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.


  1. Louis Pawid23.7.11

    Thank you for incorporating history and culture in your conversations with the author. Every Filipino should help promote our beloved Philippines positively.

  2. Gizelle Khan23.7.11

    Great read...I enjoyed the conversation in the story and how each of the guides did well in explaining about our gastronomic heritage. But 500 then 400 years under Spanish regime is too much...rounding off 333 years is closer to 300 or 350. :D

  3. Yup, nalito yata siya. When I said 400 years of building Manila before its obliteration in WWII, that included the almost 50 years of American rule

  4. Ces Rodriguez23.7.11

    I love love love this story!

  5. Justin Rivera23.7.11

    This is such a good read, but now I'm craving for cebu lechon and sinigang hahaha

  6. What? He didn't like kare-kare? :(

  7. When he was eating the kare-kare and dinuguan, he was enjoying it. Either he was being polite or he bashed kare-kare and dinuguan to make his case for sisig. In fact, he also enjoyed the bopis we had in Binondo but there was no mention of it in the article. There were actually a good number of places he ate at that didn't see print

  8. Charisse Anne Fernandez23.7.11

    I super love you Ivan for giving that insight about Manila!

  9. Thanks Cha! From someone who has seen all those pictures of prewar Manila, it hurts to see what Manila looks like today. I hope we preserve and restore what's left of our heritage rather than demolish it

  10. Gizelle Khan23.7.11

    Sa sobrang sarap ng sisig (alliteration not intended) - nalito na. :D kidding aside, this article sums up why no Filipino restaurant thrive much around here too. :(

  11. Mas masarap kasi ang lutong bahay! :)

  12. Julie Affinita23.7.11

    TPBowles stepson of prince Charles? Glad to know!

  13. nakakataba ng puso! way to go, Ivan!

  14. Anonymous7.10.11

    this was featured in Esquire Mid-East (Oct 2011) edition. the idea that home-cooking is always better rings thru even here in UAE especially since filipinos here are from different regions swearing allegiance to their own version of sinigang, adobo, pansit, kare kare, etc. :) Max Fried Chicken just opened shop here in Dubai and is enjoying brisk sales despite many complaints that it is tasteless compared to what is served back there. There's also barrio fiesta but for the taste and price... i'd rather spend my dirhams on food i can't cook better at home! :D

  15. Anonymous23.5.12

    I like the first photo! That is but the most decent one I've seen that encompasses "Filipino"


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