“You cannot be a Filipino unless you become Pampanga first.”


Congratulations to Augusto Elefanio, Claude Tayag, Ivan Man Dy and Market Manila for showcasing the Filipino cuisine to the World in No Reservations Philippines. Anthony Bourdain credited the slow-roasted lechon in Cebu as “The Best Pig Ever” (kudos to MarketManila!). This puts the Philippines’ pork dish in the #1 slot in Bourdain’s Hierarchy of Pork

One of my favorite quotes in the show was “You cannot be a Filipino unless you become Pampanga (your roots) first.” by Claude Tayag. In the same way, Anthony Bourdain regards himself as a New Yorker first and then an American. I believe that we really need to be proud of our roots (whether you are a Kapampangan, Bicolano, etc.) to appreciate our Filipino Heritage.

Here are the Top 10 Essential Links about Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations Philippines:
No Reservations Philippines in You Tube uploaded by ArcApex in 5 parts.   
Pressure Drop by Anthony Bourdain’s Visit in Manila
Bourdain’s Hierarchy of Pork by Anthony Bourdain
“The Best Pig Ever” by  Market Manila
Wok-king with Anthony Bourdain by Ivan Man Dy for Inquirer

Live an Awesome Life,  

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009. 

blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
prof. blog: AntonDiaz.com
mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) 
email: anton@diaz.ph

P.S. Join us for the next Ultimate Pampanga Claude Tayag’s Tour on March 28, Saturday.

P.P.S. For some reason, I did not see Chef Gene’s and Cafe Ysabel’s segment…. hmm…

34 thoughts on ““You cannot be a Filipino unless you become Pampanga first.”

  1. Claude didnt say that you need to be a Pampangueno per se. He meant that you need to embrace your local roots first before you can say that you are your country’s citizen.
    Its true!

  2. I’m one of those people who have a mixed heritage: Ilocano, Zambali and Bicolano from my parents; aunts & uncles who married Kapampangans, Cebuanos, Davaoenos… I suppose it’s the Zambali that’s closest to me but on the whole, exposure to these various cultures makes me proud to be a Filipina 😀 Seeing this, makes me alot more proud. Kudos!

  3. I think some people misunderstood that quote, so its a good thing you clarified it. Issue na naman yan! Hahaha!
    Thanks for posting the youtube link. Been wanting to see it. Go Pinoy!:-)

  4. Hi Anton, I would appreciate it greatly if you took down my name from your wonderful post. As you know, I prefer to keep that relatively anonymous. The producers of No Reservations had verbally promised they wouldn’t use my full name, and for some reason, did not stick to that promise, so I know its out there, but I would still appreicate it if we didn’t broadcast it… Many, many thanks indeed.

  5. Going OT here, but I’m dying to watch the Philippines ep of No Reservations. Can someone post an alternative link? My server blocks YouTube but is ok on Dailymotion and Megavideo. I can’t DL the torrent either. So sorry to impose but I hope a kind soul can help out!

  6. I appreciate Claude Tayag’s contribution in the NR Philippines show. I just wish he didn’t become so regionalistic to the point of saying that whatever food the other region has they (as Kampampangan) can make it better. His wife did an amazing job, too. Love her insights as well….
    All the tour guides were great. Kudos to Market Manila for putting our lechon as number in Tony’s hierarchy of pork.

  7. mhvmhv,
    For all Claude’s regionalistic rhetoric, I think it all boils down to his pride in in Kapampampangan roots, his segment after all was about this region in our country which known for the best cooks, it may have sounded arrogant (especially to non-Kapampangans) but in this globalizing world where most of our countrymen are unaware or have an inferiority complex to their own culture, the assertiveness in proclaiming and brandishing one roots is a very refreshing welcome.

  8. If the people watched the segment where the quote was blurted, there’s no confusion as to what Claude is really saying. But if you just focused on the singular quote, you will really take it out of context. I think it was well explained in the show that no regionalism was being purported.
    Good work Claude. Good work Ivan. Good work Market Manila.

  9. so might as well remove “(your roots)”? either that or you change “become” to “embrace your____ roots first” or something. sorry. wrong grammar is really a pet peeve.

  10. In a comment I made on you tube I think, I did mention that his assertiveness is something we can apply in asserting Filipino cuisine (in general). Actually, the fact that the Kapampangan cuisine is making some noise as the culinary capital of the Philippines is brought about how these people are effective in asserting their cuisine. We can learn from how they rally for the Kampapangan cuisine and apply it to the general Filipino cuisine.
    I do know he is representing Pampanga but I hope he realized that whole show is about The Philippines. He was privileged to have his region get the airtime and I hope there was a bit sensitivity as to not offend the other regions who weren’t given the privilege to assert their region’s specialties. I think it’s all about sensitivity…. I like your segment wherein you tried to represent the northern and southern region’s dishes. You just acknowledged the origin of the dishes but still presented it as Filipino dishes in general. It was pretty objective.
    Well, come to think of it… the reality is… we are regionalistic. Living in the globalization era, you just discover the great diversities in the world. With that realization, the more you should become respectful of the differences. You would just realize that each individual, or region, or country has their own uniqueness and specialties. Who are we to say that one is better/inferior over another?
    I’m glad the wife was there to just re-explain some of Claude general statements… Actually, I understood the bigger picture of what he was trying.. the single line was definitely a remark that he should’ve controlled himself in saying (proud as he seem of his Kampampangan roots). He didn’t have to say that.
    In respecting diversity na rin… I’m letting that statement slide cause I understand the bigger picture and that I recognize Claude Tayag’s contributions to the Filipino cuisine. He’s way better than that statement. I brought it up for us to be more sensitive about statements we say that may be offensive especially if we are talking about something that may represent the whole Philippines.
    By the way, is Pampanga the official culinary capital of the Philippines???

  11. That’s true… And if we are going to respect our being diverse because of geographical, religious and cultural reasons, I don’t think there should be one region or province that will represent the whole Philippines. The dishes should shine and not the region. (I’m just talking about the Filipino cuisine.)
    One of the things I thought after seeing the NR Philippines show is that how more studies about our food culture could be done. I mean technical studies, like research from the food disciplines in our country (I don’t know if they’ve been doing this already). Hope these kinds of information could be more accessible by everybody so that we can have more valid or reliable statements based from studies to support our personal opinions. ( Hmmmm…seems like a good food t.v show concept..:) )
    Living abroad had just made me yearn and really understood further my being Filipino and make Filipino be better known and understood abroad. It’s better to have the positive features of OUR country shine to erase some stereotypes they have about the Philippines – poverty-stricken, insurgencies, corrupt officials, uncultured, and all the blah. Asserting the goodness of OUR being a Filipino will just elicit more respect and understanding from other cultures. It could bring about a better regard and relationship to the Filipinos they work with.

  12. the above link mentions his insights on who are the flipinos – tony’s ever pressing question throughout the show.

  13. the episode can be now downloaded! torrentz.com, search for no reservations, then look for the episode on philippines

  14. I myself am a Kapampangan and was embarrassed to hear Claude say that. I heard myself saying “oh no”. As mhv mentioned, he should have been more sensitive to the feelings of the non-Kapampangans watching the show.
    Everyone did a very good job in showing what the Philippines can offer except for that now (in)famous quote.
    If I may add, I personally think that Bulacan also has great cooks and great cuisine. They are just overshadowed by their neighbor who has a better knowledge on how to market its cuisine.

  15. It would be a hard sell to Lucbanins (Pampanga as the Culinary Capital) as we eat good over there, as in we eat good (he could try to top our Ginataang Pako with suso or kuhol).
    I doubt he could top fresh seafod dishes of the Visayas and Mindanao.
    Lucban, Quezon for Life
    (pampasaya lang po)

  16. I was surprised with what Claude said, I had to rewind our DVR to make sure I heard correctly…great thing Anthony was quick in catching and sort of correcting it and paraphrased what Claude said. I guess living in the US (where race is such a sensitive issue) and being able to see different cultures and races due to his travels he immediately felt Claude’s statement would create pandemonium! Applause for Anthony for being witty and quick. Buti hindi naghimaksik ang katutubo ng iba’t-ibang lalawigan….haha! I really liked Anthony and the way he handled the show…his commentaries are so good. I also particularly liked the last part..Cebu..Market Mania (was he the one), when Anthony asked why our cuisine is not distinct or as common as the other Asian countries….Market Mania nailed it with his answer..”The Filipinos easily adapts to places and situations….” He was very, very good (Market). I didn’t like the explanation though of Adobo and how we have Adobo. However, natawa ako..I think they keep on serving Anthony, Sinigang…I;ve seen sinigang many times..hahha!

  17. You know what, I like Lucban food. I forgot this fish dish that you have that you cook for 4 hours on some leaves with coconut. Amazing!

  18. I would like to say, Congrats for being the 2nd worst Tour Guide in No Reservations History.
    Only Augusto is worse than you.

  19. Hey, nothing wrong with a little healthy competition!
    Filipino food is awesome, and it’s awesome because it is a highly diversified cuisine. Bourdain makes the point that there is a very wide and unexpected palette of flavors at play in the food he had eaten, and that this is very interesting to him, as a professional foodie.

  20. True,each cultural grouping in the Philippines has a cuisine and cookery that is characteristic of its culture and unique of itself.
    The only thing with Kapampangan food is that it has attracted a considerable following, but no one has the right to pontificate that it is the best.
    To be accurate and most considerate of how others feel, we can say that it is one of the best in the country.

  21. Enzo,
    It could be “pinais” cooked in either Cassava or “gabi” leaves with larger shrimp or fish ( sorry bro, tiga kain lang ako eh). Try “sinugno” , tilapia, grilled first then cooked in coconut milk, a little spicy but uhmmmm so good hehehehe.

  22. the problem here that is creating confusions divisions conflicts disharmony OVER ONE COOK’S OPINION is bcoz a lot of filipinos has DIFFICULTY OR doesnt have the ability to understand much way deeper o almost cannot accept that ANY HUMAN ANY MEN has the right to his-her ‘own’ opinions so claude the chef-cook is partially correct when he said that pampanga has the best food to offer{something like that}pero wala naman syang sinabi na yung ibang mga prubisya hindi masasarap ang luto o mga ulam nila walang mga lasa..he did not made such clarifications he only stated his own opinion that pampanga is the best which is a normal thing to be proud off o to say coz he is from there what do you expect him to say that pampanga is not the best lol! well remember now..he is entitled to his own personnal opinions he holds that rights to say that{unoficially}just like every one else unless someone challenged him to proved that he is wrong otherwise his personnal ‘statements’stands correct until proven wrong yung mga iba naman dapat huwag maging bastos sa publikong mga comment nila it’s o.k to disagree it is also every one’s right pero dapat walang bastusan kasi filipino foods are in general terms hindi dapat gawing personalan para hindi naman kahiya hiya ang kalabasan ng mga bastos na pagka-tao all needs to be civil para hindi matakot mapahiya yung mga gustong mag comment na mga disente na klase ng ibang tao na nakaka unawa lol

  23. The show was going well until Claude Tayag blew it off
    Even Anthony Bourdain knew what Claude was struggling to say
    Anthony beat him to it

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