media features

Thanks Entrepreneur Magazine for featuring us in their newest column – aptly called ‘First Steps’- for the August edition. Small factual errors aside, the business angle was a refreshing change from the usual tour feature. We had a ball doing the interview!

Grab a copy and read our story as well as interesting stuff about Divisoria market.


Thanks to  Singapore-based writer James Ong for making a little growl about our walking tours in the Lion City.


Look us up at HERE.

A BIG, BIG thank you to the following magazines for having our BIG Binondo Food WOK Tour and Map grace your pages!

Food Magazine February 2010 issue

Check us as we WOK our way through Binondo Chinatown in this special issue!


Here at the column Country Cooking by Mickey Fenix.

And finally

Turo-Turo by Claude Tayag at  The Philippine Star.

I found myself being among the select few to be invited to the  Filipino and Proud series hosted by the Asia Society. On the menu was  Cristeta Comerford, the Filipino-American who just happens to be executive chef of the White House (yes, Obama and his family too).  It was an interesting one-hour talk where the chef shared nuggets of her life starting living as girl in Manila ( Sampaloc ) to eventually  being the lead kusinera of the most powerful kitchen in  America.

Cristesta Comerford

I learned one important lesson that day: When the telephone rings and you are eating, answer immediately as you never know who’s calling!

Could be Malacanang or the White House. You never know.

Also met the who’s who in the Philippine culinary industry: Glenda Baretto of Via Mare, Jesse Sinsioco of Le Souffle ( I had to tell her how much I enjoy her restaurant and kamias juice) , Gaita Fores of Cibo (I though she was really tall) ,  Mikey Fenix of Food Magazine and my fellow-kabalen Claude Tayag.


After that it was off the Fort with my fellow brods Ivan Henares and Anton Diaz together with Claude Tayag to try out a new French resto. Yet another culinary lesson from the master, this time, how to distinguish a good croissant from a bad one.

According to Claude, authentic ones are flaky on the top just like hopia.

So there.


Hey, hey hey, thank you to John Landers of the  Toronto Star for the feature on Manila and yours truly.

Maraming Salamat!

A BIG thank you to Lonely Planet guidebook for your little blurb and having us grace (again) the pages of  the LP Philippines 2009 edition.

We first made it to the 2006 issue and look forward to seeing Old Manila Walks again in 2012.

LP Philippines

Also to Metro Magazine for  the lovely double -page write up on Old Manila Walks.

You really captured the essence of every step we make.

And of Maricar Reyes too.


Finally,  maraming salamat to Maxim Magazine for your meaty two- page spread feature.


Everybody inside looked really sexy.

Except us.

But thanks anyways.


Thank you, Xie Xie and  Terimah Kasih to Singapore Airlines’ inflight magazine  Silver Kris for their lovely feature on Manila  and your truly!

Very edgy photos and really hip lay out.  Gives a really fun dimension to what we have to offer here.

Best of all, its written by a local citizen who’s passion for Manila is only matched by the humidity I’m currently sweating out in this capital I call my home.

Click below for link.


Ok, so after the long wait, it’s finally out.

Food writer and tv-show host Anthony Bourdain’s much long-awaited No Resevations Philippines premiered last Feburary 16 at the Travel Channel in the U.S.  I have not yet seen any of the episode and can only deduce that it incited some very passionate debates gleaned from here to here.

Of course as with every Filipino meal, there will always be palates to please and quite understandably, my Manila segment got a mouthful. From well-wishing long-time-no-see friends to people who critiqued just about anything from my ‘horrible’ accent to being a host “so bland that I looked and sounded like a call center worker.”

I guess that’s a slice of show-biz life to me, the show is entertainment after all and if anything ,I now know how it feels like to be a Sharon Cuneta or Piolo Pascual in the eyes of the world. Hee Hee.

So I will just to wait for my clear DVD copy when the producer sends it to me but for the meantime, here’s the real insider score of the menu I prepared AB, just to put everything in proper context perhaps make the viewers understand why the Manila segment came out that way.

1. Producers Choice.  First and foremost, its the producer’s who have the first and last say, while we resource persons are given opportunities to tweak and add our inputs to the show, at the end of the day its is the producer’s call. Hence for the Manila segment, the theme was ‘gritty but tasty with a Chinese-Spanish fusion input.” Hence the Binondo Chinatown bit. I’ve heard of complaints on why I had to do Binondo as opposed to the swankier joints in Greenhills or Makati. As any true-blue Manileno would know,  Binondo is the one true culinary-cultural heartland of the city which certainly fit the theme set by the producers.

2. Time Constraint. When you have two days to shoot in a metropolis as big as the island republic of Singapore, you wont have everything in a mouthful no matter how hard you try.  Oh, and did I tell you the whole of the Binondo segment took an hour, the dampa took three and the host had about 5 hour rest period in between.  Probablly not much time as the host should have put I guess he doesnt take too much to the heat and  long shooting hours.

Here is the complete Manila menu we cooked up for AB:

1. Lumpia (Sariwa at Shanghai)

2. Taho (taken at random)

3. Siopao

4. Chickenballs (not my first choice as this was taken at random because there was no fishballs available!)

5. Mamang Sorbetero cheese, ube or mango ice cream (couldnt find one when you need them!)

6.  Pinakbet

7. Adobong Hipon

8. Ginataang Alimango na may Kalabasa

9. San Miguel Beer (two pitchers mostly finished by AB)

All told, my hats off and a BIG THANK YOU to all those who took time (Augusto the Catalyst, ClaudeTayag  my half-Kabalen, Rich the local fixer, Marketman and his crew, Chef Gene Gonzales of Cafe Ysabel and Juday, one of my favorite actresses) to present our cuisine and our culture in a truly informative, passionate and true-to-its-roots way. Verbal slip-ups, nervousness and ‘horrible’ accents aside, I hope this concerted effort by everyone will have helped in changing perceptions,  gaining appreciation and marketing the culinary heritage of our country.  Every little step counts.


A parting shot of my last meal with Bourdain.  Plate to the top left is AB’s, top right is mine. Just look how we both lapped up the crabs. Yum!


Oh, and while we’re at it, check out my culinary find from a recent backpacking trip to Cebu , if  Anthony Bourdain or any other food show hosts ever walks by again,  I’m taking them here!


Imagine, 50 + dishes, GOOD quality, the freshest seafood, clams the size of my fist,  liempo, local salads, oysters, gigantic fishes, sausages, meat dishes, noodles…the list goes.

All for P300.00 per person!

Too bad its not anyway near where I live but for this, I would seriously consider another 3 hour road trip from Cebu City and a one-hour ferry ride to Bantayan island.

Food heaven indeed.

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