A Journey with Linamnam


OK, so I’ve been gone for a little bit haven’t I? But my apparent winter hibernation from this space (and from twitter, and from the actual world outside my home, or outside the public library [yes, i still go to the public library, it’s quiet in there]) has not been without good reason. I’ve kinda had my hands full for the past few months (more on that in another post, hopefully sometime. Sometime soon…).

But now that I’m up and about and out of my cave (Egads, does that sunshine feel good!), I wanted to quickly bring something else out into the light with me–you know, while I can, before I’m banished back to my cave.

A couple months ago, a few days after Christmas actually, I received an unexpected package in my mailbox. I was pleased to find a copy of Linamnam: Eating One’s Way Around The Philippines, sent to me courtesy of the authors of the book–Claude Tayag and his wife Mary Ann Quioc.

As the title might suggest, Linamnam is a culinary travel guidebook for the Philippines. Claude and Mary Ann spent two years traveling, and eating, all over the Philippines (sweet gig, no?). As a result of their many travels, and their many meals, Claude and Mary Ann provide the nitty gritty on where and what to eat in every region of the Philippines. From simple roadside shacks to upscale restaurants, Linamnam covers it all.


Northern Exposure

In addition to being a fantastic food and travel guide for the Philippines, I think, more importantly, that the book highlights the sheer diversity of Filipino cuisine. Because every region of the archipelago is featured in the book, the book goes beyond showcasing just adobo and pancit and lumpia, but also delves into each region’s particular tastes and specialties. Linamnam goes to great lengths to provide historical context, as well as personal anecdotes, to explain why we Filipinos eat what we eat.

And even when adobo and pancit and lumpia are highlighted, it becomes clear just how many variations there can be on a particular dish. There is no one way (or correct way) to make anything in the Philippines, and it is this variation and diversity in our food that makes it so special.

So if any of you out there are planning a trip to the Philippines any time soon, or if you just want to learn more about Filipino food, you must pick up a copy of Linamnam: Eating One’s Way Around The Philippines. Although the book can be hard to come by here in the States, I’ve been told by a couple of readers that you can get copies from this website http://philippineexpressionsbookshop.com.

Otherwise, just pick up a copy when you land in the Philippines;)


  • Sean March 7, 2012, 12:06 pm

    I am so happy your are back! I am new to cooking Filipino food and your blog was my favorite one that I found. I was so disappointed to think you had abandoned your blog.
    Welcome back!

  • Row March 7, 2012, 6:47 pm

    Good to see you blogging again, Marvin. Hope all is well with the book writing. Speaking of books, I’ve gotta get me a copy of Linamnam. :)

  • Sasha March 8, 2012, 9:57 am

    Yay! Glad your back. Missed your blog.Looking forward to your book.

  • Didi March 8, 2012, 11:19 am

    I think I got to get my hands on the book. My fellow food bloggers in Dubai are keen to learning a LOT more about Filipino food. So I have to do my reading really quick. I ask my family to get me this book along with Doreen Fernandez books. I hope somebody would be kind enough to carry my books here :)

  • Krizia March 9, 2012, 1:12 pm

    Dude, where have you been? We’re all curious to hear how the book writing and food truck business is going (especially your fellow Filipinos).
    P.S. I am sure I’ve been following your blog since its inception. Who knew that years later, you’d be a father and I’d become a wife, and you’d leave engineering to follow your dreams! You’ve been a huge entrepreneurial inspiration for me, a young Filipina, for years. Over the last year, I’ve been working on starting my own business after following the journey of yours. Thank you so much for sharing! Still wishing you and your family all the best :)

  • vicky March 10, 2012, 8:38 am

    Have I ever mentioned that I found this blog by accident about a year ago? I was looking up Filipino recipes and stumbled upon Burnt Lumpia. I read the title and thought, “What the Pho?” And here I am still catching up on your blog. Love it!

  • Heather March 12, 2012, 11:46 am

    So glad to see you back! I received my Linamnam book and can’t put it down. Can’t wait to visit PI and try some of these dishes. It has also given me some great cooking ideas.

  • Katrina April 2, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Marvin! I’m back! 😀 I, too, am sorry I’ve been absent for such a long time. I stopped reading blogs for some time (life got in the way), but am now slowly easing back into it. Something reminded me of Burnt Lumpia tonight, so I decided to check out some of your recent posts. Then I saw that, more than a year ago, you posted about getting a book deal! WHOA!!! Congratulations! It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, and you truly deserve it. :-) I’m very excited for it to come out and will surely get hold of a copy when does.
    I also have “Linamnam.” I’ve met Claude and Mary Ann, not only because I’ve eaten at Bale Dutung a couple of times, but also because Mila, Nena and I once showed up at his door unannounced when we tried to stalk Bourdain, and then later, I saw him at a party. He recognized me, and I told him that I’m the niece of one of his old friends (my father’s family is Kapampangan), so that hopefully, he wouldn’t think I’m (completely) deranged. 😉 And yes, they are truly a lovely, gracious couple.
    I’m so thrilled that you’ve gone from being a tentative cook and blogger, still learning about Filipino food, to a food truck owner, and now a cookbook author! And I’m very proud that I’ve actually met you! If you come visit again, I hope we can meet up once more. :-)

  • Ed L April 10, 2012, 9:07 pm

    Nice to see you back here. Plus – I’m waiting for the moment when I can order Linamnam to be sent here to Korea!

  • Albert April 26, 2012, 3:07 pm

    Damn this is like a backpacker’s food dream. Searched a bit and a book in San Francisco in case anyone is in that area: http://www.arkipelagobooks.com/product_info.php?products_id=1178. Thanks for the head’s up on this Marvin!

  • Jane May 4, 2012, 12:01 am

    I think it’s a great book of Filipino recipes. I’d love to have a copy also to learn more of Filipino recipes. Thanks a lot for the post, it was a great read today. =)

  • perri June 2, 2012, 12:52 pm

    After the No Reservations episode and the mention of the book on your website I had purchased the the book at National book store while on Christmas vacation in Manila as well as the other book the Claude had been a part of.
    My favourite part of the book / guide was the extensive longanisa section pointing out regional differences.


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