World Cafe Asia – Manila (Monday 23 March 2009)?!?

Confusement. An amusing “word” that one of my daughter’s classmates used around about the second grade. It made me smile at the time. “Befuddled” would be my choice at the moment. How the producers of World Cafe Asia (WCA) can spend a substantial sum mobilizing and shooting an episode here with Bobby Chinn, the host, and some 4-6 crew (cameramen, producers, director, etc.) and be so vague about the dates it will air, is rather befuddling. Last September, I was contacted by WCA producers to assist with a Manila episode. Initially they said the filming date would be in January 2009. Then suddenly the date was moved up two months, and with less than 2 weeks notice, I had to meet with the producers and director and we mutually agreed to do a market tour and a halo-halo buffet at our home. Then we shot the scenes for about 3 hours on a Saturday morning at the Salcedo Market and another 3 hours later the same day in our Manila home. The sudden “rush” was because the Discovery Travel & Living Channel was going to air the WCA Season II in January 2009. Then for whatever reason, the season start was delayed, to March 2009. Oddly, several MM readers claimed to have SEEN the Manila episode in the wee morning hours in late December (28 or 29), which I was never able to confirm (could it have been a programming mistake?)… Here is an earlier post I did on the filming…

Finally, a few weeks ago, full page PR spreads in both the Inquirer and The Star announced that WCA Season II would start to air on 23 March 2009. But others around the globe have been chiming in. Folks from Scandinavia have already seen the episode. Folks in the Middle East have also described it in detail. And folks in Australia and possibly New Zealand apparently get to see the episode tomorrow, March 20th. Suffice it to say, it is showing everywhere else first it seems rather than in Southeast Asia. Of course that’s none of my business how they schedule their shows. But I still can’t confirm when it is showing HERE in Manila. According to the Discovery Travel & Living online schedule, season II starts on Monday, March 23 at 10 pm. But the on-line schedule lists Malacca as the first show. Then it lists Malacca also as the second show on March 30 at 10 pm. And that’s for Southeast Asia, which the Philippines is technically a part of, but we could be on the China/HK grid, but that schedule is in Chinese characters, which I can’t read. :( WCA’s own homepage is so static it doesn’t even have anything on the new season, bizarre. However, a producer told me on the phone a month ago that it would be on March 23rd, and this blog seems confident that the Manila episode shows on the 23rd. So if you are waiting for it, my best advice is to try tuning in on Monday 23rd March at 10 pm on the Discovery Travel & Living Channel if you are in the Philippines… I have no clue when the episode will play elsewhere in Asia. If it doesn’t show on the 23rd, the next best bet is March 30th. I am not around on the 30th so even I won’t get to see it then. Yes, confusement indeed. :)


32 Responses

  1. I hope someone can upload the episode on youtube again. Don’t have discovery travel and living in our cable. Looking forward to watching the episode.

  2. I think that episode on the champorado and the one in Salcedo Market and your house has been shown already a few weeks ago… maybe January.

  3. Gay, yes, some folks said that, but the official word from WCA is that it is premeiring either Monday 23rd March or a week later… several people said it was shown earlier… how odd is that… :)

  4. Maybe because the viewership is lower in southeast asia. At least for World Cafe Asia… (or not, I wouldn’t know…I’m just being a KIA. hahahaha :P)

    So, we’re not the priority…

    Or they’re just using this stunt to make sure we watch it when it appears on the boob tube. Sort of like, make us crave for it.

    Like the No Reservations ep. Even though I’ve seen it on various video-sharing sites, I know I’m still going to watch when it appears on the tube.

    Oh well…konting hintay na lang. :)

    But it is weird that so many people have seen it already…And nooooooooobody knows when it will exactly air.

    It’s just inconvenient if you miss it. Because you’ve been waiting for it for so long, and then you miss it. Argh…

    Oh well, there’s always a replay. :)

  5. Or maybe they’re trying to reach out first to the far far regions of the world. (well not far far, but you know what I mean..)

    Tutal…who is their target market?

    They go first, last tayo kasi alam na natin anong ipapakita nila. hahahaha :) We don’t need anyone to convince us that travel to this region is essential because of the food. Hahaha! :)

    Ewan ko…I’m speculating because I also want to know the reason. hahahaha

    I’ll just keep my channel tuned to D-Travel&Living.

    Anyway…I don’t want to watch anymore of those depressing news about recession, financial crisis and recent deaths…

  6. i can definitely confirm the episode will air tonight Downunder 9.00pm EDST then a repeat the next morning at 9.00am…

    unfortunately i’ve got an appointment tonight kaya bukas ko pa mapapanood…

  7. the new season WCA will be shown on 23/3/09 at 10 pm here in singapore…they do show some philippine footage, as well as other asian countries, so am not sure if it is the philippine episode. i checked the discovery travel & living website and it says the monday episode is on malacca…

  8. The info on the show says this…

    “Manila: Bobby travels to the capital Manila in this episode to discover a passionate and humorous people, and their love of food. A perfect example of that is Marketman, Manila’s most famous food blogger.”

  9. We just watched Cafe Asia – Philippines here in Melbourne.
    Although it was good and humorous I so wished it showed more of
    what was on offer during the Merienda scene. Bitin eh!

  10. YEY,I watched WCA Manila twice last night since my dh recorded it for me whilst I was out. You looked good MM and your merienda spread was impressive and there was so much to eat.It seemed like BC had so much to eat and he had to do a mini marathon in your lush garden. When the teens started pushing each other in the pool BC says “the sugar has sinked in” and your gorgeous labrador was also running excitedly around the pool and that’s how the show ended. Overall, for me the programme went too fast and too quick. Well done,MM!

  11. It’s on Discovery Travel and Living right now. Bobby Chin is currently enjoying balut as I type this. :)

  12. Hey MM, World Cafe Asia featuring Manila is showing right now in Discovery Travel and Living!Can’t wait to see your merienda spread ☺

  13. im writing from Shanghai – the expats here tap on Philippines’ English/Tagalog programs via their dishes – and i just saw you and Bob cruising down the Salcedo Market on WCA, nice! :)

  14. Bobby Chin can’t get over all that sugar-laden food, hehe. Your dog was there! Woohoo! Yup, I agree with the others that I wish I saw more of the merienda fare and that the whole episode went too fast too soon! I never realized the show was only half an hour long, hehe.

  15. saw the episode last night… left me wanting for more! Bobby had sinigang, balut, champorado and the merienda spread at MM’s house. They even squeezed in a tour of Intramuros. 30 minutes were not enough to feature even just a few of the great dishes we have here. He was funny, saying the merienda [or was it just the halohalo] should be served before a marathon. lol.

    btw, did the Lab jump into the pool too? :-)

  16. Finally, after waiting and waiting and waiting some more, I get to see the new season of World Cafe Asia. It was sort of bitin… the show being only half an hour and focusing only on Manila.

    It’s nice being able to see our country being featured in the Travel & Living Channel… the first one I’ve seen was on Bizarre Foods by Andrew Zimmern. I’ve read in the newspaper that Anthony Bourdain also came to Manila. Although they shot their episode before Bobby Chin, I think it will be shown at a later date… so I guess I’ll have to do another round of waiting and waiting and waiting some more. :)

  17. just finished watching it this afternoon, never thought that champorado and tuyo could turn out to be a visually colorful dish.

    BC never heard of evaporated Milk.

  18. Pansin ko lang – puro si Janice de Belen ang focus noong camera, noong nagshoot sa Cafe Ysabel.

    Ang galing ng audio, hindi marinig iyong dami ng kotse that passes through the street in front of Cafe Ysabel. I should know, I pass in front of that old house almost everyday.

  19. I wanted more Marketman exposure! :P

    It was a good episode. Short and sweet, left me wanting more! I hope that those who saw the episode but aren’t familiar with the Philippines are intrigued enough to get to know our country’s cuisine even more. :)

  20. Hi! Marketman,

    Just saw the World Cafe Asia show today during lunch time. It was really exiting to see our country being featured there. I even learn something new like that fried fish on top of the champorado. didn’t even know that, I normally just eat my champorado with lots of evaporated milk. yum!

  21. Hi! I am so desperate right now that WCA was already shown last March 23. I watch WCA last night hoping Manila is the next city to be featured, but unfortunately, they featured Calcuta. I was in Bangkok last March 23 that’s why I misses it. Is there a way that they can show it again soon?

    Thank you.



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