these misguided people lucky to have free lessons on ethics and the law from you. I don’t know how you feel about it, but you being a “jerk magnet” actually help a lot of people. : )

    Apr 28, 2010 | 7:51 pm

  72. marilen says:

    Puede ba – those who share in the conviviality and intelligent and informative conversation in this blog – do NOT offer ‘fake’ sympathy to MM. I respect him for his intellect and heart.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 8:08 pm

  73. Marketman says:

    jojo, I have received emails from the person claiming to have left the comments, but from a different ip address, hence it is difficult to confirm, but if taken at face value, yes, they appear to be from a different person, NOT AN OWNER, hence I have deleted reference to your earlier comments on a previous post and in the post above.

    I strongly encourage the said controversial commenter to contact you directly. He claims to be a huge fan of balamban liempo, and you may be acquainted with him. His comments have probably done more harm than good. He has provided me with his name, he has commented before listing his entire name on a previous related post, he has a blog or website himself and should have been cognizant of appropriate web manners and/or ethics, in addition to other personal disclosures which are not relevant to the discussion at hand. If people just thought about what they wrote to begin with, they wouldn’t have to backpedal after they have been subjected to a MM rant…

    Apr 28, 2010 | 9:48 pm

  74. cathyeresera says:

    Well said MM. I am a fan of your blog and I always admire the way you think. You’ve inspired me in so many ways. You really have the talent to inspire others and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Lessons learned i guess for those misguided persons.

    Apr 28, 2010 | 11:29 pm

  75. gjibrael says:

    i am with you marketman…

    Apr 28, 2010 | 11:56 pm

  76. Franky says:

    @miron miron on the wall – the grammar lecture was apt but was only an aside from the main topic. i see nothing wrong with it. WE see nothing wrong with it. we see nothing wrong with correction – “if it’s wrong, it’s wrong, but do better next time.”

    as to the blog content, it’s his blog. we see no superiority complex; it’s a blog about a person who wants to share his happiness and is a genuine philanthropist. juxtapose that with government projects that have the words “through the efforts of”, “a project of”, “courtesy of”, and other permutations and you get the idea.

    most comments were ill-informed, some with malice. they do have a choice of not reading it. it was their opinion but they do need enlightening of their world view. this blog does not pander to their needs. and that’s why they get their asses handed back to them. gipangasab-an ba…

    fair play to jojo – shows integrity and courage sir.

    Apr 29, 2010 | 12:23 am

  77. Chris says:

    Just wanted to mention that I was in Cebu with friends a week ago and between us we probably bought something like 8 or 10 kilos of Zubuchon all told. We immediately ate a kilo for lunch and brought the rest home. We all LOVED it. :-)

    Apr 29, 2010 | 2:22 am

  78. Ted says:

    @Muzzy, WHOIS IP is a good way to find out the location of the IP address’ whereabouts, but there are ways to hide your ip address. Also i can always release and renew my ip address and be able to vote pad if i wanted to, but who in his right mind will do vote padding on MM’s surveys? Only COMELEC will do that, lol.

    Apr 29, 2010 | 2:36 am

  79. carinae says:

    Pare, I think the owner of Balamban Liempro needs some aloe for the buuuuuuuurn you just gave him.

    That aside, I love your blog. As an American-Filipino who has lived all over the world (except for the PI, hm…) for work, I truly appreciate what you write and how it’s presented.

    I have yet to make your eggplant with penne pasta. That looks lovely. You’ve inspired me to post a recipe on my baking blog!

    Thanks for the humor and recipes.

    -Carinae L’etoile-

    Apr 29, 2010 | 4:48 am

  80. KUMAGCOW says:

    Okay just so you know, they are using SMARTBRO =) Maybe check out their internet connection huh?! =)

    inetnum: –
    netname: SMARTBRO-PH
    descr: Smart Broadband Incorporated

    Apr 29, 2010 | 7:01 am

  81. fried-neurons says:


    The fact that Marketman takes the time to respond to people who leave negative comments actually shows that he pays attention to what they have to say, and that he doesn’t sit in some gilded cage nursing a superiority complex. Consider also that he takes the time to write these “rant” posts in reply, instead of just deleting said comments or dismissing them with a simple “you don’t know what you’re talking about so shut the hell up” response.

    It’s always very interesting (and confusing) to me why so many people believe that blog authors should just let every negative comment slide. What’s the reasoning behind that? To show magnanimity? Moral superiority? Civility? It’s just as nonsensical as people who, during election cycles, say that celebrities should keep their political leanings to themselves, to just “shut up and sing.”

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, you know. Anybody who has no compunction about posting an ill-toned negative comment on any blog should be prepared to receive a negative response right back. And everything in one’s post or comment is fair game, be it the content, the grammar, or the choice of words.

    Apr 29, 2010 | 8:18 am

  82. Quillene says:

    Well! That rant certainly trimmed the fat off the skin and into the Balamban fryer! Whoosh!

    Apr 29, 2010 | 11:11 am

  83. Marketman says:

    fried neurons, thanks for that. Sometimes I lack the energy to respond to all comments, but that one says what I would have said. I would like to point out that I tend to write RESPONSES to these kinds of provocative comments. If you smack someone, don’t assume they are going to turn the other cheek. That is definitely not my way. :)

    Apr 29, 2010 | 11:20 am

  84. Ley says:

    I strongly feel that it is always wrong to judge MM and his perceived “motive” based on a single post. For us long time readers, we know that he has been very generous in sharing with us his time, talent, experiences and perspective. Personally, MM and his commenters have taught me that being busy in my work is never an excuse not to cook at home. I would like to believe that I have become a better mother and wife because of what I have learned from this blog. And if regular commenters shower MM with praise, that it not fake sympathy. That is genuine admiration and gratitude.

    MM, I can also vouch that Jojo is a good man. He had asked me to convey his apology for the nasty comments made on your blog.

    Apr 29, 2010 | 11:21 am

  85. Marketman says:

    Ley, thanks. I have answered an email from Jojo and reiterate all is good, except for silly commenters thinking they were doing good rather than harm. :)

    Apr 29, 2010 | 11:27 am

  86. Life says:

    so the bomb they threw was like a boomerang!

    cant wait to read you’re post on the original Balamban Liempo =)

    Apr 29, 2010 | 12:13 pm

  87. arch2662 says:

    is there any liempo place in the Philippines as good as Lombardi’s at Petaluma?…just asking and please no violent rants. Cheers!

    Apr 29, 2010 | 4:23 pm

  88. Brian Asis says:

    Never, ever mess with the Marketman… Very well justified!

    Apr 29, 2010 | 4:36 pm

  89. Jing_Bacolod says:

    yeah, teach them a lesson…:) havent written a comment over a long time, but i always read your blog…im always learning new things….love Market Manila!

    Apr 29, 2010 | 4:41 pm

  90. ragamuffin girl says:

    why people even bother to write comments that they know will elicit an MM rant is beyond me. :)

    Apr 29, 2010 | 6:10 pm

  91. Hershey says:

    MM, I think you are more tech savvy than I thought you were lolz :P

    Apr 30, 2010 | 7:00 pm

  92. Dorothy says:

    It’s so pathetic when people here take everything too personally. I have a good friend who got very upset at you when you wrote about her product. Everyone was egging her to write you a scathing reply. I read your post and thought that it was actually very complimentary. She took offense when you also pointed out areas which needed improvement. I explained to her that maybe she should enjoy the glowing compliments you gave and fix the things that were wrong instead. She took your advice and is now expanding her business internationally. Business owners can be sensitive about their products because they love it like their own babies. Friends and relatives should be caring enough to encourage them to look at criticisms constructively instead of adding fuel to fire. How can you improve something if nobody tells you what’s wrong?

    On another note, have you tried The Goose Station in Fort Bonifacio? If so, did you like it? I tried the 5-course express menu last night and only liked one dish. Everything else was ordinary.

    May 1, 2010 | 11:08 am

  93. Marketman says:

    Dorothy, thanks for that, I wonder which review THAT was, I don’t do too many reviews… as for The Goose Station, I haven’t been yet.

    May 1, 2010 | 11:29 am

  94. JOAN says:

    atay.. kapuya pod ni oi.. pasag dai na sila tanan.. basta ako, kumbira lang.

    May 1, 2010 | 12:53 pm

  95. Trish says:

    I think that a business owner should feel honored and be thankful when his products or services are reviewed sans any need for payment or ex-deals. These “free reviews” will allow the business owner an unbiased review on what he or she does. Sometimes, unbiased opinions makes the best reviews and starting points for future improvements.
    The owners/relatives/supporters of BL could’ve taken MM’s review as it was, and use what they feel could help or just leave MM’s opinions as his own.
    When one is passionate to always grow and improve one’s products and services, he will not fear any kind of review but will instead welcome it as an opportunity to grow and be better. For whatever its worth, any review should be welcomed with an open mind and a free spirit. Business owners should always be open to amy kind of feedback and not take it personally.
    As a business owner myself, I know I’d welcome MM’s take on my desserts anytime not only because he knows his food but because that is one feedback that I can surely use to improve my products. I hope that in time BL and their supporters can also see it that way in the future.

    May 2, 2010 | 4:08 pm

  96. Brennan says:

    Hi Mr. MM.

    This is my first comment after lurking in your site for quite awhile. I enjoyed the travelogues, the food reviews, the recipes (I tried your Binagoongang Baboy last year) and most especially the rants. :)

    Your recent rant serves as a blog management lesson for me. While there are comments that must be moderated, there are also those that must not be taken immediately for their face value (in the case of vote padders). Thanks to technology, the latter can now be easily tracked.

    By the way, my good friend and I went to Balamban last weekend to find the original (or is it?) Balamban liempo version. This was just a curious response to the hurly-burly generated by your recent pork belly posts.


    May 3, 2010 | 10:48 am

  97. Marketman says:

    Brennan, thanks for your post on the original. I will head there too some day soon. As well as try Kusina ni Nasing as well…

    May 4, 2010 | 10:14 pm

  98. junb says:

    @ Brennan – Looks appetizing and yup I do notice that no pinkish shade on the meat too. One thing is that I wish they use bamboo pole instead of a metal/stainless steel with chains to grill the liempo or chicken. I’m sorry no offense … I am an old guy here who loves everything done in a natural way.

    May 5, 2010 | 3:12 pm

  99. anj says:

    I have been a loyal Marketman reader for close to 3 years now but this will be my first time to leave a comment. :)

    I think that people who like dishing it out should very well be able to take it too. Marketman writes a blog post, hence he opens himself to comments. Commenters put forth their opinions, they in turn open themselves to rebuttals. In the first place, these commenters started abusing him first. True, Marketman could have taken the higher road and let such comments slide, but why should he? It is human nature to retaliate, and how many of us can claim to be as charitable as to let other people abuse us, especially when we have done nothing wrong in to provoke such a reaction (I too found the Balamban liempo post to be quite objective – Marketman even put the caveat that his bad experience was probably an isolated experience and he would give the other branch a try to offer another perspective).

    Also, I don’t think Marketman has a superiority complex at all. If anything I suspect he actually downplays his status in life. Should we expect him to be ashamed of where he is right now? Should he be apologetic that by virtue of hard work he has reached the enviable position of being able to travel, experiment with food, etc etc? Why? Would false modesty make Marketman a better person? I think it’s admirable at how matter-of-fact he is about himself – it shows how secure he is about himself. Marketman never explicitly states it, but after being a loyal reader I’ve been able to catch glimpses of his life and am AMAZED at his charitable spirit (the feeding program, how lovingly he talks about his “crew”, his feeding program, his knowledge about social development and politics and current events etc etc). True he is sometimes cranky (Sorry Marketman!) but he is human after all. If put in the same position, who wouldn’t be? What we should remember is that bloggers are people too – they get hurt by nasty comments like any other person. So if they retaliate to abuse, who can blame them?

    And last, no one is forcing anyone to read this blog. If you don’t like the content, then just scram.

    May 6, 2010 | 7:07 pm

  100. anj says:

    Oh and slightly off topic – if you check out The Peacock Garden’s response to Marketman’s review – that is graciousness personified. No excuses, no denials, no insults. They even gave thanks for being featured in the blog. If only all establishments (and their supporters) can show this level of maturity and class.

    May 6, 2010 | 7:14 pm

  101. chatty_shary, Bermuda says:

    Clap! Clap! Very well said. As the saying goes, “No one kicks a dead dog.”

    I’m a newbie reader of your blog. Impressive. Amusing. I think I found my new addiction. :)

    Keep it up MM!

    P.S. I was craving for lechon by the time I finished reading this blog entry. I might dream of eating some tonight. :) I will definitely try Zubuchon the next time I visit Cebu!

    Sep 21, 2010 | 10:31 am

  102. Alvin says:

    Hello Marketman,

    I will definitely try out your suggestion. Please be careful with logging the IPs though. Smart Telecom like my connection has a WAN Based connection. It means everyone within an area will have the same IP. Just like mine, everyone living near Covergys Banawa, Labangon will have the same IP.

    Nov 26, 2010 | 4:32 am

  103. Papichulo168 says:

    There is actually a healthier and more mature discussion on the said Balamban Liempo on the Food & Drinks section of Pinoyexchange.com/forums


    It’s actually fun reading (and writing) the exchange between the Balamban Liempo owners and his rah-rah boys (one user who was appropriately named jerk811)vs some Pinoyexchange Food & Drinks regulars (like myself).

    Jan 24, 2011 | 8:50 pm

  104. b says:

    If you don’t already know, the liempo place in Balamban is called “Kristians”… Really good :) I also like BL, and have had it on their “off” days… Maybe it has to do with increasing volume served?

    Apr 23, 2011 | 7:46 pm

  105. dyosa says:

    b (post 97) is right! The original balamban liempo is named “Kristian’s Liempo and Lechon Manok” and have a branch ONLY in Toledo City. Kristian’s tastes way better than the balamban liempo here in the city. I have to know since I’m from Balamban, Cebu.. hehehe

    May 12, 2011 | 3:03 pm


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