18 Feb2009

Augusto is My Hero…

by Marketman


It’s so Filipino to start the bickering after the main event. Get a grip. Augusto is my hero and here is why. Of the 100+ million Filipinos (or part-Filipinos) around the globe, some 6+Million of whom are domiciled legally and illegally in North America, Augusto is the one guy who had the initiative to do something to get Anthony Bourdain to seriously consider a trip to the Philippines. If for that reason alone, being the “catalyst” to an event, he was brilliant in my eyes. He had the initiative to record a video, a nice one in case you haven’t bothered to watch it before you rag on him, send it in, go through an interview process and accept that he didn’t come out on top, the Saud lady did (and I watched that show and it was a good one as well). But Bourdain’s curiosity was sufficiently piqued and he decided to do the Philippines anyway, and he was still interested enough in Augusto’s story to pack him, his wife and daughter onto a plane to meet him in Cebu. So no matter what you say, you are all couch or armchair or deskchair directors/drivers/critics. YOU probably didn’t have the balls to try and get Bourdain to come, you didn’t go out on a limb at the risk of looking foolish, and you, I would guess for 99.99% of you haven’t been faced with 3 cameras literally in YOUR FACE for hours on end and try to look like it was a walk in the park.

So what if he “wasn’t Filipino enough?” He said from the get-go that he was born and raised in the U.S. And I suspect a MAJORITY of those with Filipino blood in the U.S. would strongly identify with Augusto. And let’s not forget that if given a visa and a chance to visit and work in the U.S., some 40+ million Filipinos who live in the Philippines would jump at that chance with a second’s notice to relocate and do whatever they have to do to make it big in America. So I applaud Augusto for wanting to know more about his roots, for wanting to visit his country, for appearing to be more proud of his Filipino heritage than a whole lot of so called dyed in the wool Pinoys. I agree he seemed less enthusiastic during the program than he did on his video, and I certainly am in no position to explain that, but in the several hours we spent together, which is a whole lot more than MANY FOLKS LEAVING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG AND ELSEWHERE HAVE KNOWN HIM, he struck me as being a young, proud father, extremely interested in his Filipino heritage. He was curious, observant, intelligent. And he was a bit of a tourist, as any of you here would be if you had only spent 8 days in the Bronx, or Queens NY and were trying to understand that borough after you realized you wanted to reconnect with the family and friends of your parents who grew up there.

The show chose Augusto for a reason. They have a story that weaves through their episode. And that story was pre-determined before they even landed here. The choice of venues, the main dishes, the scenery, were as far as I am concerned all pre-selected, and CAREFULLY so. Folks who leave comments about their not shooting a fabulous beach or not dining in a Forbes Park home are all barking up the wrong tree. I am sure many of you wouldn’t have a clue that some 160-180+ hours of video were shot in the 6 days they were in the Philippines, which was edited down to just 48 minutes or so. Which means less than 1/2 of 1% of the material they had made it to the program. So let’s not try and re-direct it or second-guess it for them. Augusto was the catalyst. If not for him, they wouldn’t have taken the next step of identifying people on the ground who could help them with the episode. And they did a respectable amount of BACKGROUND RESEARCH before they got here, more on that in another post. So Augusto, a big FAT BRAVO to you, buddy. And I know I gave you my email address but I am not sure you gave me yours. I hope you read this. Because you and your lovely wife and daughter are very welcome at Marketman’s home or Cebu lechonan should you happen to visit the Philippines again! We’ll definitely have another one of those pigs roasting over the coals, because only you and I and a handful of folks at that lunch know exactly how many times Tony said “The Best Pig, Ever!”. :)



  1. Dessa Godwin says:

    very well said!!!!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:28 am


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  3. smiles4angels says:

    I’ve read the comments mroe than AB’s blog. I’ve had exactly the same reaction as yours. A simple thank you would be enough, it takes so much effort to do a production, what more if done overseas. However there’s always a “but” to their comments. Made me think that if they really are that proud or something else.

    Kudos to Augusto for having enough Filipino Pride to send his videotape and represent the Philippines.

    AND who would be comfortable in front of the camera and having relatively strangers around you watching and listening what you do and say? I know I wouldn’t.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:34 am

  4. Shapine says:

    Best pig…Best show…Best traveler…Best fan…

    How many “bestests” MM? =)

    Did you really count? ahaha

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:37 am

  5. jing says:

    Well said Market Manila. Augusto got the job done!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:41 am

  6. Pica says:

    I have to say Augusto played a huge role in making this such a meaningful episode to me. I think he showed the vulnerable side of the filipino because he is looking to his roots to find his identity.

    Personally, I’ve never felt as much Filipino as when I started living here in the west coast. The shops you showed (ongpin), the streets you walked and the food you ate .. those all represented me!!! I loved the episode. I empathized so much with Agusto! I was touched to see how much he wanted to know his country. I was also very touched (and frankly surprised) with how Anthony was able to pick up on issues like not really belonging or finding out a people’s identity. I felt like Anthony was very supportive of Augusto and I really appreciate that.

    Don’t you love when he was talking to A’s kid and saying “Uncle Tony introduced you to pork…” or something like that. It was a great episode!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:45 am

  7. dragon says:

    MM, very Pinoy indeed: CRAB MENTALITY. Or Sour graping (US) or Tall Poppy Syndrome (Australia).

    BTW, not referring to you but rather the detractors of Augusto…


    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:46 am

  8. Kat says:

    Very well said. Our country is so regionalistic, we get offended when our town/province gets passed over by something like this (no offense meant there, just stating something I noticed and am somewhat guilty of). I’ve got cousins abroad who are more knowledgeable and prouder of their Filipino heritage than most of those who grew up and lived here.

    Frankly, I’m proud that our country is featured in a show as high profile as Tony Bourdain’s. It gives the world an idea of what our country can offer. I think it’s definitely a plus for all Filipinos. Kudos definitely goes to Augusto.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:49 am

  9. AleXena says:

    My sentiments exactly MarketMan!

    Especially for Augusto. Poor Fil-Am being shot down for not “being Filipino” enough but was never thanked for bravely sending a VTR of himself pleading to Anthony Bourdain to do a show on our country.

    And for the apparent “lack of enthusiasm” for both Bourdain, Augusto and the food guides, hasn’t anyone thought that maybe they were all just OVERWHELMED about our food culture???=) I certainly think they were and I can’t blame them. We have a very vast culture.

    One thing I have observed about Anthony Bourdain, he is never one to be polite if he doesn’t like anything. And writing on his blog that he is nervous about the Philippine episode must mean something.=)

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:51 am

  10. Lee says:

    mabuhay Augusto!

    I just said my congratulation to augusto in this previous post http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/no-reservations-philippines-now-showing with the promise to buy him a hundred beers.. I hope to be there if ever Augusto drops by for a visit again.. maybe to help turn the number one pig in the spit and open up a few bottles of beer.
    I have also seen the Saudi episode and it was good. Best camel ever? hehehe

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:54 am

  11. Maria Clara says:

    Augusto, you need not be in a war battlefield to claim you as my unsung hero. You went through in a big battle with a giant network armed with an aspiration to feature your grassroots country in their international television. Knocking at the door of big corporate office is not an easy job. It is intimidating. You could be hit with their “file it in the back burner” or “file it in File 13” which is like hitting a booby trap or a suicide bomber in the war zone area of Iraq or Afghanistan! I can see you were turned down but no was not your accepted answer and you kept going and going until you boarded the homebound plane. Thank you also for bringing along your Wife and Daughter on your recent trip to Manila for smelling the fragrance of their grassroots.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:00 pm

  12. Joni says:

    Ditto! I also don’t get what everyone is griping about!

    Kudos to Augusto! Dude, thank you! :)

    Ang daming angal ng ibang tao eh, they weren’t even there.

    I’m just happy we finally saw THE BEST PIG EEEVVVER! And everything you prepared MM. (I so want to try the kinilaw.)

    And, I’m probably going to give this episode/dvd as a gift to non-filipino friends because they’re always curious about filipino food. I know it’s only a percentage of what’s available in the country, but at least I know they’ll get a good overview of what they can expect when they go to the Philippines.

    Kudos again to everyone involved in the No Reservations ep. :)

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:01 pm

  13. Joey says:

    Regardless of the nasty comments … I thought the episode was rather nice.

    Anthony Bourdain really did the Pinoys a lot of good. Good work to all the Pinoy contacts in Manila, Pampanga and Cebu. You all presented our cuisine and unique culture in a way that makes me proud to be Pinoy.

    As for Augusto … I have more respect for an American-born Pinoy desperately seeking his roots than a lot or Philippine-born Pinoys that are American wannabes. Augusto’s enthusiasm really made the episode possible and I am genuinely glad to see such enthusiasm from Fil-Ams.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:14 pm

  14. Anna says:

    Well said MM. I hope those people who say that Augusto isn’t Filipino enough would read this post. As if they (detractors)were born actors and can immediately be comfortable in front of cameras, for a show that is highly watched all over the world. At least Augusto who was born and raised in the US showed us all how proud he is with his roots, unlike some of our kababayans that I know who would rather be identified as latino or other asian nationalities than be known as Filipino. To Augusto, mabuhay ka!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:21 pm

  15. thea says:

    hi marketman. i’m a big fan of yours… congratulations to you and augusto!

    anyway, i think i know why cafe ysabel didn’t make the cut… i think they were a little bit pretentious…in one of their blogs, they said they served cocido and when AB asked is this dish filipino? they said yes… but it’s really a spanish dish…

    anyway, i have a question… how did Mr. Bourdain like the San Miguel Beer? :D

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:22 pm

  16. Quillene says:

    (Sorry MM… quite a long post, this one…)

    I have been stuck to this blog and the comments sections of both this and the NR website for the Phils. episode.

    All I know is that it was a good story to tell. Concept: Filipino Food and the Philippines: A Blank Page. Aim: Write the introduction for all the world to see.

    You have Augusto, on one hand. A Fil-Am proud of his roots but is in the process of wanting to reconnect to it in a solid way. He made no pretentions of being holier than thou and bluffing his way throughout the show just to impress Mr. Bourdain. They would have seen through him if he did. They knew this. Even Mr. Bourdain acknowledges this in the segment when they were eating bulalo. That is why he can be a representation of those who’ve lived abroad but have no or very little notion of Philippine food and culture is. I like his honesty. And yes, wouldn’t you be self conscious too if you had cameras trained on you at all times? Perhaps when he sent that tape, he did not expect that he would be coming with Mr. Bourdain. He probably thought Mr. Bourdain would do the Phil. segment all on his own. So, Kudos, Augusto! Wala kang dapat ikahiya.Salamat nang marami sa iyo dahil sa ginawa mo.

    For Mr. Bourdain, what else is there to say? He came, he saw? He (sas conquered by the best pig ever! :) ) and was treated to the best of Filipino hospitality as only we can give each and every visitor that comes to the country because we are just to darn nice! All of those clamoring he come to the Philippines got their wish. They may love or have been disappointed by the end result but now, at least, the Philippines is not such a blank slate for Mr. Bourdain anymore. He came and said he had a good time. Hopefully, he will come again to write more pages on the Philippines culinary experience.

    For the guides to show him around? Camera shy some of them may be… But they did their part. They stepped up to the plate and served their guest with the respect, friendship and attention that not all of us would have been given the opportunity to do so for a world-class chef. Well done all of you! But of course, I would admit to a bias to this blog, this blog’s owner, family and crew (and litsunero :)) for doing a job well done to get their foot in the door for the world to have a sneak peak into the Philippines.

    Watching the youtube posts made me see that the story was well balanced.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:25 pm

  17. flip4ever says:

    Well said MM, well said. To Augusto, thank you for efforts.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:32 pm

  18. PanchoA says:

    First of all, think about how you would react in front of a TV camera.

    It’s intimidating enough, and the mere thought of it drives you to become even more self conscious.

    Second, you’re in an unfamiliar environment, being hosted by someone you’re not too familiar with. You’re not in control of your schedule, and you have to watch what you say or do in front of the camera.

    All in all, Augusto did great.

    Marketman was superb. Tony was just being himself, being used to the cameras, the lights and confident of being Anthony Bourdain.

    As to crab mentality, that is one facet about humanity (not just Filipino) that will always be a failing of the human race. New Yorkers prefer to call it schadenfreude.

    On the whole, it was a great show. And No Reservations may just get the chance to be pirated because of the expanded number of Pinoy viewers. Good for Tony.

    Don’t get worked up Marketman. There will always be people who will say the glass is half empty.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:39 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    PanchoA, getting worked up is what keeps my blood pressure NORMAL, otherwise it’s 110/70 or lower! :)

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:43 pm

  20. chris says:

    if AB NR came to see the lively philippines, they should have scheduled their visit during the fiesta season. but no, as mr. mm said, “they have a story that weaves through…” beside the food, this is also augusto’s story. augusto is in search of and trying to reconnect to his roots and get in touch with his “pinoy soul.” the episode is also about the filipino soul. and havent you noticed, most of the food served were our own soul food, comfort food. more than the taste, it’s the company/people you have partaken the food with and the memory that you have connected with the food is what makes it more delicious.

    bravo to mr.mm and his crew, and the others (havent seen the other segments yet)who have been part of the Phillipine episode of NO RESERVATIONS.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:46 pm

  21. chris says:

    mr.mm: LOL @ the blood pressure. you really are one who is always up for the challenge, para lang ma-maintain sa normal level ang bp…

    i thank the heavens that they had you to show AB around and feed him with your well-prepared dish. i couldnt think of anyone as intelligent,insightful, retrospective, candid, and proud of his heritage, and of course, good-looking (ehem…)as you to host him (eh kasi, wala na akong ibang kilala na foodie celebrity na kasing intelligent, insightful, candid, and goodlooking all rolled into one :) ) peace, mr.mm!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:54 pm

  22. Mik says:

    While watching the show, I realised that this must have been such a personal journey for Augusto. I mean, how overwhelming is it to rediscover your roots, try to find your identity, reconnect with family while hosting AB?

    That said, I don’t understand why a “more enthusiastic” Filipino host would be a better representation. I only speak for myself, but I thought Ivan Dy, Claude Tayag and MM (and not because he writes this blog) were all pretty enthusiastic about Filipino food and eager to share and showcase it. The enthusiasm, love and the knowledge about the food, especially the desire to show how good our food is, came across very clearly, at least to me.

    I’ve been an AB fan since Kitchen Confidential and I thought it was great how he nailed his own observations about Filipino culture right on the head, from history to psyche. The show actually reminded me of one of his Vietnam shows on A Cook’s Tour. And if you guys think that Augusto was “unenthusiastic” in this episode, you should look up the Fez episode (again, on A Cook’s Tour) and read AB’s thoughts on that show in the book of the same name.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 12:55 pm

  23. tnm says:

    I think it was a better than average episode having watche NR for many years and AB’s shows before that. Although it did not have it’s component of drunk, boisterous personalities (like the Romanian and Greek episodes) or violent component (Lebanon episode), I did not find it boring at all. All the Pinoy guides showed knowledge, enthusiasm and pride. Not to mention interesting, authentic cuisine. Unlike the ones you find in the touristy areas where most visitors and balikbayans congregate.

    As for Augusto’s fam, I have the feeling that they were so quiet because they really didn’t know each other that well. Augusto had only visited once, right? Besides all those cameras would make any regular non-showbiz person self conscious.

    The thing I like about this show as a whole is that it is very insightful and well written. It could be slow sometimes but it’s not the “I went here, I ate this, I went to the beach to get a tan” type of show. It showcases the food and the culture rather than “tourist spots”.

    Having said all of that do we all know why our cuisine is not on the culinary map of the US (or insert your adapted country here)? It’s the fault of every American of Filipino ancestry living here. We don’t care enough about it to promote it. I emailed/broadcasted/texted so many friends and relatives and only know of 3 people who watched it. The rest…nothing, they would rather watch American Idol or some sucky reality TV show.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 1:12 pm

  24. linz says:

    I whole heartily agree Marketman. I was looking forward to NR from the Phils. I have to admit, I was aprehensive at first with Augusto, but I ended up relating to his story so much. Although I was born in the Philippines, I only lived there until the age of 5, yet I found myself completely riveted to his story. By the end of the show, I was immensely proud of Augusto, immensely proud of my heritage, and immensely hungry.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 1:45 pm

  25. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    As I mentioned earlier…Augusto convinced AB to come to the Philippines to do NR, and MM convinced AB that he has the best lechon ever.

    My apologies to Augusto for not giving him a standing ovation like we have been giving MM

    Augusto, from one Cebuano to another…. DAGHANG SALAMAT NIMO BAY!!!

    Next time you come to Cebu, I owe you a case of San Miguel Beer!!!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 2:01 pm

  26. Lee says:

    Hello Artisan Chocolatier… sama ako sa inuman ha?

    Feb 18, 2009 | 2:10 pm

  27. Rina says:

    Ignore the haters, Market Man. The show was good. Augusto was endearing. He showed more interest in the Philippines than a lot of people born and raised here. I thought it was cool that Anthony Bourdain ate in places I never would’ve thought of eating at. It would be nice if Augusto could convince him to come back because there were other foods I’d like him to try, e.g. chicharon bulaklak, ukoy, halo-halo, etc. Throughout the show, Mr Bourdain often wondered what the central theme to our cuisine was. There is none. Our food is just plain yummy and meant to be enjoyed.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 2:10 pm

  28. annb says:

    hi…just a question please? =)
    where is all this aggression coming from? is it from the episode or some other blog or some other blog’s comments? don’t have travel channel in manila so haven’t seen it yet… and no youtube posts yet either…

    Feb 18, 2009 | 2:21 pm

  29. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Lee…Oo ba!!

    MM, Do you know where they did the shoot of Augusto and AB eating Bulalo? That looks like the famous place just a stone throw away from your lechonan.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 2:23 pm

  30. annb says:

    did you know that filipinos in canada deem it an insult and/or discrimination to be called FILIPINO??? whoa. apparently, the right term to call “them” is “person from the Philippines”. which is a FILIPINO! ay naku.

    *i got this information from a real canadian. and was of course, very shocked. HE was very shocked. and confused. who wouldn’t be.
    it seems, in canada, the filipinos say that when you’re called a filipino, it means you’re someone who would anything for money.

    well then, don’t change the term, FILIPINO! change yourselves!!! and prove to everyone that you are better than that!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 2:26 pm

  31. sonia says:

    Who is Filipino enough anyway? Augusto did it– got AB to come to the country — which is much, much more than what many self proclaimed true Filipinos can ever do or will even try to do.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 2:31 pm

  32. jun says:

    I don’t see Augusto as less filipino at all…come on his name, his feature, his passion about filipino food and especially his great effort to convince AB to come to philippines is more than enough to put his as modern day hero along with MM. They are the people who spend their own time and money to put Philippines name globally with a good news which hardly comes nowadays. Have you all noticed that outside Philippines majority are saying that our country was corrupt, dirty, third word etc…etc…But now is one of the moment where you can say I am a filipino and we owe it to Augusto, AB and MM. BRAVO!!!!!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 2:32 pm

  33. mudra says:

    Well said, MM and crew! Well done, Augusto! Maraming, maraming salamat po! =)

    Feb 18, 2009 | 2:35 pm

  34. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Lee…teka muna. Let’s finished the 100 beers you offered Augusto first, before we hit my case of beer!!! hahahahaha

    Feb 18, 2009 | 2:58 pm

  35. Marketman says:

    Artisan, yes, capitol site eatery, I suggested that as one of the places for them to eat in Cebu. And yes, they filmed it the day before the pig shoot, and they were two minutes down the road at that point… :)

    Feb 18, 2009 | 3:03 pm

  36. Erika says:

    I respect Augusto for putting himself out there. I know it’s not easy being in front of the cameras. It was probably a bit overwhelming for him.

    Keep in mind that the show relies a lot on editing, and it looks like the editors decided to put a bit more focus on Augusto and his family. Augusto was invited to join Anthony for dinner a few times. I don’t think he realized the focus would be primarily on his story. He did a good job and represented the Filipino-American community fairly. We are enthusiastic about our culture, yet we still have a lot to learn too. Whatever disappointment you have with the episode should be directed at the editors, not Augusto.

    Marketman, thank you.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 3:19 pm

  37. Mark says:

    I completely and totally agree. Other than the fact that I was finally seeing an episode of No Reservations about the Philippines, I loved the fact that, as a Filipino-American, I was able to identify with Augusto and what he was saying. It was very moving to watch. When it was finished, I just wanted to high five Augusto. Bravo to you as well for calling out the haters out there.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 3:30 pm

  38. Marketman says:

    Erika et al, you are right, that show was edited EXACTLY the way they wanted it. And they could have cut out Augusto entirely or me for that matter or any of the other segments if it didn’t fit into the type of final product they were aiming for… Frankly, I think they ended up with exactly what they wanted. I think the target audience was the several million Filipino American community and they nailed it on that front.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 3:35 pm

  39. AllThingsConsidered says:

    I had no idea that Augusto was catching flack until I saw this post. Having now read some of the comments here and on AB’s blog, I’m utterly disappointed. Whatever goodwill we created as a collective for campaigning (or just hoping and praying) to get AB to the Philippines was destroyed in one fell swoop the moment Augusto was attacked for not being Filipino enough. What a shame. I wonder when the time will come when pride in our country will include pride in our countrymen?

    Feb 18, 2009 | 3:59 pm

  40. Sam says:

    Amen to all that, MM. Augusto’s trip home was among the highlights of the episode. It is not a breeze working on camera, the cams are literally in your face. Been there, done that, still learning. To the couch critics who were scarfing down Boy Bawang and chicharon baboy while dissing the show, choke on your chichirias! I have worked with a good number of young Filipino Americans who would instantly jump at the opportunity that Augusto had. And for those who had a different take on the episode, get a grip people!! You justly deserve MM’s lashing!!! People at work, the non-Filipino foodie types (uhm, I happen to be the only Filipino at work, and quite proud I must say, of the endless Pinoy food I’ve introduced to “foreign” palates)are still raving about the ‘piggie on the stick’ that glowed on their screens last night. If that is enough to get them interested about the Philippines, it’s a good start. The Philippine tourism office suck at promotions and behaves poorly compared to tourism offices of much smaller and poorer countries who are way better at promoting their tiny plots of paradise. Uhm, I am not dissing the government, I am just making those concerned aware (if they happen to be reading these wonderful posts…), and hope they do a much better job at showing off what we really got. As one of the readers said: REPRESENT!
    I have come to consider that Marketmanila is not simply a blog, it is a movement. Loads of thanks to you Marketman, and your family and wonderful crew for making the NR episode truly a delight to watch. Salamat, sa uulitin!!!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 4:01 pm

  41. calfran says:

    That Augusto served as a catalyst for TB to come to the Philippines is to be admired. And perhaps the editors were at a loss on which footage to use. Respectfully, I understand the rigors of TV production and that there may be things that are purely production decisions. If some of you are happy with the end result, fine.

    However, there were some of us who thought that despite everyone’s best efforts or motives, the show left a lot to be desired. And no it’s not crab mentality, it’s expecting more from a rare opportunity to showcase the country we all love. But no matter, what’s done is done. My thanks to you Marketman for hosting a lively discussion I do hope I remain welcome to put my 2 cents worth. Good luck to Augusto wherever his journey takes him.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 4:02 pm

  42. Quillene says:

    For those still griping about the episode, pls check out Our Awesome Planet’s website on this article / link regarding the prepwork for the show :


    Feb 18, 2009 | 4:13 pm

  43. PanchoA says:

    Speaking for myself, Calfran, your point of view is always welcome though some of us may not necessarily share your sentiments.

    Comparatively speaking, this exchange was more hospitable compared to other discussions in other fora that I belong to.

    The wonders of the different flavors in the Philippines can’t be compressed into even ten episodes of No Reservations. But we can be thankful that it generated some more interest in a few more sets of eyeballs outside of those already enamored with la Patria Adorada.

    And of course, this great blogsite.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 4:20 pm

  44. Marketman says:

    calfran, no issue at all on differing takes on the program. But I will put up a post on the “behind the scenes” and prep work that resulted in just 6 or 8 or 10 minutes of footage in Cebu. I just reviewed the volumes of emails and recalled the more than two hours on the phone with producers trying to see what they wanted to do… the gamut ranged from the most gorgeous deserted Palawan beachscapes and resorts, to bulls testicles at a roadside shack (which I even taste tested for them), a rooftop bar with a fabulous view of Cebu and some of the snazziest drinks and bar scene around, luxury hotels, broas manufacturers in neighboring bohol, a roadtrip through smaller towns, fancy food, artisanal food, organic food, markets of all sorts, restaurants, even Apocalypse now shooting venues, huey helicopters, bases, etc. Believe me, they chose what they wanted to feature… And they scripted exactly who was going to be around at the immediate table. But more on that later. And I think they totally nailed their viewing demographic. They were not out to make a beautiful travelogue.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 4:22 pm

  45. Toni says:

    I didn’t realize there was some hate for Augusto. Why?! Why?! Geez. So much negativity. Anyway, thanks for the Augusto love, MM. Well-explained, well said.

    I just saw the episode and CONGRATULATIONS for having the best pig ever! Woohoo!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 4:33 pm

  46. sylvia says:

    Augusto deserves our thanks for convincing Anthony Bourdain to feature the Philippines. Sure, just like calfran, my American hubby said he was bored to tears while listening to Augusto but, you know what, hubby was drooling throughout the show. Drooling over the sisig, drooling over the sinigang, drooling when he caught a shot of inihaw na liempo. When he saw the lechon, I thought he was about to pass out. I don’t think No Reservations went to the Philippines to showcase its tourist spots. That’s Samantha Brown’s job. And just as Bourdain says, “in the end, it’s all about the food”.

    You did a good job, MM! Congratulations! Thanks too to Ivan Dy, Claude Tayag and Augusto!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 4:51 pm

  47. cai says:

    Thank you Augusto and Marketman!!!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 5:39 pm

  48. cai says:

    Oh and congratulations…you did a great job!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 5:40 pm

  49. tna says:

    ‘Nuff said! Welcome home Augusto! Superb touring Ivan Dy, Claude Tayag and MM! Glad to have you Mr. Bourdain and another Philippines run please! Here’s to THE BEST PIG…..kerrrrruuuunnccchh!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 6:01 pm

  50. Beau says:

    Hey Marketman,

    I popped over from Les’s Shoot First Eat Later Blog. I agree with ya about Augusto having the rollers to approach Bordain and wanting to know more about his heritage-always a good thing! I saw that there is more info now on wikipedia on Filipino cuisine so it is a foot in the door! Now maybe a bigger awareness of all that is good in Pinoy Cuisine. Would have loved to see more stuff like banana catsup and pandesal-My daughter makes a great one by the way)(but Hey its a first effort! I just hope NR does more than one show! Hey have your readers take a look see at Shoot First Eat Later. Les has a real passion here and her blog is really cool! Salamat Po for all the hard work! Love your site! Pinoy Proud!


    Feb 18, 2009 | 6:28 pm

  51. bluegirl says:

    I could not help but laugh imagining Slyvia’s American husband drooling. But that also made me think… if the show showcased the food such that an American would drool over it, then perhaps the show has done the job I would want/hope it would do. That is, to inspire and intrigue the stomach & appetites of foreigners so that they would come, taste our food and experience the Philippines!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 6:56 pm

  52. Katrina says:

    I’ve read the critical comments, too, and agree with you, MM. (Well, except for the point that Augusto was the only guy to send in a video; at least one other person — Marvin of Burnt Lumpia — did, too, though he wasn’t shortlisted. But again, he’s a Fil-Am. Makes me wonder if any Filipino from here, or who lives in the US but grew up here, sent a video. Because if not, then really, no one has the right to call Augusto “not Filipino enough.”)

    However, I’d like to give the negative commenters some benefit of the doubt that it isn’t ALL about the much-blamed crab mentality. (It irks me no end when people attribute bad qualities only to Filipinos.) I think that the criticisms are more due to:
    1) We have waited SO VERY LONG for our cuisine to get some attention. Bourdain himself said he felt pressured because of the overwhelming number of requests to feature the Phils. It’s been excitedly anticipated for such a long time, that the final result is bound to disappoint some people. We all have our own idea of the “perfect” way to showcase our cuisine, so whatever does come out has to fall short. Even Tony said in his blog that there’s just no way to do it “right.” And I loved how anxious he was! Endeared him to me more. *kilig* ;-D
    2) As Tony also wrote, with over 7000 islands, and his having visited only two, how could one episode possibly represent the country? We shouldn’t expect it to. Could one episode cover the best of, say, France? But again, because everyone’s waited so long, and has no idea if the show will ever come here again, it puts undue pressure on the show to be all things to all Filipinos. The French are already content (this is debatable) with how famous their food is, so they don’t put all their hopes on one episode of one show. Not so with us.
    3) From my observation, most of the people who’ve put down Augusto or the show are either Filipinos residing here, or those who grew up here and then moved abroad. In other words, they’re Pinoys with an intimate and wide knowledge of what can be eaten and seen here. But they’re not the only audience for the show. In fact, I’d venture to say they’re only #3 or #4 in order of importance. It’s an American show, viewed internationally. Therefore, my guess (admittedly this is pure conjecture) is that the prime target markets would be either non-Filipino Americans or Fil-Ams, followed by international viewers from many different countries (therefore, more likely NOT Pinoy), AND THEN the native Filipinos. So their decision to weave the story around a Fil-Am who wants to learn more about his roots works. This tack lets their primary target relate to the show.

    I think the context of Filipino food being a blank page to the rest of the world, and how even a Fil-Am is mostly unfamiliar with it, is a really good one. It’s interesting to ponder the dichotomy of that versus the fact that millions of Pinoys live abroad. Even if I haven’t seen the episode, conceptually, I already like it. :-)

    My one disappointment is that, as many have observed, the festive Pinoy spirit, especially when it comes to eating, didn’t shine through. Not that Bourdain didn’t experience it — he reportedly got quite sloshed at Bale Dutung! But maybe there was just no time for that aspect, or they felt it detracted from the theme. Personally, I’m willing to let that issue go. The world has already surely seen how joyful Pinoys are. But now they know we are also #1 IN PORK!!! :-D

    Feb 18, 2009 | 7:21 pm

  53. The Steak Lady says:

    Thank you Augusto!!!very well said MM. and Congratulations!!! we’re all so very proud of you for producing the best pig EVER!!! :D

    Feb 18, 2009 | 8:17 pm

  54. stitch says:

    Hey all,

    Just to put my two cents in. In some places, Filipinos are not seen as boisterous or rowdy. We’re actually viewed as the “cool” ones, able to make people laugh and enjoy themselves without making complete asses of ourselves. In that sense, the show was right up THAT perception. Cool and relaxed. If it looks like nothing’s going on, well, we actually aren’t that wild to begin with. We pride ourselves of being able to “carry” ourselves well, even when intoxicated, or is it just me?

    We Chill more than we party, actually. It doesn’t mean we aren’t happy, we’re just really cool doing it.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 8:23 pm

  55. Hoz says:

    Thx MM. As a half Caucasian Fil/Am I can relate to Augusto’s feelings of “ethnicity” or lack there of. I’ve visited Cebu twice and both times there was a disconnect. I don’t speak the language so sometimes all I can do is sit and smile, wondering “What’s going on?”

    Augusto did a great job enticing Tony. You and the rest of his guides closed the deal.

    Note to Tony, future NR episode; Bourdain wading ashore on the beach in Leyte with Augusto (wearing a campaign helmet) at his side. They stride to the beach and Tony, with his hands on his hips, declares “I have returned”.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 9:11 pm

  56. Jordan says:

    Thanks MM, all my thoughts exactly. At least Augusto was the one who did something about it. I actually think that his story around the episode was so charming and hilarious at the same time. For me, all the shots and locations where perfect. Why let Anthony go to a house in Forbes or a fabulous beach? Isn’t that why the show works all along? Because they avoid the usual touristy places and manage to show the real beauty and charm of a place/country. So yeah, Augusto and you MM are my heroes…

    Feb 18, 2009 | 9:16 pm

  57. Leo Garganera says:

    Augusto you’re “The Man”. To all his critics, put up or shut up. Augusto had the guts to put the spotlight on the Philippines. Augusto, if you ever come to California, I’ll be more than happy and honored to share a beer with you. Good job MM.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 9:23 pm

  58. kiko says:

    can’t wait to see this on my own TV… i wonder when this is scheduled downunder…

    Feb 18, 2009 | 9:33 pm

  59. Angela says:

    I was actually quite proud of Augusto. He wanted to learn about his roots and was determined to have it featured on TV. In addition, he had the balls to admit that he had only been home once (for a week) and he doesn’t speak the language. Kudos, Augusto!!

    AB rarely features gussied up local food as he seems to prefer hanging out with the Average Joe. So what if they edited the part with the actress? He probably had more fun with Ivan, Claude, Augusto, and you, MM. Big deal that they didn’t make it to some beach (or resort, or town, or. . .) I’m just happy they made it to the Philippines at all! TV production is not my forte, I’ll leave that to the experts.

    Hoz: nice visual!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 9:41 pm

  60. Pinaycook says:

    Bravo, MM! As I have said before, watching Anthony in the Philippines was simply BEAUTIFUL, I was brought back home that night. We have been living here in the U.S. for 20+ years now & I can understand how & why Augusto felt that way, seeing my son who was born & educated here, I could definitely see Augusto in him. We are all so proud of you, Ivan, Claude & Augusto – Mabuhay & maraming salamat!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 9:51 pm

  61. mariasaamerica says:

    Now I know that you are indeed a GOOD man. Despite all the adulation you have been receiving, you did not bask in the glory and forget the reason why that show happened in the first place. Neither did Tony, when he said Augusto was the reason why he was there. And Augusto, if you are reading this, YOU were really the one who convinced Tony that the Philippines was worth going to!!! Good luck in your future endeavors!!! MM, thank you for showcasing the best that we have to offer in the Philippines. I really enjoyed watching this NR episode. Thanks to you and your crew…Keep up the good work!!!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 9:59 pm

  62. Nina says:

    Tony B. is a no-bs, down-to-earth person. I have been watching his show since it started and had read all his books. So, I can perfectly understand where he’s coming from. It’s all about good, non-pretentious FOOD! Notice how when served at the Pampanga home, he asked if that how’s dinner are REGULARLY served in ‘Pinas as obviously it was a high-end, upper class setting. I also love that I saw Tony B.’s soft side, i.e., when he was carrying Augusto’s daughter and focusing/commenting about her out of those precious minutes. So bravo to NS/Tony B. and the rest of the crew for catching the soul and spirit of the Philippines and her food!

    Feb 18, 2009 | 10:31 pm

  63. jaycalabig says:

    For the most part the reactions were very positive except for some that are just so plain negative to the point that one poster said that Mr. Bourdain missed a lot because he did not eat particular delicacies and most of all missed Filipino Hospitality. I am very happy how the Philippines was portrayed true it did not show any of our pristine beaches and beautiful landscapes but I can say the same of other episodes like Bali, or Jamaica in fact he showed the nitty gritty side that most tourists would not care to see. So Brave to for him for showing that, it even tickled me to see graffiti of “Bawal Umihi Dito” that is so Filipino and to me very refreshing. Say what you will about the show to me it was a sucess just look at the message board for other episodes none has elicitted such responses. The producers are probably thinking about another episode about the Philippines because of such enthusiasm it has generated in the boards. Thank you Market man I have been following your blog for a while and this is my second post to your blog it is truly worthy of attention since you are trying to show not only to us but to the whole world what true Filipino cuisine is.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 10:42 pm

  64. Rafael Castillo says:

    I loved the episode. As someone who was born in Iloilo, emigrated to NYC at the age of 2, never went back to the Philippines until I was 21, I can very much relate to Augusto.

    Growing up in the US where you’re an outsider and coming back to the Philippines where you’re also viewed as an outsider isn’t easy. And what he said about Chinese/Japanese/Koreans in the US vs Filipinos in the US is very true in my experience. Growing up, you really don’t have a true sense of who you are unless you are lucky to have family that constantly expose it to you, or if you are lucky to return to the Philippines often. It wasn’t until my late teens when I embraced my Filipino identity (so much so that I’ve lived in Manila the last 7 years). And I applaud Augusto for embracing his identity. And the fact that this part of his search was part of the show made it compelling.

    And for those saying that it wasn’t enough and are complaining; you are the reason why Tony was nervous about the show. Like he said, it was just two islands out of 7000+ and he couldn’t show everything. I think he did a good job and he appeared to have a great time.

    While it may not satisfy all the critics, I think for what it was, it showed a great slice of Culinary Filipiniana. True to Tony’s nature of searching for everyman/working class foods (read his books, watch other seasons of his show), he ate at everyday places (Dampa in Cubao, Fishballs in Binondo). This part of Filipino cuisine is what he craves and as much as some of you are ashamed of it, it’s very much a part of Filipino Culture and Food.

    I think a good analogy of all the sniping and complaints about the show is adobo. On the show it was said that if you go to X different places, it will be cooked differently in each place. We all wanted the show to fulfill each of our own expectations (like our own personal version of Adobo). Perhaps there wasn’t enough bawang, tuyo, or pepper in the show for you. But savor it for what it was and for what Tony and his crew wanted to show. I think they did a good job for the time constraints. Very tasty adobo in my opinion.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 10:45 pm

  65. Mari says:

    Yes I agree with you 100%. In fact, I was so grateful to Augusto for doing that tape and joining the contest. I defended him when people questioned his hosting AB…but AB had described and explained it all. I do not feel anything against Augusto. In fact I was so proud of him to be able to get AB and crew to the Philippines. It was almost like reliving the days I took my husband last year for his first trip home and show him a whirlwind tour of Manila and the north! Awesome episode… and forever grateful to Augusto.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:09 pm

  66. cheesehead says:

    Augusto struck me as someone sincerely searching for his roots. His self-reflection about putting one culture before another in order to fit in was very personal.

    With more and more Filipinos relocating abroad, there will be more Augustos coming from the Middle East, Europe, Australia, Canada, parts of Asia, etc. who will want to know more about their Filipino heritage.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:18 pm

  67. Jescel says:

    Very well said. I admire Augusto too, for wanting to get to know his roots. Some Fil-Ams don’t even care! I watched the segment – thanks Marketman for doing a great job.. and that feast, oh my! I was screaming-wish I was there to enjoy the lechon.. and yes, the best part was when Bourdain admitted that “it was the best pig ever”… The only thing I was hoping to see in the show was for Bourdain to eat BALUT! I was slightly disappointed that he didn’t. :o)

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:24 pm

  68. Jescel says:

    I don’t know what happened to my comment above.. but I was going to say that the only thing I was hoping to see in the show was for Bourdain to eat BALUT! I wonder why he wasn’t made to eat balut, when that’s a very Filipino delicacy too.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:25 pm

  69. trina says:

    I was kinda amused at this post..I personally thought Augusto was kinda weird the first time I saw his video on No Reservations. I haven’t watched the much awaited telecast though but I look forward to it very eagerly.

    I must say I am glad you made this post, I’m sure everybody is guilty of being an obsessive critic. =p

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:36 pm

  70. Danny says:

    Well MM… I can’t beleive that fellow filipinos are so negative on a lot of things. We should be proud that we were at least shown on an international show. Likw MM said, he didn’t have any say or take on what the show is going to be, the show had their own script and it came out the way I expected it. Now I’m prouder to be a filipino more than ever. I’ve been away from the PI for a while now and the show made me want to come back and visit. Negative critism will always be there but they’ll never do anything to make it positive, jealousy doesn’t fix the problem, it’s part of the problem. Bravo Zulu to all who made the show enticing… Mabuhay.

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:43 pm

  71. Manong Ken says:

    You are so right. I suspect that a majority of the people who skewered Augusto in Anthony Bourdain’s blog didn’t know much about the background story on Augusto. He was a perfect example of many US-born Filipino Americans who are trying to rediscover their roots. And No Reservation is the perfect medium to tell that story …

    Feb 18, 2009 | 11:57 pm

  72. flip4ever says:

    Jercel: Tony aready featured balut in a Vietnam episode, and he’s had them in NY, so its a “been there done that” already kind of thing. He said he was “on the fence” as to the taste, wasn’t the best thing he has tasted but wasn’t the worst either.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 12:37 am

  73. currystrumpet says:

    i don’t understand why some people were expecting some kind of happy glossy travelogue. it’s tony bourdain, not samantha brown. it’s about the food. congratulations mm, ivan and augusto! you guys rocked!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 12:46 am

  74. danney says:

    Be proud to be a Filipino kahit ano pa man half half iyan like half Filipino/American, half Filipino/British, half Filipino/half Spanish. In the long run we should all be proud because of all nationalities in the world, there are a lot of Filipinos who are above the rest and being recognized by the international community. I hate it when our own countrymen always attach the words “I’m half Filipino half Spanish” and even go to language school to learn Spanish para masabing “Mi abuelos y abuelas hablamos Espanol. Ano kamo? Pasosyal ba!! Hoy even Spain does not recognize us as their half brothers or half sisters. BE PROUD TO BE A FILIPINO!!

    I’ve been working as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’Ambassador for almost 20 years now and foreigners commend me for being a Filipino. They like us because of our beautiful smile, charm, intelligence, diligence, sincerity, hardwork and more. Kaya doon sa mga naiinggit na kapwa Filipinos e manigas sila.

    Read the message below and we can can all see why we should be proud of our fellowmen:

    ….something very good about Filipinos.
    Here’s something very positive written by a foreigner, named Steve Ray,about Filipinos. Steve Ray authored many best-selling books, among which are “Crossing The Tiber ” (his conversion story), “Upon This Rock” (on the papacy), and just recently, “John’s Gospel” (a comprehensive bible study guide and commentary).

    Steve Ray, Popular Authors and People at The Catholic Company STEVE RAY’S OPEN LETTER TO THE FILIPINO CATHOLICS:

    We stepped into the church and it was old and a bit dark. Mass had just begun and we sat toward the front. We didn’t know what to expect here in Istanbul , Turkey . I guess we expected it to be a sombre Mass, but quiet and somber it was not… I thought I heard angels joyously singing behind me!

    The voices were rich, melodic and beautiful. What I discovered, as I spun around to look, did not surprise me – because I had seen and heard the same thing in other churches around the world. It was not a choir of angels with feathered wings and halos, but rather a group of delightful Filipino
    Catholics with smiles of delight and joy on their faces as they worshipped God and sang His praises. I had seen this many times before, in Rome , in Israel ,in the United States and many other countries.

    Filipinos have the special traits and they are beautifully expressed as I gazed at the happy throng giving thanks to God. What are the special traits which characterize these happy people? I will share a few that I have noticed- personal observations- as I have traveled around the
    world, including visits to the Philippines .

    FIRST, there is a sense of community, of family. These Filipino Christians did not sit apart from each other in different isles. They sat together, closely. They didn’t just sing quietly, mumbling, or simply mouthing the words. No, they raised their voices in harmony, together, as though they enjoyed the sense of unity and communion among them. They are family even if they are not related.

    SECOND, they have an inner peace and joy which is rare in the world today. When most of the world’s citizens are worried and fretful, I have found Filipinos to have joy and peace – a deep sense of God’s love that over shadows them. They have problems too, and many in the Philippines have less material goods than others in the world, yet there is still a sense
    of happy trust in God and love of neighbor.

    THIRD, there is a love for God and for his Son Jesus that is almost synonymous with the word Filipino. There is also something that Filipinos are famous for around the world – their love for the Blessed Mother.

    Among the many Filipinos I have met, the affectionate title for Mary, as I always hear from their lips, is “Mama Mary.” For these gentle folks, Mary is not just a theological idea, or a historical person, or a statue in a church. Mary is the mother of their Lord and their mother as well – their “mama.”

    The Philippines is a Catholic nation; the only such nation in Asia . And this wonderful country exports missionaries around the world. They are not hired to be missionaries, not official workers of the church. No, they are workers and educators, doctors, nurses and housekeepers that go to other lands and travel to the far reaches of the earth. And every where they go they take the joyous gospel of Jesus with them. They make a somber Mass joyful when they burst into song.

    They convict the pagan of sin as they always keep the love of Jesus and the Eucharist central in their lives.

    My hope and prayer, while I am here in the Philippines , sharing my conversion story from Baptist Protestant to Roman Catholic, is that the Filipino people will continue to keep these precious qualities. I pray that they will continue loving their families, loving the Catholic Church, reading the Bible, loving Jesus, His Mother and the Eucharist.

    As many other religions and sects try to persuade them to leave the Church, may God give the wisdom to defend the Catholic faith. As the world tempts them to sin and seek only money and fame and power, may God grant them the serenity to always remember that obedience to Christ and love for God is far more important than all the riches the world can offer.
    May the wonderful Filipino people continue to be a light of the Gospel to the whole world!

    Be a proud Filipino!!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 1:04 am

  75. Leilani says:

    bravo to Augusto and for MM!!! you both did a great job. shame, shame, shame to all you Filipinos out there who didn’t share the pride of having your country featured! what’s all the fuss about? Augusto and MM showed more than enough Filipino pride to represent all of us, the show was beautiful. simply put, it showcased to the world a glimpse of Filipino food and culture. Let it rest at that.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 1:27 am

  76. Naz says:

    Best pig ever!
    Let’s defend Augusto in the link above. So suddenly a lot of Filipinos are claiming to do a better job. I don’t think so! Just shut up and appreciate the show for showcasing the Philippines. Thanks MM, and all the guys who helped make the show. My hats off to all of you. Very well done. Now if I could only have an inch of that perfect Lechon, I will be satisfied.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 1:31 am

  77. lyn says:

    very well put! plus I think a lot of people in Augusto’s generation can relate to him .. so many filipino’s have moved outside of the philippines for various reasons and raised their children to their new country – I, for one, know many people who are rediscovering their heritage in the Philippines, just like Augusto

    Feb 19, 2009 | 1:53 am

  78. Moonie says:

    Hey Marketman, great blog!

    Love the work you did on the Bourdain show and I hope to one day kick it with you over in Pinas and get some food!

    My only problem with Augusto is his haircut hehe.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 2:10 am

  79. zoi says:

    totally agree with you mm! again, thanks to you, augusto, ivan, claude and the rest of the crew for really elevating filipino cuisine up there where it should belong.

    i just hope that everyone will just rally behind this huge effort and promote it further instead of the “what should have been”.

    for annb’s comments above, please no generalization. we are a bunch of proud filipinos who happened to live here in canada. even my daughter who is 8 is so proud of her roots and even trying to speak the language.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 2:22 am

  80. Nina says:

    The look on MM’s face when AB declared his lechon the best: PRICELESS!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 2:39 am

  81. Jen says:

    Thank you!
    Great show. We loved it. You guys did an awesome job. :-)

    Feb 19, 2009 | 3:02 am

  82. darlene says:

    I’m going to have a Simon Cowell moment here if I may…LOL!! I think you guys are missing the point and the obvious reason why the show turned out like that. As Anthony Bourdain mentioned, he chose the guy simply from his tape audition and sometimes knowledge doesn’t count more especially in TV. You have to have the right attitude and personality. Unfortunately, Augusto didn’t bring his game. How many times have he seen this family in Cebu? It’s a recipe for a disaster and that’s a no brainer. I applaud him for having the initiative to suggest to NR to do a show in the Philippines but I will NEVER put myself with no prior TV experience behind the camera. If I would like to reconnect to my roots, I will definitely do it privately not under the scrutiny of camera and public eye but of course not everyone would agree on me. I hope atleast Augusto got what he wanted from the show. It’s not that we put a gun on his head. I dont’ know which is harder, viewing the episode or reading the above article. Are we removed from reality? As a viewer we have the right to say what we think. I don’t know how NR works but I would definitely have a standby candidate if I feel he cannot deliver the required charisma and connection needed for the show.

    In future maybe I’ll just adopt a Paula Abdul attitude and post SDR (socially desirable response). Give me a break!!! IF YOU CANNOT TAKE THE HEAT, GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!!!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 3:05 am

  83. Marney says:

    I just saw the episode, the pig was indeed amazing. Congratulations to all involved!!! Some of the postings above are indeed disappointing. To all those who believe they can do better, I suggest you start finding ways to get AB back to the Philippines to do another episode that you deem more suitable.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 3:38 am

  84. eej says:

    People, just S-T-O-P! We all look like a bunch of pathetic whiners.

    Anyway, after everything has been said and done, the show is over with! We’ve always wanted Anthony Bourdain to visit the Philippines and he did. Now, grab a bottle of beer and a sizzling plate of sisig on the other and celebrate. Thanks to Augusto for finally dragging No Reservations to the PHILIPPINES. Mabuhay!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 4:14 am

  85. flip4ever says:

    Darlene: NR chose to do his story. Its not that they didn’t have any alternative or choice — that is was Augusto or nothing else. Like MM said, they chose to weave the episode around his story — despite the 160+ hours of footage that they had from the Philippine shoot. If anything, it was the show’s decision to go that route that may have disappointed some fans. For me, even with an animated guide like Zammir; those NR shows show cheesy, non-food related scenes which don’t interest me at all. For me…like Tony said “In the end…its all about the food”.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 4:19 am

  86. Danny says:


    The show was about Augusto with the backdrop of the Phillipines. He should be commended he had the courage. Why didn’t you apply to be on the show? If you don’t like the show then don’t watch it. Stick with American Idol which I think suit your taste better.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 4:20 am

  87. Pat Gil says:

    MM – Completely agree with you…Augusto showed the desire to know more about his roots and reconnect…and he embodied the “in-betweeness” many Fil-Ams have. And I am so glad Tony did not show any ritzy or glam places…only 2% of the nation choose to relate to that aspect of ‘pinas.

    Again MM excellent job and kudos to Augusto for making this happen!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 4:53 am

  88. Anbu says:

    Nothing wrong with constructive criticism. The ep was alright, there were positives and negatives. Thank you Augusto for stepping up to the plate.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:06 am

  89. nikita says:

    After reading the comments made at the No Reservations forum on Travel Channel, I can see WHY Tony said this at the beginning of his blog post for the Philippine episode:

    “I’m very nervous about tonight’s Philippines show.”

    I think he had a feeling that ANY way he protrayed the Philippines on his show, there was going to still be a backlash of filipinos pissing how their friggin’ region/province/city wasn’t featured. He wrote that blog post AFTER he filmed the episode so he already had time to think about his discussion with Claude Tayag (that was shown on the episode and I’m so glad they did bring it up) and I’m sure with other filipinos regarding the whole identity crisis of filipinos.

    All these filipinos pissing off about Augusto and how the Philippines was protrayed need to first be thankful that Tony even bothered to go to the Philippines! Maybe there’s a reason the Philippines was the LAST place on that map to have a thumbtack stuck on it!

    Makes my blood boil when I read people writing that Augusto wasn’t filipino enough. I’ve had enough crap thrown at me by other filipinos for not being able to speak Tagalog. Nevermind the fact that I can understand it pretty well enough to know that they are talking smack behind my back about me not being a “true filipino” in their eyes. I don’t need their approval and neither does Augusto. It’s up to him to decide who he is and where his filpino side fits in his life. Who are we to judge him anyhow? People criticizing him totally miss the whole point of the episode which was finding one’s identity/self/place in this world. Tony just happen to show Augusto’s story mirrors the place that filipino food in the world of cuisine!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:31 am

  90. jay calabig says:

    One thing is true though no other episode in the History of No Reservations has it elicited such responses. Just look at the threads of other shows/episodes ho-hum are we done yet? But on the Philippine episode my god it was a lot stopped counting at 100. If the producers are reading the post they at least know where to go next to generate hype. If you read most of the comments majority of them are very favorable, it is the very vocal minority that just ruins the fun for everyone. And I think it is safe to say that they did not even read market man’s post way back in October or any news article from The Daily Inquirer that I read occasionally online. They just saw the episode and just let the tirade happen. Personally the show was well done it made me even a bit teary eyed because truly a lot of Filipinos are just like Augusto lost but more power to him that he is trying to find his roots. I just hope that they can do more episodes about the Philippines whether it would be Anthony Bourdain, or Andrew Zimmern, or Samantha Brown because we all know that our country needs the international exposure it deserves

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:22 am

  91. Good Life says:

    Thank you!Thank you! I am so happy that you adressed this issue.On my previous blog I did thank Augusto for his perseverance and I am glad you showed support on his behalf.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:25 am

  92. ivan man dy says:

    Joy Calabig,

    Andrew Zimmern, again? Thanks but no thanks. His show ‘Bizarre Foods’ has a penchant for making food outside Mc Donalds look like Fear Factor material.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:49 am

  93. tnm says:

    Darlene, dear, I’m sorry but you just don’t get it. At least Simon Cowell is spot on when he critiques a contestant.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:57 am

  94. mhvmhv says:

    Please spare Augusto and his family from the negative criticisms. It was his effort in making that video that brought Philippines to Tony’s attention and consider it as a place to visit. He was an ambassador in his own right. We can’t deny the fact that there ARE Filipino Americans who still feels disconnected with their Filipino culture maybe because of the limited immersion they have in the native country, limited traditional practices done at home or whatever…. Good or bad, it is still a reality. One thing that you could learn from the episode, and maybe what Tony is proud of, is that there is a starting point to allow Augusto, his wife and their daughter to start connecting and discovering the Philippines. It may not be the best take to talk about the Philippines, but it was what brought Tony to consider us more in the first place. Let’s do away with the crab mentality. I agree with Sharon G. It’s a shame to think about that we’re usually nice to foreigners and when it comes to our fellowmen, we’re hypercritical. Let’s Just celebrate the goodness of what was brought about by this episode. We owe Augusto and the rest of the people who were part of this episode a big thank you. Without Augusto’s creative video presentation, there would be no final push to make Tony come over. Also, they may be camera-shy people. There a lot of families who still are reserved, which could be observed with a quite a number of Filipino families.

    One thing I noticed, too, is how regionalistic we are that it can be a cause of our difficulty to move forward as our country. It has it’s goodness in a way, but it reflects how disunited we can be. I hope Claude Tayag didn’t say (as a Kapampangan) “Whatever dishes other regions have, we can make it better.” I hope he just stated that each region has its own specialties and variations of the dishes. His wife was very astute and shared good insights, though. Well, I appreciate Claude’s fervor in keeping the flame alive in preserving the native cuisine. I recognize to that Pampanga has contributed a lot of good food to the Filipino cuisine. I think one thing we can take from this episode is that we could just be more united in promoting the dishes as Filipino in general. Kare-kare is a dish that I’ve enjoyed in the Tagalog region. So is the sinigang sa bayabas and the fern and the sea weeds. I could say it’s not common to Pampanga. I apprecicate how Ivan Man Dy mentioned the origin of the food but still regarded as a Filipino dish in general. He mentioned that Pinakbet is from the North and the ginataan is from the South.

    I hope there would be more formal studies and education done about the origin of the native dishes we enjoy, compare the ingredients we use across the country, know the different practices in making the dishes in different regions, and the rational of the different practices. If they were already done, I hope the information will be more accessible to the people. Thanks for Philippines cuisine ambassadors like Joel of Market Manila, Ivan Man Dy, and Claude Tayag (boy I miss reading Doreen Fernandez’s articles), their blogs, interviews and articles are great enlightenment to us.

    Why go crazy about information about food??? I think this may be one unifying factor we can start off with so we can have more of the general Filipino pride and work for the good of all Filipinos, or the Philippines.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 8:28 am

  95. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Go Mm go!! This is really an active wonderful site!! So diverse…yet somehow one….

    Feb 19, 2009 | 8:42 am

  96. uniok says:

    If Augusto is a Japanese? ewan ko lang…lahat ng chopstick mapuputol. The lesson, dapat matuto ng tagalog.But he deserves to represent the Philippines kasi yung iba…ampaw alang personality.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:22 am

  97. sunset says:

    Wow this thread is hot! =) You guys it already happened. All critics out there you can’t rewind what the show aired. It’s natural that everyone can’t be pleased but can we all just be happy for the opportunity given to OUR country?

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:44 am

  98. sunset says:

    I mean MM said it clear NR producers chose what to be aired.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:46 am

  99. Anbu says:

    mhvmhv, there are other things aside from food that unify us all and make us who we are. Our hospitality, belief and praise in God, love of family and togetherness, our perseverance and joy in the face of hardships, our values, our friendliness, etc. Unfortunately, regionalism and diversity were emphasized so much without equal emphasis on these unifying factors. If I watched the show knowing nothing about the Philippines, I might come to the conclusion that Filipinos don’t have an identity or I wouldn’t know what makes a Filipino a Filipino. And that’s unfortunate because these unifying factors do give us an identity, one that we should be proud of, and they are the distinguishing characteristics that make us who we are. We tend to underrate the positive things that make us unique and distinguish us from the rest of the world.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:55 am

  100. jay calabig says:

    Ivan honestly I would rather eat balut than Mcdonalds thank you very much :) by the way my partner and I would love to avail of your Manila walks when we are in the country :)

    Feb 19, 2009 | 10:06 am

  101. mardie c",) says:

    amen to that MM! everybody deserves a pat in the back, even Augusto. its gonna be so hard to cram all of the 7,100+ islands’ unique cultures/practices/destination spots into a 60 minute show without somebody (a person or even a region) getting disappointed and feeling left out. the episode still showcased what makes a filipino albeit even if just a small percentage of it. and since NR is more about food travel then showcasing pinoy foods takes precedence than showcasing our beaches. if you want to see our beaches being featured then you should watch samantha brown instead. overall, i loved the show. and to augusto, mabuhay ka dong!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 10:27 am

  102. bemarvin says:

    Hi Uniok and MM blog community members,

    Ito na naman tayo with provocative and impulsive statements. Tagalog is native dialect for a substantial minority (38% of Filipinos) so, if I try to be generous in understanding what Unok is trying to say, the politically correct way is to call the national language Filipino (which happened to be based in Tagalog with, even as we speak, has gay talk like Jowa for oyab or nobya getting to the mainstream). How is that for stirring the pot?

    But that is not even the main issue why members of the MM community are hypersensitive. In this blog community where more than 50% live overseas, citizenship is not even the definition of being Filipino but ancestry and so Augusto’s seeking of roots resonates.

    And while Augusto’s style may be bland, his actions speak volumes about his substance which is definitely not ampaw. (Although, ironically,the spaces and crunchiness of ampaw defines it. I pity those who do cannot see that the space in the half empty glass actually defines its fullness; they would also very well be blind to Gandhi’s courage in practicing non-violence.)

    And would you not welcome into the community if he wishes to join, Paul Morrow the Canadian sound engineer, whose passion for things Filipino (Google: Sari-sari, etc) had him working to encode the alibata (baybayin script) in Unicode for people to use for free – another peice of shared experience? Just a rhetorical question on exclusiveness.

    Nick Joaquin wrote that the construct Filipino, as we consider ourselves now, has a short history (less than 120 years); it used to stand for Spaniards born in las Islas Filipinas while the brown among us were Indios. So finding our community is a work-in-progress and the sharing of common experiences – Pacquiao, Lea Salonga, and the like – is important on that continuing saga. And there is no reason why a serious inquiry into Filipino food – in its diversity – and the consequent sharing like MarketManila could not be a reason to come together.

    But, at the end, I will follow MM. Calfran did not even take a half-step to apologize for causing disharmony to the tribe (not for the difference in opinion); MM has taken his full step in accepting the differences and moved on. I think MM’s move is one step towards political sophistication, a practical lesson in “agreeing to disagree” so necessary for the survival of any group.

    The brouhaha here actually explains why, as a nation (and also as a state) we have not moved farther in the community of nations beyond where our excess of individual talents should have taken us. We do spend too much time looking at our navels for petty things, when there is a big world out there waiting to be conquered. Viva Augusto and his continuing search – and action – for connection to his ancestry! This post, my first and last word on this matter.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 10:43 am

  103. PanchoA says:

    Bemarvin, thanks! Your argument sums it up.

    There are many things that are great qualities about our countrymen as well as flaws. I celebrate the qualities.

    Two other things to celebrate about: the welders of Balamban, working in Tsuneishi Heavy industries. The lowest paid, very well trained and skilled workers that get pirated after their contracts expire and move on to Australia and Alabama.

    And the gunsmiths of Mandaue, that manage to repair, refurbish and restore high caliber firearms of various provenances of practically any nation’s armed force that drops by Cebu on a “formal visit” and surreptitiously bring their weapons for overhauling for a price that would be a pittance compared to having it done with the original manufacturers.

    Anyone care to get in touch with National Geographic for that? I’ll stick to Tony and Marketman.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 11:31 am

  104. Crissy says:

    You are so right. Augusto got him there, and thats good enough. But, it was rather painful watching him and his atypically timid Filipino family family. I was somewhat confounded. You would expect the Saudi family (in comparison) to be more reserved. But they were very engaging. Dunno what happened there…..Well, Bourdain just got a tasting menu…he just has to come back! And MM, that lechon looked to die-for!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 12:07 pm

  105. Jun Bautista says:

    cross-posting this comment on several topic threads…

    MM – For those who want to download a copy of the episode (clear avi copy, commercial free) I seeded it at zSHARE…..


    Feb 19, 2009 | 12:25 pm

  106. AleXena says:

    Thank you Mr. Jun Bautista I finally watched the entirety of the show in one continous flow. =)

    And the whole while I was smiling. I’m just so happy how Anthony Bourdain and his crew did the best they could on how to represent the Philippines in less than 45 minutes of air time.

    One thing struck me to the chord though. That question by Mr. Bourdain as to WHO ARE THE FILIPINOS? It is true that Augusto certainly cannot answer that. No, not him who is a Filipino-American. But you know what, the show made me realize I CANNOT ANSWER IT MYSELF AS WELL=( If Mr. Bourdain would have to ask me that I would be out of words and I have lived all my life in this country full of cultural diversity with a very distinct past of colonialism, with the remnants still very visible.

    It is hard to hear the truth most especially from someone who is a foreigner and not as positive as we might hope for. But Mr. Bourdain saw in our country, food and culture the BEATUY in the DIVERISTY that maybe defines us as a nation. Maybe it is time that we see that too and work from there.=)

    In the end it is really all about the food as the ROCKSTAR of the cooking world said and I cannot be any happier.=)

    By the way MarketMan, you really did a very good job. Everything Mr. Bourdain said in his spiel about you was very true. Hearing you talk is like reading your blog. I’m still giddy!!!!=)

    Feb 19, 2009 | 1:47 pm

  107. cantwait says:

    Taken from [http://anthony-bourdain-blog.travelchannel.com/read/hierarchy-of-pork]:

    Island Girl – February 18 2009 @ 9:43 pm

    Aren’t you just sick and tired of all the you-could’ve-done-better, the you-missed-this and you-missed-that and the what-about-this and what-about-that remarks in this blog? I know I am!
    Your show has opened a Pandora’s box, and out have come the whiners, the nitpickers, the know-it-alls, and self-proclaimed experts on this and that.
    The show was great, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but if you never go back to the Philippines to do another episode, I don’t blame you!

    Sad but true :(

    Feb 19, 2009 | 2:28 pm

  108. Lava Bien says:


    Thanks, you’re right on the money!

    If anything else, it would be his parents fault not Augusto for not being able to speak his parents native tounge.

    A lto of immigrant here do that (not teach their kids their native tounge), they don’t want to experience that humilation of being laughed for not being able to speak proepr English or having a hardtime understanding the Americans.

    They usually under estimate the powe of a child’s learning capapbility. Most Africans speak 4-5 languages so A filipino kid can keep thier mohter tounge and still speak English, the American way.

    I know this is true as both my sons, born and raised in Cali can both speak fluent Tagalog, read in Arabic and are learning Spanish right now. We’re just cool like that, hehehehe

    Kudos to my homeboy Augusto, to you MM, Ivan did a good job, Claude is ok.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 4:51 pm

  109. Lava Bien says:

    We should all listen to Dr. Jose Rizal, as he was against the Spanish/Catholic regime.

    I guess, it’s really true that if we dont’ know where we’re from we won’t know where we’re going.

    we dont’ know the original name of our country, we’re the only country in Asia that was name by the Slave Master (Philippines)

    History being thought in our public school is very biased.

    Filipinos, we all need to learn our true history, so we can go forward.

    Embrace all our brothers no matter thier religion or creed.

    Lapu-lapu was not a pagan, he was a judge and a jsut leader.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 4:58 pm

  110. uniok says:

    Lava Bien , you have just reminded me my Visaya engineer review instructor, He really can’t speak the tagalog way but he is a good teacher. As a fresh graduate probinsyanong Ilocano tumira ako sa tita ko. My tita’s and other relatives used to talk in tagalog.And i was irritated by my neighbor pangalatok and even my tita. They seems like having to speak the tagalog would change the status of their existence, yung aura bang uy! may taste eto.
    I stayed for two years at my tita’s and the neighbors call me Lakay. I told my tita and brag that my Visayan instructor is magaling kahit yung accent sa tagalog ay iba. Now my two cousins can talk a little of ilocano especially the autistic one, Even I’m not there anymore they use to talk tagalog and ilocano and so the English language.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:14 pm

  111. Lava Bien says:

    Uniok, *****
    BEY-SIK-LI (better way of saying basically hehehe) I feel for our kababayans from Visayas and Mindanao, so I make it a point to travel to that region whenever I visit the Philippines to understand and appreciate them better. I am a pure Tagalog though, Manila born roots from Cavite and from the land of the Father of Our “Wika”.
    People of Luzon should be more respectul of our kabayan from those 2 other islands. my take.

    bemarvin, ******
    Sure it should be called “Filipino / Pilipino” but do you really hear people say “ano sa Tagalog ang pindejo?” or “ano sa Filipino ang salitang pindejo?” I rest my case.

    Jesus should be called “Emmanuel” like the bible said he would be, really? Who calls him that nowadays? I guess it didn’t come to pass. Even Emmanuel Pacquiao is not called Emmanuel, he’s called Manny Pacquiao or pacman. What’s wrong with Emmanuel? (Do his kids speak his dialect? They’re being raised in Laguna, arent they?)

    We’re good at copying or immitating so why not copy the discipline and progress of Singapore? Anthony Bourdain has been to Singapore 8 times (he said so on his Singapore segment) and he loveeeedddd Singapore and he said it many times not worrying about any backlash (how could you have a backlash for good times hehehehe)

    Anyways, I believe learning / relearning Spanish is not bad. Might actually be better for us economically)

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:29 pm

  112. Ivan Man Dy says:


    Just a clarification, Tagalog is NOT a dialect. Neither is Kapampangan, Bikolano, Ifugao or Bisaya. They are all LANGUAGES are they are mutually unintelligible to each other. A dialect is variant of a language, think Manila Tagalog (what you hear on TV), Batangenyo Tagalog, Quezon Tagalog etc etc…

    For what its worth, I think Augusto’s mild demeanor really just added to the interesting mix of characters in the show. I call that the spice of life.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:33 pm

  113. Aling Enteng says:

    Please, NOT Andrew Zimmern!!!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:48 pm

  114. odie says:

    Thank you Mr. Jun Bautista for posting the complete episode!!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 10:54 pm

  115. Zet says:

    VERY WELL SAID,marketman. Give Augusto a break. He is an American with Filipino roots. As a lot of Filipino-Americans living here can attest, going to the Philippines is like going to a foreign country. Because IT IS a foreign country, to us. So what if he doesn’t meet the expectations of a lot of people (reading from the comments) of what and how to be a Filipino? He sent the tape, Tony came. The world sees the beauty of the Philippines. End of story.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 11:10 pm

  116. Johanna says:

    interesting… why wouldn’t u pose negative responses?

    Feb 20, 2009 | 12:01 am

  117. jawnboy says:

    bourdain wouldve come to the philippines even without augusto … the millions of emails telling him to will eventually convince him to come… yes augusto was the catalyst .. but do i have to watch 3o mins of awkwardness? a friend says maybe its bec augusto is maturing what with becoming a new dad and all .. im not blaming augusto for a bad show.. i think the producers are to blame for trying to force a theme where there is none.. i still think that show couldve been better ..

    Feb 20, 2009 | 12:20 am

  118. Laura says:

    I agree 100%. Thanks MM.
    FYI only – wonder if you’ve seen this video clip of AB eating tapsilog – it’s just one of the missing scenes from his Manila trip – check it out:


    Hope they add some more missing clips later. Will just have to keep checking NR website.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 1:45 am

  119. marc medina says:

    Hoy MM sino na naman yang kaaway mo ha? sino na naman yang tinutukoy mong YOU at YOUR FACE? ikaw ha….

    Feb 20, 2009 | 2:01 am

  120. Al Navarro says:

    I’m a Fil-Am who moved to the US early in life and I still think it was one of the worst NR episodes ever.

    Compare it to something like the Spain show, and you’ll understand. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge AB fan and have read all his books (even the fiction!), and eaten at Les Halles in NYC. I was very much looking forward to the episode.

    And it just didn’t deliver. Just my opinion. Although, in the words of my caucasian American wife: “I think I’ve eaten more lechon that Augusto has!”

    Feb 20, 2009 | 2:08 am

  121. Ona says:

    Hi MM, Hi everyone!

    This is my first time posting here – discovered it when I found out that Tony B visited the Philippines, and I just want to give my 2 cents on various things. This might be a looooong post…so I hope people don’t mind.

    1. The Philippines episode was good. It was entertaining and left you wanting to see more. I honestly don’t get how people can say that Tony looked bored or just wanted to get the trip over with—what I saw was a guy who loved the food but can’t find a way to describe it because there’s nothing else like it IN THE WORLD. Aside from that he looked tired and I don’t blame him…1 week to experience the Philippines after flying in straight from the US? 1 week is not enough!

    2. Augusto – I feel bad that a few vocal whiners are dissin the guy, especially for not being Filipino enough? I think it’s great that he’s trying to find his heritage. Whiners need to leave Augusto and his family alone. But on another note, some of you have generalized that the whiners were mostly Pinoys from the Philippines or Pinoys who migrated to the US….I couldn’t disagree with this more. A good share of those whiners hating on Augusto were Fil-Ams as well…the US Born Fil-Ams, so it’s unfair to put the blame on local & immigrant Pinoys like that because a.Not every local Pinoy fan has seen the episode yet for them to criticize the show and b.Animosity between Fil-Ams and “FoBs” like me goes both ways.

    3. What is being a Filipino? Personally, I think it’s high time all of us Filipinos just accept our history and accept the fact that we are multicultural–forget the labeling of mestizo/a or moreno/a or half-Pinoy this and that because in the end WE ARE ALL FILIPINO.

    I feel particularly sad with the demonizing of our colonial pasts as well, when fellow Pinoys go into self pity because our culture was destroyed, raped, contaminated therefore preventing us from finding our own identity…this saddens me because here we are angry about our past while other countries like Mexico or Brazil who have had the same colonial experience – are able to carve out an identity (whether it’s strong or not) to what they are. People should be proud that we are what we are because we’ve endured plenty of hardships but we survive because we’ve taken everything good out of those experiences and made it our own, bringing us a step closer to unity. It is also an asset that our culture is multi-influenced by different cultures. Thinking this way can help our insecurity over our identity and we can stand proudly to defend our culture and from other Southeast Asians who criticize that we are not pure (I’ve seen these criticisms on the web and the answer Pinoys give is the usual blame game) In the end, there is no such thing as a pure culture.

    Yes it’s true and a fact that we were abused, but it was during this period that the Philippines had an impact or was greatly involved in Globalization, a trend that’s so popular these days. I’m so hyped up to find out more about our involvement with the Galleon trade, how this affected the Philippines, the influx of Mexicans who came in and intermarried with Pinoys and vice versa, and made us what we are today – history is not finite and I’m excited about these new discoveries regarding the Philippines.

    4. Back to the NR Philippines episode – people mentioned that they were hoping the show could’ve featured more about the culture. That’s true but it doesn’t have to be a priority. I feel that a culture showcase should be left to someone like Samantha Brown or some other travel show because Tony’s always been about food. Aside from that, the 1 hour show limit is not enough to fit everything about his Philippine experience – he probably wanted to feature something about the culture, but they don’t have enough time to do that.

    On the same topic of showcasing our culture (I’m going to concentrate on Manila), it would be great if fellow Pinoys visit old historical parts of Manila from time to time. Instead of the usual Greenhills or Greenbelt, why not join Ivan or Carlos’ walking tours or frequent historical parts of Manila. Lots of once beautiful ancestral homes, art deco buildings and neighborhoods that survived WWII are now rotting and just waiting to be demolished and replaced by either a parking lot or more multiplex malls (as if Manila needs more). If a lot of locals visit to appreciate these sites, this could probably draw attention to someone will notice and think of building a business around it…hopefully beautify the old structure, clean the place up, build some cafes that fit the ambiance etc.

    On Lava Bean’s mention of learning the Spanish language: I second that. It doesn’t have to be mandatory that everyone has to learn Spanish, but it would be nice to offer it again. There’s a HUGE Latin community out there whose culture and way of life we could be comfortable getting along with and this could open up more bridges between nations. There are so many possibilities especially since everyone’s looking into China – maybe the Philippines could find a way to be involved, catch the attention of these non-Asian nations while they’re looking towards that part of the world.

    Haaay…anyways, this was a long post but I wanted to give my opinion. I’m very happy for everyone who made NR Philippines possible and making it the most talked about episode for this season.

    MM – great spread, great lechon, you’re a great guide!

    Thanks to all!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 3:43 am

  122. fortuitous faery says:

    i must admit that i ranted a bit in my blog about how augusto blew his chance (at the time of the fan contest) of the philippines being featured in the show. but his efforts are indeed remarkable, and to think that his video entry was just mostly photos from his first ever trip to the philippines, which lasted only a week! and yet, anthony chose him to be a semi-finalist, and ultimately, for karmic reasons or otherwise, decided to take him to the philippines for the much-awaited episode. augusto really does represent the millions of foreign-born filipinos who are missing out on their roots yet have a longing in their hearts to discover it, because, it’s part of who he is. and so, cheers to augusto–who, although he couldn’t exude enough television charisma, was himself–and most of all–made the episode a reality! and thanks again of course, to market man for bringing honor to the philippines for the “best lechon” ever! hopefully we’ll see you in another episode of no reservations philippines! :)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:03 am

  123. Grace says:

    Augusto is my hero too!
    And so are you, Market Man!

    Best Pig Ever — woohoo!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:31 pm

  124. ted says:

    Some of them not only hated Augusto, but also hated Andrew Zimmern,,,AZ’s show is supposed to showcase Bizzare foods, he’s supposed to show what’s bizzare but edible. I loved AZ’s episode about the Philippines as well. So i don’t understand those people making negative comments.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 7:15 am

  125. Fred Lopez says:

    I loved how the episode turned out, all things considered Augusto was what kept the show human and not another tourism advertisement.

    By your actions, not by your words shall you be judged.

    MM and Augusto, you rock! and AB missed a lot of the Philippines too, so I think there will a a part 2 in the near future.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 11:54 am

  126. tats says:

    thank you mang joe/joel for this blog and congrats for a job well done hosting AB. kudos to augusto too for sending the clip to NR. enjoyed the show!!!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 12:02 pm

  127. bagito says:

    I finally saw the episode (yay!) and I was so proud of it. Granted there was some cringe-inducing footage but over all, it was an awesome episode and showed Tony enjoying everything he tried… and I mean everything. (I myself who lived in the Philippines for 19 yrs and 20 in the US have had such a limited food repertoire–I haven’t even tried kambing and chicken a** bbq, for chrissake.)
    I think Augusto may have been camera-shy and felt a little self-conscious (give him a break, people!) and if it weren’t for him, there probably would’ve been no NR: Philippines so Augusto, thank you for being the catalyst, as MM said.
    As for MM, wonderful, wonderful job, you and your crew did absolutely awesome! All your preparation showed really well and the Cebu hills (mountains?) in the backdrop looked gorgeous! It’s like one of those beautiful outdoor Tuscan meals one often sees depicted in the movies. It was also nice to see Mrs. MM and The Teen in action. Mabuhay sa inyong lahat!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 12:05 pm

  128. Sheryl says:

    What I love about No Reservations is it strives to always present an insightful, unique, witty, intelligent, straightforward and deeply-researched episode. I cannot begin to understand what the criticism targeted against Augusto and the NR show, as a whole, is about. From the get-go, Augusto himself confessed that though he relates to being a New Yorker having lived there since he was a boy, being Pinoy in ancestry makes him feel he needs to relate to being Filipino, too. To his credit, he is reaching out! And for him, the best way to do that was through food- an essential aspect of any culture and something that he particularly liked! I believe Bourdain sensed that need and when he said he did the show partly ‘to pay off a karmic debt to Augusto’, I really think he meant it. Please, let’s not judge Augusto for whatever we think he didn’t do enough for the show, we could speculate a hundred and one reasons for the change in his demeanor during the show, which Tony himself noted on cam but hey, let’s just leave it at that and enjoy the fact that AB finally (!) visited our country and ate at our table.

    As to those who complained about the lack of beach clips(and do you have to mention Boracay? Palawan is 100x better!), NR is primarily a show about food, not tourist destinations. If there were beaches in his previous eps, they were the side dish, not the main course. :-)

    Frankly, all these criticisms had done nothing but take the fun out of a good thing.:-(

    Anyway, my thanks to Jun Bautista for the .avi file, you saved me $1.99 for an iTunes download :-D. And thank you MM for continuously hosting NR fans in the Philippines, we couldn’t have found a better site.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 10:21 pm

  129. filet minion says:

    hi mm!

    the owner/bartender of cyrano wine selections downloaded no reservations and we had an informal screening there with some customers last thursday. it ended with a standing ovation and me literally saying “wow augusto is my hero, hanep si augusto; let’s have another round of applause for this augusto dude.” everyone was as excited and beaming with pride as a filipino audience is after watching pacman KO-ing his opponent.

    so let me just register my astonishment when i gather from your post that apparently there are quarters who have been critical of him.

    people have been ranting that he wasnt pinoy enough, seriously?!? heck, he wasn’t even obliged to be filipino at all. he could’ve been as ashamed of his roots as pinoys who have been raised abroad are known to be or even some pinoys raised here are. heck, ive even met native pinoys here who are actually embarassed when pacquiao wins a fight because he’s so barok daw!

    but this augusto guy– when he sent that video, wearing that philippines jacket instead of a gap sweatshirt, especially when i found out he was born and raised in new york– wow, really got me teary-eyed, wishing more pinoys were as proud of our heritage as he. needless to say, he has done a much better a job in promoting our country than any tourism secretary.

    the only criticism of the show i remember was someone saying “uy grabe hindi na kakatawan ni marketman si daniel craig”

    and another one commenting “my god, they shouldn’t be feeding bourdain that much. otherwise, he won’t be able to really appreciate all the food.”

    it was a great show mm! and it was a darn mouth-watering looking-pig. im pretty confident that they’ll be back for more, hopefully to take part in a real fiesta or festival of some sort, so we could beat the mexicans in that category as well. im sorry your secret identity has finally been revealed to the world. i wonder whether to desperately keep yourself incognito, you broached the idea to the producers of pixelizing your face and muffling your voice as absurdly suggested by a local network before.

    Feb 22, 2009 | 11:53 am

  130. Marketman says:

    filet minion, glad to hear you were able to see the episode. I actually thought long and hard about coming out on film for Taste Matters, World Cafe Asia and finally No Reservations, but all promised to keep my full name out of it. Tony slipped somehow and well, now we know. But at least it was for a well-received lechon, not a badly done one. :)

    Btw, my filipino is so bad and yours so pure so I don’t really understand your daniel craig paragraph…as that would be of interest to me being a bond fanatic. So what does “uy grabe, hindi na kakatawan ni marketman si daniel craig” mean? I looked up body in a dictionary, thinking katawan or kakatawan, to replicate or be like someone else’s body. Then as a side comment, noticed that the next word was “bodyguard” and do you know that the official Filipino word for bodyguard is “badigard”? The teen and I were laughing so hard I nearly forgot why I was looking in the dictionary. So if not a reference to body, as a Visayan kataw-an, means something like laughable, and perhaps you were making reference to the parody of comparing MM to DC… hahaha. So I am taking the phrase to mean “there is no chance in HELL Marketman can ever get into a shadow of the shape of Daniel Craig, unless he is offered $20 million for the movie role as “Pigman Saves The Day”… :)

    Feb 22, 2009 | 2:58 pm

  131. Patrick says:

    Augusto had the guts to stand up and risk ridicule to try and get Anthony Bourdain to come to the PI and sample (and savor) the cuisine. To his (apparently) “much more Filipino” detractors, where were you when Augusto was trying to get this done?

    I agree with MM and a lot of the posters here: Augusto did the Philippines proud!!!

    Feb 23, 2009 | 6:45 am

  132. Francis Acero says:

    I’m just happy for Augusto and that you gave AB a good time. AB will tell everyone a place sucks if it sucks for him. Apparently, it didn’t.


    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:29 pm

  133. raissa says:

    I was one of those who voted for Augusto when he submitted his video and was hoping beyond hope he would get it. I was saddened when he didnt and in some ways my hope that AB will feature Philippines got dimmer and dimmer. Oh me of little faith because it seems AB saw something in Augusto that earned him a double take and what do you know convinced him to take a trip to the Philippines. That alone, Augusto must be lauded because if not for him , I dont know if it was even possible. So my hats off to him and also to Ivan Dy, Claude Tayag and of course MM.

    It has been one week since it aired and my friends and I still cannot stop talking about it. MM, because of your lechon, my friend is seriously considering if giving up meat esp pork for Lent is a good thing. =)

    Feb 24, 2009 | 5:15 am

  134. hungryalien says:

    simply, inggit lang sila kasi wala sila sa table nila bourdain, augusto and mm.. to try out the lechon :P

    Feb 24, 2009 | 11:43 pm

  135. Mary-Ann Ortiz-Luis says:

    My husband and I found AB’s show on the internet after a friend told us of the episode airing on TV. After we viewed it, I even shared it with all my relatives, my friends, and even my staff at work. This is truly a proud moment for all Filipinos. Here is someone who has finally said what we have all been saying, “Why does Filipino cuisine not get the respect it rightfully deserves?” Is it all the naysayers, the escalating negativity of some arrogant fools? Or does the ability to adapt to a new environment, so as to embrace its nuances, far more compelling for survival of mind and body, than the desire for uniqueness and identity? Or is it so much melding of cultures over the centuries, flowing in all our veins that has made us confused about who we are and what we are? AFter all, we are a young country. Our coming into being only started after all who invaded us have finally left us. I believe we are evolving and becoming truly separate and distinct. With this will come our recognition on the world stage, if not the global cuisine stage.
    As for Augusto, our hats of to him for his honesty, his courage to approach and try to convince AB and open his family’s doors in Cebu. He did a great service to the Filipino people.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:00 pm

  136. Dre says:

    Hey Mr MarketMan! Thanks for the posting and thanks for helping out in AB’s show. I just managed to watch it today, and I personally think that it was an awesome show. This is my first time posting something on your blog but I just had to say something (it might be a long one…)

    I completely agree with what you said. He is indeed a hero, and should be considered as such. I also grew up overseas, having lived in India, Germany and France and I returned with my parents in 2003. They have once again moved but I elected to stay over, because, like Augusto, I wanted to discover the Philippines. I am now 21 years old, and I am currently here in Manila. I could not help but relate to him, understand how he was feeling.

    I found the show to be endearing, and put us Filipinos in a good light. It showed how we can have simple yet excellent meals cooked in the “carinderias” on the sides of the streets, to fishballs, to home-cooked meals, to the “BEST PIG EVER” (and I must say, that pig was so scrumptious, my mouth was watering as I was watching the show, and I had just eaten).

    It is so sad that Filipinos, Fil-Americans, Fil-foreigners, what have you, are dissing the guy. I mean, shouldn’t we, as a nation (if there can be such a thing) be proud that someone actually decided to stand up and do this? We should learn from our past, not dwell in it. So we were colonized, yeah. So we were oppressed, yeah. So we were discriminated against, yeah. But isn’t what is happening right now, all this bickering that I am reading about in your blog and the comments on AB’s webpage discrimination as well. Worse yet, this is discrimination between Filipinos!!!!!

    This attempt at rediscovering our Filipino roots is not limited to a select few. I know dozens of Fil-Ams and Fil-foreigners who are doing the same, going back to the Philippines for tertiary studies, trying to discover their roots. I count myself as one of them. So he might not be “Filipino” enough for you, but he is trying his darnest to be one.

    Are YOU? (this is a YOU in general to all Filipinos)

    Mar 4, 2009 | 12:01 am

  137. filet minion says:

    sorry for this very belated reply mm. i hope you figured out by now that “kakatawan” is similar to ka-mukha. i think “ka” is an abbreviation of kasing, like kasing ganda, kasing tangkad, kasing puti etc. but we can simply add a “ka” to almost any noun or body part and it produces a comparative effect like “kakatawan= katulad or kasing tulad ng katawan” “kabuhok= magkatulad ng buhok; ka-paa= kaing laki ng paa”
    but i’m no huseng batute or soc rodrigo, so i’m just guessing how the word got conjugated into that and logically meant that.

    btw, i was in hysterics reading the badigard bit, while my flatmate didn’t find it too unusual since nurse daw is “nars” and school is iskul, along with paaralan and eskwelahan in filipino-english dictionaries.

    Mar 8, 2009 | 4:14 pm

  138. Jon Florido says:

    Augusto made my day. He bragged about Lechon Cebu, Tony loved it, that’s what matters. Lechon Cebu is now Number one in the World (it has actually been number one, confirmed only now.) Now that the world has heard that the best pig ever is from cebu, I challenge the best Cebu lechon makers to make our best tasting pig available to the world (or atleast here in the Bay Area so I can eat it whenever I want to hehehe.) Augusto, you’re the man.

    Mar 20, 2009 | 3:50 am

  139. joey says:

    Hey MM, this is a very late comment as I just read this post only now. I discovered your blog only weeks ago & I’m surprised it was you with TB & Augusto in that cebu part of NR. I’m a big fan of Tony Bourdain eversince I watched my first NR on TV. Now you earn my respect as well. I share the same feeling with you for Augusto. After all that he had done, so many pinoys or fil-ams have criticized him coz he was too honest with himself(I think Tony loved him for that!). Even the dinner with Augusto’s relatives was an issue. Most average Filipinos tend to keep to themselves when there are foreign guests due to shyness or nervousness(of speaking with them in english?). They would just stuff you with food,hehe. I pity all the commenters who are thinking that they can give TB a better show of the Phils. What’s the plot if I may ask? TB does not want to be entertained. TB doesn’t want to be treated differently or with special attention. His quest for knowledge about a certain place, people & culture(&food of course!) makes NR different from the other travel shows. I am just happy that it was your part that was shown in the climactic scene of that unforgettable episode(not some other pretentitious foodie!) featuring the “best lechon”. Btw, I miss my travels in Cebu & Ormoc where most of my breakfast consist of lechon & sawsawang suka! I truly doubt if TB would like to do another episode on the Phils. I think he will leave it at that-good memories with you & Augusto. So consider yourself a very lucky man indeed Marketman! If I have enough luck to win the lotto, my priority would be to make a way to meet TB & maybe have a meal with him. That’s if I’m going to be as lucky as you are!hehe

    Dec 3, 2010 | 3:11 pm


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