Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Anyone for Filipino?" in Esquire Magazine UK Edition / Tom Parker Bowles visits the Philippines

Philippine cuisine finally makes it to the pages of Esquire Magazine UK Edition. Several months ago, I was invited by British food editor and writer Tom Parker Bowles to introduce him to the food we have on a regular basis, street food if possible. I didn't realize that he was the stepson of Prince Charles until several weeks after our meeting, while I was on tour in Mexico.

I took him to Market! Market! which to me is one of the closest things we have to a hawker center, featuring the different regional dishes and delicacies of the Philippines. It's fairly obvious that sisig is our bestseller! We then met up with my tokayo Ivan ManDy in Binondo for some Tsinoy food. But it looks like he left this one out of his story save for the balut under the tulay in Quiapo which was his special request.

Of course Claude Tayag never fails to impress! Too bad I had to leave for the U.S. the next day since I would have loved to have another meal at Bale Dutung.

Since Esquire Magazine UK Edition is quite scarce in the Philippines (it's the US Edition you see everywhere), here is the article which introduces Filipino food to readers in the UK. Hopefully Fully Booked still has copies in their other branches if you like to own your own copy.

Update: To those asking about my comment on Mindanao, we had a very long conversation and many of the things I said were shortened for the article.

Context is impression on Manila is affected by negative news from Mindanao (e.g. Abu Sayaff kidnappings or Maguindanao massacre). I told him that the problem is when the international community hears about kidnappings or terrorism in Mindanao, they think it's the entire Philippines. But it happens only in some areas of Mindanao. So while the problems are down south in Mindanao. It's not even the whole island.

There are so many places worth visiting in Mindanao. My personal favorites would be the Agusan Marsh and Lake Sebu. I've even been to Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan as a tourist! Check out my visits to Mindanao here.
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