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CNN Go: Manila

Aired October 10, 2012 - 05:30:00   ET



CLAUDE TAYAG, FOOD AUTHOR: Hi, I'm Claude Tayag and this is my lovely wife Mary Ann. So, this is what we are now call the Salcedo Market.


Take the stuffing.

C. TAYAG: The stuffing.

Ooh. What do you think of punch?

This is like, you know, the Salcedo Market.

M. TAYAG: It's for people like us.

C. TAYAG: It's Salcedo Market, basically like, you know, in the middle of the concrete jungle, like a culinary oasis.

M. TAYAG: Yes.

C. TAYAG: This started sometime in 2004.

M. TAYAG: Yes.

C. TAYAG: And then basically, I think, the main objective at that time when the local restaurants here, they grouped together, I mean they just found a reason -- for them to meet, you know, and so people came. You know, they long for that childhood comfort food.


M. TAYAG: So this is kind of (inaudible) cheese.

C. TAYAG: Cheese. You know. Can I open a round (ph)? I'm going to pay for it, I'm going to show (ph).

M. TAYAG: This is salty.

C. TAYAG: Yes. It's kind of salty.

So it's an outdoor market, but it's -- the weather is different than (inaudible).

M. TAYAG: An now it's very hot there now. We'd better go.

C. TAYAG: There's another market we can go to, called Farmers Market in Quezon City, another part of (inaudible) Manila. And it's called (inaudible).

M. TAYAG: Do we go to the vegetable, grocery or seafood?

C. TAYAG: The seafood first.

M. TAYAG: The seafood.

C. TAYAG: So this is what we call "the jumping shrimps." Really, can't get fresher than that. Look how large the (inaudible) are.

This is the world's (ph) sea urchin. This is what the Japanese call uni.

Just to show you how pleasant (ph) they taste, it's like when you fry it. And you don't need any condiments to go with it. Like -- yeah.

M. TAYAG: No, this is more - this is more -- you are just ...


C. TAYAG: OK, give me half a kilo of that.

Look, escallopes.

M. TAYAG: Oh, finally ...


C. TAYAG: My wife always wants me to never go to a market on an empty stomach.

M. TAYAG: You can (inaudible) the women love with this.

C. TAYAG: Yeah. So now we go to the produce (ph) section.

M. TAYAG: It's eating time soon.

C. TAYAG: Wow, there you go. So these are -- sorry.

M. TAYAG: You get so excited now.

C. TAYAG: Very excited.

All the food we are having now is the market (inaudible).

M. TAYAG: The French chef was clear (ph), if you ask for anything, the Chinese you have it with the (inaudible). But look at us.

You'll be missing a lot if you don't try Filipino food.

C. TAYAG: Yeah. You have to come hear just to try our food, it's like a sin, like if you miss it.


NIKKI GIL, SINGER: Hi, my name is Nikki Gil.

I am from the Philippines. I'm a singer, DJ and host, and we are here in Angono Rezal, and we are here at one of my favorite restaurants when I'm in Angono called Balaw-Balaw. They have really, really exotic food.


GIL: What I like about this restaurant, is, you know how some -- it's very indigenous. Like you know how some restaurants have kind of like a fusion of Filipino and American? This is very Filipino-like, authentic Angono cooking. And so -- and very exotic as well. So, you know, if you have an adventure salad (ph), (inaudible) perfect.

Balaw-Balaw is a (inaudible) a restaurant and an art gallery that houses the works of famous Angono local, Pandigon Bocala (ph).

This is the Balaw-Balaw menu. As you can see, like, some of the fish (ph) in there, because Angono is a fishing village. So most of their, like, everyday food are fish.

OK. What I would like you to taste? Hmm, I'm actually kind of nervous about this.


Food no. 5? And gayuma (ph).

Gayuma (ph) is an aphrodisiac drink. It's (inaudible) the love potion.

Let's try. Thank you. Oh, that's good.

Most Filipino food is kind of modern, right, and usually it's a fusion with some other kind of cooking. But this one right here is like the real deal.

We are here at the Angono Petroglyphs. It's like a 200-meter walk to get to the actual site, but it's worth it. I promise. All right? Let's go.

Thank God you have lights. The last time I was here, we didn't have nothing.

Actually, one of the national artists, Carlos Boton Francisco (ph) was the one who found it. It's sometime in the '60s, if I'm not mistaken. And so they had it carbon-dated, and it dates back to 3,000 BC. How cool is that?

So these are actually the oldest known form of artwork in the Philippines. I think it's amazing that something like this should be found in Angono, which is the art capital of the Philippines, because I don't know, it's just a weird coincidence. Usually, you have to take like a really long trip or you've been able to get time out to go visit places, (inaudible). Pretty cool.


CHERYL TUI, PUBLISHER: Oh, wow, thank you.

My name is Cheryl Tui. I am a magazine publisher and editor. We are at one of my favorite restaurants, called Antonio's here in Tagaytay. We're about an hour and a half by car from Manila, so a lot of us come here on weekends, actually, to just have breakfast, lunch and dinner. No pollution here, no traffic. A lot cooler, a lot greener (ph), so.


TUI: Hi.

ESCALANTE: Good morning, how are you.

TUI: Good, good, thank you.

ESCALANTE: How was your breakfast?

TUI: Amazing. Delicious.

ESCALANTE: What brings you up to see us today?

TUI: Well, we plan to hike the volcanoes. We decided to fuel ourselves, so we ate - I had this really big breakfast.


TUI: Yes. So this is chef Tonyboy (ph) Escalante, otherwise known as Antonio. Do you mind to show us around the place?


TUI: What made you decide to put it up here in Tagaytay?

ESCALANTE: Well, mainly because partly (ph) I grew up in the province. You know, having set a menu which they can sit down and dine for two hours, two to three hours. And enjoy the scenery and enjoy the place.

We're actually in Talisay (ph), which is a town 30 minutes away from the restaurant, and we're about to board a boat to get to the volcano, very famous volcano, which is the smallest active volcano in the world.


TUI: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Change of clothes?

TUI: Yes, I have, just to get ready to climb. A little dusty up there. Yes. So I have a life vest as well.

(inaudible) made out of wood? Wood and bamboo. And our roof right here is actually just tarpaulin. So all the boats that leave from this side to the volcano are like this.

I wanted to hike, but then I saw the horses and I changed my mind. And you know, it saves time. I think hiking takes about an hour, and horses are half an hour.

I think it's just going to be a steady climb, and then we're going to reach the crater, and then there's going to be a lake right there, which will have some sulfur and a little bit of (inaudible).


Charlie (ph). Charlie (ph)?

The lake has an island, which is this volcano we're at, and the lake within, which is this crater below. A lot of people know (inaudible) because of the beaches, and Manila is kind of underrated actually as a city because it's usually a stopover. But going through Manila and then seeing the Gaytan (ph), the Bangas (ph) are just an hour away by car, and you see this gorgeous mountain volcano, lakes, everything that we've gone through today. And definitely what sets it apart is the people, like the camaraderie, the soul (ph), and the fact that everyone speaks English. I think it's really (inaudible).



PING MEDINA, ACTOR: Hi. I'm Ping Medina, I'm an actor from the Philippines, and we're in Cubao X (inaudible). So let's go, check it out.

Cubao X was famous before for selling really good shoes at a really cheap price, but over the years, it kind of evolved into this art, this commune where people are, these thinkers gather together and just hang out at the (inaudible). Now you can see the vinyl shop, and it also has a lot of antique, you know, toys, DVD's, books, cameras, so it's very, very funny (ph). We can go, check it out.

This is an antique gift shop, but it specializes in this, you know, jazz, a lot of old jazz vinyl records.

We have -- there you go, Miles Davis.

We're having dinner at the Van Gogh Is Bipolar. It's owned by my friend, Jetro. He's bipolar. It's a very one-of-a-kind place. As you can see, you know, it's only exclusively for club diners tonight. And he's usually closed on Tuesdays, but lucky for us, he's a very accommodating guy. So let's go. Oh, shoes off first. It's one of the rules here.

Hey. This is Jetro.

JETRO RAFAEL, OWNER, VAN GOGH IS BIPOLAR: Yes, welcome to Van Gogh Is Bipolar.

Everything is (inaudible), and I'll let you wear a hat. This one looks (inaudible). So I encourage guests to wear hats.

So Van Gogh Is Bipolar is, first, it's where I live, it's my home. So I started opening my home to guests when my friends encouraged me to share (inaudible), that turns (inaudible) alternative medicine for - drugs, medication that I take for my bipolar condition. And seems cooking is one of my great passions, so I gave it a shot, and voila, they're here.

MEDINA: One of the rules - stupid and idiots are welcome.

Basically, it's just him. He lives here. And this is all, you know, Jetro. It's very - probably the most unique place here in Manila.

All the ingredients here are supposed to induce, like, endorphins, serotonin, and all the happy hormones.

RAFAEL: Ready?

MEDINA: My order.

RAFAEL: Your guest (inaudible) is coming. And then for your main course, what do you want, a happy dish or a chill dish?

MEDINA: A happy dish.

RAFAEL: OK, happy is fresh-based (ph) is then chill is (inaudible).

MEDINA: Chill-based.

RAFAEL: Chill, OK. But I prepare the happy meal-



RAFAEL: Courtney Love's potion (ph) (inaudible). So this is made with fresh fruit extracts and fruit pulps with wild honey. And then I also prepared your first course. This is your first course. It's called Virginia Woolf Tears. It's wild turkey broth soup with some fresh herbs.

OK, so I'll be serving your second course. It's an appetizer. So it's an adventurous dish. Actually it's the most adventurous dish that I created. So I am going to cut the egg and just take out the egg white, unless you want to eat this slimy thing. And it's very cheap protein, but we'll just get the egg yolk there. And then mix it with the fruit sauce. In Filipino, we say tagay.

MEDINA: Tagay.

RAFAEL: Tagay. It's cheers. Tagay. One shot. Straight up, straight up.

MEDINA: Wow. Intense.

RAFAEL: This is your main course for tonight, and it's a personalized dish for you. And I prepared Norwegian salmon and prepared with black mountain rice. Salmon, by the way, is known as the perfect fish to eat to make you happy.

OK, so thank you very much for swinging by in Van Gogh Is Bipolar, and for your last course, you're taking Mel Gibson's Darkest Chin (ph), so this is made with herb liquor. It's Van Gogh's favorite drink, and after the shot, you have to eat the chocolate, dark chocolate right up.


RAFAEL: OK, so last tagay?

MEDINA: Tagay.

RAFAEL: Tagay.

GIL: Manila is a very energetic city, but there are areas that are more laid-back. You know, so if you choose to spend a lazy day somewhere else, you know, it's just a few minutes drive up (inaudible).

C. TAYAG: Manila, it's like you give it time, you give it - it grows on you. It's like you believe, like what the locals do, it's like you experience what the locals do.

TUI: It's easy when you come to the Philippines. You meet a Filipino, you're automatically a friend, and they'll be more than happy to show you around.