Thank you Tony, again…

“I had really fond memories of the last time I had lechon in the Philippines. In fact, not to kiss your ass, but it is the finest pig I’ve ever had.”

Anthony Bourdain, 2016
Parts Unknown Episode in Manila

“Best Pig, Ever!”

Anthony Bourdain, 2008
No Reservations, Philippines

I haven’t seen the latest CNN Parts Unknown episode yet, but at least two dozen readers from around the globe have sent me this quote above… Obviously the crew and I remain tickled pink. You’d think over 8 years time passing through dozens of wonderful locations, some other succulent, alluring and tasty version of porcine delight would have caught Mr. Bourdain’s attention. Apparently not. Thanks Tony, again… :)


18 Responses

  1. Btw the specific quote on lechon happens at the 10:17 mark on the video link I posted above.

  2. I strongly recommend to all to watch Bourdain’s episode on the Phil. It is very touching, specially the story of the nanny of Bourdain’s director and the letter he wrote. It came at a very high price, that of leaving her own children to take care of others’.

    It’s impossible not to get teary eyed.

  3. Congratulations once again, MM and team. Indeed, keeping the crown for that long is just wow! Here’s to a few more decades..:)

  4. ami, thanks, I just watched the whole episode. It was a powerful, poignant, accurate and true depiction of a people and nation that just deserve so much more from our own government and ourselves. If only we were led by competent, honest, understanding and capable leaders for decade after decade, maybe then the story would have a better ending in 30 years time. Thanks for the link. It’s definitely more food for thought than food, and it is just so appropriate to our current condition.

  5. This just says it all. ” We tried to do right by people who’ve been very, very good to us. ” A.B.

    Thanks Ami for the links.

  6. Congratulations MM! You really made an impression on A.B.— ” best pig ever!”

  7. Before Tony’s new episode aired, I reviewed all your post about the momentous prep 8 yrs ago. I was transported back and had a great time reminiscing. So much fun!

  8. Conspicuous was the absence in AB’s observations on Filipino regard for others is the obligatory post party pa-uwê, the care package of left overs from the invariably over-provisioned feasts. Drove to Toronto two weeks ago for a bday lunch and am still living off the care package of roast beef, chicken teriyaki (tira-yaki, I calls ‘em) and a whole roasted chicken. The roast beef has turned itself into ropa vieja through repeated reheating and the chickens would have come back to roost if I had not recycled them first with black mushrooms and banana blossom and then finally, with broccoli.

  9. Congrats for the well deserved accolades! Having had the pleasure of eating Zubuchon on 2 occasions and meeting MM himself on the 2nd outing, I can honestly say that the TB’s comments are spot on. Zubudagat is well worth the visit!


  10. “I hope the overseas Filipinos and our fans in the Philippines like this episode more than they liked the last one on our other show.”

    And with that line for the teaser, Tony set the tone for an episode that seemed to be designed to please Filipinos , ultimately comprising its integrity.

    Wit, unique perspectives, and brutal honesty are what set him apart from everyone else back in the day and other than the sequence on violence in journalism, he played things very safe, over-flattered everything he saw , and re-told stereotypes about our national obsession with singing and Christmas etc . Even when he dissed jollibee spaghetti, which he obviously was disgusted by, as one would expect if they have been following his opinions for two decades, he quickly back-tracked into humor.

    On to the OFW story. They focused on the “heroic” perspective and nailed it, probably better than it’s ever been told on screen. But they ignored all other angles , trading a few more tears for a more nuanced understanding of a complicated phenomenon. Yes it was deep. Yes it tugged on the heartstrings. It was just far too orchestrated.

    ” Why do filipinos care so much?”
    “I imagine this time around there will be tears. At least I hope so.”

    Say it isn’t so Tony. It was as if they were aiming again for “teleseyres levels” of emotions, and that goes back to my contention that the episode was ultimately, an exercise in pandering. To whom? To us.

    That’s why I don’t blame people for liking the episode. How can a famous someone give you a compliment or a gift and you turn around and reject it?

    Answer: Only when you don’t really deserve it is or when you feel a little patronized by it, as I did. ( and I still consider myself a big Bourdain fan)

    I know that sounds far too critical and serious, it’s just tv, right? But that’s how it came off to me and just about any viewer I know who has no affiliation with the RP. It was panned universally, and they wished , like me, for the younger Tony– who gave it to you straight, made you think, and yes, sometimes made you cry…without really trying so hard.

  11. After consuming copious amounts of Zubuchon in 2 days in Cebu City, I agree it’s the best pig ever! ;)

    Congratulations, MM and crew. Well-deserved.

    I may or may have shed a few tears during the episode. Sorry, not sorry.

  12. graham, I agree with several of your points. But I think they had an audience in mind, and the story hit them exactly where they (CNN/Bourdain) wanted it to. Mr. Bourdain happens to have a beloved Filipino nanny for his daughter (for the past 8-10 years I think as he mentioned her the first time I met him…) and so the story of OFW’s is close to his home/heart, and perhaps part of the reason for the tenor of the story. There will always be criticism of the way it was done, but honestly, I saw more of the positive in it than the negative… and that’s not just because we have a mutual fan club going on…

    He was scheduled to visit an “island” which I think was Batanes at the time, but the storm dramatically changed the schedule, hence the whole program I suspect. He also went to several other places and homes in Manila, that were edited out to keep this story in one direction I suspect. For programs like this, they film 100-200 hours of footage and it’s all down to the editing and final story line for a 30-40 minute program.

    For the NR episode on the Philippines years ago, they filmed over 20+ hours worth in our garden/lechonan alone and it was whittled down to 3+ minutes. So you can imagine how much of the story is inevitably left out…

  13. Anthony Bourdain asks: “Why are Filipinos so damn caring?”. It’s our mothers Tony, who taught us how to love, how to care, of sacrifice , fortitude, perseverance, etc. etc.
    Honoring and celebrating all mothers today , Mother’s Day.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you all!

    Anthony Bourdain’s Manila Episode Of “Parts Unknown” Will Make You Feel Things
    “Filipinos give—of themselves, of their time their money, their love—to others.”




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