Saturday, April 4

No Reservations: Philippines

Anthony Bourdain enjoys Bulalo and San Miguel beer.

Perhaps a result of my being a very visual person, I love to watch shows or videos about food when I eat. I reason that it may be a way of enhancing the actual food I am scoffing down at the time with the perceived flavor of the stuff I am watching about. Well, no other show is as great for me to eat food by than Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. Well, years ago it was another show- Cook's Tour (also by Tony Bourdain). I have Mr. Bourdain to thank for countless good meals made even better, making even simple spoonfuls of rice and tuna taste like Foie Gras, or routine Jolly Hotdogs taste like Black Pudding. Not just the food, but the wonderful travelog experience, the insightful narrations into various countries and peoples, and the genuine appreciation of good taste and good friends makes sure that my iPod Touch will never be without an episode of No Reservations or Cook's Tour.

So it was with real enjoyment that I watched the Philippines' episode of No Reservations. I remembered the 'Fan-atic' episode of NR, where Tony almost went to RP (but eventually settled on Saudi Arabia) but ultimately decided against it due to Filipino fan Augusto's apparent scant knowledge of the country being recommended. Nicely enough, NR eventually made it a point to come to Manila and Cebu and finally have the fickle Bourdain feast on Pinoy fare.

My being a Filipino made watching the Philippines' episode kinda odd- on one hand, all the food being shown was pretty familiar to me, so I wasn't as interested as much in the food (as with other countries) as I was in Bourdain's reactions to the meals. I was kinda disappointed though by Augusto, our country's main representative to Tony. Where you'd expect a country's guide to be fun, energetic and enthusiastic in taking Tony on wild rides and showing the best of their homeland, Augusto was sadly very subdued and pretty much spent most of the time musing over his plate, with Tony serving as a kind of shrink, helping him over his search for his heritage and national identity. Gladly though, it just showed a particularly insightful and empathic side to Tony that was quite wonderful to see.

I'm pretty happy that Tony enjoyed the food and the visit to Philippines in general- the crowning glory being that Cebu Lechon got his highest marks as The Best Pig Ever. I also totally agree with his analysis of the Filipino people- Yes, we ARE too nice. Oh well, nobody's perfect.

Glad you enjoyed your trip, Mr. Bourdain. Hope you visit Manila again someday.

Friday, April 3

Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata!

Here's the cover to the next release of Mangaholix Presents, issue 8. It's been a while since the last ish since the Groundbreakers have been busy at work with other stuff, not the least of which is the upcoming release of Mangaholix in the US! Yep, once again Pinoys are breaking into the US comics pie. Hopefully, this time we'll strike it rich.

Anyway, the next ish will still have the Usual Suspects of MP's Pinoy-made Manga stories- Aporia, Midknighters, Sampaguita Daydreams, Kraust and Ninja Girl KO! Release information will be coming soon, so stay tuned. Later then!

Tuesday, March 31

New Transmutations

The Elric Brothers return in a new incarnation... Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

I've seen a lot of great anime series through the years, but only a few have made a real imprint on my grey matter. One of them was the fantasy-action drama Full Metal Alchemist. FMA had all the traits of the best anime- an unusual and kinda twisted premise (two brothers who lost their body/body parts while trying to resurrect their dead mother embark on a quest to recover what they lost), lots of action that doesn't shirk away from getting bloody, sexy babes, multi-layered conspiracies, hidden agendas, interesting characters, betrayals and plot twists aplenty... you name it, FMA had it. 52 episodes and a couple of movies later, FMA ended (well, the anime did while the manga went on) on some decisive, if not altogether happy, resolutions. Neither Elric brother ever did get to end up with Winry, you don't really know what happened to the nation after the war, and lots of characters (particularly Mustang and his comrades) didn't get enough development as they should have. Still, FMA was awesome and I remember it fondly.

This month, all that I have known that is Full Metal Alchemist is set to be rocked and thrown off the board with the all-new interpretation that is Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This new series will supposedly reboot the series and reintroduce Edward and Alphonse Elric as anime fans have never seen them before. The new episodes may also be more faithful to the source manga, thus ensuring that we will be seeing a new master villain, and more pronounced roles for Roy Mustang and Company. Some things though will remain the same- most of the major vocal cast, notably Romi 'Edward Elric' Paku will be reprising their beloved roles.

FMA:Brotherhood will be premiering this month on Animax on cable, supposedly the same time as Japan (along with the series Tears to Tiara), so that's cool... although I will probably be looking for fansubs or downloads online on my own. Whether the new series turns out to blow the old FMA away or not, I am looking forward to more transmutations and transformations this April. Awesome.