Who doesn’t know Anthony Bourdain? This world-famous chef, bestselling author and multiple Emmy-award winning television persona is one explorer. He unravels little-known destinations and diverse cultures in the different continents of the world.
Forbes writer Jim Dobson dubbed the American as “A 59 year-old adventurer, a storyteller, a father and perhaps one of the best essayists in the world. This is the real Tony Bourdain.” Living the nomadic life is a calling he has embraced long ago as the frontrunner of his CNN hit series “Parts Unknown”.
Now on its 7th season, the first episode debuted in a series of filming in nothing but every nook and cranny of Manila. From the shanties to a hole-in-the-wall foodie street shop to a Christmas office celebration, he called it his “unfinished business” and it is “purely personal”.
He was unstoppable as he filmed the metro in spite of a raging typhoon. What appeared on the airwaves when the Manila episode was shown last Sunday was nothing but heart.
For the Filipinos. For the culture. For the values. For the life we live.
Here are at least 5 heart-tugging and even hilarious highlights:
1.Filipinos are “probably the most giving people on the planet.”
That’s Bourdain’s shoutout. “Filipinos give of themselves, of their time, their money, their love to others. They do and continue to do what needs to be done to survive,” Bourdain added.
One highly emotional segment featured Bourdain delivering a message of gratitude to Aurora (everyone’s dream grandmother) who cared for one of the show’s co-producer Eric Asterholm.
The content goes like this:
“I am 100 percent the man I man today because this woman raised me from when I was 6 months old, singing to me, dancing with me, wiping away my tears, cooking for me, and making me laugh at every turn…There are literally thousands of people around the world, me included, who have been influenced by her endless kindness and love.”
2. Filipinos are the most “Christmasy” culture in the world.
“I would lose my mind,” Bourdain said, awed to the max that Pinoys usually start the holiday season as the first -Ber month sets in.
3. Filipinos are natural-born singers.
Bourdain was amazed that whenever he would step into a club elsewhere around world, expect a Filipino to sing or play in a band. Only in the Philippines did he witness how sing-along karaokes are a part of every family celebration.
4. Filipinos thrive with hope.
“There’s a lot of poverty around, but there’s not a sense of hopelessness or rage. They decorate. They may not have much, but they decorate. They sweep the street.” Bourdain observed.
5. Filipinos are par excellance foodies.
Street food, Home-cooked, Fast food Dessert, Whatever it is, he is all praises. On lechon, “It is the finest pig I’ve ever had.” The street food sisig is his perfect pair pulutan for ice-cold beer. He is no fan of fast foods but that change altogether after a few good bites of the all-Filipino Jollibee Chickenjoy. Upon downing a glass of halo-halo, “It’s delicious. How is it made?”
Bourdain has been a firsthand witness of Filipino care and values the moment his daughter was born. He got a Filipino nanny who selflessly reared his daughter… who later on became his in-law! (Talk about witnessing.) His daughter must have loved her nanny so much that he fell for the Filipino nanny’s son as well. The rest is not just a family fusion of the east and west but of life and love.
No wonder Bourdain got mesmerized.