It seems that my recent post featuring our BONELESS ZUBUCHON or ZUBULIEMPO (they are exactly the same product, just renamed) along with two newspaper ads featuring the same announcement have upset folks whose family also appear to be in the roast pork belly business. It upset one of their family members so much that he publicly posted on our new ZUBUCHON Facebook account, and on his own personal Facebook account, a write-up that included the following words and photos, and I quote verbatim from his Facebook posts that were captured by my office staff with screenshots and saved as evidence (he took down his post from our Facebook site hours later, but it remained on his Facebook page):

– an admission that he is writing the post to “cause mayhem” and further writes “Being the analytic and war-loving 18 year-old that I am, I will now cause some chaos.”
– he claims that “the boneless pig belongs to my family, right? We made it first, right?”
– he accuses Zubuchon of copying their product, and I quote: “ZUBUCHON is now /copying/ the Boneless lechon. Copying? That’s such a strong word! It is. But it seems to be the truth.”
– he presents as his primary piece of evidence a photograph of our ZUBUCHON menu when we opened our stores, and points out that there is no Boneless ZUBUCHON on the menu, but fails to acknowledge that there is indeed and always has been a ZUBULIEMPO on the menu, on two separate pages. As is plainly obvious from the photos he himself provided.
– He specifically maligns ZUBUCHON and/or its owners/managers/staff members by writing by directly referring to us as liars, and I quote: “What beautiful liars these flying pigs are!”
– He asks Zubuchon to provide evidence, presumably that we have had a boneless belly, boneless Zubuchon, boneless liempo, rolled pork belly, etc. since we opened our stores in June 2011, by writing (sic) “You should have cleared evidences first.”
– He clearly indicates his full name and that of his family in several parts of this Facebook posts and directs his ire specifically at Zubuchon management and Marketman.

Before I respond to the main issues, let me just say I am not a lawyer, but I do understand some basic legal terminology. To be absolutely certain, I passed this post through my personal and our corporate lawyers for their review before I chose to publish it. I did not write this post in a quick AND heated response to an inappropriate and offensive Facebook post — it took some time, deliberate thought, and a legal review.

Ultimately, it is for judges to decide what constitutes libel. From my layman’s perspective, I understand that there are four key elements necessary for libel to be present:

(1) Imputation of a discreditable act or condition to another. For example calling someone a liar, a fraud, forger, copycat, etc.
(2) Publication of that imputation. For example, I gather, in a newspaper, public announcement, internet page (facebook, twitter), etc.
(3) Identity of the person or company defamed. For example, ZUBUCHON, Mr. Zubuchon Executive, Marketman, etc.
(4) Existence of malice. Actually in all cases of libel, malice is assumed, unless it is proven otherwise.

So that is the setting, let’s get to the meat. Before the appearance of the Facebook posts that specifically name and accuse Zubuchon and/or Marketman of lying, copying, etc., I had never once mentioned that family’s brand of pork products in any of my posts nor advertisements of Zubuchon and in any company related materials. I most certainly have never directly accused them of anything good or bad.

Now for Marketman and in this case, “Mr. Zubuchon Executive’s” response to the issues raised:


For me, the obvious crux of the matter is : WHAT is THE PRODUCT or ITEM being discussed? (not the name just yet, but the underlying product):

In this case, it is probably adequately described as (technically) “half of a pig’s belly section (local terminology liempo), with skin on, with the pork ribs removed (hence boneless) that stuffed with various herbs, spices, vegetables, etc. and rolled around a metal spit, or other material such bamboo or wood then roasted over coals or in an oven/rotisserie”.

Anyone with reasonable knowledge of food in a macro context would have recognized that this kind of dish is NOT an “original” creation (defined as: “preceding all others in time, or that from which a copy is made” – Merriam Webster), rather it is a very likely a derivation of an Italian “porchetta“, or a boneless pork belly that is spit roasted stuffed with herbs. Porchetta also refers to literally a boneless suckling pig that is stuffed with herbs and spices and roasted. There are hundreds of examples and photos of this rolled pork belly dish on the internet alone, not counting dozens of cookbooks, magazine articles, food journals, etc. In other words, there is sufficient and easily accessible evidence that this is a fairly recognizable dish, and most certainly not recently invented nor created. So it would be difficult and probably inaccurate to be truthful if anyone were to CLAIM that they were the one who invented/created/originated the first rolled boneless pork belly anywhere in the world, the Philippines or even just Cebu City, for that matter.

There are links here, here, here, here, and here that show clear photos of this basic product in many parts of the world. Porchetta has existed for many, many years before the Cebu company claims to have created, conceptualized, innovated or invented it. Again, I stress the underlying dish of rolled roasted pork belly, not the name. And if I am not mistaken, recipes CANNOT be copyrighted. But cookbooks (or the prose) can be copyrighted and brand names registered and protected. Brand names can be trademarked and registered, but pass scrutiny only if, among many other requirements, they do not “consist exclusively of signs that are generic for the goods and services they seek to identify”.

Now as for the claims of originality and invention put forth by the Cebu company, I show a portion of their own website page:

They specifically claim, and I quote: “We are the First in this ingenious technique to prepare, process and slow-roast a whole pork belly/side of a pig and produce this remarkably delicious…”

In another blog (, screen shot above, where the product was featured, they give further details and presumably mirrors the claims of the company, and I quote: “It is called Cebu’s original Lechon Belly, and the technique for producing it was actually conceptualized back in August 2011, by xxxxx xxxxx, a proud Cebuano. The product was registered with the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry early in 2012.”

To summarize their claim, their lechon belly was conceptualized in August 2011 and registered at the DTI in early 2012. They also clearly claim to be the first with this ingenious technique. In the Facebook page below, the accuser specifically states: “The Boneless pig belongs to my family, right? We made it first, right?”


It’s quite obvious from the many links provided that this product is nothing more than a derivation of an Italian porchetta, and is by no means absolutely “original” nor probably “patentable”. Even if you want to keep comparisons limited to the Philippine Islands, and more specifically, Cebu City, ZUBUCHON has had a VERY SIMILAR product on offer since we opened our restaurants in June 2011, originally called ZUBULIEMPO (translated: Cebu Pork Belly) that was made with a half pork belly, boneless, and stuffed with local herbs and spices and roasted on bamboo and slow-roasted over charcoal flames and now referred to as BONELESS ZUBUCHON. ZUBUCHON and its logo are fully registered trademarks. Our restaurants opened June 2011, well before this other company claims to have been first with the technique and product and long before they thought to register their brand name in February 2012.

Here are several pieces of “evidence” that support my assertion that Zubuchon/Marketman made this rolled boneless pork belly roasted over coals since at least June 2011 and that we could NOT have copied it from this specific other Cebu company, because we were making it well before they ever sold or introduced their similar product to the public!

1. On 12 September 2008 (almost three years before we opened Zubuchon restaurants!), in Manila, I (Marketman) prepared and wrote about and posted this blog post “Porchetta a la Marketman” – essentially a half boneless pork belly that was stuffed with classic Italian herbs rolled and tied up and roasted in a hot oven. I acknowledged in that post the inspiration was a recipe from the BBC website, and from an Italian aunt who has prepared porchetta in this manner for several decades.
2. On 04 November 2009, I (Marketman) wrote a post on Porchetta, a small sandwich shop in New York, which had received rave reviews for its roast boneless pork belly sandwiches, just another reference point in the timeline of product development.
3. On 13 February 2010, Marketman wrote and published this post entitled “Liempo on Bamboo a la Marketman” which was inspired by what someone described to me as the Balamban Liempo, which I had never tried at that point. This experiment was very close to the future ZUBULIEMPO and BONELESS ZUBUCHON, in that it was stuffed with herbs and spices, including garlic, lemongrass, salt, pepper, star anise, chilies, oil, sugar, soy sauce, etc.
4. In June 2011, the first ZUBUCHON restaurant opened with ZUBULIEMPO on our menu, in fact, on BOTH SIDES of the MENU, as a platter order priced at PHP380 for less than one kilo in weight. As the photos of the menu below indicate. We also had it on the menu as ZUBULIEMPO FAST MEAL priced at PHP90 when we opened in June 2011.

And just in case you are skeptical about our listed timelines, check with the date stamps on the internet, or with the thousands of regular readers who can vouch that these posts above did indeed appear on the dates stated. But even if you ignore the references above from, and ONLY assume that we introduced ZUBULIEMPO or our version of “rolled and roasted boneless pork belly” in June 2011, here are several other third party reference points to prove that this item was indeed on our menu from Day 1.

• A blog post, by “Lee”, with clear photos of our blackboard menu offerings, including ZUBULIEMPO dated 5 July 2011, just a few weeks after we opened, here
• Another third party blog post dated 19 September 2011 that mentions Zubuliempo, with a photo and I quote: “My main course was Zubuliempo. I have overlooked this pork dish during my previous visits since I was too caught up with the quirky ones. Liempo is practically everywhere, right? I didn’t expect much from this dish but to my surprise, it was really really yummy. The meat was flavorful, it gave my arteries a run for their lives in all its porky goodness. It was not dry, very tender to the bite but the skin was crispy. How the hell did they do that?”
• Another blog post by food blogger “Noemi”, dated 2 October 2011, with clear photo of our roasted rolled pork belly or ZUBULIEMPO beside our ZUBUCHON, and she wrote “I noticed the Zubuliempo (380 pesos), pork belly cooked Zubuchon style.”
• A great flicker photo from a third party dated 18 December 2011 which clearly shows our Zubuliempo described and drawn on our menu blackboards, and I quote: “MUST TRY ZUBULIEMPO Prime Pork Belly Roasted Zubuchon Style With Flavorful Herbs and Spices” and a drawing of the rolled belly below.
• Another mention by a third party blog post on 28 February 2012 that talks about the boneless belly:
• Not convinced? Then go to this page of photos here that shows dozens and dozens of reference photos to the Zubuchon boneless pork belly inside and out, cooking and cooked, in experimentation stage or ready to eat. They span dates for several years back.

MARKETMAN’S/ZUBUCHON MANAGEMENT’S CONCLUSION: We definitely introduced our “ZUBULIEMPO” later renamed “BONELESS ZUBUCHON” on June 16, 2011 when we opened our ZUBUCHON restaurant at One Mango Mall, and it has been on our menu every since. The product is a half pork belly, boneless, with various spices inside, wrapped into a roll on a bamboo pole, and slow-roasted over charcoals until cooked. We have served it sliced and on a serving platter for PHP380 for a weight less than a kilo. We also served it as a “ZUBULIEMPO” AND “BONELESS ZUBUCHON” FAST MEAL. Since we believe we have clear proof and several points of evidence that we had such a product on our menu MONTHS BEFORE the other company introduced their very similar product, we would conclude that WE DEFINITELY COULD NOT HAVE COPIED THEIRS, as we had ours on offer long before they sold their version. And that’s just the product in question, not the even the name.


So referring to the Facebook post of which a section of a screenshot is shown above, where the other company claims they made it (boneless pig, belly or lechon) first? WE BELIEVE THAT IS FALSE. That they “own” it? WE BELIEVE THAT IS FALSE, for how can one “own” a recipe that exists in so many versions all around the world? That Zubuchon is copying the Boneless Lechon? FALSE. How can we copy something that we made and offered to the public for sale several months before they claim to have conceptualized it in August 2011 and registered it in early 2012? And a product that Marketman had been experimenting with for SEVERAL YEARS BEFOREHAND?


So far, we have addressed the underlying PRODUCT in question, so now it’s time to address the name. At Zubuchon, we originally named our boneless lechon belly “ZUBULIEMPO” and had that on our menu for many months. “ZUBU” is the old name of Cebu in 16th century maps, and “liempo” is the Filipino word for pork belly. So the literal translation for ZUBULIEMPO would be “Cebu Pork Belly”. After several months, and with a lot of customer feedback, we were told that some customers assumed ZUBULIEMPO had bones, which it does NOT, as other roasted “liempo” products on the market frequently have bones. That is why we decided to change the name recently to BONELESS ZUBUCHON. For us, it is more descriptive, and more importantly, ZUBUCHON is a registered trademark of the company (we first registered it in 2009), so it would be difficult for anyone to copy our new name, BONELESS ZUBUCHON.

But it gets better than that. The “other” company accuses us of copying their “Boneless Lechon,” and they give as evidence our menus that only list ZUBULIEMPO and not the recent name BONELESS ZUBUCHON. First of all, Boneless Lechon and Boneless Zubuchon are obviously different names, and ZUBUCHON is a registered and trademarked name/logo that precedes that company by several years. Zubufoods, Inc. and the brand name Zubuchon were first established and registered in the third quarter of 2009. Furthermore, “Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly – The Boneless Lechon” which I gather is their official name (but I cannot be certain of this, it is an assumption on my part) and I can only say that the name is a mouthful of common words rather than say a unique brand/name. “Cebu” is the name of the province and often used. “Original” is a term that I showed above does not apply to their product. “Lechon” is a common word used by thousands of purveyors in the province and throughout the Philippine archipelago, if not beyond. “Belly” is a common cut of pork (and other) meat. And believe it or not, the phrase “boneless lechon” has been used before, IN FACT, SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE. Ms. Fores of Cibo and her catering business has offered a porchetta or boneless lechon on their menus for many years. Lydia’s Lechon in Manila has a product named “Boneless Lechon” and the best part of all, also used the two-word phrase “Boneless Lechon” in this 13 February 2010 post here:

And I quote myself: “If you can’t make a lechon in your backyard in Vancouver, San Diego, Tampa or Tupelo, this is definitely a version that can be done on a Western barbecue or grill. Served with a variety of sawsawans, this was a BIG HIT. Less hassle than a lechon, all laman (meat no bones), and both crisp skin and tender meat within. Think of it as a “boneless lechon”.

MARKETMAN’S/ZUBUCHON MANAGEMENT’S CONCLUSION: Our renamed ZUBULIEMPO, now called “BONELESS ZUBUCHON” is neither a copied nor similar name to any other product on the market. That we chose to change our name FOR the exact same underlying dish/product, a rolled slow-roasted boneless pork belly, which we introduced before their version hit the market, is NONE of our competitors business and for them to assert that we copied both the product and the name is simply ludicrous and unsupported by facts.


In the Facebook post that accuses Zubuchon of lying and copying, the writer shows photos of our menu, and I have encircled and put an arrow where our Zubuliempo was clearly visible.

And again, on another page, where our ZUBULIEMPO fast meal was clearly indicated. And it was the author that claimed these were original menus from the time we opened. So he has just proven to us and himself that we had ZUBULIEMPO (later named BONELESS ZUBUCHON) from the first day we opened the restaurants.

The end of the Facebook post on June 15, 2012, above, note areas I have highlighted in red, for you to read and reach your own conclusions.

Oddly, a MONTH before the current June 15 Facebook post, on the website of the company under discussion, they posted this warning below. Note the “created and patented this 12 Febrauary of 2012” — that was several months after ZUBUCHON opened in Cebu! And as I said, I wasn’t aware you could patent or copyright a recipe, and I still don’t think you can and shall inquire with the DTI how to challenge such an assertion.

The Facebook post made clear accusations that Zubuchon/Zubuchon Management was lying and copying from their company. The author also asserts that he doesn’t care what the consequences of his writing the Facebook post are. He asks Zubuchon to provide evidence (presumably that we had the product first, and that we didn’t copy their company’s name/product name). He asserts that they came out with the product first, that they invented it and owned it. He clearly asks his/their supporters to spread the word. And he published said article not only on his own Facebook page, but ALSO PUBLISHED IT ON ZUBUCHON’S VERY NEW FACEBOOK PAGE, an entry which he apparently deleted himself only a few hours later, but not before our office staff managed to get screen shots of his posts. The same posts remained up on his Facebook page for several days and was still posted as of 18 June 2012.

I take accusations of lying and copying VERY SERIOUSLY. I am quite well known on my blog, and in person, for being vehemently against plagiarism, photo-napping, or violations of copyright and trademark laws. I have written several posts on related matters. I believe in being responsible for my actions and hope that others are as well. Zubuchon and I (Marketman) intend to pursue our legal rights to the fullest extent possible and are already conferring with our corporate lawyers. Libel is a serious issue, and in the Philippines, it remains a criminal offense.

“Hoisted by his own petard” is a favorite cliché of mine. And no, it doesn’t literally mean to be given enough rope to hang one’s self. Instead, the essence of the cliché is that “one is ruined by his own devices” — perhaps including one’s scurrilous accusations published in Facebook posts.

Our lawyers will be communicating with the author of that Facebook post in the next few weeks.


Zubuchon Executive (President)

P.S. To Marketman’s regular readership, and any new folks who drop by to read this post, please exercise extreme caution and good judgment before leaving any comments on this post. I will exercise my prerogative to delete any comments that seem inappropriate, and since legal action is potentially being contemplated with respect to this issue, I implore all of you to be circumspect and thoughtful in your comments. Please do not resort to any name calling, personal attacks, etc. Also, I may opt to only allow comments in from readers who have already previously left comments on this blog and who have left functioning email addresses along with their comments. I realize that this may surprise some new visitors and commenters–but it is my blog, and I choose how to manage it as I see fit. Finally, for parents with teens and young adults who are frequent users of the internet, social networking sites, etc., please feel free to use this post as a teaching tool, to discuss the issues of libel and the potentially serious consequences (civil and criminal liability) of items they may choose to publish on their accounts. Thank you.


235 Responses

  1. Interested to see how this will turn out in the weeks to come.
    I hope you can keep us posted.
    Good luck!

  2. Wow! Go marketman! We are all behind you.. We know the truth and it should prevail..

    PS: sumakit ang ulo ko sa english nya.. 3x ko muna binasa bago ko nagets! Hay batang ire!

  3. Thank you for sharing with us the story MM. I have always high respect for you as a person. I believe that you are on the right and that you definitely can clear these accusations. I am saddened by the fact that people can be so proud of their “anger” when it is really not necessary. A little googling would already provide a lot of information about Zubuchon. Isn’t it knowing your foe is winning half the battle? Pride always corrupts the heart, it feeds feelings of grandeur. It clouds one’s judgement and in effect we belittle others whom we think are lesser than we are. Never good.

  4. Read this post at work, and I was so intrigued by it that I had to read it over and over; my cubicle mate thought I was into deep research project.
    This “kid” let his emotions get into his head so fast that he did not even investigate first before making such accusations.

  5. So much time. There has been a lot of discussions wether a chef can or cannot register a dish. All of them have tried it, there is a lot of money in the game but no one has ever done it because if someone changes a certain ingredient it is a different dish.
    This is the reason why all the big names look for companies that make gadgets under their name, they “invent” the technique to do a certain dish and if you want to do the same thing you have to buy whatever is necessary to do it. If the person who invented the tortilla de patatas had invented (and registered) a special pan to do it in, that would have made a lot of money.
    By the way who made the first tortilla de patatas is a question no one should be interested in, who cares. But who makes the best tortilla de patatas is much more interesting and something we should discuss about. Don’t waste so much time on who is first, be the best, that is the real issue.

  6. its too much effort to pick a fight with him. Your just going to lose focus on what you do best. Cooking great lechon!

    Who cares about them. I think they are just in it for the publicity this feud will provide.

    As they say “di binabato ang puno na walang bunga”
    Continue to march to your own tune and give them very little publicity which they badly need.

  7. Hello Marketman,

    Just remember this, you we’re proclaim by Mr. Bourdain to have “The Best Pig Ever” period. Do not let this little squirrels bother you they’re just trying to bite a big nut. LOL ;>)

  8. I agree with Dogbone – please keep us posted with the developments on this story.

  9. Not sure what the law is in PI, but is 18 years old still considered a minor? If so, then this kid might just get a spanking. But he still needs to learn a lesson. To me, libel is a serious offense.

  10. “You just got served by a genius 18 year old”… Such a fool. This kid’s cockiness is mind-blowingly misplaced and I pity his parents for all the shit they’ll have to clean up over this.

    Can’t wait to see him “served” papers by your lawyers. Libel is a serious, serious matter.

  11. hi MM, I work for a very popular produce company in the Philippines any recipe we have produced cannot be registered as just ours. If someone produces or makes something similar as our products we can’t do anything about it vice versa.

    This boy and his family needs to be taught a lesson. You might not post my comment for saying this (but that’s ok as long as you get to read this)..but these people how tiny can their brains be to say that are the creators and innovators of this boneless pork? We’ve been eating boneless lechon since I was a child (30+ yrs),

  12. ted, I believe 18 is old enough to be legally responsible for libel. If I am not mistaken, it is also the age that delineates between time in a correction facility for juvenile deliquents and jail time for thieves. We were once almost burglarized at home and if the person breaking in/caught red-handed were captured and could prove he was 17 or less, he would have received a very light penalty, but if 18 or older, would be tried as an adult for robbery and theft.

  13. I feel sorry for the guy, not just because you left his name (and his father’s? name) intact in the screenshots for all to see, but also because his father is going to kick his a** when he finds out what his son has done. He’s gonna be in trooouuble!

    Oh, the follies of youth!

    I, too, am keen to find out what results of this. His actions are libelous and are most definitely punishable, but are you willing to have the law pursued to its fullest extent? Or will a simple (but sincere) apology suffice? I’m not sure what I would do in this case. I would, of course, expect a public retraction and apology, but I’m not sure what else I would want. Maybe some community service in lieu of a full-blown lawsuit?

  14. BTW, I recently saw a photo of a food purveyor in NYC (or maybe Brooklyn) that had a logo similar enough to yours that I almost reported it to you as a copyright infringement! But I was smart enough to double-check, and decided it was different enough not to be a copy (though there was a strong similarity).

  15. Rona Y, the situation you describe is certainly one of the likely options that will be obvious IF they acknowledge a wrong has been committed.

    A serious apology that acknowledges fault and that recognizes that their product did not precede our own, and that apology is scrutinized and approved by our lawyers before publication in facebook accounts and at least two half page advertisements, in wide circulation Cebu daily newspapers would seem to be well on the right path. The issue for me is the “principle” of the matter, not the “retribution factor”.

    Of course, a voluntary decision to provide thousands of meals for undernourished public school children would also be a welcome option after the apology… :)

    There are several other recent instances of similar logos, outright replications of names, etc. which I have stored and haven’t even written about. I thank readers who are my most alert sources for such cases… Usually, a quick note or letter gets the parties in question to stop using the logos, etc.

  16. In a country where restaurants are named “The Original ” then later is not because there’s “D original” then “the first ” becomes ” the very first “…. What matters is which one is the best tasting, which one has the best track record and which one gets the loyal customers. So teach him a lesson but bottomline, zubochon remains to be the best .

  17. Poor kid. He’ll learn a life lesson he won’t soon forget. I work in a big consulting company and what we find is that small fry always target us because of the perceived deep pockets, and well, we’re hard to miss. I think this is one of the problems of being successful :) stalkers and weirdo’s come out of the woodwork.

  18. This reminds me of the de La PAZ BATCHOY controversy decades ago when someone too was trying to patent de la paz batchoy to no avail! :)

  19. what’s the matter with me!?! i just hit “like” on your FB page because i just found out that you finally have one! and i guess the same goes for all my ‘contaminated’ friends and relatives.

    it sounds funny, the title of this blog … “… do you know what the term ‘libel’ means …” what automatically popped in my head was “uh-oh — you’re in trouble now!”. and as with all previous blogs of the sort, don’t you find it all amusing? so sorry if it all amuses me … these people should know better! are they working with the department of … hahaha!!!

  20. Baka kailangan lang nila ng publicity? And since your restaurant and blog are very popular, they decided to focus their sights on you so that their start-up restaurant will be noticed.

  21. I hope that, after your lawsuit, the 18 year old learns that there are serious consequences when he maligns a person/company/entity in print. I hope he learns to let reason rule above emotion. I hope he realises that he is now an adult and tantrums are not only poor form but certainly not tolerated.
    I wish his parents had “the talk” with him just like I did with my own son before he turned 18. I told my son to watch what he does and watch what he says because he is about to turn 18 and 18 year olds go to big people’s jail if they do something wrong in the eyes of the law. I also emphasised the importance of thinking before speaking.
    It will be a hard lesson for the 18 year old to learn but better now than later.

  22. His passion (if it can be called that) for what their family does is commendable, especially since he seemed to have acted very RASHLY to protect – in his opinion – what he thinks is theirs. Poor kid. He should have checked the facts first / done his research.

    That said, your avid readers are always here to support you, MM.

  23. There was a beer company before that tried to copyright “beer” as a trademark. Didnt work, it’s ridiculous.

    What I would support though is something similar to France’s AOC, which protects an area’s right to call its produce the unique place it comes from (e.g. Champagne for wines, Brie de meaux for cheese etc.)

  24. Good day Marketman. This is a very interesting case. I would like to ask your permission if we could use this as a discussion point on our bar review under Intellectual Property Laws and Libel.

  25. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for that matter on the young lad.With the age of technology one has to be careful when posting specially on Face book when it has public access.
    We are all behind you MM,you have the Best pig ever!! other ones wishing they in that case ,like sisig or even Buffalo wings no one has the right to own the so called food, everyone has version and right to produce,cook and sell it!! Porchetta ,whatever..
    Hopefully the 18 year old ,if you decide on litigation,might consider a career in law in the future :):) so he can stay out of trouble.

  26. MM: May the scales of justice side with you. But please don’t go overboard like the youtube video of the irked dad who emptied his .45 into his dissing daughter’s laptop.

  27. Pamela, yes, please feel free to discuss this post for the benefit of educating future lawyers… the more “good” that comes out of this post/discussion, the better. Mimi, hahaha, I actually LOVED that video that you refer to, though I definitely wouldn’t go that far at all… :)

  28. Ditto Maria.

    This is the problem with the Facebook generation. Post first before thinking. Plus, no grammar checking before posting. :)

    Has it been that long already? Your liempo experiments was one of my favorites.

  29. A long but full of knowledge post of you MM. I’m wondering about court decision on the matter.. keep us posted till then..I believe a good lesson will be drawn from this case..

  30. MM, I honestly think this is more of a publicity stint to get noticed. His immaturity is very obvious due to his arrogance. This “boy” needs to be taught a lesson.

    Looks like an automatic fishpan!

  31. reminds me about the story about a few people fighting over the name “ngo hyong/ngo yong/ngo hiong” here in Davao. It seems funny, coz with regards to food, I think somebody always would have done it before. Food is best shared.
    Anyway, maybe your accuser is young and brash.
    Just keep on writing, I read your blog frequently. :)

  32. Last year we filed a libel case with the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office based on defamatory posts on facebook. The said office found probable cause and filed the case in court where it is now pending. So, yes, I think that case will reach the court and that guy will be issued a warrant of arrest. Let’s see if he will still be as audacious:)

  33. weeh, if the accuser was a savvy and genius internet user, i think it would be expected that a research was conducted before the posty…hhm, sayon ra man, search ra ug zubuliempo and ma trace na and old posts regarding it…

  34. My own feeling is, if at all offered, a retraction and an apology aren’t enough. The reputation of a business is at stake here. Internet posts, and on Facebook (which stores everything) no less, are more or less permanent. Even if it were taken down, there are archives and caches elsewhere on the web. Someone else may encounter such posts without bothering to check other sources. Definitely sue the guy.

    While having a righteous fit, in my head I was just thinking, when am I ever going to get to Zubuchon? :D I’ve seen the porchetta on Cibo’s menu several years ago, though I haven’t been able to order it. Perhaps I’ll try and satiate my Zubu cravings there :-)

  35. Curious too as to how this will turn out.

    P.S. Typo on the year of the facebook post screenie – June 15, 2010 probably should have been June 15, 2012?

  36. I’m glad you finally have an answer to the kid’s reckless accusations and brag, that will put him in his place. The kid bit more than he could chew…

  37. Business’s will always compete against each other ,that is what makes countries great, so funny(ironic actually) that I saw that particular business yesterday on a TV show here in Cebu. MM, obviously you are the more educated Man here and will prevail over this “feud”, I will always be a Zubuchon Fan!

  38. 18 year olds and their raging hormones typing away at facebook without thinking…sigh.

    Anyway, anybody who has followed this blog and Zubuchon’s history know otherwise. A lesson from the school of hard knocks is in order for the zealous but misguided whelp.

  39. I can’t guarantee it, but I think you’ve really scared him. I can’t find his FB page (I was just curious, and wanted to read his post in its entirety) so he may have made it private (assuming it was under his full name). Good thing your staff had the foresight to take screenshots!

    If you want to take a look at the logo I thought was similar to yours, look up Brooklyn Piggies. You know your logo like the back of your hand, so you’ll immediately see the differences. But for someone like me who doesn’t know it as well, I had to do a double-take! I think it was the red. . .

  40. You really attract this kind. I know it’s so frustrating but no choice but to give them a lesson to put them back in their places. I know I’m a “magnet” as well.

  41. 18 years old is actually already considered a legal age. I guess he just got served by his “intelligence,” as he claims.

  42. Pambihirang tao, di ba sya nanonood ng news, kahit showbiz news na lang? Ang daming nag de-demandahan ng libel dahil sa mga tweet-tweet. Post lang ng post without thinking.

    @Rona Y, I thought the same thing when we went to Brooklyn Piggies for the first time. Their logo look similar to Zubochon but not quite the same.

  43. My prayers are with you MM! I have much respect for you and your work. God bless!

  44. The Marketman site just became more interesting because Marketman now has an anti-hero.

    A “genius” 18 year old kid with an evil plot to destroy the Zubuchon empire and and rebuild it with his not so Original Boneless Lechon.

    This “genius” plans to open 30 branches of this not so original Boneless lechon and surround the 2 Zubuchon outlets. An bombard Zubuchon with negative media.

    His motto is “a Lie told often enough becomes the truth”

    It is now a race for Marketman to save the reputation of Zubuchon and reveal the truth.

    Abangan ang susunod na kabanata……………tan..tan..taaaaaan………..

  45. I completely agree with Dinah… these kids need to learn to “think before they post” – come to think of it, everyone has to learn that.

  46. Your comment made me laugh boopsie. :) I keep on checking MM’s blog to see if there’s any development. T_T

  47. Good luck MM, not that you’d be needing it in this case! Not the finest moment for the 18 year old! But a good lesson in starting his adult life!

  48. I’m an avid eater residing in Cebu. But for the love of God, i have NEVER heard of this Original Cebu Boneless Lechon thing. As in NEVER heard, in the xx years i’ve been consuming porky products in Cebu.

    Cebu is so tiny, if there is a fantabulous hole-in-the-wall worth eating in, news travels very fast. But this Original Cebu Boneless Thing, NEVER heard.

  49. hay naku, I think, he thinks he’s wiping his traces because in his twitter account, he said down daw Facebook niya and he guess better study daw siya…ano daw eh! bakit iyong sa lahat gumagana….lol!

    @boopsie~ love it!

  50. Wow, I wasn’t THAT delirious and when I was 18 years old D:

    I doubt he has NOT read this reply you made in your post, though I could be wrong.
    His Facebook is down, for some unknown reason.
    His twitter is not saying anything about it though updated just about 15 hrs ago (my time), and his latest Formspring activity was last June 19.

    And in reference to his age, he turned legal last February 14.

    Hey! All this info was given by Google :(

  51. Wow libel is a very serious accusation. If only this genius 18 year old did more research he could have saved himself a lot of trouble. I do hope the kid and his family realizes what a mistake this was and apologizes for such outlandish statements. Please do keep us updated on this.

  52. it seems fairly clear that libelous statements were made and viewed in a public forum. monetary judgments for this offense generally run around 1 million pesos plus lawyers fees.

  53. “Hoisted by his own petard”
    “one is ruined by his own devices”

    “ginisa sa sariling mantika”

  54. @louinsanfran: actually what made it worse was he posted all these in Zubuchon’s Facebook page! I actually read it! Plus, he tells everyone who reads that page to spread the post. It’s really a malicious intent to malign the company.

  55. If my dad would still be alive, he’d say; ” ang punong hitik sa bunga pinupukol” . goodluck MM I know it isn’t easy!

  56. at 18 years old, he should man up, and learn to face the consequences of his actions!

    this can take the place of the defunct CJ CORONA TRIAL tele novelas!

  57. I don’t know anything about legal matters but it seems highly strange that someone would claim to have invented (much less patented??) boneless, stuffed, roast pork belly. Isn’t that like one Spanish restaurant saying “I’ve invented lamb paella!” and then getting pissed if other restaurants serve it (which is, I think, well within their rights). Ridiculous! And “the boneless pig belongs to my family, right?” — I actually did a double take! A boneless pig belongs to no man! As for his “making it first” claim, as a consumer (and avid pork eater) I can only say this — it doesn’t matter who made it first, only who makes it best :)

    This kid is way out of his league MM! Let us know how it goes!

  58. I’m just going to say this, I am 100% Cebuana. I grew up in Cebu and know the sights, sounds, and flavors of Cebu. I have seen Zubuchon and tasted Zubuchon. They’re everywhere. As for the other company, I cannot say the same. Maybe cos the name is too generic or maybe cos it’s not really well-known. Zubuchon is a brand every Cebuano knows. It was rather ignorant to go off saying he didn’t care what the consequences may be.

  59. If you have to claim that you are the Original, you aren’t! There should be a filter that holds someones comments or posts for a period of time, much like the waiting period on buying guns in the US. This would save a lot of people from getting into trouble.

  60. Ayeeeiii! the brashness of youth! that kid badly needs a lesson on humility…kulang sa palo!

  61. I’m not sure what offended me the most: his false claims or his writing style… mhahahaha…

    I am also not sure why but I am half convinced that his family knew what he was going to write..

    Ging, I also asked my Cebu-based foodie friend about the company and like you, he’s never heard of it… so there may be some truth to what others said, that they just want the publicity, not realizing that it’ll be the most expensive publicity campaign they’ve launched. When found guilty, they will be made to pay a lot of money because there was clear intent to ruin the reputation of a competitor… Hay, sana nag pa-advertise na lang sila, mas mura pa!

  62. An old branch of Ma Mon Luk (that no longer exists) along EDSA near corner Kamuning had these words proudly emblazoned on the walls: “ANG MAMI DITO UNA IMBENTO” (sic). At least their hubris was confined within their establishment.

    As for our “genius” above, he’s even smug about the fact that his father “knows nothing about this.” That won’t be for long, hehe. As they say, “patay kang bata ka!”

    I wonder who would do a better job of teaching this “analytic and war-loving 18 year old” a hard lesson: your lawyers, or his dad?

  63. Analytical, genius – no.
    Impetuous, brash, misguided – yes.
    I hope he learns a life lesson from this, but MM please do take his youth into account.

  64. Hi MM, I visit your blog and matagal tagal na din akong di nag-co-comment but this one mahirap palampasin! LOL.

    There are so many annoying things on so many levels: the ‘brashness’ of youth as @Cecille says, the offending writing style as @MP mentioned, the ludicrous idea of ‘patenting’ a recipe?!?. etc.

    Parang gusto ko tuloy sabihin that my great, great, great grandma invented a certain leche flan recipe and I would damn anyone who tries it! mwa-ha-ha!

    At the VERY least MM, this proves how popular you are na talaga!
    But I understand EXACTLY how you feel. I design websites and copy material for high-end clients and my work is OFTEN ripped off. In fact, just this month, a website copied content I created for someone else VERBATIM. Sa sobrang verbatim, they forgot to remove the website name of the original site from which they copied! Kaloka!

  65. feel sorry for the kid whose anger and pride about his family’s business (although noble and has good intent) is clearly out of place. Being so young and naive about things that sure is way above his knowledge. I feel sorry for him, i can feel he has the heart but lack the knowledge to understand truly what his actions has done for him and for his family. . . think before you click and know the facts before you go barking up the wrong tree kiddo, you should have done some research first before you went on berserk and posting it of all places at facebook.
    Kuddos to MM for being humble and calm enough to write his response, no vulgarity and no name calling.

  66. This is completely absurd! MM, If your Zubuliempo has been on your menu since June 2011, and they claim that this was a copy of their lechon belly which they’ve been making since February 2012 (albeit “conceptualized” in August 2011) – I think it’s fair to say that if anything, THEY copied YOU! If I were you I’d include in my website, something along the lines of “proudly making Zubuliempo since June 2011! ” Sheesh. June 2011 as opposed to Feburary 2012, hmmm, I wonder who the true original is?!

    You know If this kid were such a “genius 18 year old” that he claims to be then how could’ve he have failed miserably in doing some extremely basic research on the internet before he started flinging his ignorant and baseless accusations? All I can say is, you must be hard on the competition, MM! They’re resorting to foolish allegations which have no factual merit whatsoever. It’s a shame though isn’t it? I’m sure that there are enough lechon lovers out there for everyone to stay competitive. There’s no need to do this sort of thing. Very poor form, I have to say.

  67. that guy is so arrogant, and such a war freak. and so careless. i always say politeness takes one a longer distance.

  68. There is a way to legally protect a recipe – by treating it as a trade secret. Think: Coke’s formula and KFC’s fried chicken.

    But, it will not prevent people from coming up with Coke – like products or KFC-like chicken, except that they cannot use the trade names.

    Note to self, a decade too late: The conflict averse should not become lawyers.

  69. I can’t wait how his family will react to this… maybe they’ll roast him over charcoal too?

    Come to think of it, Wile E Coyote also fancies himself a genius.

    Wait…what’s that I hear….



  70. Hala ka, lagot ka!!

    Sorry but doesn’t he look a little too old to be an 18-year old?

  71. I am not fluent in Legal-ese but boneless pigs belonging to one family? Sounds like “we invented boneless Bangus!” to me.

    Must admit, two thoughts entered my mind as soon as I finished reading: 1) If this is the work of a genius, why was he not smart enough to proofread? 2) This is beyond Fishpan-worthy that a new award must be created for him.

    @Risa: I agree, hindi dapat maging abugado ang mapusok. Kundi, laging mapapa-away, unless ang labanan ay paramihan ng “Objection!” mula sa kabilang kampo. Heehee…

  72. “by a genius 18 year old”, if only he were wise enough to get his facts straight…

    I agree with the others, this falls under a new award category. I hope I don’t get in trouble for calling it the “BONELESS L _ _ _ _ N” award.

  73. I don’t think being a genius and war-loving even go together. I don’t recall anyone in our history who was described as such and succeeded. Words of advice to the kid- don’t let your emotions run your ‘genius’ mind. You still have a lot of growing up to do. Pick your battles wisely, or you’ll get burned badly in the end.

  74. MM, i am looking forward that you gonna teach him/them a lesson. While reading his posts, inakupo kelangan ko basahin ng “balibaligtad” para mas maintindihan.

  75. oh my! i’ve been busy and wasn’t able to read your posts regularly for some time and now this, the kid is in deep trouble! he even said that he’s doing it without the knowledge of his father… paano na kaya kung malaman ng family nya?

  76. If he discovered a way to grow pigs without ribcages, he might have a case. And only for that will I consider him an 18 year old genius.

  77. MM, were these the guys who were at the Sunday market a few tables down from your table? Goodness.
    Am in Miami for the summer..we put M in summer camp in NC. Stopped in Savannah on the way up and had the most amazing dinner at a bbq place called Blowing Smoke BBQ. Their slogan is “Wrap your lips around our piggy bits.” I thought of you :-)

  78. as they say in ilonggo (although i am 100% cebuana) “ga lingin ulo ko sa mga hambal ya”.

  79. Keep on the pressure MM. Unless they do a public apology with widespread coverage they have not learned their lesson in humility (or common sense. Register “lechon belly”? Are they ****ing nuts?!?)
    If they haven’t learned their lesson, a libel suit is definitely in order. Heck, if I woke particularly grumpy, I would probably still sue them even if they do apologize.

  80. His twitter account is “protected” now. It wasn’t this morning.

    And, he changed his description from “making the world a crappier place with every breath” to “Growing less arrogant with every passing day”

    I’d say the kid is getting affected haha. Well, the 18 year old genius should still be taught a lesson. That you are not just a faceless entity on the internet, and you should be accounted for every action you do, whether behind the screen or not…

  81. “And the nominee for the 2012 Annual Marketman Fishpan award goes to………”

  82. another fishpan award? oh, i miss it.
    will all the details you have provided MM, the decision can now be made.

  83. In this age of technology, it is wiser to be responsible (and think twice) with anything we post online. Well, lessons are really learned the hard way.

  84. MM – I wholeheartedly endorse your 2nd option for an apology: “Of course, a voluntary decision to provide thousands of meals for undernourished public school children would also be a welcome option after the apology… :)”

    This action will benefit thousands of kids-in-need and also one way of teaching him an expensive lesson plus a public serving of humble pie.

  85. “war-loving”
    “cause mayhem”
    “I will now cause some chaos”
    “making the world a crappier place with every breath”

    Sounds like he gets his joy from unpleasantness.. I hope this boy is not an antisocial (in the psychological sense). I pity his parents and the community around him.

    “Others for sure will just follow” – This is one of the statements in their everything Cebu page. Setting aside their claim to being first, in this statement, they already announced they are expecting people to follow them. But when they perceive someone who does, they go all-out vicious. Hello?! There’s no logic there. If you don’t want people to copy you, if you think they will, if you’re going to be that vicious, then better keep your product in your kitchen under lock-and-key.

  86. To paraphrase: angry post, big mistake. No post, no mistake.

    Go get ’em! Truth will out.

  87. I’m imagining roasting him in your giant copper fish pan MM!!!

    but then again, having him pay for his actions thru your feeding program will be awesome! also, have him spend a weekend with the families of the kids on the feeding program :)

  88. I hope he humbles himself and apologizes. He’s a novice, obviously, and did not realize who he was dealing with. Praying everything turns out positive.

  89. Rididulous, brash & irresponsible rant… Hay, it’s like somebody in Ilocos claiming they own the Bagnet…Food is there to be shared not “patented”!

    I hope everything turns out well.

  90. This 18 year old needs to be taught a lesson. And hopefully, he will learn a lot from this experience.

  91. 18 or not what it always comes down to is respect. I think this “BOY’ should go back to 1st grade and re-enroll GMRC. Such arrogance for someone who hasn’t proven anything yet except create mayhem on the world wide web.

    The ghost he so boorishly created has come back to haunt him. He needs this lesson, If only to put his airy head on the ground.

    Having read your rants in the years that I have followed your blog. I know only of one thing, MM does not get into a fight without his arsenal of truth. I firmly support you, MM, on this battle.

  92. private, catholic education does not buy restraint and good manners at all times..:(

  93. Thanks for the laughs Lee – ROFL!

    The boy has lived up to his claims: genius, war-loving, chaos creator – all to himself…nakalimutan lang niyang i-tag ang sarili niya: arrogant…

    Dragons are rarely calm – it would take a bit of time but once they do, they make sure that the offender will either get their “just rewards” or pray for their karma…

  94. Haynaku… People must use social media responsibly. Keep us posted MM! We’re behind you. (:

  95. Hi Marketman! Their claim is really ridiculous! I don’t think product patents are under the Department of Trade and Industry. Instead, I think it’s with the Intellectual Property Rights Office of the Philippines with Atty. Ricardo R. Blancaflor as its Director General. IPOPhil is not under the mandate of the DTI (see On the other hand, contrary to their claim that their ‘product’ is DTI-registered is pointless. I think its the ‘business’ that’s registered to the DTI. Hence, their product is non-patentable as per R.A. 8293 (or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines) under Section 123.1 A which states that, ‘a mark cannot be registered if its consists exclusively of signs that are generic for the goods or services that they seek to identify.’ Thus, their official product name ‘Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly’ cannot be patented as it is very generic. Thanks Marketman!

  96. if a pattern or way of cooking could be patented, then by their own volition their company would be infringing on a TON of other patents. From cooking rice to other dishes they may have which are also being served elsewhere.

  97. Hi Marketman. I would draw your attention to the third image on this post, a screenshot of the young man’s Facebook note. Underneath the title and next to his name and timestamp is the symbol of a globe, which on Facebook indicates that the post was fully meant and intended to be public. Therefore this was not some small rant shared with friends, it was clearly prepared for public consumption by the author, and could boost your libel charge.

  98. hello, MM… your fate with “fishpans” is certainly tied up with liempo, noh? first, there was the balamban liempo thingy; now this… tsk, tsk, tsk… this kid just got his shot on “2 seconds of fame”, and apparently, this would have nasty consequences to him, and to their business… business competition is always good for the consumer… mature businessmen welcome the challenges of competition, as this makes their business/products/services better… but i think that it is downright rude to spread ‘negative vibes’ in the airwaves… i hope this kid gets a lesson out of this, and gets his values/morals straight… just my two cents… bon appetit!!!

  99. Vanessa, thanks for that, I wouldn’t have known it, as I am a dinosaur without a facebook. But not only did he do that, he posted the same thing on OUR ZUBUCHON facebook, which I told our manager to leave up, precisely to show that he intended to damage reputations, but a few hours later he took his post down himself. Why, I can only conjecture. In the same manner that I would guess why he suddenly erased everything related to this issue on his facebook and made it private access only. And also put his twitter account on private mode and changed his “status”?! Obviously, he has read this post, and he will just have to wait to get communications directly from our lawyers. This won’t go away by wishing it disappears in an internet nanosecond. When I write posts like this one above, I am very serious about pursuing the issues based on principle.

  100. this is really an interesting post MM, social media responsibility to raise up..i for sure will keep logging in…i must have fallen in deep slumber for a hundred years about recipes being patented…hmmm

  101. Any updates on this brat MM?
    I think a public apology to MM is due.
    If he was a real GENIUS, he should’ve known better than to go against MM. :)

  102. LOL! In this country, every other new thing becomes original when the real thing is just next door: sari-sari store mentality. My mom also cooks something exactly like it, roasts it in the oven and calls it boneless lechon liempo, a recipe she copied from a cookbook……hehehehe….Hey, 18 year old genius, sue her too!! As for his posts being pulled out hastily, I guess his dad is now spanking his genius behind….

  103. Wow. Just wow. This kid doesn’t know who he’s meddling with. Is this he? xxxxx (address deleted) Yes, he has a facebook account and it has since been put on private mode- MM

  104. Wow! This is really a very interesting post. I had to read it two times to digest everything :)
    A real eye opener on social media resposibility. I have a question. Let’s say some of his friends clicked “like” on his facebook wall regarding this or some even left comments supporting his claim, can they also be charged with libel or something? Thanks!

  105. Elit, actually, on the screen shots taken, two people had already clicked the “like” button. I am not a lawyer, but I don’t think they would be liable for “liking” it. But possibly liable for actively spreading the news if it were libelous… If they left specific comments bolstering the claim, and they were false or fabricated, personally, yes, I would look into including them in any legal action, if deemed appropriate by the lawyers…

  106. i’m so amused by his claim of being the first to come up with the boneless liempo. we’ve been replicating marketman’s recipe of zubuliempo way before they even started in august 2011. we’ve had it on my birthday on may 2010! im soo interested to see how this story develops.

  107. @MM’s reply to Elit (post #133) >>>WOOOOOOOOOOOO! scary! so kids, you know what not to do next time! :)

  108. Keep us updated if you don’t mind! I’ve been checking this same blog post everyday, even more exciting than the news haha.

    Anyway, I still hope that you would go through with the legal actions, just to teach that kid a lesson. When I turned 18, there was really a conscious effort on my part to be extra careful knowing that I would now be liable to the fullest extent of the law. How I hope he thought of that first, and not let his 17 years of juvenile experience take hold of his entry to adulthood.

  109. btw, his twitter is now “unprotected” again. There has been no mentions of this incident whatsoever, nor any indications or insinuations on his tweets (i think), but the mere fact that he “protected” it a few days back, and hid his facebook, looks like a scared kid trying to look tough.

  110. Elit! Revision to my earlier answer. Our office staff managed to get screenshots of facebook comments of readers of his blog, so they clearly indicate their names and their comments (including expletives)! This is a good find! As they could somehow be included or at least be asked to explain their comments… Also screenshots of other material by the same author on google that is potentially damaging to Zubuchon, so other grounds to be considered. It’s hard to totally erase a mess like this, and with screenshots preserved, that’s the evidence.

    An update to all. Just got back from a meeting with our lawyers this afternoon and I while I shouldn’t/can’t say what was discussed, the issue is being actively pursued. It will take time, but I trust that those in the right will prevail in the long run. And just to confirm, libel is a criminal offense. CRIMINAL.

  111. This is more exciting than watching a boxing match or a suspense/horror movie! The kid in question must have soiled his underwear 100 times over upon reading the post and the comments. Poor kid… O_o

  112. Thanks MM for sharing this with us. It made me more aware that facebook is no place to joke around because people do take Facebook seriously. Big companies have set up facebook accounts and even hire people just to handle their Facebook accounts as well as follow other FB accounts of their interest. Can his libelous act in FB be also considered as cyber bullying?

  113. OA sad ka MM oi hehe. He’s just acting like a normal arrogant 18 year old who thinks he knows everything. He’ll find out soon enough that his “original” boneless lechon is not so original after all. His own father would’ve told him that. ;) No need to make a mountain out of a molehill. (First time commenter, but I have approved the comment, so that I can respond to it. – MM)

  114. Ellen, you are entitled to your opinion, of course. However, I hope you don’t have a teenager or young adult in your household that engages in libelous behavior and that you would so blithely dismiss it as being simply another “molehill” and/or typical and normal behavior… We have an active internet savvy teenager, soon to be adult, in our own household. And I know that if she had ever gotten/or ever gets into a similar pickle, or simply acted irresponsibly or illegally, that we would have an immediate, lengthy, serious and intelligent discussion regarding the issues at hand. Given your position on the issue of libel, one wonders if you would find stealing, physical assault or even “just” plagiarism to be wrong. I certainly think they are all wrong, but that is my personal opinion.

    Unfortunately or fortunately, libel is still a criminal offense in this country. It has been de-criminalized in many western states. What that means is that if one is convicted of libel, in a criminal sense, then there are potential repercussions. Universities and graduate school applications often ask if you have been convicted of a crime and what kind of crime… Most job applications ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime. Applications for many visas to countries around the world often ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime, etc. You would have to tick the “YES” box if you were to be completely honest. And if you ticked the “NO” box and lied, it could theoretically be a basis for the future disqualification or withdrawal of a degree, a job or even one’s visa. Personally, I think that’s pretty serious. Is that right or wrong? I’m sure you and everyone else has their opinion. But for the moment, it is the LAW that libel is a criminal offense.

    As for the “boneless lechon” I don’t think the young man has ever claimed to have invented it (just that his family owned it or invented it), in fact from what I gather from internet sources, it may have been his father who conceptualized it. If that was the case, then the father would be telling himself that it wasn’t so original after all, following your logic in the comment above. :)

    Finally, this was a totally unprovoked attack from the author. I had never once mentioned their product or company on my blog or that of Zubuchon’s facebook or other media in ANY WAY. And I already laboriously proved above that I had made a very similar product for at LEAST 3 years prior to when they claim to have “conceptualized” it. So what possible justification would warrant such an attack? Normal young adult hormones?!? Give us all a serious break. :)

  115. I hope by this time, the 18 year-old genius has taken into heart the lessons he’d learned from this incident. Lesson for me? I’ll try my best to raise my son with a high EQ so he’ll not be like this young man. This blog entry has been very inspirational for me. Thanks MM.

  116. The kid’s grounded. Until September. That’s what he said on his twitter account.

    I’m sorry MM for constantly posting “updates” regarding the kid. I just check on his unprotected twitter account every now and then to see if he exhibits at least a kind of remorse for what he’s done. So far, I haven’t seen any yet.

  117. Marketman,

    I am with you all the way. You have the right to protect your reputation you have worked so hard to build up. You have earned it/paid your dues and even shared your success with us.

    Anyone who claims otherwise does not know the value of having a good name/reputation. Those that aim to destroy your reputation or belittle the value of a good reputation have none reputation to speak of.

    id like to leave a quote from Robert Greene
    ” So much depends on Reputation -Guard it with your life” -48 laws of Power

  118. This was an interesting and educational post! Just had a mild headache after reading his English :) Please keep us posted MM.

  119. To: Ellen
    Do you think this is a big joke? Well, think again.
    “OA Sad” – where did you get that? Makapag comment lang?! (Hay buhay!)
    I truly believe, there’s a real-life lesson here.

  120. @MM — “And just to confirm, libel is a criminal offense. CRIMINAL.”

    Wow. Libel is usually treated as a civil matter in the U.S., but i guess not in the Philippines. So, doesn’t ‘boy genius’ need to get arrested and convicted first before you can file a (i assume civil) complaint against him? Just curious.

  121. muzzy, if I am to understand Philippine laws regarding libel correctly, the criminal and civil cases go together, and are tried together…

  122. I always copy recipes off the web (Marketman’s Chili crabs and Paula Deen’s cinnamon rolls for instance) and i get rave reviews from office mates and neighbors – I’m sooo gonna keep my eyes on this post to see what will happen and to check if what I’m doing is a criminal offense too. :)

  123. It appears that ‘genius’ got what he wanted…chaos, mayhem or whatever. In my opinion, the Fishpan is too good for him. It would only serve to dignify the hubris of his statements. Always remember the Golden Rule.

  124. hmm whatever, is all i can say. no one is original in the first place, whatever food or dish we have is probably copied from somewhere- probably from the italians, french, spain. its really no big deal for me, i just want to enjoy the food. whatever it is – for me the best suckling pig i ever tasted was at ABC Kitchen here in NY. the skin is just so divine.

  125. Hey Y’ALL….. Check out Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly’s facebook account.

    They posted a 10,000 peso challenge to anybody who can produce a genuine picture of any Boneless Lechon Belly sold anywhere showing the Brand who sold it other than theres prior to February 25, 2012

    here’s the post:
    CEBU’S ORIGINAL LECHON BELLY (the Boneless Lechon)
    7 hours ago.We’ve heard some challenging news today about our product, the Boneless Lechon.
    People, most probably, not from Cebu are claiming and saying that Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly WAS NOT and IS NOT the First to introduce the Boneless Lechon Belly in the Food Market especially here in Cebu City.
    So if it is true that we were not the First, then who did?
    We feel challenged! and We also would like to se…e who the ????
    is behind the curtains.
    So to Clear this Issue once and for all, We will give an amount of 10,000 pesos to anybody who can produce a genuine picture of any Boneless Lechon Belly sold in wherever store/restaurant/stall/pongko-pongko stand showing the Brand who sold it other than Ours which was introduced and launched on February 25, 2012 @ the North Bus Terminal here in Cebu City.
    Remember! Only Boneless Lechon Belly pictures that looks like our product will be entertained.
    And Please! NO, NO, NO LIEMPO pictures!
    So the Challenge begins NOW!
    Search for it!
    It is for 10 BIG ONES.
    GOOD LUCK to All!See More

  126. Hindi kasi tayo sanay sa rule of law.
    The law maybe ugly, but it is the law.
    Think of canning in Singapore, or whipping in Arab states.
    Some may think it is absurd, but it is the law.
    As long as Filipino citizen ka, you are under the Philippine Law.
    Like it or not.

  127. Artisan, HAHAHA! And what is liempo if not pork belly? Ridiculous. If I renamed “water” and called it “BABARACHA”, would that give me rights against anyone who called it “water”? Hahaha. It doesn’t merit more than a guffaw. :)

  128. Anna, hahaha, good on you for catching that. I did link to Noemi’s post in the main text up top. And yes, she even describes it as Zubuliempo, and continues with “pork belly done Zubuchon style” so it hits all the buttons. I wonder what would happen if Noemi tries to claim the prize and they refuse… :) The photo is now not available, either viewed too many times or Noemi has taken it down. :)

  129. Lee, if you are out there, I know you took a series of photos of our rolled liempo or pork belly, taken June 2011, cooking over the coals as well, and you posted them on your blog but without wording. Who knows, you could claim the PHP10,000 as well, and use it to eat a whole week of Zubumeals… :) What a silly challenge. Even sillier that one specifies only boneless pork belly and “not liempo”… as if the two aren’t one and the same thing. :This is getting more amusing than anything else. :)

  130. So, I was curious….
    Then, I checked Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly FB account – Nahilo ako sa rules ng contest na yan ha!
    Yay! for “Vince”

    MM, you are so correct re Liempo and Pork Belly!

  131. They’re having an interesting exchange there in the COLB facebook page on that post where they offer P10K… I think someone’s already tried to claim it… I wonder if they’ll really fork over the money?

  132. @artisan: yes, I agree… they probably never intended to pay-up in the first place

  133. @besYS….ano???!!! He’s challenge was for anywhere

    “We will give an amount of 10,000 pesos to anybody who can produce a genuine picture of any Boneless Lechon Belly sold in wherever….. ”

    It’s a good thing I copied his challenge here in toto. We have proof.

  134. To those who think MM is OA:
    If i called you a LIAR, “not so smart” and a copycat on YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE, are you going to be okay with it??? If I do not apologize to you and continue to make disparaging remarks that could ruin the image of your business, will you not sue me???

  135. I went to their Facebook page. A rolled pork belly with a pen can write better than the contest owner.

  136. …and the plot thickens… Can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next…

    Pics on Noemi’s blog about zubuchon look oh so mouthwatering… Makes me want to hop on to cebu(:

    I wonder if this “smart” kid has consulted an adult about his actions.

    As a parent, this post made me think/re-think about how i’d raise my child, specially with the internet being so accessible now. It’s sad that some use these abusively

  137. OMG with the pathetic attempt to challenge you. Haha, I can’t say the word pathetic enough.


    Sue the B*#$%@! haha, for the future of the INTELLECTUAL human race, sue them MM.

  138. My first reaction, after seeing the title and not knowing the story yet, was, “Ooooweeee…whoever you are and whatever you did, you are NOT gonna know what hit you!” Then, while reading the post, I recalled the line made famous decades ago by Tootie in the TV show “Facts of Life”: “You are in troooouuuble!!!” (Yeah, I’ve just dated myself, but I hope enough readers can relate.)

    Please do keep us posted on this, MM, as it’s a very interesting case. Like you, I don’t think one can patent a recipe, no matter how original it is. (And this, without question, is NOT.) One example comes to mind. I won’t name names, because I don’t want to invite trouble. Many years ago, a chef in Pampanga invented a product (I’ve heard him tell the story of how he and his wife came up with it), which eventually became so famous that people would drive all the way from Manila for it. Some time after, a small restaurant in Makati started serving the same thing, but changed the name. The original Pampanga restaurant’s owners mentioned to me that they were considering suing them, but I don’t know what happened to that; I presume nothing did, precisely because I don’t think recipes can be patented. Then, a very popular delivery chain began offering their own version of the product, again with a different (and catchy) name, and it was a big hit. People from Manila who had never heard of the original product from Pampanga assumed it was the chain’s own innovation. Not long after, other restaurants here started serving it, and they would even use the original product name, without any repercussions. I actually felt bad for the chef, because all these people were making money from his invention — probably even more than he did, himself, since he was all the way in Pampanga. But I guess this is a case where one just has to say, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” I’m happy for that chef now, though, because he has finally opened a restaurant in Manila (HOORAY for fans of his cooking, like me!), so that we can enjoy the original (and, for many, still the best) version of this dish, without having to go to Pampanga. From what I see and hear, his Manila resto has been doing exceedingly well, and more and more people now recognize him as that dish’s creator. So in the end, karma did its job. I hope you’ll achieve a similarly happy result. :-)

  139. So where did C’s open their restaurant in manila.
    Id love to try their Original Panizza again!

  140. Some of the pics mentioned above don’t qualify for the prize because the contest stipulates “a genuine picture of any Boneless Lechon Belly sold in wherever store/restaurant/stall/pongko-pongko stand ***showing the Brand*** who sold it other than Ours” (asterisks are mine)

    I could be wrong, but I assumed that meant the brand/restaurant had to be included in the photo with the boneless lechon belly.

    They’re clearly running scared, and are trying to do whatever they can to “prove” that they were the first despite all the background info you (MM) offered. It seems that the “18-year old genius” came by his “genius” naturally. (assuming “genius” really means “hubris”)

    You know, it would not at all surprise me if the owner got his idea for boneless lechon belly from your earlier posts.

  141. The nerve! –> All I can say after skimming their page. Made me cross, on a beautiful Sunday morning. :(

  142. I hope MM will sue them to teach them a lesson they’ll never forget. Their posts and comments show how ignorant they are and yet arrogant beyond belief. Can’t help thinking no wonder that kid turned out that way.

  143. I posted on their website the link to Noemi’s blog showing photos of the zubuchon’s liempo which looked just like their product and proved they were not the first to sell the product in Cebu. They deleted the post after a few minutes. The funny thing is that all over their facebook page it states that they will pay anybody P10,000 if they could provide they were not the original seller of boneless lechon, but they delete all the posts that proves they are wrong. MM, this is getting ridiculous go ahead and sue them, such deceitfulness and arrogance is so irritating.

  144. Hi MM! I’m a huge fan! I’ve been following your posts for a few weeks now and have waited curiously to know what your reply would be to the kids’ outburst. I salute you! I have read his post on the day that he posted it. I was just floored by his intentions to “cause mayhem.” I was shocked that an 18 year old kid would publicly write something like that, without any thought of consequence on his part. His post could possibly and easily put a dent, or maybe even a huge damage, to their business reputation and family name.

    I salute you because you have showed us what a true and professional businessman is like and should be like! There are a lot of competitors out there, but you have kept your cool and focused on your ever growing business. While the other party has chosen to insult and lash out publicly with the intention of ruining your reputation. But, in my opinion and in the eyes of your supporters and readers, they’ve just ruined theirs! It seems they are the ones who are scared of the competition or scared of you, MM!

    I have experienced something like this in the past. But i did not do anything about it because of the mere fact that I am just a nobody without the means and knowlegde to fight. Knowing that you’ve chosen to fight and protect your name, is a great inspiration to us all! What’s even more inspiring is that you have chosen to fight in a more dignified and professional manner. This just shows us what a true professional you are! More power to you, MM!

  145. I tried to search for this Vince Gochan on facebook but couldn’t find him. Could be that he got a taste of his own medicine? Kids, tsk don’t know what they drag themselves into, until it’s too late. Seriously, can a food be patented? Enlighten me MM, because certainly I’m confused right now! He probably is mad because your recipe topped theirs. If they believe they are right, why is the blog/link nowhere to be found now?

  146. sandzokawa, to my knowledge a recipe cannot be patented. A “brand name” can be registered, but even then, it can’t be too generic either. ann, thanks for that. KP, folks in our office noticed that too… hahaha, why post a contest and delete legitimate responses from readers? And I don’t get their logic. Either the product was similar or not. Either copied or not. As for the name, what’s the big deal? Imagine how many kinds of fried rice there are in the world? Or lechon kawali versions? Adobong kangkong? Absurd… Katrina, me too, email me resto details, I would love to try it someday! :)

  147. As has been pointed out before, the DTI has nothing to do with patents. You go to them to register a business name, and if it’s not in use by any other establishment then you’re good to go.

    Having said that, the DTI does regulate promos/contests/sales, etc, and you have to have a permit from them to engage in such. Now, does COLB have the necessary DTI permit for their 10K photo contest? If not, it is clearly in violation of the law!

  148. I am happy to promote a restaurant that I enjoy. My Kitchen by Chef Chris (there are many reviews online by respected reviewers like Clinton Palanca and JJ Yulo; they also have a Fb page) is in Oasis Hotel in Paco, near Paco Park. It’s a big space, but it’s best to reserve, as it does get full. It’s a bit tricky to find, but if you go on a non-peak day and time, then it’s not far and it’s pretty easy to ask around for directions, since most people know where the hotel and, of course, the church, are. The ambiance doesn’t quite match the price range (quite high, for the area), but I can ignore that for my favorite Kristina panizza, deliciously rich ox tongue with parmesan polenta, housemade sausages, and their pastry chef’s Lemon Lime Cheesecake. Plus, the service is better than the average local resto — the servers are quick, efficient, and pleasant. The wait for his food to get to Manila was worth it!

  149. Sana they used the P10,000 instead to make amends with you through your school feeding program na lang.

  150. ami, I wonder if they have any real intentions of awarding the PHP10,000… there were a couple of good entries, one of a similar product, and even named boneless lechon belly from 2009, but they deleted the comments/entries and the link to photos… and it had nothing to do with anything I have made… another independent attempt at rolled belly, 2.5 years before theirs… At one point, there were 38 comments going back and forth, and the owners of the site simply deleted all of them that were not in favor of theirs being the first… you gotta wonder about the reasons for those deletions… and warning that folks would be banned from their page. Thankfully, some folks again got screen shots and those may come back to bite them in the rear… figuratively speaking of course… Truth has a way of making itself obvious. :)

  151. I took some screenshots too. Challenge my a##! Kung kaya talaga nila panindigan ang sinasabi nila they could have simply left those entries and comments visible and let the readers decide. Can’t believe that people like them really do exist in real life.

  152. It’s becoming a pattern with this sonny boy – lots of bluster, initially, followed by disappearances.

  153. I seriously feel bad for this guy’s family, especially his parents. It looks like they might have a sociopath on their hands. If he doesn’t learn his lesson from this, I wonder what his future will be like?

  154. @Katrina–don’t you think, judging by the stuff happening on their FB page, that the parents actually support him to some degree? While they, personally, might not be the ones posting the challenge, etc., they can’t *not* know about it. And if they were truly aghast at their son’s behaviour, they surely would not be letting others continue with the idiocy he started.

    From what I’ve seen, they’re not sorry at all about what happened–only that they got caught. As sorry as I felt for them at first, I now say, “Go MM, go! I hope you kick their collective butts!” (and perhaps you should lechon-ize them, first. . . )

  155. Rona Y, Katrina, etc. — actually, I didn’t think it was the same person posting the challenge on the company facebook page… I would have guessed they were elder folk with equally appalling language facility.

  156. No, not the same person posting, but a relative (possibly the owner, himself, but I think the owner’s wife or sister?). The “creator” of boneless lechon belly (same surname as the genius 18-year old, whom I assume the 18-year old’s father) also has a FB account, but a woman with the same surname is also listed as “owner/operator”. I suspect it is she who is continuing the challenge and making the subsequent FB posts.

    I’m pretty sure the “genius 18-year old”‘s parents support what’s going on, and they’re even perpetuating it. Like they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

  157. I myself think the reason they post that challenge is to get to the truth kung tutuo nga ng merong other people who introduced the dish which they are claiming they are the 1st. HIndi nga sila nag-research nuon, so ngayon they are using the contest as a tool for “pre-research”. Hahaha, libreng investigation.

  158. I’m writing this in an attempt to cause mayhem

    I feel bad for his family :(

    By the way, no one really cares about who made the “FIRST….!!!!!” it all boils down to who made the “BEST”

  159. Did anybody see this comment on their FB? LOL… they must be relatives or something… can someone please tell me when DTI and BIR became the government agency to issue patents? :P

    Gail Castro:
    I won’t be wasting my time searching an article that never existed! And so I decided to speak on your behalf and to inform the people as well. I’ve never heard of such a “boneless lechon” not until Cebu Original Lechon Belly sat on its throne. Competitors may claim had been the first but you had me a hello. FYI: Cebu original lechon belly (the boneless lechon) came up with the idea and tested it for years before t finally was out in the market. Rewarding itself from the effort made the best out of it opts it out to be patented. To infringe a patent violates the law. My gosh, please terms common in business please… 1> breach of contract >> know this please before applying marketing strategies. DTI/BIR in the first place would not allow giving the right to patent if there was an existing nature of business came ahead of “Cebu Original Lechon Belly (the boneless lechon)”.
    Why such a comment: over a week ago I was one of the many who fall in line at one of your outlets when people obviously spying caused the delay of serving us. That was really super “hasol”! Dili jud lalim mo Linya of might just be feeling really bad bec I am arthritic. I’m sorry to the other party who sends spies, let me remind you that by the time we register our businesses it is emphasized TO SERVE, AND NOT FOR PERSONAL INTEREST that somehow may lead to “FRAUDULENT CLAIMING ACTS”. Sunday at 12:39pm via mobile

  160. cats, hahaha, THAT comment and it’s content is its WORST ENEMY. Logic or obvious lack of it, diction, phrasing, disorganization… yipes. And I am not a fan of English as a subject, either. Yipes and double yipes. :) And of course they left that up on their page but deleted 30+ others that weren’t in “their favor”… tsk, tsk. Why didn’t she just write it in fluent Filipino or Cebuano instead?

  161. MM, I have been out of the loop for so long, dropped in, and GADZOOKS! What on earth has been going on here? It used to be that the idle mind was referred to as the playground of the devil. Now it is the Internet.

    At any rate, I was thinking of my baking teacher, who said that you should create your product the best way you can, with the best ingredients you have, and let it speak of your person and the business you want to establish. It’s the best definition of business integrity.

    And whatever happened to healthy competition?

  162. crabbychef, no kidding. I absolutely have nothing against lots of competitors offering the same product, but do get annoyed when one of them has the gall to accuse me of copying and lying when it seems pretty clear we had a similar product LONG before they ever sold it. Actually, we are just focusing on the libel issue, not the product issues at this stage.

  163. Honestly, I try hard not to insult other people’s English. (It’s a Pinoy thing; we love to laugh at Filipinos who can’t speak English well, but we don’t make fun of, say, Italians or French — we’re even charmed by their accent.) But this is one occasion when I just can’t help it. Gail Castro, “you had me a hello.” :-D

  164. L.O.L … good thing hindi ko pa naka-kain ang breakfast ko dito sa work (Sunny-side egg) kung hindi eh sus, pagkatapos kong basahin ang post ni Cats eh baka bumalik paitaas ang kinain ko.!

  165. Their subsequent actions (the contest, this girl, Gail’s comment) were so much worse than the kid’s initial reckless posts. These give me a very bad impression of the company’s owners and managers. The kid may claim ignorance and stupidity for posting his libelous comments but I would think that the management would know better and would now carefully review all other statements that they release thru their fb account or anywhere else. What a big turn off. I’m starting to agree with the others who think that they may just be doing all these to gain publicity. Perhaps they’re hoping people will now flock to their store to compare their product with Zubuchon’s version. Let’s just not visit their FB site anymore, it’s a waste of time since they don’t seem to have learned anything and have remained arrogant. I hope MM pursues and wins his legal case against them. Go get ’em, MM! All these is just making me crave more for your Zubuchon!

  166. Periwinkle, thanks for your comment and vote of confidence… :) Rest assured, the wheels of justice may be slow, but they are in progress as I write this…

  167. Yes Rona Y(# 48), the kid scurried like a rat.

    10,000 challenge? Anyone enrolled in an advance culinary course knows how to debone and ballotine a pork belly. It’s not some mystical technique that can be patented.
    Why are they aiming to be the “first” instead of the “best”? Masarap ba naman yang Cebu Original? Pasado ba kay Bourdain, o kahit kay Guy Fieri man lang (hihi, joke). It’s not who did it first, it’s who did it better.

  168. Fyi, judging from a recent post on their fb page, the contest is now over. Well THAT was short-lived. One would almost think they never had any intention of giving away ten grand, much less admitting non-originality…

    Godspeed on the case Mr. MM! It’s time somebody stood up for plain ol’ GMRC in this country. Do keep us posted. :)

  169. “Genius” bagets won’t know what hit him. Haay, hubris will really be the undoing of many. All the best, Marketman!

  170. I think the “contest” was their insistence and justification to keep the word “original” in their company name, isn’t it? I mean, if there was no proof something similar was sold to market prior to the establishment of their company, then they are the “original” ones. Where they fail is the fact that “first to market” does not equate “original”.

  171. I’ve been away far too long! This goes beyond being a “Fishpan” moment – ibang level na ‘to!

  172. Hey MM!

    Don’t let this moron teenager bother you, obviously he is lacking quite a bit of education!

    Boneless lechon is nothing new, my lola & lolo used to make it every christmas in germany when I was a kid, that was 60+ years ago. I have also made it at times at my restaurant/bar in the Seattle, Washington area about 20 years ago.

    So this kid’s claim is preposterous, but the norm for the Phils. If something works, the rest will jump on the bandwagen and claim it as it’s own! They are NO competition, so best thing is to ignore them, that will piss them off more than playing THEIR stupidit game.

    Btw, you are on my favorite list on my pc and I check every day if you have something new. I’ll be in Mactan next year, asawa ko and my little brat Ecel live in Cordova, so expect us at your restaurant to get some fine food, ingat ka!

  173. what a brat!! MM you should teach this milk drinker a lesson….this man is a joke…a wannabe.
    All zubuchon lovers unite!!!!!

  174. Hi Marketman,

    Just want to get your opinion on a scenario: let’s say a very famous chef from lala-land re-invents a classic recipe, put his spin on it and gave it a much refreshed, modern look, made different permutations of its designs and flavors. Nobody in his land dared to do what he did because it was his concept, his “signature.” Any serious lala-land chef knows he would come off as an imitator & opted to make the dish in their own design or in its classic, generic look.

    But along came another chef from lili-land who took the foreign chef’s concept and began selling the product with the same “look”, slightly different decorations and flavors in his homeland. To quote Inquirer writer, A. Vergara: “When does inspiration end and knocking-off begins?” – especially when it comes to food?

  175. Sara, that is a pretty straightforward thing for me. First of all, I believe it is generally accepted norm that recipes CANNOT be copyrighted. However, the prose surrounding a recipe written in a book, cookbook, blog, etc. CAN BE COPYRIGHTED. I think the argument is that it’s difficult to ascribe as truly ORIGINAL any concoction. And that’s why many things are branded and the brand name is registered/copyrighted. So in a sense, if you could isolate all of the ingredients in Coke and their relative volumes, you could offer a very similar product, if not identical, but you couldn’t call it Coke.

    It’s also generally accepted in editorial/publisher/related circles that changing three major ingredients or methods or steps does make a recipe different enough not to be an exact copy… HOWEVER it is norm and good practice to mention the inspiration in the header to the recipe or in the bibliography. It’s not necessary, but viewed to be proper and in good taste.

    So the issue with respect to food is not as straightforward as it might be in the sense of plagiarism or stealing other types of intellectual property rights like a patented invention. In the issue raised in the post above, a competitor or someone related to a competitor specifically claims Zubuchon “copied” their “original” product. It was my position that they were neither original in the type of product, the way it was made, the name, etc. AND we couldn’t have “copied” them as we actualy had such a product or similar one on offer in Cebu months before they sold theirs.

    But back to the recipe issue you raise. Creme brulee is a classic dish that appears in thousands of restaurants today. In its most modern reincarnation, the dish is attribbuted to Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque fame, who put it on his menu in the late 1970’s or was it early 1980’s and wowed his clients. He clearly acknowledges his inspiration was a spanish dessert or such that he tasted while on a holiday to Spain. He made his version and called it creme brulee. But the history books go further back, and a dessert by that name antidates him by say another 100 years or so… the point is, he never claimed for it to be his and only his invention. He took from another dish, he openly acknowledged it, and he never lay claim to owning the recipe and not allowing others to use it. Instead, creme brulee went on to become one of the most popular desserts in the succeeding decades.

    Personally, I find it appalling when people think they “own” a recipe. However, I absolutely DO RESPECT the concept of copyright as it applies to say cookbooks…

    Naming where the inspiration comes from, or simple attribution, is so incredibly easy to do. My point is, why not just do that so that there is no doubt how you arrived at the recipe?

  176. Hi sir, any update on this? It came to mind when i saw ms. Lori’s recent post about a meal she had at their place…

  177. Gigige, unfortunately, I am in the middle of litigation on this one, and cannot discuss it publicly, I trust you will understand. Suffice it to say that I pursue my legal rights when I think the issue at hand is important enough to take the trouble to do so… :)

  178. Well as a customer, i dont really care what is happening between this 2 food companies, what i care about is the food or the product itself, I’ve been out of the country for more than 2 yrs when i came back i went first to Zubuchon then just last friday & today we went to Cebus original pork belly in parkmall, but sorry to tell you that the latter tasted delicious and the service is good also, but to a lighter side eating too much pork is dangerous to our health , so just take it easy people :-)

  179. Hi MM. They just opened a branch in Savemore of Festival SuperMall in Alabang last week. I haven’t tried it yet. Sana ZubuChon na lang.

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