Make sure to watch but even just this post explaining the episode already has us in tears.
Bourdain talks about Vangie, his daughter’s yaya. And how Vangie’s grandson had become his daughter’s best friend. He even called them “partners in crime”.
“Like many children all over the world, my daughter arrived home from the hospital to find a Filipino baby nurse. Vangie was with her from the very beginning of her life and in time my daughter came to know her son, her daughter-in law, their kids — and in time, an extended family and friends — in New Jersey, Southern California and the Bay Area — and of course, most importantly, Jacques, Vangie’s grandson, her best friend, from whom she has been inseparable since infancy — her older brother in every way but biological. Partners in crime,” Bourdain wrote.
He talked about his observation of the Filipino sense of family and community: “Nothing goes to waste around here. Anything, no matter how small, that could be of use to anyone who might need it back home, gets packed in a big box and sent to the other side of the world — if not to family members, to someone in need.”
He raises a glass to the Filipino nanny and caregiver: “This episode is an attempt to address the question of why so many Filipinos are so damn caring. Why they care so much — for each others — for strangers. Because my experience is far from unusual. Hundreds of thousands — maybe millions of children have been raised by Filipino nannies. Usually mothers of their own children who they were forced to leave behind in the Philippines. Doctors, nurses, housekeepers, babysitters, in so many cases, people who you’d call “caregivers” but who, in every case I’ve ever heard of, actually care. Where does this kindness, this instinct for…charity come from?”
And he pays tribute to our millions of OFWs. “Not everyone in the Philippines, I should stress, has such limited options — but it is the overseas worker –and those they have had to leave behind, who interest me most this episode. I guess you could say it’s personal.”
Because he reeks of cool, he also “investigates” how Filipinos everywhere can sing. LOL. “There was one other bit of business I had to investigate. … 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?”
Then Bourdain addresses us. “I hope the overseas Filipinos and our fans in the Philippines like this episode more than they liked the last one on our other show.”
Hey! Make sure to watch his video with Anderson Cooper discussing Filipino food. Anderson Cooper asks Bourdain why eat the pig’s face when there are so many other parts you can eat? A true gourmet, Bourdain says it’s because of the “textural variety to the face”.