Anthony Bourdain shares experiences of Filipino culture

MANILA, Philippines – Days before the Manila episode of Parts Unknown is set to air in the US, Anthony Bourdain wrote about his experiences with Filipino culture and what the show had in mind as he and his team visited the Philippines this time around. (WATCH: New clips from 'Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown' Manila episode released)

In his essay for CNN, titled "Unfinished business in the Philippines," Anthony shared that his daughter, Ariane, had a Filipino nanny named Vangie from the time she was a baby. (IN PHOTOS: Anthony Bourdain in Manila episode of 'Parts Unknown')

Through Vangie and her family, Anthony and his family learned more about Filipino culture. 

"There's always singing, for instance," observed Anthony. "Everybody seems to sing – an affinity passed on to my daughter. Family – and church, of course, loom large (even in my otherwise atheistic household). And food.

"My daughter is no stranger to sisig and sinigang and adobo and holds me in disregard for being unable to procure her the delicious Filipino pastries and breads she finds at her other family's home."

In clips of the Manila Parts Unknown episode, Anthony is seen dining with Filipino cover bands, eating sisig (his favorite Filipino street food) and adobo.


Anthony also had some Jollibee fried chicken and spaghetti, lechon, and halo-halo in the episode.


This time around, Parts Unknown focuses on people – and in the case of the Philippines, Anthony wanted to understand more about "why Filipinos care" – because his experience has been consistent. 

Anthony also talked about people he met on the show – plus, why he was curious about cover bands:

"For years now, in hotel bars in Chiang Mai, in lobbies in Singapore, cocktail lounges in Colombo and Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, wherever I go, I find a Filipino cover band able, on request, to play 'Dark Side of the Moon' note for note – before moving on to Happy Birthday (in English, German or Cantonese), Patsy Cline, Celine Dion – and then 'Welcome to the Jungle.' 

"I had to know more.

"Where do they all come from?"


After saying he hopes that OFWs and Filipino fans will like the upcoming episode, Anthony noted that this would not be their final visit to the country. 

"This is certainly not the definitive show on the Philippines – and it will not be our last show there," he wrote. He mentioned early on that the episode doesn't represent the entire Philippines because of the country's size, and they were hindered by a typhoon during their visit, though they wanted to explore further. 

Anthony has seen Cebu and Pampanga, aside from Manila, in a previous visit to the Philippines for an episode of his show on the Travel Channel, No Reservations. During that visit, he tried lechon and many other local dishes, toured Manila with Old Manila Walks' Ivan Man Dy, and visited a Filipino fan's home.


"I imagine this time around there will be tears. At least I hope so. We tried to do right by people who've been very, very good to us," he wrote at the end of the episode. 

Anthony often writes about the the countries featured on his show prior to an episode's air date. See his older blog posts here.

The Manila episode of Parts Unknown will air on CNN on April 24, 9 pm ET in the US. It's the first episode of season 7, which will also feature Chicago, Greece, Montana, Georgia, Senegal, Germany, and Buenos Aires.

Anthony tweeted about the episode's details in Filipino, too:

Siguraduhing manood ng PARTS UNKNOWN MANILA episode sa Linggo April 24 alas 9 ng gabi est #Pinoy #mabuhay — Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) April 22, 2016