Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Filipino Cuisine, Nationality or Identity?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
A brief background. Anthony Bourdain is revered when it comes to food and everything that surrounds food. He is the host of No Reservations which showcases a variety of cuisine. I'm not going to speak like I have known of him and the show for months and months. I have learned of him when Marketman wrote about Anthony Bourdain visiting the Philippines. Marketman being involved was enough to pique my interest in the episode which aired February 16. Having no cable, I had to wait for blogs to come up with their reactions and of course the ever reliable youtube for the video. Hearing that the lechon came out number one in AB's heirarchy of pork was enough for me to be proud of the Filipinos behind this episode. What I didn't expect was the whole lot of reactions that stemmed out of the episode. While some of them are true, a lot of the comments were unwarranted. I won't write them here. One comment though was enough to cause a deluge of reaction that I wasn't able to read (some of them were deleted by marketman) and another post by Marketman.

Here are my reactions (edited to some extent) to some of the comments:

1. Reading through the comments from AB’s blog reminds me of what happened to the Philippines which I’ve learned in history class, where the government had to build walls and paint over them to cover the shanties.

2. If AB really liked to showcase the “lively” Filipino, I think his research would have shown the countless fiestas the Philippines have, and he would have gone to one. Could it be said that there are also the “timid” Filipino? We have are term “Maria Clara”. Isn’t that part of being a Filipino?

3. Kudos to Augusto for having enough Filipino Pride to send his videotape and represent the Philippines. If I was a follower of AB, I wouldn't even think of sending a video or if I did sending another after I have been rejected.

AND who would be comfortable in front of the camera and having relatively strangers around you watching and listening what you do and say? I know I wouldn’t.

4. Honestly, the reactions and Calfran’s comment, made me think if I could represent the Filipino heritage well. I can’t. It also made me think how very much of a Filipino I am. I’m writing in english and that says something.

I'm laughing at myself now. And here we are Filipinos, couldn't agree about something and endlessly criticizing someone who's brave enough to call himself one. No wonder, the Philippines couldn't move forward as a nation.

I do agree with Calfran in that when AB said "“the problem is is that Filipinos are too damn nice…to forge an identity". It hits you in the gut. But I'm not going to blame other people for this. I blame myself.

3 replies:

Anonymous said...

i totally agree! :)

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Regina said...

Kaylee: thank you for dropping by. i'm writing down my thoughts as i go through this life. i'm writing down one and hopefully will be able to post it in the net few days :P

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