In the Shadows of an Old Tree…


Just a short post to let you know that I have been busy; and I mean INCREDIBLY busy. And while a lot of the activity is really food and related, I can’t really write any details about it yet. But I promise I will eventually bring you all up to speed. Those of you heading to the Cebu eyeball in mid-November will actually (hopefully, barring rain) be dining near this beautiful large kapok tree. I have a thing for large trees, and I bought three spotlights to see what the kapok tree would look like if it was lit up at night. It was utterly stunning. And against an incredibly dark blue early evening sky, it made for a spectacular sight, only partially captured in the photo above. There is something so majestic about illuminating something so naturally beautiful. It is the perfect setting for a candlelit dinner al fresco. Too bad the eyeball is during the day… but you will still see the tree… Planning for the eyeball is in full swing, and as usual, I am drowning in the details, trying to ensure it goes reasonably well…


But before I even get to the eyeball, I am tentatively scheduled (I don’t count on things until they really happen) to play tourguide/host for a day (out of many days in country) to a very well known food/travel celebrity who will be doing an episode on the Philippines for an international food/travel television program that must remain unnamed for the moment. I look forward to helping this program feature some of the best food the Philippines has to offer and I may even get to cook one of my dishes on this show! If I don’t end up on the floor in their editing room, readers from North America and Europe will finally get to see some of Marketman in action! Heehee. I am excited, of course. But more importantly, those of you who have read this blog for years know that I have always wanted to help promote Philippine cuisine to the global audience and perhaps my first approach through letters to interntional magazines wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. Instead, television has found me, and the potential audience is fantastic… so who is to say where the next good thing is going to come from foodwise? And even if I personally don’t appear on any of these efforts, the objective of promoting our Pinoy food will be well served. Keep your fingers crossed on this one, and while you’re at it, take a wild guess who might be sitting in one of those chairs across beside me in the near future… :)


And as if one television show in one month weren’t enough fun, I may also be doing some input for another episode for a fairly well known Asian based show that airs on a very well thought of cable channel featuring food, travel and living. If this pushes through, we will be covering a topic quite different from the other show, and in a different location/city… So, you see, while I am being mysterious, I can’t really disclose anything until after it really happens… I just wanted you to know there is a reason why things seemed to have “slowed down” a little on the blog… And if things don’t push through, then it wasn’t meant to be… Two empty chairs in the shadow of an old tree at noon… some see two chairs, I see several potential paths of discussion and conversation… An empty table under the same tree… some see just the stark white table… I see a blank canvas for an evolving meal… Wish me luck, I think I need a lot of it get through the next four weeks with a minimum of disasters… :)


60 Responses

  1. How exciting!

    Anthony Bourdain recently had a contest for a viewer to pick a location for an episode of his show No Reservations, and one of the finalists was a young man from the Philippines. He lost to a woman from Saudi Arabia. I thought you would have made a great host!

  2. Anthony Bourdain? He listed upcoming locations for the new season of No Reservations on his blog and the Philippines is one of them. Exciting! Please do keep us posted! :)

  3. First pick Anthony Bourdain! And I only say that because Andrew Zimmer has been here already. It sounds so exciting, hehe. I’m excited and I don’t even have anything to with the whole shebang. Good luck, MM! And remember that they folks say God is in the details. So if you are currently drowning in them, not a bad place to be. ; )

  4. anthony bourdain????!!!!….cos you said even people in europe will see it……love his shows, goodluck !!!

  5. My guess is Anthony Bourdain too, and if it is – their show couldn’t have picked a better guide. Best scenario is that he would be there in time to attend the lechon EB, what with his love of pork.

  6. could it be anthony bourdain? oh, please, let it be him! his food/travel show is one of my favorite programs to watch on tv.yes, mm, you’l be a great host/tour guide!!!

    i can already imagine that the setting for your eyeball party will be beautiful, because you put so much attention to detail.and with that beautiful and majestic kapok tree on the backdrop… gosh, i wish i were there for the party, too! too bad, we will be arriving there in december so i will surely miss it.

    good luck on all your projects!!!

  7. How exciting!!! Once again, you are reaping what you sowed. Bravo for all your efforts to promote Pinoy food!

  8. Gotta be Bourdain :). It’d be really cool to see that episode on cable next season. Andrew Zimmermn’s Bizzarre Food episode on RP’s street food really didn’t do it for me as he limited himself to the food stalls in Quiapo to showcase RP’s street food diversity … then again, his show is all about any food that’s bizzarre. I just thought there’s more than just ‘balut’ and ‘kwek-kwek’ in RP :). Okay, ube ice-cream in hamburger buns maybe strange too, but hey, it ain’t really that bad, haha.

    Bourdain is into street food as well (but he’s not strictly on the bizzarre genre) and judging from the past episodes, he’s not really into super upscale fine dining (e.g., Singapore episode) and he might even enjoy a lunch or dinner prepared by a family living in a village setting using locally grown/raised produce. It’d be really cool if he could get a sampling of the regional diversity that RP has to offer though and have a taste of them all in one spot. I think he likes ceviches a lot (e.g., Peru and Chile episodes) and he likes to get a taste of the local ‘moonshine’ drink.

    Anyway, I’m sure Bourdain’s going to be in good hands when he visits RP :).

  9. WOW MM!!!! Amazing what you’ve done to the place. And the lighting effect is just awesome!!! BRAVO!!

    And my jaws will really hit the ground if you have a wood planked terrace/balcony already in place behind the tree by next week!!!

    A woodfired brick oven would complete the canvas!!

  10. Bourdain did have an episode with a ‘lechon’ in Bali that’s very similar to ours. He would love to see more of the confluence of different cultural influences and its impact on Philippine cuisine. From north to south and outside (Malay, Spanish, American) influenced dishes would be well as the traditional ‘home style’ cooking like eating with your bare hands on banana leaves.

  11. Bourdain is also who i’m hoping for…although, Zimmern could do another pinoy episode…think of all the strange foods we have. they can’t cover them all in an hour.

    What a beautiful tree!

  12. You’re the best bet there is to showcase Philippine gastronomy to Bourdain. Break a leg, Mr. TV personality :)

  13. oh, goody! i hope it is anthony bourdain. i love his show.
    and they are would make the perfect host.

  14. Wow!Good and wonderful things happens to good and wonderful people like you,MM. I just love that you’re so passionate about food and especially promoting Pinoy cuisine to the world would just be just a dream come true for every proud Pinoy around the globe.

    Wishing you all the very best in everything you venture into!

  15. Great keep us posted. I love watching the Travel discovery channel with all the good foods and places they feature. Also the Channel news asia japan hour as well as other food related show. An MM episode will be very interesting….

  16. say hi to anthony for me :-) i see two lechons on each end of the table, and me sitting on one of the chairs!

  17. This is so exciting! A great leap towards spreading the wonder of Pinoy food across the world…yay MM!

    I am really really really crossing my fingers for Bourdain…I love him!

  18. I know you hate durian, but, if it is Tony Bourdain you’re hosting (and I hope it is) then you should let him have a taste of our local durian…he loves the stuff

    Our durian, in my honest opinion, is both smellier and tastier than the usual durian available in other countries

  19. Didn’t they use kapok to fill pillows? I remember my brother being extremely allergic to these pillows which would cause sneezing fits.

  20. Yup, Bourdain did mention in his blog that there would be a Philippines episode next season. He’s been all over Asia except the Philippines so it’s about time he did a show on the country. This is a great opportunity to promote our cuisine and I think you’re the right person to do it.

  21. I’ve been a lurker for the past two years or so, but this has definitely brought me out of stealth mode. Should you need an *unpaid* assistant at all (driver, secretary, personal assistant, fruit and veggies chopper, fish guts cleaner, umbrella-holder, hell, I hate durian but I’ll even gladly take up the office of durian transporter!) I am so your girl, hehe.

    Good luck Marketman!

  22. Spectacular tree MM. And the views beyond are equally great! More reasons to regret missing the Cebu eyeball. I wish you all the best on your hosting the foreign big shot chef. A very capable host doesn’t need luck, but good luck anyways!

  23. Hi everyone… hahaha, it’s amazing how everyone has zeroed in on just one person, though I am not saying if that is right or not. Oddly, no one has even ventured a guess at the Asian based food show…hmmmm. And Artisan, you are probably the ONLY commenter on this post that has had the benefit of seeing the Eyeball site BEFORE we tried to tidy it up a bit… and while it still looks pretty much the same… it is getting ready for 40 lunch guests… and no, unfortunately, no chance of the wood deck being in place by then! :) As for the outdoor oven, I still need to get professional help to figure out how to do that best…but it is on the wish list… P.S., I found the manufacturer of the clay ovens used for the broas, so I ordered one for you as well as several for myself! :) For eyeball guests, please recall I clearly stated this was going to be lunch “cowboy style” – outdoors and roughing it. There are good bathrooms but that is about it. That description has not changed… :)

  24. as in poker, i’m all in for anthony bourdain. i love it the way that he shows and highlights a nation’s cuisine. i especially like his running commentary on the show, very enlightening and thought provocating. he really respects food and their origin.

  25. Goodluck to you MM! I do hope this pushes through and that it will be shown here down under :D I’m guessing Anthony Bourdain’s show too, I just love watching his shows and thinking everytime why isn’t he doing a show in the Philippines. Good to hear that Philippines is in his food route on the next season.

  26. xxxx xxxxxx. He’s also dropping in to meet xxxx xxxxxx! A family friend of xxxxxx’s confirmed this. (Good grief, The Philippines is way too small… :) (Sorry, Socky, I had to blur those names. Glad the other contact is who he is… excellent! – Marketman)

  27. im like the only jologs here…hahaha anthony bourdain doesnt even ring a bell to me…i know, i know i will google him now. and thanks to Mr MM again this is another addition to my vocab. hehehe… sayang, i really wouldn’t be able to make to the EB in Cebu.

  28. lee, i remember wok with yan as well, always watched it as a kid,
    even watched those chinese cooking show, used to be shown every sunday morning at ch 9, even if i can’t understand a word she’s saying :)

  29. i LOVE those chairs under the tree!!!!!!!!!!!!so nice!!!i have a pair similar to that ….nice!

  30. Assuming it’s Bourdain, I feel reassured that, with you as guide, the show won’t feature the stunt-ish extreme-eating fare that’s been done to death (e.g., balut, dinuguan, crickets, chicken feet and intestines). We want him and his viewers to see Filipino cuisine’s diversity and quirkiness, and the richness of its influences. Although Bourdain seems game for anything, the shock-and-awe tactic of serving a Caucasian guest neon-colored day-old chicks is rather lame. I hope he gets to sample sinigang, grilled tuna panga, lumpiang ubod, kinilaw, all manner of Pinoy sawsawan, something with gata, pastillas, halo-halo (with ubeng halaya and leche flan of course), suman and mangga, puto bumbong, tuba (and how it’s gathered). I assume you will do a demo of the adobo and lechon? Congratulations; I look forward to watching this.

  31. I agree with GINA, i hope the show will feature the best of pinoy cuisine like lechon, sinigang, crispy pata, kinilaw, etc., not that nonsense with Zimmerman’s show where we were featured as “balut” eating fools. every foreigner that i know who had seen that show were so disgusted with it, not amazed.
    i for one , don’t eat it, coz i don’t like eating hairs and beaks(gross…)my point is balut wrongly represents our country’s cuisine. and also, that filipino guy who made it to the final four didn’t make it because he didn’t know what the heck he is talking about, when it was obvious that Bourdain showed interest with the lechon. so MM , good luck with you!iknow you’ll be great coz you know a lot about lechon!!!

  32. It must be Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations.’ You & Lori of Eat Desserts First were the two I thought of being the best host to show Mr. Bourdain a taste of our food, a glimpse of our culture. I have been away for some time now; I can only think of ‘Wok with Yan’ as the other Asia based show. Congratulations MM! Looking forward to watching AB’s episode on our Phils.

  33. don’t grill me this is just a wild guess maybe Steven Raichlen? Steven has embarked on another world tour of the barbecue trail. His mission? To collect sizzling recipes and the latest grilling techniques and lore from all 4 corners of the planet. To help in his quest, hundreds of grilling enthusiasts from around the world have written to tell us about the grilling specialties in their homeland—like Alexander Pamen from the Philippines . . . anywho(?) the show must go on hooray for you, MM

  34. Whoever the host is, he/she will be spending SEVERAL days in the Philippines, and I am only host for a day… so I am sure there are lots of other folks that will help them during their stay as well…

  35. MM, this might be your best opportunity to show that you can do better than Indonesia in the suckling-pig department :). In the Bali episode, Bourdain clearly said that it was the best suckling pig he’s ever had when he took a bite on that piece of pig skin.

    Who knows, we might just get to see your accuchon on TV next season, hehe.

  36. I am gald you will be innvolved in this as there is a tendency for food shows on philippines to just focus on balut…. I guess the local contacts can be blamed for this. I know you will play a good host and will give a better picture of our cuisine.

  37. Excited for you MM! and for Philippine food as well! I hope there’s a way for you to embed videos of your appearances in this site. An effective advocate cannot remain unanimous forever. :-)

  38. I, too, am excited for you, MM. You do us proud. Way to go!! (I also agree w/ the posts above–no more Fear Factor-type food stunts w/ balut, et al. Lumang tugtugin na, eh. Hehe.)

  39. Anthony Bourdain is always seen enjoying his ‘alcoholic drink’. Would it be San Miguel Pale Pilsen, Tanduay Rum, Ginebra Gin? or the early morning fresh ‘tuba’ juice. Have you tried fresh ‘tuba’ MM?

  40. MM, whoever this international food/travel celebrity might be (a.k.a) Anthony Bourdain? he!he!he. Good luck and do us proud!!! From Rebecca to Maggie and of course me ……SMILE.

  41. MM, Sorry for maybe adding some un-neccessary pressure on you :). I can just imagine what it’s gonna be like at the MM kitchen when Bourdain does visit your place, hehe. I’m sure you’re going to get a lot of help though … so you’ll be alright. But hey, if things don’t go as planned, you can always give him a bag of chicharons (apparently he loves pork rinds … check out the Puerto Rico episode) with a side of our own spicy, garlicky vinegar dip sauce :).

    I wonder though, would ‘bagnets’ be just as good if not better than chicharons? I’ve yet to try them bagnets so I don’t know.

    Pork meat is something that both of you have the same culinary passion for so I’m sure the dinner table conversation would be fun and interesting.

    Good luck!



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