10 Apr2012

Zubuchon has been very fortunate over the last 10 months or so, garnering press coverage that was way beyond any realistic expectations on our part. With a nearly non-existent PR budget (a couple of ads in the paper announcing our opening last year) and perhaps just the meals that we DO sometimes provide for the press when they are shooting a story, there have been monthly, sometimes twice monthly, visits from the press. Many have been pointed our way by the DOT officers in Cebu, salamat, while others read about us and contact us directly. Word of mouth is really how we find most of our new customers, but all this press coverage does help, so thanks…

On my last trip to Cebu, our Manager sent a text that I received as I was boarding the plane in Manila. You have an interview on camera with Isabel Oli when you get to Cebu. Honestly, I really dislike film cameras, and never feel quite comfortable when the filming is underway… Plus I had no idea who the lovely Ms. Oli was, until some googling yielded me the fact that she was in a Max’s Fried Chicken advertisement a few year’s back, and was the object of interest of Piolo Pascual’s character in the ad… how’s that for getting “educated” in a few minutes time in the airport waiting lounge. She is also Cebuana, and a host on GMA News 7 and other programs for GMA. She and a fairly large crew of folks dropped by to do a feature on lechon, and we stuffed a pig, watched it roast and tasted it soon after…

It was an incredibly hot and sunny day, and if you watch the segment and are observant, you may notice the increasing amount of perspiration on my shirt as the shooting progresses! Yipes. It’s so hard to be in front of the cameras! Have to have two of the same shirt to change out of if necessary. People actually DO hold umbrellas over you to prevent you from melting between takes. It is always a bit of a zoo! Hahaha. I know it sounds like I enjoyed this (more after the fact), but it is not a particularly pleasant experience, though Ms. Oli and her crew were extremely nice and we did get it done as quickly as possible. We went onto the restaurant to have a lunch so they could taste most of the dishes we had on the menu. Will post the air date if I get it in advance… Btw, you know you are truly “older” and fuddy-duddy when you show up in a classic tan polo shirt and a pair of mid-forties jeans and suede loafers while the host of the show is in a tank top, a black jacket with folded sleeves, wickedly short shorts with pockets in different fabric peeking out well below the jeans (the Teen does this occasionally) and clad in rather heavy low rise black boots. :)

On a previous trip to Cebu, I did a long interview with Caroline Howard of ANC and she did a rather long feature on Zubuchon on the program mornings on ANC a couple of weeks back. They also put some material up on their blog, I understand. While most viewers see just a few minutes or seconds of a blurb on television, it takes hours of filming to get enough material for the editors to cut back to just seconds… For this program, I smartly had a Zubuchon t-shirt on hand and changed into that. :)

Ms. Howard was extremely professional and had many questions that I had to answer on camera. Thankfully, most of them in English, which I am more comfortable conversing in, so the answers sound more coherent. The evening they came to film just so happened to be a Friday, and some 150+ diners flooded the restaurant just after we did the face to face interview, so the photos on television of the restaurant showed every table full with some folks waiting for a table… we couldn’t have asked for better timing. :) The program aired on a Friday morning, and with stock ticker tapes running under my face during the interview, several broker friends texted to ask “Is that you? What the @?%! are you doing roasting pigs on tv??” Hahaha. From corporate banker to strategy consultant to lechonero. I love it.

Also in the past few weeks, Korina Sanchez of Rated K paid the restaurant a visit and she featured it on a Sunday program that covered lots of other food destinations across the country. Lots of these folks also apparently tweet while they eat… and it all kind of snowballs in a way. Many thanks to recent articles in Cebu papers as well as a mention for marketmanila in Margaux Salcedo’s recent article in the food issue of the Inquirer Magazine. Thanks.

Finally, in a slight departure from Zubuchon, but perhaps of interest to some readers, I have a four page article in the current Zee Lifestyle Magazine about various Amanresorts. I wrote the article as a favor for the editor and publisher, and because Mrs. MM and I are passionate about the Amanresorts Group. It’s been nearly twenty years since we first stayed at an Aman, and the love affair continues…

While the magazine is mostly a Cebu and Davao publication, you can purchase it at Fully Booked in Manila and other bookstores. Many thanks again to all our recent guests from the press at Zubuchon.



  1. esquire says:

    A number of lechon places have sprouted in Metro Manila whose names start with a “Z”. Perhaps hoping they would be associated with Zubuchon!

    I finally had my first taste. Hubby brought 2 kilos from a recent trip. I took to heart the “best eaten within 3 days”. And actually ate our share — all meals within those 3 days!

    Apr 10, 2012 | 11:01 am


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  3. J says:

    “EAT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES” on GMA News TV, to be shown this Sunday, April 15 at 8:00 P.M. Watch Marketman make Isabel Oli sweat :)

    Apr 10, 2012 | 11:16 am

  4. Footloose says:

    Beauty knows no pain sounds a lot better than its Tagalog equivalent. It’s not age, it’s just no longer caring and not wanting to be victimized by fashion. Wait, may be it is age. Dark jacket and boots in the tropics in March and under klieg lights? Thankfully, she was midway taking it off in the second frame. Tsk she stopped on the third, darn.

    Apr 10, 2012 | 2:41 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    P.S. For those of you wondering about recent articles I have written for Mabuhay, Town& Country and Zee Lifestyle, ALL of the fees the magazines offered for the text and photos were donated to various charities directly by the magazines. I did not receive any compensation personally. Thanks.

    Apr 10, 2012 | 3:02 pm

  6. mean geneblazo says:

    never been to cebu. but this year, i’m planning to go there. just to eat at zubuchon. and maybe secretly snap a picture of MM or boldy ask for his signature.

    Apr 10, 2012 | 3:34 pm

  7. Kron says:

    Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? Unpretentious, solid quality rarely fails to be noticed by the discerning, although often they’re rather few to start with. But word does get around. Even with all the marketing gimmicks, ploys and strategies with research or science-backed efficacy can’t put good-ol’ word of mouth out of work. How I wish more people who do business (food or otherwise) put quality on top of their priorities. With hopes (okay, dreams is more like it) of putting up a food business in the near future, I shall endeavor to provide only top notch quality and service, though of course, there will always be room to improve.

    Off-topic, MM, is there anyway or any chance of you incorporating a “Like” or “thumbs-up” system here in the comments section? Not to blatantly copy off that massively popular social networking site or something, but I feel it somehow gives a little satisfaction to readers to be able to click something that will say “This piece here speaks my mind” or “This is bloody entertaining!” (as I would comment to Footloose’s comment above, or most of his posts for that matter) or “I found this immensely helpful”. :)) Just a thought.

    Apr 10, 2012 | 6:50 pm

  8. Kenny says:

    I have often zoomed offed to Zubuchon for some tasty lechon offering and the experience has almost always been superb.

    However, yesterday was quite a disappointment. A friend and I popped in the Zubuchon Mactan branch around 8pm. I got the pritchon. Sad to say, it was dry and unflavorful, quite unlike the Zubuchon we’ve come to love. The parts of the lechon that was “prito-ed” wasn’t too lovely and the shred of skin that came along with it still had some lechon hair /bristles sticking out!

    Nevertheless, will still recommend Zubuchon… perhaps with the caveat – the pritchon wasn’t too impressive.

    Apr 10, 2012 | 7:29 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Kenny, so sorry to hear of this disappointing experience. Will forward your comment to the Manager on duty that evening. However, if I may say so, if the dish was not to your liking or felt it could have been vastly improved, a word/request to the waiter or manager would have almost certainly resulted in the dish being changed immediately and without question. I suspect they were out of fresh lechon if you were ordering pritchon, but there is also an option to warm chilled lechon which we find is sometimes more to some diners liking than deep fried lechon. At any rate, if you are inclined to eat more lechon within the month of April, I will advise the managers at Mactan to provide a half kilo of fresh lechon ON THE HOUSE on your next visit. I will forward your email address to them so they can confirm it is you claiming the dish. My apologies again, and hopefully we will make the experience right on your next visit.

    Apr 10, 2012 | 7:45 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    Kron, the platform I am on is archaic, from my meager understanding of technology, but will ask the tech person if the “like” thing is possible…

    Apr 10, 2012 | 7:47 pm

  11. lee says:

    will be in Cebu on the first weekend of May :) Zubuchon Time.

    Apr 10, 2012 | 8:02 pm

  12. EbbaBlue says:

    I am going Pinas this April (off to Quezon Province) and found out my next neighbor here in Texas is also going (and she is a Cebuana). She invited me to go to her place; I hade to turn her down because of budget and schedule; but I said next year I will fly directly to Cebu before going Manila/Quezon.. and that is to visit her place and MM’s resto. She is not a food blogger nor computer inclined and she has not heard about Zubuchon. I told her its a treat. I am giving her the address before she leaves so can taste the lechon for me.

    Apr 10, 2012 | 8:19 pm

  13. natie says:

    Fabulous, MM–I did notice the boots right away…then the pretty face.

    That piggy in front of you and the haughty, red pig on the T-shirt beat the Alligator Logo hands down…

    Apr 10, 2012 | 10:06 pm

  14. sunflowii says:

    Hi MM, agree with footlose’s comments (except for the last sentence, haha). Also, the flip side is – it is age – that is, she’s too old to be dressed like that.

    out of curiosity, when these tv shows do a segment on zubuchon, do they pay for what they eat?

    Apr 10, 2012 | 11:30 pm

  15. Elit says:

    Yey! I hope the “like” button materializes :)

    Apr 11, 2012 | 1:13 am

  16. Katrina says:

    All the media attention is well-deserved, MM! I’m so pleased when the press features food establishments that actually worked hard to get where they are and offer customers a great experience, rather than those that get famous for reasons other than the taste of the food.

    Oh, to sunflowii — I’m sure your eyebrows would shoot sky-high if you saw how I dress — my outfits are far more outrageous than Isabel Oli’s, despite the fact that I’m probably about 15 years older! ;-)

    Apr 11, 2012 | 2:03 am

  17. sunflowii says:

    Hey, MM, was thinking about rosquillos and googled it. Your picture from a 2007 post (100th year of titay’s rosquillos) came up. It’s either I don’t remember reading that post or I wasn’t a reader back then but I don’t remember it. Anyways, since others are giving suggestions for the site, here’s mine:
    – instead of just a list of Random Posts below, why not a random collection of pictures from previous posts? your pictures are so mouth-watering that it would be very tempting to click on them to get to the post.
    – XXX – i just scrapped the second suggestion as i just realized you had an archive searchable by month. heehee
    thanks! =)

    Apr 11, 2012 | 4:30 am

  18. Marketman says:

    suflowii, for the most part, the television crews come to shoot how the pigs are produced and that is normally at off hours, not during meals. If the shooting extends towards mealtime, we often invite them to dine on our food, and this is usually done on a complimentary basis, but I should mention that some programs insist on paying for all their food. For television and newspaper crews that come to the restaurant, we also sometimes offer a complimentary meal, but in some cases, the press does pay for their meals. However, we do NOT solicit coverage — which means we do not actively seek out the press and coverage. When press folks contact us to shoot, whether foreign or local, we almost always agree, and NEVER have we paid a fee for such coverage… the extent of any courtesies provided are a free meal to sample our food. When TV stations ask us to provide meals for visiting troupes of “artistas” or “celebrities”, they pay for the food.

    Apr 11, 2012 | 7:13 am

  19. Footloose says:

    Fashion leaves me cold unless it’s clips of runway disasters involving platform elevators for which I feel for the models a mixture of sympathy and you had it coming peevishness stemming from having fallen on ice once too often myself through my own inattention. Swap the felt hat with panama, this is one direction a young woman in the tropics can emulate:


    Whenever I see a person holding an umbrella for somebody else I think of sinkil. The fellow holding the pink brolly looks as though he is enjoying himself.

    Apr 11, 2012 | 7:44 am

  20. PITS, MANILA says:

    It’s always a thrill to see you on television, MM! Specially if I wasn’t really expecting to. Odd times when I flip through channels and then … voila! — a scene with zubuchon-preparation. And a bit off topic, I remember a pair of black and another pair of tan ‘kickers’ from way back … :)

    Apr 11, 2012 | 9:10 am

  21. Nel says:

    You deserve all of this MM. May the good fortune keep on coming.

    On a side note, Isabel Oli is hot! =)

    Apr 11, 2012 | 10:41 am

  22. Ray says:

    Congratulations :D ! Now all the more, I just want to sample some of that Zubuchon :)

    Apr 11, 2012 | 11:43 am

  23. Passive.observer says:

    I love the “from corporate banker to lechonero” line. Wish it could also happen to me :)

    Apr 11, 2012 | 2:20 pm

  24. Marvin says:

    Hi Sir, I hope Zubuchon lands in Manila na. Can’t wait :)

    Apr 12, 2012 | 3:30 am

  25. Jade186 says:

    We’ll be flying to Manila this May! I hope we finally get to taste Zubuchon :-)

    Apr 12, 2012 | 4:32 am

  26. Mimi says:

    Super ‘nyort-nyorts’ as my friends and I call them, are the norm for college-aged girls here. In fact, inside the train I was so busy staring at a girl with panty-sized nyort-nyorts with pockets peeking out, that I did not notice my toddler in his pram had his hand up the mini skirt of a girl, who suddenly jumped! Good thing my baby is a cutie so the girl just waved at him and smiled. Mabuti na lang hindi masyado na-outrage ang modesty niya!

    Apr 12, 2012 | 9:13 am

  27. Marissa says:

    I spent Holy Week in Cebu and regret not having been able to eat at any of the Zubuchon branches :( In fact, I didn’t have lechon at all.

    Apr 12, 2012 | 12:15 pm

  28. Kennie says:

    On Comment no. 6 – Pritchon.

    Thank you Mr. Marketman. I am impressed with the swift response! This attention to detail / customer satisfaction is one of the reasons why we keep going back to Zubuchon (aside from the lechon itself). The little kinks get ironed out in the smoothest fashion. =)

    It was actually a first to dine at Mactan Zubuchon, we live in Cebu City and dine most times at the Escario / Mango Avenue branches. And yes, we were a bit surprised by the pritchon – in a not too good way…hehe

    Need I say, we had a marvelous experience at Zubuchon Escario branch a few weeks ago. Sisig is not a regular at the menu there (no sizzling plates) but as we insisted, the creative crew came up with some sisig-like concoction which was uber-deliciously, and on the house at that.

    Will definitely check out Zubuchon Mactan again this May with friends from out of town.

    All the best.

    Apr 12, 2012 | 9:34 pm

  29. sunflowii says:

    Hi MM,
    Nice to see that folks don’t expect a free meal just because they’re featuring your zubuchon on their show.

    Apr 12, 2012 | 11:04 pm

  30. Meg says:

    I wonder why Oli didn’t unwear her black jacket all the way down. Zubuchon is best enjoyed wearing tank tops. And the very humid tropical weather doesn’t call for a pair of heavy black boots and and fashionable thick black jackets.

    Apr 13, 2012 | 6:28 am

  31. Betchay says:

    You are now very famous MM……gone are the days when all we see is your back to the camera……you’re getting the hang of it….I mean being under the klieglights! :)

    Apr 13, 2012 | 8:46 am

  32. Bernard says:

    Tweet from @gmanews
    Why is our lechon ‘the best pig in the world?’ @IsabelOlifee goes to Cebu and discovers why! #EATSMoreFun airs April15, 8:40pm on #NewsTV

    Apr 13, 2012 | 10:41 am


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