Updated: Jun 11, 2018
Not even 24 hours into creating this blog, and there is already a complete heartbreak. I am not one who sat and watched every episode of any show by Anthony Bourdain. It really isn't in the upkeep of his whereabouts, but more so in the impact that this man had on so many lives.
Anthony Bourdain was the first man I ever saw whose traits were ones to note and look for in my own relationship. Cultured, respectful, intelligent, humble, hungry, and compassionate. His respect and fascination for other cultures was captivating to see. Visiting the Philippines was no exception.
As a Filipino American, it has been difficult to feel... "correct" in this world. Clearly a sore thumb in northwest America, yet not Filipino enough to proclaim "Mabuhay!" from the rooftops, I have been in a lonely league. Seeing a white male excited to dine on the very food that makes every dinner guest of ours wince was a treat. For once, I was proud to be from the same place in the world as sisig. His love for Filipino cuisine made me feel loved by association.
To have such an appetite for travel and exposure to others' way of life seemed to unite so many. Seeing someone document a visit to your land that others mock without even seeing, and seeing him enjoy what you may be embarrassed about, is uplifting.
It isn't just about food or travel. It's so much more than that. Anthony Bourdain was passionate and accepting of people. He had appreciation for authenticity. It is a game changer to see someone with such stature who is happy to interact with all types of people. Genuine brings out genuine. On paper, he is the type to intimidate me most. He's smart, cultured, quick thinking. But he's humble and eager to learn about people in any walk of life. This translates past culture and gets deep down into the makeup of each person's being. I love that he chose to advocate respect for all people. Too much of my self worth stemmed from a man I've never met, but I am eternally grateful.
It's silly. It really is. But Anthony Bourdain's passion for food and my culture elicited a feeling of approval. I'm okay, no, more than okay, I'm fantastic. So now, not only do I know what to look for in a man, I see attributes in myself as well. I'm so sorry that someone who has brought me vast amounts of happiness was dealing with so much darkness. Although he's no longer in our world, he has painted it so beautifully for us.