19 Feb2009


If there is one bit of wisdom I have acquired over my first four decades of my life, it is that there are many folks who seem to reach their conclusions on a whole range of matters with a limited amount of information, a limited understanding of facts, and a limited amount of analysis. And worse, they have no clue why that is an issue at all. Opinion is one thing. A credible opinion another. And a consistently credible opinion is getting particularly rare to find. It’s the same reason that a tabloid and say a paper like The New York Times are both bearers of news, but they attract different audiences and have wildly different headlines, quality of research, writing, editing, and ultimately, credibility. Layer on top of that the tool called the internet that allows nasty folks to write comments with diction, words and sentiments they probably wouldn’t use in face to face conversation, and well, you occasionally have at least a recipe for a lively and/or heated on-line debate. Take for example this comment on an earlier post I wrote on Anthony Bourdain in Cebu, by “Cherry” (described as a possible “troll” by other readers), just one among nearly 240 mostly positive views on Bourdain’s visit, and referring to me, Marketman:

“Man, you are so full of yourself I don’t even know where to start. I just hope you weren’t as arrogant when you were in the company of Mr. Bourdain, for your sake, imagine the public humiliation. I guess we’ll find out when this episode airs.”


And I did a follow up post that got nearly 100+ comments from what my friends fondly refer to as the “Marketman Army of Supporters…” Hahaha. But this isn’t just a “numbers” game, but I do think it is a CREDIBILITY one to some degree. Well, the No Reservations Philippines episode has aired in North America. And so far, reaction to my few minutes on film as host to Mr. Bourdain in Cebu and at a lechon lunch appears to be pretty positive. And unless I have just been reading the wrong internet chatter, most of the negative comments being unfairly (in my opinion) targeted at Augusto, I haven’t come across anything that suggests I came off as being “arrogant” or that I was now going to hide in a closet escaping “public humiliation.” So Cherry, and all of your ilk, had you said what you wrote to my face, and I knew who you were, IT WOULD BE YOU THAT WOULD COWER IN YOUR OWN SELF-INDUCED PUBLIC HUMILIATION! And no, it is not beyond me to look you in the eye, thumbs in my ears with hands flapping and my tongue sticking out at you. You most definitely win the newly annointed “COPPER FISHPAN AWARD” for 2008, as suggested by a reader. Think of it as the “OSCARS” equivalent on marketmanila.com…


No, but I had a point, from which I took a strangely pleasurable diversion up above. The point is this. Before blurting out strong opinions, at least take the time to understand the situation, to check some facts, to pause and look at all of the possibilities. In other words, consider a more objective opinion rather than a purely subjective one. Or at least understand when you espouse a totally subjective opinion. At least on this blog that is. Yes, “everyone is entitled to their opinion” is a common phrase thrown out there. But frankly, that doesn’t mean I have to publish all of them, nor waste my or my readers time reading the utterly off-the-wall ones, simply crude or offensive ones, slanderous ones, expletive riddled ones, etc. Blogs are free, so set up one of your own and build your own readership base that likes to read what you opine. And I do particularly get riled up when comments under the guise of “opinions” are just so grossly and factually incorrect. So maybe, just maybe, I thought if more folks got a little bit more of the behind the scenes from the Bourdain shoot, they might not be so rash or impulsive about what poor old (or is it rich dashing?) Mr. Bourdain or Augusto should or should not have done to make the mythical “perfect” and “please everybody” episode… So here is Marketman’s take on some behind the scenes goings on.


My first contact with a NR producer came in the form of an email inquiry. I was getting several of these inquiries a month near the end of last year. It didn’t specify what show they were producing or any other details. I responded that I would of course be happy to help anyone who wanted to feature Filipino food for a global audience. After a few emails, the questions got far more difficult to answer briefly. Instead, I was writing several page emails discussing markets, produce, regions, restaurants, chefs, tours, cities, dishes, weather, etc., etc. And apparently, I wasn’t the ONLY one answering these questions because like smart folks do, they asked several people for their recommendations and opinions, then started to craft their story from there. At some point in the communications, and they were extensive, they identified that the show was No Reservations and I had a very long telephone call with the producers to help them understand the local situation and to answer their extensive questions. Even at this point, I only assumed I would be giving them background assistance, not any active role as a host of any kind. Discussions even went to issues like gorgeous beaches and if I recall correctly their answer was something along the lines of “this isn’t a beautiful travel program, we don’t want stereotypical tropical beach shots” and they asked about the locations of the movie “Apocalypse Now” were shot. I jokingly offered I could arrange maybe to have Tony shoot a scene near a Huey helicopter at the Mactan airport and they laughed. He is a war buff and loved the movie Apocalypse Now, but that theme died off somewhere along the way. I guess all I am trying to say is that they did do a lot of homework, a hell of a lot more than other shows (and yes, I helped two others late last year) I ran across.


About 4 weeks before the shoot date, they asked if I would be willing to help Mr. Bourdain on camera, either to tour him around a market and or roast a pig or lechon for him. I agreed ONLY if they allowed me to maintain my anonymity, which they agreed to. Their eventually using my full name on the episode was a glitch, and well, there is nothing I can do about it now. If the show turned out badly, they’d be worried about legal ramifications because if they look at my signed release form, I don’t think it has the name they used on film… but that’s water under the bridge since it seems the show has gotten mostly positive reviews and it’s good for the Philippines overall… :) After agreeing to doing a few lechons they finalized their itinerary and we had specific dates blocked off…


Egads, what had I agreed to? After putting down the phone, a momentary spell of panic kicked in. Then I realized I had 4 weeks to prepare. I believe in luck and serendipity, but I believe more in good old-fashioned planning, preparation, execution, and elimination of anything bad that was potentially within my control. The weather was not something within my control (I prayed for ancestral intervention on that front), but a lot of other things were. What ended up as just a few minutes of film featuring a casual lunch under a kapok tree, on a breezy day on a hill with a view of the nearby hills and sea in the distance, took hundreds of hours of careful planning and preparation. And 99.9% of that effort was completely invisible to anyone watching the film. First off, and many of you will laugh, I realized I had no idea where we would be eating lunch. The location is a business office on a large lot, with a bodega, garage, a couple of bathrooms and a lechonan. Walking around like a cameraman with hands in a rectangular frame, I decided to put the lunch table under a large kapok tree, and decided things needed to be gussied up but still look bucolic, green and natural. So a trip to a nearby nursery, 500 pots of plants later and 200 square meters of carabao grass were laid in less than 24 hours, a near-Imeldific feat, if I may cringe at the comparison myself. Gardeners watered and tended the area for a month and on the day of the shoot, it looked brilliant. Don’t get me wrong, the bones of the location are good, it just needed some make-up. And it would be used again for the lechon eyeball two weeks later.


I was a strategy consultant by profession, so I try not to leave things to chance. With the venue under control, the next issue was the menu. I knew we were having lechon, and several of them. Black native pigs, pink piggery raised pigs. We had them days ahead of the shoot, feeding them only ripe chicos from the chico orchard on the property and other organic fruits and vegetables. But what else? I pored over Doreen Fernandez’s books, I read back into dozens and dozens of my own posts. I settled on a vision for this meal, as any strategy person would do. It was to somehow be as local as possible, and I read about Pigafetta’s account of a meal with Magellan on the island of Cebu with some local chieftain, and this is the chronicle that bound it all together. My meal would try to approximate that same meal some 480 years earlier, but of course updated to the ingredients of today. So from there I mapped out a menu, and crossed off and changed as I learned more about the impending visit. I practiced with puso, ordered native sweet delicacies, found chicharon suppliers, identified fruit wholesalers, ate at several local places, including Talisay’s lechon street. We practiced every dish on the menu. Identified fish scouts on Bantayan island 2 hours away. Tried several bagoong suppliers. We kept practicing the lechons again and again and again. We hunted down lambanog suppliers, artisanal vinegar manufacturers, tuba suppliers. And everyone at the office helping me worked overtime to get things as prepared as possible. We bought 3-4x the volumes of ingredients we needed, just so we could pick the best of the best. I visited the dried fish market twice before the show, asking the names of different fishes, the range of prices, the fermentation states of bagoong. Cleared shooting permits with market managers. The detail work just went on and on. And that’s just the way I like to do things. If you are a regular on this blog, this obsessive behavior should not be a surprise to you. I like to think of it as my personal insurance plan against disaster. While I can’t will disaster away, I can certainly do everything I can possibly think of to mitigate it.


I also practiced sitting at the table, picking out place settings, utensils, sauce plates, glasses, etc. And in the end, things still went awry and unplanned zingers took us for a slight loop. In initial discussions, it was to be a very small group eating at lunch, Mr. Bourdain, myself, and possibly one of the producers. Then it included Mrs. MM and the Teen. Hence, I had only prepared 6 place settings, thinking that was more than enough. Then the day before we shot the segment, they called to ask if Augusto could join us, and of course I agreed. Then on the morning of the shoot, 2 hours into it, Augusto arrived with some 8+ family members previously unannounced. Asked if they were welcome, of course I answered “yes”. What Pinoy host would turn away unplanned guests for lunch? The problem was, our table only seated 6. So a makeshift extension was made, plastic chairs added, and I asked the crew to slaughter another pig so that it was certain we would have more than enough to eat. I am even surprised we found another 8 plates and sets of cutlery, as you must remember, this is an office, not a home. At any rate, the smaller planned lunch was now a large unplanned family gathering, though the cameras seemed to point to just one end of the table. I had never met Augusto’s family before and since I was so busy with the food, I didn’t get much chance to interact with them prior to sitting down at the table.


Tony tasted everything on the menu, with the possible exception of the crabs. And he had a phenomenal amount of lechon skin and lots of ribs. And yes, Tony does not like desserts or sweets by reputation, but he had mangosteens, mangoes, bodbod kabog, biko and a bit of the torta. He had chicharon, peanuts and dried mangoes. He had local beer, tasted tuba and lambanog. We discussed the issue of cuisine developing on separate yet neighboring islands, linguistic issues, how we weren’t really a nation more than a conglomeration of island states several hundred years ago. We discussed the Philippine diaspora around the globe and the fact that the yaya of his young child was Filipina. We joked about how he couldn’t incur the wrath of two people, his spouse and his yaya if he wanted to have a peaceful existence. My wife raised the issue of Les Halles, the restaurant he worked at for years, and at which we had dined a few times, and he went on to describe how to properly pronounce the restaurant’s name “Les Halles, with an aspirated h, almost like it wasn’t there.” My wife did her graduate degree in Paris and is fluent in french so they had that to chat about. He was a bit surprised that I had gone to school in Boston and New York and was now dabbling in pigs. We talked about organic, local, classic preparations and techniques.



Cameras were turned off by 1pm and the entire crew joined us at the table once Augusto and his family went home. We spent another TWO HOURS or more chatting and discussing filipino food and culture in an intelligent, light, uninterrupted manner, just like having guests to a meal. Banter was light, lively, unstilted. We talked about marketmanila, the blog, and reader reactions to foods that conjured up childhood memories. They could have easily left for a 2-3 hour nap/rest before their flights out of Cebu, but instead they hung around munching on what remained on the buffet, having several more drinks and just chilling out. Part of the crew earlier in the day drove 20 minutes away and filmed for nearly an hour from the top of Monterrazas de Cebu, a real-estate development from where the panoramic view of Cebu City was shot (1 second shots shown twice in the final program). It was a wonderful meal and post-meal gathering. If I had to guess by their reactions towards the end of that day, which was also the end of their trip, they had a pretty good 6 days in the Philippines. Now as for how they decided to edit the hundreds of hours of material, I am totally clueless. I do know they completely understand their target audience and market, and it isn’t pinoys in the Philippines. For everything you see on the final program, they tasted 3-5x more dishes. So the bottom line is, so much effort, for just so many seconds… but with a potential global cable footprint of some 180 million plus subscribers, even if only 20% of them watch part of the Philippine episode, that will be 36 million people around the world that will get a glimpse of our food… So for all those folks, mostly Filipinos or Filipino Americans I might add, that had negative or likely uninformed/unfounded/ inaccurate or just plain stupid comments (why no beaches? why didn’t he taste x, how come he didn’t hit a disco, drink x, smile, laugh, get drunk, be more Filipino, eat more upscale, or that he was clearly not happy, unenthusiastic, bored, etc.) on Tony’s site or this one, all I can say is, you need a lot more CREDIBILITY to be anything more than armchair critics who own a computer and know how to press some keys.


Arrrgh, and the shirt still gives me nightmares! All that preparation and I didn’t think about wardrobe, wardrobe… Hahahaha… In about four weeks time, stay tuned for Bobby Chinn in World Cafe Asia Season 2, including a visit to Manila… We did a tour of the Salcedo market and had a merienda buffet with halo-halo bar, right in our own Manila backyard. :)



  1. Tugashaligi says:

    New shirt man. My eyes hurt. Hehe

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:15 pm


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  3. terrey says:

    ouccchhhh, i thought i would be the first poster…anyway Mr. MM, i saw the youtube video where you toured AB in Taboan. That was just very Pinoy and a Sugbuanon at that. Showing off the ginamos and the dried fish is really something and so impressive of you to have thought about that. I wouldn’t think of it myself thinking that the smell in Taboan stinks hehehehe…i havent seen the entire episode as I am practically clueless what NR or AB is about, but for me, you really did a good job in showcasing our Sugbuanon stuff.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:27 pm

  4. kroozer says:

    Thanks for sharing the behind-the-scenes, I’m mostly interested about this because I know it took a whole lot of sweat to put all of these together. I really liked the show. Overall I’m very pleased to how it came out. I hope you keep the fire going and be always inspired in writing.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:28 pm

  5. betty q. says:


    …love the copper fishpan award…but I think Titanium Fishpan would be more suitable…would give a really huge bonk!!!!…Ok, that’s a bit mean to say that…so sorry!!!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:28 pm

  6. peterb says:

    With all the delicious food you prepared, who’d notice? :)

    Great job MM! That definitely was a major production for a few minutes of airtime. You never know, this could be the start of more things to come….and more minutes….and of course more delicious food!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:31 pm

  7. Tugashaligi says:


    Where were the pics taken? Looks like it’s behind the capitol but I’m not sure.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:36 pm

  8. Elmo says:

    No worries MM, the shirt looked good on you throughout the whole episode.Ãœ. In any case, as AB said: “It’s all about the Food.”. With a buffet setup like that and the “Best Pig Ever” you could have pulled that off naked!!!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:39 pm

  9. tokyomom says:

    thank you marketman for showcasing the philippines and what it has to offer in the best possible way that you could have done. many will complain, but as you said they just don’t know how much EFFORT goes into a tv show. i have worked in tv production and people really just don’t realize that there has to be a solid story running through every good show. would people really want to watch a series of shots of beaches, discos etc. etc. with no apparent theme? they could have shot those scenes but could have ended up on the cutting room floor anyway because they would not have added to the story, which was in this case, fusing filipino identity and food and using augusto’s story as an aid.

    and i’m sure they did shoot scenes of mr. bourdain laughing etc. but you really only have so much time to tell a story. imagine how the cameramen feel lugging all that heavy equipment for HOURS and the editor decides to use only a couple of shots. it’s so easy for us to watch a 6 minute segment not knowing the HUNDREDS of hours spent and the many people needed to make that one segment. and it’s even easier to bestow judgment and state our “opinions” without finding out, or at least imagining what went on behind the scenes.

    so kudos to marketman, augusto and the nr crew for a job really well done!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:48 pm

  10. portugalbear says:

    Wow MM, never realised how far you’ve gone to prepare for AB’s visit. Kudos to your crew who did a fantastic job of getting everything in place at the last minute, notwithstanding that it’s an office and not a home. You are indeed the ultimate event planner. And it paid off big time. congratulations again. Don’t worry about the shirt too much. You look great !!!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 5:48 pm

  11. Rhea says:

    Oh well, you can’t please everybody! But i’m impressed by all the preparation you did… time, effort, expense and all other resources… talk about OC- ness, lol. Anyway, your guests were happy with the way things went, so booo to those naysayers and sour grapers. Also, I can see/ read that you are happy as well with the results, and I think that’s more important. Kudos to you, MM.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:02 pm

  12. Jonnek says:

    Just a curious question, MM, did the show pay you for all your expenses? It looks like you had spent quite a bit.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:04 pm

  13. Jonnek says:

    BTW, the show (No Reservations, Philippines) is now uploaded to youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ztagbvodPk&feature=channel

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:07 pm

  14. Kat says:

    I enjoyed this post! Thank you again for sharing your experience with Anthony Bourdain and his crew. Having background experience in broadcomm, I understand how a few minutes of a program can hours (even days) to shoot, and sometimes it’s quite different from what people expect. It’s really sad that many of the viewers end up complaining instead of being happy that our country got featured in No Reservations. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but I’m looking forward to.

    I’d love to have been part of that after shoot discussion. That must have been an amazing experience!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:07 pm

  15. natie says:

    …i’m definitely saving that picture,MM, before you edit it out again…awesome preparation for an awesome affair! hats off!!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:14 pm

  16. bernadette says:

    my hats off a thousand times to you MM, family and crew (as well as AB’s!) I have had a stint at film production and boy! you really have to be OC to come up with a great and intelligent show! I guess you also had to foresee weather situations ;-D…and that Mother Nature beamed quite favorably on your side!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:14 pm

  17. Marketman says:

    Jonnek, from the beginning, I undertook this event willing to have Mr. Bourdain and crew over for lechon as my guests, without any compensation. During the day itself, the producers kept insisting on wanting to reimburse me for at least part of the expenses, so in the end I agreed to their paying for the four pigs used that day. I shouldered all other expenses. Frankly, I would do this again and again if only for the chance to showcase pinoy food for viewers all over the world… :)

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:33 pm

  18. Rafael Castillo says:

    @MM: There’s a saying, that I love repeating in situations like this that apply to Cherry and her ilk. “Opinions are like @ssholes. Everyone’s got one. And some of them stink to high heaven.”

    I’ve been reading you blog form your first post. I love what I’ve discovered. I was delighted to find out that we’re both BC Alumni. BC Class of 2000 in my case. Lived on upper, Walsh, Edmonds, & Rubenstein.

    Can’t wait to get up to date with your blog. Right now I’m current to Jan 2007 and yesterday’s & today’s posts.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:38 pm

  19. yam says:

    I enjoyed reading more about the preparations.Thanks for sharing, MM!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:40 pm

  20. Joni says:

    Galing ha MM!

    This is like the “360” experience of No Reservations. :)


    Oh my gosh, who ate all of those test lechons?! And test food. hahaha! :) Sana we were there to taste it.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:47 pm

  21. The Steak Lady says:

    this is a great read MM! thanks for taking us behind the scenes :-) and i saw the commercial (Discovery Travel and Living) where they featured World Cafe Asia season 2 and you’re definitely in it! Can’t wait!!! :D

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:49 pm

  22. Marketman says:

    The Steak Lady, WHAT? a commercial? Yipes, I haven’t seen it… :) Rafael, Class of 86 for me. Hahaha, 14 years earlier than you! Yikes. And I love your phrase, I will remember it for future use…

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:55 pm

  23. Mangaranon says:

    MM – it was a beautiful show and we, Filipinos, are grateful to you for showing the world our culture via food.

    I envy Augusto and family for being there to eat the food. How I wished I could have been there.

    Forget Cherry and her like. There is nothing positive and, as we say in Spanish — AMARGADA!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 6:58 pm

  24. Mangaranon says:

    Was that your daughter in a fuschia blouse? I figured it was in the way she was eating! With a fork and a knife,

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:00 pm

  25. siopao says:

    Do you mean you give out fishpans to trolls? Lucky them! hehehe

    I’ve watched the NR-Phils episode three times now (and readying my DVD player for yet another viewing) and it gets me to smile every time. Getting a glimpse of the prep work involved just makes me want to watch the episode again.

    Thanks for an entertaining couple of nights (so far) MM!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:02 pm

  26. mardie c",) says:

    your being OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) has paid off. and being your regular reader i can see that on every event you post on this blogsite. thank you for sharing the behind-the-scene, very interesting gyud. and yay! the picture came out of hiding again…hehehe (probably not for long like before huh)

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:05 pm

  27. Marketman says:

    mardie, it’s another photo the last one, and yes, it won’t be up forever… :)

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:06 pm

  28. asunta says:

    Kudos to you MM! Shall we have a lechon EB in Manila?

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:06 pm

  29. Marketman says:

    tugashaligi, yes, you have the right general location. asunta, I don’t have a lechonan or lechon crew in Manila. I have never slaughtered a pig by myself.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:09 pm

  30. Tings says:


    I rarely comment here but I have nothing but admiration for you and this blog.

    Regarding Augusto, it’s amusing how they rant about the poor guy when if it wasn’t for him, there wouldn’t be any episode of NR featuring the Philippines in the first place. And regarding his family, it wasn’t exactly their choice to be on TV, it was Augusto’s so I can understand why they aren’t as enthusiastic as some people expect them to be. Not everybody has a Paris Hilton Syndrome, you know ;-)

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:24 pm

  31. chad says:

    Reading your pre-taping efforts made me realize how much of a perfection juggernaut you are MM. And yes, as proved by your shirt at the time (rawr!). :) You really thought this through huh? Thank you, from all of us Pinoys.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:32 pm

  32. Psychopompos says:

    i’m just spitballing here, but would “eat humble pie” apply to the infamous “cherry”?

    it’s had less than, ahem, elitist origins, but i hear it’s gone a long way from deer innards…

    Feb 19, 2009 | 7:50 pm

  33. Tricia says:

    MM, you have been such an inspiration that I myself take pains in preparing even a small family gathering. From flowers, to place settings, plates, glasses, serving plates etc. And I am proud of the outcome from all my relatives’ positive comments. But I’m sure there will always be someone in the party who has “pintas” but can never say it to my face haha!

    And we have one thing in common, I sometimes forget about my wardrobe because I have a million things running on my mind preparing!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 8:09 pm

  34. juls says:

    thanks MM… Bravo for a job well done!!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 8:22 pm

  35. Hoz says:

    The landscaping, the research, the preparation. What an effort!

    You, MM were definitely THE Man for the job. You did Cebu, and the Philippines proud.

    I saved you photo BTW. I have family (Almendras) in Cebu and want to know if you are aquainted.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 8:52 pm

  36. corrine says:

    I so love behind the scenes. When I watch theater plays, fashion shows, or ballet, I love to go backstage and see all the stuff that people don’t generally see. It makes me appreciate the final output. Editing many hours for a final 60 minutes or less is very, very difficult, especially with so many good materials.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 8:54 pm

  37. marilen rodriguez says:

    bravo, Renaissance Man! thoroughly enjoyed the behind the scenes preparation – and all the praise and spit and spittle in the last few days of blog. there is always a minority who are arrogant and ignorant and know it all – spoils the fun of such a great show featuring our filipinas. we just have to be humble enough to recognize who we truly are.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:06 pm

  38. Lava Bien says:

    Respect as they say is earned. MM you dang right you deserve our respect man!
    Good job, good job, good job!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:07 pm

  39. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Yup bravo! Bravo! Bravo!! Marketman–I think your outfit was cool. Smart but not too casual. The color highlights a good physique (despite the cook and eat life ha ha ha) and hides any imperfection (if any – parang wala naman). If you wore a lighter color and walked the hot Cebu sun ,perspiration could have marked your shirt. You chose the right color and shirt.Even after everything MM–you still looked neat and snazzy! I thought it was cool to have Ms MM wearing something similar. Teen’s shirt color off-set your quiet outfit color. Great!!! Hahahaha—even outfit becomes an interesting topic…

    I like your being OC…am like that too!! Don’t remove that photo MM. It’s our new superhero pin-up. Ha ha ha.

    bettyq,I liked your comment—and the quick reverse to say I’m sorry…cute ….

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:25 pm

  40. moni says:

    Thanks MM for the detailed behind-the-scenes account of your preparations for the Anthony Bourdain’s visit. But for those of us, lucky ones, who were at your Lechon EB, all your pre-and during-taping preparations for NR were merely a dry-run for the Lechon EB! Remember, you perfected your accuchon from the dry-runs? This comment should be an informed opinion as I participated in the event along with Lee, Millet, Katrina, Joan, Mrs. U, Toping, Margarita Fores, and several dear ones whose names escape me at the moment.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:36 pm

  41. Jaydee says:

    Hats off to you, MM. They couldn’t have chosen a better guide than you. My family and I are so thankful on your being so meticulous and prepared (hehehehe). Everything was beautiful but still natural at the same time. We really loved the show, but I must admit your segment was the most we enjoyed of all. A fitting finale to one great Philippine episode.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:52 pm

  42. Angela says:

    That’s certainly a lot of work that went into this episode! But as they say, “the devil is in the details”. You undoubtedly nailed the details, MM.

    My husband says I plan things to the nth degree, though I think he would agree that you take the cake. You even make Martha Stewart look bad.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 9:57 pm

  43. danney says:

    That is why I always check this site because we speak our mind with manners and civility. Those who cannnot control their manners and curse/swear must visit doctors for blood pressure or better yet see a psychiatrist. As I said long time ago in my previous message. “It is not what comes in of your mouth that makes you evil but what comes out of your mouth”

    I admire MM for his patience and civility. Bravo to you and to all Filipinos and foreign nationals addicted to Market Manila site just like me.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 10:09 pm

  44. Mari says:

    MM, you nailed it. I can’t believe that I too am fuming with how people reacted as to how Augusto was in the show. I am married to a Caucasian… no Filipino blood whatsoever, and he related well with the show. He drooled on seeing the lechon and almost fainted upon hearing the crackling of the lechon skin. He said it was killing him to watch this episode. He also mentioned that, that is what he really wants to do in the Philippines…going to the wet market, eating at local carinderias and no malls in site. By that, I knew the show really nailed it. I am really glad and grateful to everyone involved in this production.

    Now I wish I can bring my husband to Cebu and the other parts of the Philippines to get him to savour and taste the real food and sights of our country. Mabuhay kayong lahat! I am proud to be a Filipino and my husband is proud to be married to one.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 10:52 pm

  45. butsoy says:

    to the critics, tama na ang pagpost ng negative comments, nakakatamad basahin, anyway, i think nobody cares…next time volunteer to be a host, we’ll see if you can do a better job..
    And Marketman, let it go,they don’t deserve any response from you….

    Feb 19, 2009 | 10:53 pm

  46. The Knittymommy says:

    Congratulations to you Marketman! I am sure you were a gracious and hospitable host to Anthony Bourdain and the No REservations crew.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 10:55 pm

  47. iris says:

    LOL at Copper Fishpan Award!

    Congrats ulit, MM! :D

    Feb 19, 2009 | 11:11 pm

  48. toping says:

    Wow… I knew you were OC, MM, but I never even considered you’d go through all THAT to get the NR Cebu gig together. Amazing! We should all aspire to be like you. Thank you for putting your best foot forward – in behalf of all Filipinos – for all the world to see. Bravo! MM for Congressman! (On the other hand – don’t; you’ll die of frustration, hehe.)

    Feb 19, 2009 | 11:13 pm

  49. Gigi Santiago says:

    I was an MM fan before this blog was popular. MM has ALWAYS been gracious – he’d write personal messages, send by special delivery (with handwritten notes mind you) his artisanal creations like homemade mangosteen jam. If candor does not suit Mr. Arrogant then go lurk somewhere else.

    I liked the Bourdain Pinas episode – loved the grit and vibe that’s distinctly Pinoy. At talaga namang na-trigger ang Pavlovian reflex ko. I just wasn’t TOO hot about that Augusto guy. (Paumanhin kung kamag-anak kayo ni Augusto). He was as exciting onscreen as canned mushrooms. I wish Bourdain went with someone with more moxie. I could sense how Tony worked triple time trying to register more warmth onscreen.

    MM, toned physique ka sa episode ha! I bet that was a lot of gym time with 2 personal trainers and 2 months worth of South Beach dieting! KUDOS, MM! KUDOS!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 11:22 pm

  50. lyna says:

    I just saw the film clippings on You Tube. The episode is really more of Augusto’s coming home to Filipino food than Filipino food itself. He was as natural as can be and who wouldn’t have the jitters in a situation like that. AB presented it in a unique way and you MM provided such true and valuable information. Galing niyong lahat!

    Feb 19, 2009 | 11:45 pm

  51. maria says:

    no worries mm, you looked good nonetheless :D

    Feb 19, 2009 | 11:46 pm

  52. sometime_lurker says:

    hold on! back up, back up! I’m watching just now and what did AB say? Joel Buenamires? Buenavidez? Bena, veda….-wha?! Damn, I can’t figure it out!!! AGHH…

    but oh man, that is just soooo sweet!! That intro to you, MM, can’t be any better! I mean, you were presented like Augusto’s mighty savior; a messiah of pork or somethin! Damn! My head would implode if I were you! :p In my family, it would be bloody fine to be arrogant about that! How come you aren’t announcing this in any of the local network shows or prints?! :p

    I loved the award! Woohoo! I hope Cherry has seen the show and is just ducking her head somewhere “where the sun don’t shine!” :p

    Feb 19, 2009 | 11:47 pm

  53. flip4ever says:

    I hope someone puts the Bobby Chinn episode on youtube. After the lechon feast, I’m now ready for merienda. :)

    Feb 19, 2009 | 11:50 pm

  54. currystrumpet says:

    i work in broadcast production. and i am completely amazed and inspired by how you engineered this part of the episode down to the most minute detail. brilliantly conceived and managed, a true product of passion for filipino food. naluluha yata ako!

    i am awed by the caliber of the NR producers, too. they really know their stuff, and that’s an understatement. no wonder NR is such an amazingly successful show.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 11:52 pm

  55. sometime_lurker says:

    oh, MM… I gotta say… I’m a lil infatuated with you now :) Like my very own foodie, demi-god!

    Also, I seriously checked out how you would react while AB was saying that Augusto was the reason he was there and all. There was pride in that smile! Aww…now, that’s just sweet! Sweet!

    Ooh and I thought the wardrobe was wise. Not overplanned, not too matchy kinda person (wc is just blech) and maybe just a lil oversteamed around the collar, but hey, wouldn’t have paid attn to it if you guys didn’t mention first. I was all about the lechon! Demmet!!!

    OK, I can sleep now. Goodnight, peeps. May we all cross paths in pork heaven.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 12:11 am

  56. sometime_lurker says:

    Last thought. Love a man in a pink shirt…

    Am i still up?

    Feb 20, 2009 | 12:24 am

  57. betty q. says:

    Sometime_lurker: Wouldn’t it be cool if we knew the guy on CSI whose job is to decipher what a person said? I could give it to my “uncles” (I call them UNCLES) at the place where I used to work!!! But I AM NOT GOING TO DO THAT, MM!!! There is no point anyway. OOPS! I better copy and save the picture. Yes, Connie C. I know how to do it now!

    My final 2 cents worth on this! Indeed, no one can ever top what you did, MM! But those who quite disagree, don’t you think that the best person to voice out your discontent on the subject matter at hand would be the producers of the show? That way, they can very well defend their stand on why they chose to do that show…why they chose to appproach this and that person and why this and why that!

    Tings: …that is so hilarious…PARIS HILTON SYNDROME!!!! Can I use that?…..hahahahahahahaha

    Feb 20, 2009 | 12:38 am

  58. CN says:

    (Please do not publish my name. Thank you, Marketman.)

    Might I suggest that the next time someone offers to pay you for work you have done, please do accept full payment, if not for yourself, for charity, or for the sake of your employees and hired help who just might need the extra moolah, or might just know where to direct the extra funds. I know you are a philantropist and advocate for reasonable giving, and in your modesty and generosity I am sure you picked up quite a tab for this show. The money might have gone to your feeding program, or to a scholarship fund!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 1:37 am

  59. Mariz says:

    hi MM!!

    am a daily visitor of your site but seldom leave any message. just want to say THANK YOU for all the hard work on the NR show. i hope to be able to join your eyeball in the near future.

    i soooo love the lechon….

    Feb 20, 2009 | 1:47 am

  60. Maria Clara says:

    Thank you for the narration and compilation of your recent experience in hosting the No Reservation! Not only showcasing our cuisine and to me telling part is your most admirable hospitality. Your well-extended hospitality is exceptional and it was above and beyond the call of duty. You did very well on your one-man show from planning to execution the main event including the landscaping of your place – excellent views with lots of lush greeneries. You are one of the door openers of our cuisine across the globe! There are always two or three rotten tomatoes in a basket! I know, I know you cannot just ignore those petty and nasty comments and do not let them bother you. You, Sister and BettyQ did and are doing an excellent job!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 1:48 am

  61. mhvmhv says:

    Dang! You were perfect for the job. I really enjoyed how you communicated with Tony Bourdain. I even appreciated the fact that you would state an insight and mention it as your “take” or as your personal opinion which leaves room for other opinions, too. It’s just a shame how Pinoys could be so hypercritical. Ang mahirap niyan, mostly sa kababayan pa. Kaya ang bagal ng pag-usad ng Pinas. It’s funny that in the Travel Channel blog, one comment said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Tony Bourdain wouldn’t come back to the Philippines (considering he was so nervous already in presenting a show that will do the right show about the PHilippines), because of the bickering, nit-picking, whining, i’m-better-than-the-other-attitude that people had been showing through their comments.

    I love your segment which got a lot of air time, too. You delivered some profound statements. I think they were good and valid general statements. Keep up the good work. I’m so proud that they got you and you gave us the honor of putting our lechon as number one in Tony’s hierarchy of pork!!!

    Keep up the excellent work!!!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 2:12 am

  62. michelle h. says:

    MM, you can wear ANYTHING, it won’t change the fact that you cooked the “Best pig….ever!”

    Feb 20, 2009 | 2:16 am

  63. chrisb says:

    That was a wonderful account of your preparations MM, thanks for sharing. I can totally relate to the OC-ness of it all- specially the buying more ingredients than you need part, just so you can pick out the best ones. No wonder I’m not getting rich from catering! There’s really no other way to do it unless one likes nasty surprises! haha And having seen you prepare for the EB 2 years ago, I’d expect nothing less than OC attention to details from you!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 2:18 am

  64. chinster says:

    Don’t worry the shirt looks better on tv than on the blog.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 2:56 am

  65. MMlurker says:

    Dear MM,

    You made my night with this post.

    I haven’t watched the full episode of NR, only watched clips on youtube but gave up because the quality left much to be desired.

    Thank you for the behind the scenes account of what went on. Many people don’t realize it but a minute of TV time actually means hours of prep.

    I will surely re-read this entry and the comments. Now, if only the newspapers and magazines that service our communities both here in the Philippines and abroad can publish articles such as what you wrote, there would probably me more intelligent exchange on cultural issues. We can start the discussion with food. :)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 3:06 am

  66. New Yorker says:

    Kudos to you and your crew for putting in a lot of thought and effort into preparing for the No Reservations feature. And what an honor.
    I know if I were in your shoes I would have a hard time staying calm, cool and acting natural with cameras everywhere. I don’t get where the unkind and accusatory comments come from – is that the talangka mentality rearing its ugly head?
    The NR-Philippines episode was awesome, well-put together and appropriate. Nothing came across as over the top, but it was apparent, and rightfully so, that the various hosts were all about putting their best foot forward. It made me proud of my culture and my kababayans.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 3:52 am

  67. mikelinparis says:

    what a surprise to hear about all that effort to produce a picture-perfect-garden-lunch-venue-with-hilly-views!! it was THE best visual in the entire segment..the market & dampa added nice local color, too. now about the shirt… :-)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 4:03 am

  68. Enya says:

    Great job! I really enjoyed the episode. Of course, having grown up in Davao, I was all up in arms about our fair city being left out. So typical. Suffice it to say, I have flogged myself for being such a hater after reading the lengths you went through. I really just wanted to have some of that lechon!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 4:14 am

  69. quiapo says:

    You did a good job, and we are proud of you, not just in the preparation of the food and setting arrangements, but in the way you interacted with the host – unobtrusive, confident,polite – very Filipino in manner.
    I am so looking forward to my first trip to Cebu next week, and lechon is definitely on the menu.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 4:39 am

  70. edee says:

    wow…..bravo MM…..saw the episode already, grabe was drooling on everything, especially that lechon!!!!……great job everyone……

    Feb 20, 2009 | 5:17 am

  71. mhvmhv says:

    I’m curious… I hope you didn’t spend for all these… I mean just imagining the production behind it.. practicing the dishes and the lechon before the actual event… that must have cost you a lot… you had three pigs killed the day itself… i’m just curious about the production side of it… and bait naman if you spend some or all of these stuff just to bring honor to Pinas….

    Feb 20, 2009 | 5:17 am

  72. chris says:

    my gulay mr.mm… must have cost you a lot preparing for all these. and the preparations galore! oh, blood, sweat, and tears… everything was done intelligently, mr.mm… thanks for doing it and making us proud!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 5:48 am

  73. chris says:

    @sometimeslurker: cherry has the copper fishpan award to hit her/his/its head with :P

    Feb 20, 2009 | 5:52 am

  74. sister says:

    You’re giving the copper fishpan to Cherry? Aba, it has great provenance- certifiably from the kitchen of Alain Ducasse himself. Lucky we have a second back up pan for the next bonehead.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 6:22 am

  75. Dale says:


    I want to thank you very much for taking on the task of showcasing what we have to offer to the world of cuisine. I truly hope that the show will inspire at lease some non-Pinoys to try our food and enjoy what we’ve know all along – that our cuisine is among the best in the world.

    Apropos of the discussion you, Tony and, Augusto were having, my wife (who is not from the Philippines, but had visited briefly with me last year) and I were also discussing why Filipino food had not taken off here in north America like Vietnamese or Thai has.

    My theory is that fiesta/restaurant Filipino food tends to be on the higher cholesterol/fat/carb content side and in general, NAms in the most recent period tend to have the image that Filfood is not healthy. My wife thinks that it’s because our cuisine is confusing, and that FilRestos here should choose a small repetoire of “representative” Filipino dishes and flog the hell out of them (i.e., Pho=Vietnamese, Sushi=Japanese, etc.) Your thoughts?

    Thanks Again!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 6:42 am

  76. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    MM, Your attention to detail and passion for living is what makes all of us come back again and again to marketmanila.

    You give your best to everyone you meet. And thats why Marketman is MARKETMAN!!!!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 6:53 am

  77. Marketman says:

    Dale, as with Tony’s astute take on things, I do think we have TOO WIDE a flavor spectrum available, and we haven’t picked a few dishes and done them well. I have often hosted dinners for foreigners and served a sinigang na sugpo, a slow-cooked adobo or fried pig’s belly, a pako or fiddlehead fern salad, a noodle dish, etc. and have always had wonderful reactions to the meal. As long as care is taken to balance the offerings, to think of fat vs. not, to look at colors, meat/fish/veggie/starch, etc. and consider spice, sweetness, etc….. there is no reason it can’t make it in an international setting. I would agree with your wife’s view that Filipino food is sometimes confusing, but I think it is Filipinos who are the ones that cause the confusion. Usually, in my back to basics approach to any filipino dish, I find that the adobo, sinigang, lechon, ensaimada and even leche flan (last two clearly spanish in influence but now very much our own) are all delicious if done right. With attention to quality of ingredients, doing it the all-natural way, or some would say old-fashioned way, without shortcuts, etc. For evey Thai Tom yum, we could have a wonderful sinigang, for a papaya salad, I could theoretically put a chilled vegetable salad of katuray, kamatis, kangkong etc. for a vietnamese spring roll we have out version of fresh lumpia, and for pho, we just need to revisit the basics of our bulalo to get a consistently hearty and delicious broth… But I do think our food is more fiesta and celebration driven. More interesting to me are stunning local dishes that are seasonal and delicious, and which need to be “re-discovered” and preserved. For example, I have a post on kinilaw that I made for Bourdain and for guests at the lechon eyeball. Trust me, it is world’s apart from a restaurant kinilaw anywhere in Manila. So easy and yet so difficult to find…

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:03 am

  78. Fembot says:

    I am a big fan of the show–NR and I know for a fact that AB does not like to be pretentious. He is very humble and he likes to visit places that are the true soul of the country. Very seldom he would show clips from upscale venues unless the show is all about that. AB has gone to many beaches, and I am really glad that he opted out of this scene for the Philippines episode. Another thing about AB, his show is not about just food, he talks about the culture, history and the people which made me favor his show over others. MM, I think the negative comments are coming from the people who normally don’t watch the show at all, hence purely ignorant! He does not like to repeat food segments that have already been shown in the past, ie, Durian–he had that in Singapore, Indonesia episode. Eating balut has also been shot by Andrew Zimmern, the other food show. Anyway, thank you for being a great host!


    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:04 am

  79. Marketman says:

    Sister, I suppose I should have an actual trophy designed that incorporates a grape scissor, fish pan and bulalo spoon all in one — the single implements award… now for the categories… hahaha. And no, I will run out to shoemart to buy a new fish pan, not give away the ducasse one. Hahaha.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:08 am

  80. madspartan says:

    Just wanted to add my kudos to everyone elses’. WAGI ka talaga, MM! It was the perfect take on pinas (hate it when we’re a little too eager to sum up filipino-ness in a balut shell). I love the whole insight of us as still evolving. When one lives in an archipelago of 7,000 islands — i guess it takes an outsider to see what’s right in front of us. Bourdain’s observation of a souring agent being the glue that holds our cuisine together was a revelation.

    In any case the whole effortless effect of your obsessive preparations was perfection!

    And don’t worry about the shirt — you still shone brighter than the other star of the episode (the one that got more close ups and mentions than the other elements) : the calamansi!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:12 am

  81. consol says:

    grabe! the lechon skin really really CRACKLED!

    MM, you could wear a grass skirt or a carabao hide and you could still appear in control of the situation :-).

    You were a perfect host for Tony B and knew exactly what you were doing. BRAVO.

    Oh and my reaction to your sentence “And no, it is not beyond me to look you in the eye, thumbs in my ears with hands flapping and my tongue sticking out at you.” : It sorely lacks this: make like a true-blue Pinoy kid, do all of what you mentioned above, AND add a ‘feel-na-feel’ loud ‘BELAAAAAAAAAT!”

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:15 am

  82. madspartan says:

    And one last hirit: Everything you did and the way it came off, the insistence of offering only the best, graciously receiving complete strangers (reminds me of the jeepney theory: Kasya pa ang isa – or 8 more in your case), your refusal of compensation, sums up what was (and hopefully still is) truly pinoy.

    Maybe you don’t need to be like Augusto to not know what it is to be Pinoy. I’ve been here all my life and never gave it as much thought as I have after seeing the ep. And the stuff that I realized makes me Filipino is what ended up on those few minutes of screen time.

    I’m so proud I could burst.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:33 am

  83. jay calabig says:

    I think Cherry was referring to Claude Tayags statement that “I am Kapampangan first then Filipino” but she failed to hear what AB said to support this ” I am a New Yorker first then American” My take is why are people ragging on Claude and not saying anything about what AB said it is the same thing but yet people are ragging on him. Just look at AB post over 368 posts on that thread alone the closest post was the one About Pressure drop and guess what was the destination “Philippines” I bet the producers of NR are thanking the fans for generating much hype over the show. My take on this is that for the most part the reviews were favorable about 95% and there were some that were just plain ridiculous, that he missed his trip because he did not eat balut, he did not see the malls, he did not see the beaches and my favorite that they did not feature Jollibee. Really Jollibee is that what we want to show the world of what our cuisine consists off? Even if NR made a special on the Philippines for the next 10 years there will still be some people out there that feels left out and will voice unwarranted opinions. The show was great I cant wait for the DVD to arrive so that I can see the deleted scenes and the scene from Cafe Ysabel. The show left me wanting more, I think that is the main prevalent theme here. I will say this again Thank you MM for showing and elevating our food to the international airwaves and thank you for showing AB the legendary Filipino hospitality. I would die a happy person if I can just share a plate with you I would love to pick your brain about the state of Philippine cuisine.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:35 am

  84. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    MM, No need to run SM for a replacement fishpan. I will gladly give you mine in exchange for Ducasse’s. hehehehe

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:44 am

  85. ted says:

    MM, thanks for doing the behind the scenes, just like when i watch movies on the DVD, it’s much more enjoyable for me watching the behind the scenes and the clips that were cut from the film than the film itself.

    And like what Tricia said, i’ve also started doing small baby steps to prepare the place settings and other doodads for the yearly Thanksgiving dinner at home and started getting compliments from attendees,,,thanks to you and your tips!!!


    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:52 am

  86. Anbu says:

    Great account MM.

    I must say though … dude, that shirt has got to go. hehe

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:58 am

  87. Marketman says:

    Anbu, maybe a ceremonial burning at the next lechon event. :)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:01 am

  88. RoBStaR says:

    your shirt reminds me of that pirate shirt from a seinfeld episode…but then again who could think of wardrobe when your mind and hands were into a million things and doing gazillion dishes…

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:06 am

  89. Elmo says:

    Don’t burn the shirt MM! Suggest you have it framed over a background with a “No Reservations” or a small inset with the autograph of AB. Should be a nice memento.Ãœ

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:20 am

  90. tnm says:

    No, do not burn the shirt…most likely, there are DNA traces of AB on it.

    Seriously, what a great read…I wish that what you had done to prepare for this event will inspire expat Pinoys to promote our food in the way that you did. Within their own budgets, of course.

    I must agree that it’s hard to ignore the negativity. For every opinion is a dissenting one. However, the caliber of dissent needs to have substance. It’s not enough to have the perfect grammar or choice of words.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:21 am

  91. Vanessa says:

    Marketman, I just downloaded NR in the Philippines and I must say BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO! You did a splendid job as did everyone else on the show. I thought the entire episode was wonderful and it sure made me very proud to have my food showcased so respectfully and so vividly.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:24 am

  92. Anbu says:

    MM, just keep it. Don’t wash it. The scent of the day you spent with the great Bourdain must live on. :D

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:29 am

  93. Topster says:

    The meticulous preparation did pay off MM. =)

    Haven’t seen the episode in Discovery Travel & Living yet but I saw the preview from his blog. I’d have to say Mr. Bourdain’s comment “taste like candy” and lechon Cebu being on top of the hierarchy of pork would definitely elevate and put the Philippines on a better standing in the global culinary scene! And for that feat I am very proud and thankful! Kudos to MM, family and crew! =)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:49 am

  94. AleXena says:

    That’s why I soooo llllooooovvveeeedddd this blog! It’s your OC nature that addicted me the most. Your intentions at bringing the best out in Filipino cuisine really amazes me to great lengths.

    I would be as OC as you are if Anthony Bourdain was to come visit and film the Philippines for No Reservation with me in it. From the venue to even practing the seating arrangement is spell-binding for me. And yes you forgot to think about what to wear, but does it matter anyway????!!! hihihihi!=)

    I second emotion to the throphy (grape scissor, fish pan and bulalo spoon) for everyone who is not civil in giving their opinions in this blog. Someone in this post commented it right.=) I like the blog because we express our opinions in a civil way.

    A well done job MarketMan!!!=) Rest assured you still have a hundred or even thousands of MarketMan’s Army of Supporters out there.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:52 am

  95. Ona says:

    Hi MM,

    Well here I am posting again.

    Thanks so much for the Behind-the-Scenes action involved with NR’s production of your segment. I was particularly thrilled that you, AB and crew got to chat more about the Philippines and how the crew stayed on and got to relax, have fun and most especially EAT MORE LECHON!

    On another note, the producer Jared Andrukaris is a cutie! I hope AB and the crew decide to visit the Philippines again even if it is just for a vacation. 1 week is too much to really relax, enjoy and fully appreciate everything.

    And now back to the topic of the naysayers whining about how bored and uninterested AB was in the Philippines – Have they seen the Iceland episode? If AB was bored he’d be extra cranky and snarky. There was also an older Brazil, Rio episode for the show “A Cook’s Tour” and AB was pretty much the same way he was in the Pinas eppy.

    I’m looking forward to the Bobby Chinn Philippine visit but I don’t know what channel it’s featured at here in SF. Oh well…there’s always Youtube right?

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:53 am

  96. viva says:

    You are so gooooood. Your hospitality and generosity is unbeatable. Galing mo!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:55 am

  97. jay calabig says:

    I believe the Bobby Chinn show is only available in Asia I might be wrong because the only time i see that show is if I am on vacation, the travel channel in asia is called Lifestyle and Liesure Channel I believe, I can be wrong though might ask the people that live in Manila :)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 8:59 am

  98. Anna says:

    Congrats MM! Yea, I must agree that the shirt is not that flattering in the photo, but in the episode it actually looked good :-) Also, maraming salamat sa ng.upload sa youtube!!!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:02 am

  99. Ona says:

    “1 week is too much to really relax, enjoy and fully appreciate everything.:

    Oops…what I meant by this was that 1 week was not enough and too overwhelming.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:02 am

  100. Ona says:


    Thanks for the info. I don’t think it’s shown Chinn’s show is featured here in the US :( but I’m on the lookout for downloads and youtube :)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:04 am

  101. Elmo says:

    Hmmm…anybody for another MM trivia contest? This time with “The SHIRT” as the proze? Hahahahahahaha!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:17 am

  102. Elmo says:


    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:18 am

  103. NidaFe O says:

    Kudos to you for all the painstakingly detailed work you did to showcase ‘Pinas. The episode is still generating lots of positive buzz (and ignore the naysayers— they’re all clueless!) Thanks too to everyone who helped you behind the scenes!! Mabuhay ka!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:18 am

  104. Guia says:

    Not an ounce of arrogance in MM’s demeanor and persona in the show; and if you know him by being a regular reader of his blog, none what so ever in his writings. He is indeed truly a generous, gracious, humble, dedicated to the details kababayan. We should truly thank him for all his hard work, research, expenses and for presenting us Pinoys in the best light with his fish market and Cebu lechon segment. Nagpapasalamat ulit, MM.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:25 am

  105. karene says:

    Just saw the episode and im so ecstatic to watch Tony in the Philippines! Don’t worry about the shirt, you did great!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:27 am

  106. Jun Bautista says:

    cross-posting this comment on several topic threads…

    MM – For those who want to download a copy of the entire episode (clear avi copy, no cuts, commercial free) I seeded it at zSHARE…..


    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:33 am

  107. Marketman says:

    Jun I downloaded by the disk stopped 2/3 of the way through when played on a tv. Did I just get a bad download, should I do it again?

    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:41 am

  108. bluegirl says:

    OMG, I’m just reading about all the preparations and I’m already feeling tired & overwhelmed. Saludo ako sa iyo.

    I have a sister who is OC and she looks at it as a “negative” facet of her personality. I’m going to share this post with her so she may see that part of her personality positively.

    I told my family back home about the show and my nephew helped his Mom watch the YouTube clips. My teenage nephew recognized you! He says you founded his school. I can’t help but admire all the endeavours you take on. Galing Galing!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 10:05 am

  109. panache says:

    Dear Mr. MM:
    Ang masasabi ko lang po ay Cherry = ENVY.
    Karapatdapat nga kayong pasalamatan ng lahat sa inyong pagtataguyod ng lutuing Pilipino. Ipagpatuloy po ninyo ang mga mabubuting gawain ninyo at ibaon ninyo na lamang sa Recycle bin ang mga “basura”

    Feb 20, 2009 | 10:10 am

  110. Jun Bautista says:

    Hey MM – just need to clarify some things to troubleshoot…..I am sooo assuming you’re geeky enough or at least employ one to know the following:

    1. The file size should be around 347 MB once completed..is this the file size registering in the file’s properties?
    2. Does the file play all the way through when you watch it on your computer? It’s normally meant to play as an XVID AVI file when played on a qualified media player (VLC, Winamp, Windows Media Player)
    3. If the answer to no. 2 is yes, I am guessing you burned this file onto a data cd or maybe offloaded to a USB stick. The problem may be with the dvd player or device playing the file that’s connected to the TV.

    4. I f the answer to both 1 and 2 are no, then something is definitely happening to the download itself…….anyone else having issues? I can repost it on other fileshare sites….I’ll post some mirrror sites to try out.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 10:13 am

  111. cien says:

    Hi MM,
    Sa wakas nakita ko na rin si Marketman! Ganda po pala ng voice nyo, hehehe! Parang bitin yung episode, sana naisali rin ang ibang street foods like isaw, betamax, etc.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 10:26 am

  112. Vyanski says:

    MM, I hope the top you wore during Bobby Chinn’s visit is WAY better than the black one (which was really wrong *cringe*) I saw on your previous post those roses (?) right beside puto ube – really magnificent color pairing on the buffet table. I am looking forward to the World Cafe Asia show in a few weeks time.

    PS. Copper Fishpan Award AHAHAHAH! I remember the Copper Fishpan post! Bitter people!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 10:27 am

  113. Anna says:

    I just watched the whole episode, it was great! I felt like crying and salivating at the same time. My latino partner’s only complaint to that episode is, how come they didn’t mention the sili (while they mentioned the calamansi).lol. He loved the episode so much that he said, he was suffering while watching it! Forget about the shirt, you got the best pig ever!!!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 10:34 am

  114. japspeed says:

    Just always remember that you can not please every one.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 11:13 am

  115. zena says:

    I am not OC at all, but when my entire clan is at my house, I plan out most things and i end up in house shirt and shorts, slippers, with my hair in a banana clip. Wardrobe be damned.

    I am currently watching the show on Youtube. And yes, no more black shirt, MM, hehe. Great job, MM and crew. I did see the Iceland episode where he hated the fermented shark (that he was offered 2x!) and was bored to death by a party that was supposedly the “IT” party. He calls things as he sees it and he refuses to be cliche. He also has eaten balut in Vietnam. It was a mature one with feathers and crunchy bones that he didn’t finish, hehe.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 11:14 am

  116. Mila says:


    A bit of a segue, but still related to NR Philippines, this page on the NR site lists the restaurants AB went to while he was here. From the tidbits we’ve read on the comments, it sounds like the Cafe Ysabel clips and the King Ginno’s Pares were edited out.

    No mention of where the best pig ever was filmed, but how would they? “Marketmanila compound, Cebu City?”

    MM, it might be fun to get your blog’s computer programmer to design a widget for your site. Everytime a stupid fishpan like comment is written up, you can show how many next to the list of comments (40 comments, 2 fishpans).

    Feb 20, 2009 | 11:23 am

  117. Martin L. says:

    Your the Man!!!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 11:36 am

  118. zena says:

    I’m more than halfway through and I’ve seen your segment on a previous post but I must say that Ivan and Claude did very well. Relaxed and not pretentious at all. Kudos to you all.

    Augusto (in the fan interview segment) did a great job of “selling” the Phils. to AB. Not everyone can do that. Thanks, Augusto for convincing AB to visit. =)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 11:37 am

  119. dragon says:

    Hi MM, I am a Mac user as well. I was able to view it on my Mac. Am assuming you’re wanting to record and view on TV or just view it? Are you using broadband or DSL? Jun, it was indeed very good resolution and it only used up about 150MB from my end…

    Feb 20, 2009 | 12:47 pm

  120. Marketman says:

    dragon and jun, actually I bought the show on itunes for $1.99 and I have that on my MAC and it works brilliantly, but I can’t view it on a television. So I downloaded the version Jun pointed to, burned it onto a DVD and tried to watch that. It was brilliant for 2/3 of the show, but just as it was starting in Cebu it went snowy. That happened on three different discs so I am presuming something happened when I downloaded it, which took 3+ hours! I am in the middle of downloading it again and I will know by later today if I managed to get it right. But Jun, thank you so much for uploading that and letting readers know about it! :)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 12:53 pm

  121. Jun Bautista says:

    MM – most DVD players are capable of reading data AVI files from a cd – esp. the kind of player that tend to be the less-pedigreed Toshibas and their brethren….(which I do not have anything against – they are perfect for exactly this feature…..you might just have a simple solution of burning a data disc with the one episode and popping it into the player!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 1:10 pm

  122. jay calabig says:

    so Bobby Chinn is available here in the states? I have never seen him on cable I live in Seattle can you please advise me where you have seen his show here in the states?

    Feb 20, 2009 | 1:40 pm

  123. diday says:

    Cebu Lechon, The Best in the World!! Oi..nk! Oi..nk! Oi..nk!
    Many thanks Jun Bautista for the link as we are several AB episodes behind. Wonderful, wonderful indeed. Three cheers to everyone involved.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 1:42 pm

  124. Ley says:

    Just finished watching the whole episode. I can’t understand those who posted negative comments. It was such a great show! Congratulations MM!!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 1:45 pm

  125. Queen B says:

    I just finished watching the whole show via YouTube and I’ll reiterate again…. Well done MM! You, your family and crew really did a great job. Specially after reading your account of the preparation it took to pull this off! Great, great job! Overall I think the whole was well made as well, I don’t think all the criticism very fair. It made me very proud and I hope this open up a bigger interest in our country and cuisine.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 2:29 pm

  126. Jaja says:

    Still can’t get over the NR Philippines. I’m still craving for that lechon.. argh! eniweys, I found that NR has a Facebook page and they posted a few pictures of the Philippines episode.


    Feb 20, 2009 | 4:13 pm

  127. pilinut says:

    Fantastic organization, Marketman! Imeldific, indeed–but for a much better cause. Would that all those Marcosian projects worked out as well as yours.

    Those were truly fine lechons and a fantastic spread! It was quite an amazing feat, but you made it all seem like a walk in the park. (And you gave a true and thoughtful explanation of why our cuisine is a “blank page.”) Hats off!

    You may be interested in this thread, and I figure you should know about it, since I put in a link to your site (I hope you don’t mind), and another poster also mentioned your intensive preparation.


    Feb 20, 2009 | 4:18 pm

  128. Sheryl says:

    Kudos doesn’t seem enough, MM but I will still try! :-)

    So yes, Kudos to you and your OC-ness you made the Cebu part a very, very successful one! I’ve seen parts of it in youtube but didn’t watch everything coz of quality problems. Anyway, thank you for your own contribution- financial, emotional and mental- you made the Phils episode one of the best of NR so far!

    Salamat kaayo!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 5:09 pm

  129. Sheryl says:

    The only downside to reading your posts on the ubiquitous Lechon Cebu is acquiring an undying hunger for it (been 3 days!). Unfortunately, all the sellers I’ve called up only sell whole lechon :-( Hay, wish I were in Cebu. :-)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 5:14 pm

  130. akosistella says:

    MM, di ka na nasanay. Most Pinoys still have the crab mentality. Sumikat ka lang, there’s someone else trying to pull you down. Wag mo silang pansinin. Those who are looking for the beaches of the Philippines should tune in to Global Trekker or Samantha Brown instead, juskopo!

    I enjoyed your particular portion of the NR episode especially when you went inside the market (oh how I enjoy the markets of Cebu!) and rest assured, you didn’t come off as arrogant at all. In fact, none of your blog entries smack of yabang. So I dunno why that person accused you of being so. You are always very informative and very thorough in your instructions and reviews, w/c is why you are one of the very few blogs I subscribe to.

    But I must agree though, you could’ve improved on the shirt. haha. Kudos again for a job well done.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 5:39 pm

  131. peterb says:

    MM, i got the impression early in the show that AB was looking forward to adobo. I think he said..”finally adobo” or something like that. I’m sure he would have loved you slow cooked PORK adobo.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 6:52 pm

  132. kulasa says:

    Honestly MM, I knew you were going to do some damn good preparations but I didn’t imagine it would be something as extensive as what you’ve done! It’s sounds so much but when you take a good look, it’s elegant and stylish, simplicity in it’s true and raw form – now that’s what I call class!

    As for your awards, would you consider a Yema certificate to?

    and to Cherry, who got the fishpan award… belat.

    Feb 20, 2009 | 7:56 pm

  133. cai says:

    Wish I was there when you practiced with the dishes =p

    Oh. and the shirt…very “MASKULADOS” (jumbo hotdog kaya mo ba ‘to? kaya mo ba ‘to?) hehehehe

    Feb 20, 2009 | 9:38 pm

  134. Nimfa says:

    Hi everyone! Sorry this might be out of place (especially for my first ever comment), but I totally cracked up when I read the edited comment from my favorite NR poster!

    “Here you are, you louts :P I’ve been pestered about this episode for the longest time by the most number of people (that’s right you Filipinos, I see you).

    EDIT: like seriously, at least 1000 views in less than 12 hours. That’s hardcore people.”


    I almost couldn’t sleep in anticipation of this episode! Now I can tell the hubby I’m normal, after all. Hahaha!

    P.S. My apologies if this has been posted already… I’m just too giddy with glee! A gazillion thanks, MM – you’re tha man!

    -From a longtime lurker and die-hard NR fan ;)

    Feb 20, 2009 | 10:41 pm

  135. Lor says:

    Rock on MM – I’ve been so horribly annoyed at the “You should’ve done this, you should’ve done that, why why why not WHINE WHINE WHINE, Augusto sucks” comments on AB’s blog on the travelchannel website.

    It’s the ugliest of Pinoy couch-potato coaching – why couldn’t people just be happy that 1) No Reservations featured the Philippines in a very flattering and outright delicious way and 2) Hello? Best.Pig.Ever? What the heck?

    Too much pintasan, not enough love.

    I thought the episode was brilliant, and you were fantastic and those pigs made me swoon. I wish there’d been more time to focus on your fantastic spread, but your behind the scenes posts made me extremely happy. Awesome job!

    Feb 20, 2009 | 11:30 pm

  136. PinoySpag says:

    Hello MM (nakiki-MM na rin ako kahit di pa tayo personal na magkakilala),

    I’ve been a closet No Reservations fan for quite sometime now, and boy was I excited to hear about the NR episode on the Philippines. Kudos to you for all your effort. Even though they didn’t show all of your hardwork, I believe that your efforts paid off handsomely.

    Having recently been uprooted from the Philippines (I am now based in Singapore, where at least for the next two years I’m a true blue OFW), I can now relate to how Pinoys from all over the globe crave for all things Pinoy – heck pinapatos ko pati sinigang sa Lucky Plaza (the “nerve center” of might I daresay Pinoy crass culture here) just so I don’t miss out on the flavors of home.

    I think NR made a pretty reasonable picture of Pinoy cuisine, considering (a) the time constraints and the typical cut the crap approach of the show; (b) pity-Augusto moments which they could have probably featured less of; (c) the myriad of food choices that the NR staff had to contend with – now that you’ve mentioned it.

    Enjoyed reading your blog. Again, mabuhay ka, kabayan!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 12:01 am

  137. Mandy says:

    Wow, I had to scroll down so far down to make this comment. :) first off, congratulations on being part of No Res Philippines!! Best pig ever!!! WOW!

    For those commenters who asked why no beach, no disco etc. Then they do not know Anthony Bourdain nor watch his shows. I’ve not seen Mr. Bourdain do those things. I know he loves his drink and he goes to peoples houses to eat. He really goes down to the grassroot levels and eat what ordinary people eat.

    My husband, who has no clue on this episode, after telling him that Mr. Bourdain said that he had the best roast pig in the Philippines/Cebu, he asked me where in Cebu can he have that best pig ever because he has a trip there. I say, oh no, no, no, Marketman did the pig especially for the show. :D He’ll just have to make do with one of the many lechon places there in Cebu City. And hopefully bring home some for me!

    Congratulations again on being on the show! Who would’ve thought that you did all these and prepared so much for those few minutes on the show. Bask in your few minutes of glory, MM. You did great. :)

    Feb 21, 2009 | 12:28 am

  138. Ona says:


    I’m not sure if Bobby C. has a show in the States, but I’ll do some research. He’s def not on the Travel Ch or Food Network.

    MM – saw this post on AB’s blog about pork. There was this Pinoy defending Bali’s roast pork (which is ok since we all have our own likes and dislikes, etc.)and kinda challenging ppl to start flaming, but I found this defense of Philippine lechon to be interesting.

    “394 Mina – February 20 2009 @ 10:50 am

    To: In defense of Bali

    I’ve tried the Bali pig too and loved it, but the Philippines has 7,100 or so islands with different regions perfecting their own style of cooking Lechon. There’s a 7,100+ chance that one of the regions will beat Bali’s version…and as Tony himself proclaimed in his blog, Philippines is #1.”

    Feb 21, 2009 | 1:06 am

  139. w says:

    what a feat! kudos to you, marketman, your family and your crew.

    incidentally i just finished watching the complete episode from my DVR, AB himself appreciated most of the food and more importantly showcased filipino cuisine in a global market. so i don’t get where all the hate is coming from. i’m glad that after all that hankering for NR to be shot in the Philippines, they finally did. all the food made me drool, ok maybe not the papaitan and the goat head. but overall, i thought it was awesome and made me very proud to be pinoy! so what the hey?!

    so thanks to augusto, first and foremost for a compelling fan vtr. to ivan and claude tayag for the food samplings and tours. and to MM for claiming the throne for the philippines to have the BEST PIG EVER.

    AB believes and officially declared it. i wish the day would come that i can personally thank you (and try the lechon of course!) because it’s not just a philippine lechon or a cebu lechon – it’s a marketman lechon roasted in cebu, philippines. well done MM, well done indeed.

    spread the love and peace people!

    copper fishpan ba ‘kamo, wag na, sayang lang! maybe a plaque with an image of a collection of single-implements that will be a sort of the razzie awards for marketmanila.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 2:23 am

  140. Bong says:

    Thanks for sharing the “behind the scenes”. I enjoy the back stories as much as the episodes themselves. I enjoyed reading about the planning and preparation part probably because of the former military logistics planner in me. Great job! I could tell while watching your segment of the show that there was a lot of meticulous planning and preparation behind it. I wasn’t surprised by the all the armchair quarterbacking esp from fellow Filipinos. After all, we are our own worst critics.

    A lot of my non-Filipino friends watched the show and they thoroughly enjoyed it. They totally understood Augusto’s role. It was very informative to them and now they know that there is more to Filipino food than pancit, lumpia and balut! You hit it right on the head when you mentioned that the producers know their target audience and I think they did a pretty good job editing the final product to suit the target audience.

    I’ve downloaded the episode on iTunes and show it friends and relatives every opportunity I get! The best $1.99 I’ve ever spent on iTunes. Congratulations to you and your crew, Augusto, Claude and all the behind the scenes folks that made this wonderful episode possible. Kudos for a job well done!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 3:43 am

  141. quiapo says:

    Another 2 cents worth – As proud as I am of Bourdain pronouncing the lechon as “the best pig ever”, and of Marketman’s efforts, I am even more proud when he stated that “filipinos are too nice!”
    Mind you, he has not met Cherry.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 4:12 am

  142. grace says:

    just finished watching the show on youtube. hats off to claude tayag, you and your cebu crew! i’ve always been proud of our food and the show just made me even more prouder.

    oooh, and to digress, i’m a salcedo market suki and i try to guess who you are in the crowd each time i visit. i’ve seen you a few times and i thought that guy could be marketman —- I WAS RIGHT! WOHOO!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 6:23 am

  143. grace says:

    and p.s: i wish people would stop picking on Augusto ( i am not a relative). AB’s right – HE WAS THE REASON THAT GOT US FEATURED OK? pick on his parents instead, they should have made him more Filipino, brought him the Philippines more often! Haha!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 6:40 am

  144. jun says:

    I did watch from jun bautista’s upload from zhare quite clear. altough I just play it on my pc instead of downloading it. hi MM your Internet connection speed might have corrupted the file. try to get someone download it on LAN connection instead of broadband from yr house. You might want to convert instead your iTunes donload version to a DVD format there should be some freeware software you can donload to convert it

    Feb 21, 2009 | 7:25 am

  145. Divine G says:

    MM, with all these very nice and very enjoyable reactions all I can say to you is GOOOOOD JOB!!!!!!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 7:29 am

  146. Bong says:

    MM – Instead of burning “the shirt” at the next lechon, may I suggest auctioning it along with a signed photograph of you and Tony. You can use the proceeds for your feeding program! I think a lot of your readers will get a kick out of it and I suspect that there’s a lot of them out there who are willing to pay top dollar/pesos for your now world-famous shirt! What say you MM?

    Feb 21, 2009 | 10:04 am

  147. Fred Lopez says:

    hmm… lots of words on this post and the shirt still stood out. heheheh

    to be frank, It was your shirt I first noticed on the scene when you came on,hehehe. 36 million viewers…

    More power MM!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 12:19 pm

  148. trish says:

    Mr MM, Your work is greatly appreciated! The No Reservations episode turned out to be one of the best I’ve watched. I’m a daily visitor to your website. Thanks for keeping us informed of the Pinoy cuisine.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 12:30 pm

  149. bagito says:

    Just finished watching the show on YouTube. Can I just say it again… “BEST PIG EVER!” Boy, did that lechon skin crackle! I could almost taste it. (slobber)

    Feb 21, 2009 | 12:41 pm

  150. Tricia San Mateo says:

    MM-I thought you did a brilliant job. I was born in the Philippines and moved to the US when I was a teenager. I have been back and forth a quite a few times since and I can say that there is nothing like coming home. I thought that there were very insightful comments made regarding the perception of filipino food outside of the country as well as how our culture assimilates quite easily with other cultures (we are too nice). I have often thought about those things and discussed them in a small arena with friends who have the same experience. It was great to hear these insights discussed on an international arena.

    I think that Tony did the country justice. It is impossible to expect that they cover everything in an hour show. They were able to show a real side of the country and focused less on the kitsch. For any foreigner that knows nothing about our country, this is a proud example of what they can experience.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 12:43 pm

  151. MarketFan says:

    on hindsight, MM could have worn the “Have you been to the market today?” shirt and all of us who got one, would have a more valuable shirt now…a shirt with a claim to fame in the NR episode..ha ha

    Feb 21, 2009 | 12:59 pm

  152. maria says:

    hey…thanks for posting your site from tony’s blog. i truly enjoyed the lechon segment and great job preparing them a feast. more power to you!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 2:18 pm

  153. nunosapunso says:

    just saw NR on youtube…everyone has already said it..great job! It was also an eye-opener for us how much work was put into the preparation for as you said, a few seconds on TV. Thank you very much for coming up to the challenge, including unplanned guests….

    Feb 21, 2009 | 2:21 pm

  154. loveTOeat says:

    MM, never mind about the cherry’s comment, im sure a lot more people are laughing at her for her baseless comments…

    thanks for making the pinoy proud!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 3:26 pm

  155. quiapo says:

    What would be a good commercial place in Cebu to try the lechon?

    Feb 21, 2009 | 5:32 pm

  156. suzette says:

    hay naku napakadami talaga inggitera sa mundo, sa susunod sila dapat ang i-lechon!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 5:36 pm

  157. Marketman says:

    suzette, I can arrange THAT. hahaha. quiapo, the most talked about local mass producer of lechon is Cnt, and while tasty, I suspect they must use a phenomenal amount of MSG. Also, in many places in cebu crispness of the skin is not a priority it seems. On Sundays, you might try lechon street in Talisay, a 15 minute cab ride from downtown Cebu.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 5:44 pm

  158. PanchoA says:

    If ever you get the chance, try the lechon in Carcar. They baste the skin with drippings from the insides. The result is a more flavorful skin!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 5:57 pm

  159. quiapo says:

    Thanks for the tips – I wonder if these places are readily accesible from the Waterfront Hotel? I have one free day, which will be on a Monday. I am having one lunch at the Plantation Resort, and another at a place called Sogod – I hope lechon will be on the menu.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 8:48 pm

  160. Apicio says:

    I say AB is one lucky duck indeed for having run into you. He could have easily fallen with much less able host than you like so many of his deficient guides in other countries.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 9:33 pm

  161. PanchoA says:

    Quiapo, if you’re going to Plantation Bay, indulge. They’ve got good restaurants there. A lechon lunch can wait.

    Sogod is far up north. I wouldn’t know if you would find lechon sold by the kilo there.

    From Waterfront, take a cab to either Ayala or SM City and find CNT, where you can buy lechon in half kilo or more, and hanging rice – puso. Go around 10:30 when there are less people and indulge.

    If you like, there’s a great Pinoy restaurant near Waterfront called Chika-an. It’s run by a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and he improved the flavors of all their offerings. I think you can find lechon there. But call them first to confirm.

    Bon Appetit!

    Feb 21, 2009 | 9:51 pm

  162. ivan man dy says:


    ” I can now relate to how Pinoys from all over the globe crave for all things Pinoy – heck pinapatos ko pati sinigang sa Lucky Plaza (the “nerve center” of might I daresay Pinoy crass culture here) just so I don’t miss out on the flavors of home.”

    Not sure what to make of your statement here. On one hand you say you are reaching out to your roots by eating food from home and on the other, you dismiss the nerve center of Filipino culture in the Lion City as ‘crass’. Granted that most people who go there, I suspect, belong to the DH crowd (probably not on the same socio-economic level as you), I find it a bit disturbing that you should dismiss the very culture- that includes the sinigang that you want to eat- that you are trying to reconnect too.

    Wonder what you meant with your post.

    Feb 21, 2009 | 10:04 pm

  163. lee says:

    i see an apicio comment. welcome back!

    Feb 22, 2009 | 12:12 am

  164. quiapo says:

    Pancho! – Maraming Salamat! It is going to be a good trip to Cebu!! I can see myself having at least one lechon breakfast.

    Feb 22, 2009 | 2:14 am

  165. flip4ever says:

    After viewing the episode (at least) 5 times, I noticed the Phil Department of Tourism on the closing credits (of course they would have been informed and consulted). What struck me was part of their campaign in 2008 was to target Fil-Ams such as Augusto — those who have not really had the chance to visit the country of their heritage. They even appointed youtube channel Happyslip (Christine G.) as Tourism Ambassador for North America. Many of her videos are of her experience growing up in a Filipino family in the US; and her youtube channel is one of the most-subscribed channels (of those with original content). I don’t know how much input they had in the show’s decision to weave Augusto’s story into the episode, but I bet they are grinning from ear-to-ear if they reading the comments about the Fil-Ams now wanting to go back after seeing all the food.

    Feb 22, 2009 | 2:38 am

  166. Johnny Sinon says:

    Will this Philippine episode of No Reservations be shown locally?

    Feb 22, 2009 | 7:26 am

  167. Marketman says:

    Johnny, it should show here, on cable, on the discovery travel & living, but not for a few more weeks, if not months… flip4ever, from what I understand, the shows producers received minimal (does that surprise you) assistance though they would never state that publicly. Let’s just say the DOT doesn’t know how to use its limited? budget to get maximum bang for the buck. And article in Gourmet, Conde Nast Traveller, a TV show, all cost very little but if well done, reach an audience of millions…

    Feb 22, 2009 | 8:52 am

  168. mhvmhv says:

    Here’s what Carlos Celdran who does the “Walk This Way” tour of Manila answered the question of some tourists (view this you tube link. If it does not work, look for celdran). This is with regards to Tony’s persistent questioning: Who are the Filipinos????


    He had an interesting and well-articulated opinion about it, too. He could’ve been a good addition to Tony’s roster of guides.

    Feb 22, 2009 | 1:55 pm

  169. Marketman says:

    mhvmhv, I did suggest Carlos as a potential guide to the show’s producers, among several other chefs, restaurants, etc. But I think they were looking specifically for a guide who did food trips… so perhaps that’s why they didn’t contact Carlos…

    Feb 22, 2009 | 2:43 pm

  170. titashi says:

    hi MM, i just finished watching No Reservations from youtube and i just wanna add one more “thank you” and “congratulations” for a job well done. you (ivan and claude too) did a wonderful job in showcasing our food. and you are so right that Augusto is a hero, he made this all possible. i hope AB considers a part 2, 3, 4 and so on…to cover our 7,100 islands! hehehe!

    Feb 22, 2009 | 4:39 pm

  171. andykamatis says:

    MM, you did inherited your Mom’s “posturera” attitute. Why, you wore that shirt exuding posture and self-confidence! You the man! Reading through the behind the scenes, I definitely admire you for giving your 100+% effort to make the NR Philippines show a success!

    Feb 22, 2009 | 8:58 pm

  172. flip4ever says:

    MM, on Tony’s lastest blog (about the upcoming show) he did a shout-out to all of you. I like what he said about you…your background as a strategist it seems impressed even Tony. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony read your posts, based on what he said.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:13 am

  173. Ona says:

    Hay naku! There’s this poster named Juancho something in Tony’s Hierarchy of Pork blog-said that Tony just pitied us that’s why he made lechon#1, then he goes on to blame his fellow Pinoys that we are too nice to complain tapos kisses the rears of non-Pinoys who critized the show and the country?


    At least Tony targets them self professed “experts” in his latest blog.

    I think Tony did enjoy his stay sa Pinas–and I hope he liked it enough to visit it again kahit na vacation lang.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:52 am

  174. Zet says:

    here’s what Tony said – skip to the last paragraph.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 5:21 am

  175. Joanne says:

    You did good, MM! Kudos!

    I have to tell you though that when you first appeared on-screen, I had to say a silent ‘oh dear’ upon seeing your shirt. I dont want to add to your agony over it but please throw away the thing quickly. :)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 7:50 pm

  176. PinoySpag says:


    Admittedly, it was a spur of the moment, snobbish, trying-to- sound-clever remark about the “crass culture” thing. Didn’t mean to offend anyone. Bottomline, I’m part and parcel of the same crass culture that I have lambasted. Heck, I keep coming back to Lucky Plaza just to have a semblance of something innately Pinoy every now and then. Live and let live. So there. You should come to Singapore and see for yourself. It would be interesting to see your take of the Lucky Plaza scene. Look me up – I’ll probably be gorging on sinigang and kalamay somewhere.


    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:46 pm

  177. Houston says:

    Kudos MarketMan! It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the blog, but as soon as I saw the NR episode, I had a feeling that was you. You did a great job! No doubt your consulting gig included project management training. ha ha.

    Looking forward to World Cafe Asia 2!

    Mar 1, 2009 | 10:38 pm

  178. Cynthia says:

    I love Bobby Chinn & Andrew Zimmern but AB is on top of my list. I have been their fans for years now and I could say that amongst them three, Tony’s show is simply the best. Nice presentation, funny and brutally frank remarks plus good looks. What more can I ask for. Thank you Market Man for being a wonderful guide to Tony. You have exposed the Filipino culture of foods in a very nice and informative way and I’m sure that Tony is happy having you around. I hope he could visit the country again, and would have the time to drop by to the City of Smile and sample some of our well known delicacies : Chicken Inasal, piaya and the fresh catch from palapala.

    Mar 3, 2009 | 5:07 pm

  179. foodfan says:

    Had to watch the episode on YouTube, and then had to do a bit of googling to find your blog– great job! So proud of you and of Pinoy cuisine– and the best pig ever in AB’s heirarchy of pig!

    Mar 8, 2009 | 12:25 pm

  180. Topaz Horizon says:

    Market Man, you make me proud. It’s incredible the amount of work you put in that show. You did more work than I ever did on my wedding, for example. Crazy! But wonderful. I thought it was brilliantly done so kudos to you, my fellow Filipino.

    Mar 15, 2009 | 9:30 am

  181. Zita says:


    I really liked the show, and I’m glad you were his guide!

    Apr 13, 2009 | 8:24 pm


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