16 Nov2005

Just a quick post to blow my own horn, self-promote and grin like a Cheshire cat. Market Manila was included in Joel Tesoro’s article on Asian food blogs for Global Voices Online, a project sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School. He also featured four other Asian food blogs that are all worth a visit… first, EatingAsia based out of Kuala Lumpur and which I added to my links a few weeks ago. Noodlepie based out of Saigon and stickyrice out of Hanoi and finally, ChubbyHubby out of Singapore.



  1. edee says:

    congrats! mas lalawak pa fan base mo :)

    Nov 16, 2005 | 11:02 pm


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  3. stefoodie says:

    i got the alert on my e-mail last night (for asian food), and will be posting about it today at beyondadobo.com and aboutweblogs.com/asianfood. way to go, marketman!!!

    Nov 17, 2005 | 3:27 am

  4. linda says:

    Congratulations! You deserve every bit of it!Your articles are all well written, well phrased, beautiful photos and I feel it all comes from the heart and the love of food.
    More POWER to you,MM.

    Nov 17, 2005 | 8:47 am

  5. ajienaissant says:

    Wow! Congratulations! You so deserve it. I was already feeling more than a little guilty because you really put so much effort into each post and I feel like you ought to get as much off it as we do.

    Nov 17, 2005 | 9:22 am

  6. belle says:

    Your post is driven by passion and desire to share. And I congratulate you for that because you long deserve it. C U this Sunday.Happy to know we are the lucky few who would finally meet the famous Marketman and give my first hand Congratulations.

    Nov 17, 2005 | 7:17 pm

  7. gonzo says:

    Well done, Marketman, congratulations. i like the pics and the way you are able to weave from local fare to more global dishes with equal gusto. It is pretty clear that you do enjoy your food.

    But here’s a question that may be of interest and hopefully will be the basis of some discussion within the group: Why is it that Filipino food isn’t anywhere near as popular amongst foreigners—esp in the West– as other asian cuisines?

    You go around the world–the US, Europe, Australia etc– and you see Japanese restaurants, Thai restaurants, Indian, regional chinese, Singaporean, Korean, Vietnamese and so on and so forth, even Cambodian and Burmese, but you hardly ever see a pinoy restaurant. And the ones that you do see are the turo-turo type catering strictly for homesick OFWs.

    Is it because our food lacks exotic herbs and spices— for instance, lemongrass, cardamom, cumin, , or kaffir lime? is it because the food lacks chili heat? Many of my expat friends in Manila hardly ever eat the local cuisine, unlike expats in, say, Bangkok or KL, who can’t get enough of thai, or nonya/peranakan cooking or whatever.

    Anyway, i think it’s a curiosity that should be interesting to discuss amongst local foodies.

    Nov 17, 2005 | 7:54 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    Ah, Gonzo, that is a loaded topic. For one, is our food distinctive in any major way or did we just evolve from Spanish/Chinese/Malay? Two, was there a huge difference between the bosses food (300 hacienderos and the like) and the staff behind. Three, I buy the hypothesis that cultures with royalty have a better development of refined dishes… think Thailand, China, even Indonesia. Four, prior to colonizers, didn’t we just really enjoy grilled seafood, some veggies (not a lot), rice and tropical fruit? Five, as the economy sinks us deeper into the quagmire, think we were the most civilized and advanced asian nation this side of the pacific after the war that the ADB chose to base its headquarters here and not Seoul or Bangkok, are we just eating to survive rather than for pleasure? Six, are we so fragmented that a Cebuano will not generally enjoy a Bicolano dish… Seven, we as Filipinos shed much of our identity and meld into whatever foreign culture we join… gosh, I could go on for hours. Considering that ethnic Filipinos are the second largest immigrant group in the U.S. after Mexicans, isn’t it amazing how little of our food has shown up in mainstream magazines. I recently wrote Gourmet about this but to date have not received a response… you raise good points…

    Nov 17, 2005 | 8:02 pm

  9. Alicia says:

    Well Done! This is much deserved!

    Nov 18, 2005 | 5:14 pm

  10. gonzo says:

    Interesting points all. One bit of trivia though: you mention that ‘didn’t we just eat grilled fish prior to colonization?’ Actually another way we ate our seafood back in the day was of course the kilaw style. It is common throughout all Pacific islander cuisines, and in fact the now famous mexican dish “ceviche” was a cross-cultural adaptation of our own kinilaw, which the mexicans picked up during the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade days. Ceviche is not an indigenous Mexican dish, and mexican food historians admit as much.

    And yes, i also wonder why, with pinoys being the 2nd largest immigrant group in the US, our food is hardly seen anywhere; although i believe the word ‘lumpia’ is now part of the American foodie lexicon.

    Nov 18, 2005 | 8:11 pm

  11. gonzo says:

    As to your first question re our food’s distinctiveness, I think filipino food is quite distinctive and different from other Asian cuisines; and what does matter if it was derived from other places? I think what’s important is our dishes are unique to us today– you will not find them in the cuisines of Spain, China or Malaysia/Indonesia. Adobo may be a spanish word but there is nothing like our adobo as a dish anywhere in the world as far as i know. Kare kare w bagoong, wow where did that come from? Wherever it came from, that is one dish unique to to this country, that’s for sure. Wha about dinuguan? Granted there’s blood pudding, morcilla, and other animal blood dishes in the world, but dinuguan is again unique to us only. What do you reckon?

    Nov 18, 2005 | 8:22 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    Gonzo, I have addressed the adobo issue a bit in a post on that matter. On the issue of Kare kare, the inquirer in Reggie Aspiras’ column did an excellent run down on its history. It is traced back to early Indian settlers who did a version of curry and bagoong was added later for flavor/saltiness/sharpness… it is by no means just a local dish as it were. As for dinuguan, I think that is probably pretty local but that harks back to the rich vs. poor divide. The bosses got the roast pig, the staff the innards that was turned into a stew. As for kinilaw, I haven’t done the research and I agree its been with us for a long time and Doreen Fernandez’s book on it is terrific but again its not clear if and what influenced our version…

    Nov 18, 2005 | 9:16 pm

  13. gonzo says:

    I do have a lot to say about adobo but difficult within the space limitations of this blog. And yes i read reggie aspiras’ column on the origins of kare kare (sepoy immigrants in cainta etc), very interesting. But i think my point is it doesn’t matter where a dish has come from or how old it is, only that is has been sufficiently indigenized (i.e. enough of our population eat it)for us to call it Filipino.

    After all, one can argue that most cuisines in the world were at some point taken from other lands/cultures. World history has really been a history of invasion and conquest, hasn’t it? And with conquest come the introduction of foreign culture–including food cultyre–into the conquered territory.

    Even ancient cuisines, say like that of Northern India, were influenced strongly by the Persians, or Parsi. Or the old story of Marco Polo coming from exploratory travels in China and introducing pasta (noodles) to Italy centuries ago. Tell any Italian today that his beloved pasta was a Chinese invention and you better be ready to duck from his coming uppercut.

    Nov 19, 2005 | 9:00 am

  14. stef says:

    hi gonzo and marketman, i’m loving your discussion here! — perhaps i could interest you in joining us at the ya rayi forum, where we’d love to explore these issues further?


    i also have some posts at beyondadobo.com that deal with this, although they’re mostly personal musings. marketman, hope you don’t mind, not trying to hijack your blog or anything, just that it’s rare that i find people willing or wanting to talk about these matters in depth.

    Nov 19, 2005 | 12:30 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    stef, no problem at all… the more discussions the merrier…and the more informative. It’s amazing what I took for granted as fact before I started this weblog and now am much more open to really getting to the bottom of things…

    Nov 19, 2005 | 1:31 pm

  16. gonzo says:

    Hi stef, the truth is part of my fascination with food (aside from the fact that i like to eat it) is the idea of food as culture. I really believe that you get a better understanding of other cultures by eating what they eat…in fact, by studying our own food, i think we gain a bit more insight into who we really are as a people.

    When i visit a foreign country i really enjoy sampling the street food–again, the food of the people. Museums are fine if you want to learn about a culture’s past, but to be honest, musty museums aren’t all that interesting to me. i’d rather learn about a people’s living culture today and then discover how that relates to the past.

    From sampling street food around the world– or country/peasant food, which i invariably prefer over fancy restaurant cuisine– you also open a little window, so to speak, into a culture’s history (colonizers, invasions, immigration and trading patterns..)

    It’s all very interesting. And fun, frankly.

    Nov 20, 2005 | 12:12 pm

  17. gonzo says:

    p.s. that is why , in principle i am against globalization. Aside from poorer countries getting the raw end of the deal in terms of trade, i really abhor what is happening in the food scene around the world— a phenomenon that has been called McDonaldization. One example: quite a number of the small, charming,family-owned trattorias, cafes and bistros in Italy and France are being forced to close down due to the relentless onslaught and incursions of the fastfood giants with their massive budgets.

    Think of a world where it doesn’t matter where you go, whether Paris, Milan, Bangkok, Sydney or Capetown, and all you see are the golden arches. Or you go to a small town in say Andalucia expecting to find a quaint old-time tapas bar only to see a KFC that just jars your senses? It certainly takes away from the travel experience. And as i said, these global chains have started killing off the small, unique family eateries that make living and eating more pleasurable. By going into an area and bombarding it with million dollar marketing campaigns and also effectively raising the rent in the area, making it harder for the small cafes to survive, the big chains are slowly but surely “McDonaldizing” the world.

    Yes Stef, Starbucks is the enemy. haha.

    Nov 20, 2005 | 12:37 pm

  18. Frayed says:

    One city where I haven’t seen those golden arches is Hanoi. Great local food, not a single fastfood. What a relief. In Ho Chi Minh, I saw a KFC but no golden arches. Also in Cuba. I guess capitalism will soon hit them so the time to visit is now before those arches conquer the rest of the “primitive” world. Sad…

    Nov 20, 2005 | 4:10 pm

  19. stef says:

    i do think one day you’ll say we’ve come full circle. look at the US — sure, this is where mcd’s and kfc’s and all those originated, but now more and more people here are very aware of slow food, organic farming, getting back to the basics, getting back to growing and cooking your own food, supporting the local farmers…. i think it’s just going to get better as the years go on. i think the philippines is going through its own renaissance. after colonization, etc. you’ve got globalization, you’ve got people wanting to try anything and everything that comes from somewhere else… somewhere along the line people will wake up and want to come back to their roots, to the old ways, etc. of course along the way you’ll have the “victims” — people who adopted a new way of life, and who can’t go back to how they did things before. it’s all a matter of habit, and habit is the hardest thing to break. but it’s also tied to education…. and what do we do with our blogs? we’re part of the education movement. we’ll get back to how things should be… one day. i sincerely believe that.

    Nov 21, 2005 | 4:12 am

  20. gonzo says:

    Globalization is kind of a tricky word. Unfortunately it has been hijacked by neo-liberal institutions and is today associated mainly with economics and the WTO and whatnot, but when you think about it, globalization really means interconnectedness, and that can’t be bad at all. I mean, the Internet is one good aspect of globalization for instance.

    The slow food movement, the organic farmers, and the people who support them are all part of the backlash against the bad part of globalization. Those of us who believe in good food produced properly (organically) are the start of an informal movement that will hopefully stave off and even beat back the multinational food chain juggernaut. Yes it’s a David and Goliath thing, impossibly quixotic some of the more jaded amongst us may argue, but then again who won in the end of that bible story?

    One thing we can do now in terms of thinking globally and acting locally is to teach our kids to eat well. And i mean to teach them how really good organic produce from a small farmer can be. Have them try veggies fresh picked straight from a garden that day, and so on. We need to wean them away from the clutches of the fastfood corporations. Difficult but not impossible.

    And frayed, i do hope to check out hanoi and havana one of these days. Hanoi just as soon as they sort out the bird flu thing, and havana, well i’m interested in the food of a unique subculture in Cuba: the Chinese-cubans. Imagine chinese immigrants to cuba, what’s their third generation like, i wonder. In NYC there are a few restaurants (notably La Caridad) that offer a Chinese-Cuban menu. One dish of note is a grilled steak plate served w saffron rice and black beans, mmm.

    Another interesting bit of trivia: the dish we pinoys know as arroz a la cubana does exist in Cuba, but there it is called picadillo. they eat picadillo with white rice, fried plantains and often w a fried egg. their picadillo has green olives, and cumin, aside from the raisins. Wonder how it got to us here…i suppose by the same Manila-Acapulco galleon trade…

    Nov 21, 2005 | 7:41 am

  21. stef says:

    the mexicans have a picadillo too. are you familiar with rachel laudan’s work? wonderful stuff. she’s been tracing the mexican-islamic connection as well. incidentally, i’ve found echoes of our cuisine in puerto rican dishes too.

    BTW, i didn’t mean to imply that globalization is a bad thing either. i actually see it as part of the progression.

    Nov 22, 2005 | 5:27 am

  22. gonzo says:

    Actually all the latin american countries have a version of picadillo, and they’re all somewhat similar. Funny that in the Philippines, our picadillo has similar elements (minced meat, chopped potatoes) but has evolved into a soup.

    No i have not heard of Rachel Laudan, but she sounds interesting. I do know that there was a relatively large influx of lebanese immigrants into mexico many years ago and they are now well absorbed into mexican society. (the most famous mexican with lebanese ancestry these days is of course the lovely actress Salma Hayek).

    One very popular dish that is directly derived from the lebanese-mexicans is tacos al pastor, which is basically highly seasoned thin-sliced pork slices roasted on a vertical spit, virtually identical to the arabic shawarma (except of course that they use pork and more mexican seasonings), and sliced off the spit then placed into soft corn tortillas w chopped onions, a hot salsa and fresh coriander leaves. Quite delicious, i love em, a great streetside snack. In fact when they use a more arabic pita-like bread they call it tacos arabes.

    No i didn’t think you were against globalization, but the word itself is too general and too all-encompassing. There’s good bits about globalization and then there’s bad (which is why you see violent protests all over the world wherever they hold free trade summits).

    Nov 22, 2005 | 10:37 am

  23. Regina Newport says:

    Just wanted to chime in and say this is such an interesting blog site — intelligently written and chock-ful of information for foodies like me (I’m in culinary school at the moment). Gonzo sounds so knowledgeable–and well-spoken to boot–about international cuisine, which is great! Thank you, Marketman. You’ve just got another loyal fan of your site.

    Dec 14, 2005 | 1:36 pm


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