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Host: Greg

Manila, Philippines

USD
$42-$152 per person

Authentic Filipino cuisine in a Manila heritage home

Host offerings
  • House
  • Home cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking class
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

Meet Greg

Although originally from the US, Greg has lived in Manila for over 28 years, speaks Tagalog fluently and is passionate about sharing the history and culture of the Philippines. He is a wealth of knowledge about the country he has adopted as his home. Greg and his Filipino partner Jorge live in a traditional colonial home surrounded by trees and filled with beautiful antique Filipino narra (hardwood) furniture. Whenever he gets the chance, Greg loves traveling within the Philippines to discover new beaches, explore architectural styles, and meet friendly and welcoming Filipino people. He has been to 65 of the country's 81 provinces - and counting!

Greg says he didn't appreciate how good Filipino cuisine could be until his partner Jorge started cooking. Jorge is a professional tango instructor and competitor who cooks the food of the central Visayas region which is known for its cuisine. Greg's friend Oscar, with whom he sometimes hosts when Jorge is traveling, cooks Ilocano style (Northern Filipino cuisine) which is known for its meat and vegetable dishes and use of sugarcane vinegar.

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) You will be greeted at the entrance to Greg and Jorge's home before walking upstairs to the living room. Sip on refreshing buko (coconut water) as you learn about local Filipino culture and cuisine from Greg. You will share a traditional Filipino meal with Greg and Jorge at their dining table. Your menu might include dishes such as pinakbet (an indigenous mixed vegetable and pork dish), fish paksiw (local white fish in a vinegar reduction), pechay (chinese cabbage and shrimp in a light sauce), bicol express (sliced vegetables, pork and chili peppers in a coconut milk sauce) followed by suman and mangos for dessert. Menu may vary based on the season.

Cooking experience: (1-6 guests) Join Greg and Jorge (or Oscar) in the kitchen for a hands-on cooking lesson. They will teach you to prepare a few dishes that might be accompanied additional food they prepared in advance. You can expect to spend about 1.5 hours in the kitchen together before you sit down to eat.

Market visit: (1-6 guests) Meet your host Greg at home and sip on a cup of coffee or tea before you embark on your market tour of a local Filipino market. You will drive half an hour to the Seaside Market (known locally as "dampa") where the freshest of fish and an incredible variety of seafood is sold. Greg will also introduce you to local and regional vegetables at the vegetable market. The market is outdoors but very clean and presentable, and is surrounded by restaurants (the idea being people can buy their own ingredients and have them prepared at a selected restaurant, or let the restaurant buy on their behalf). This is where Greg shops for his seafood and where you will watch him purchase seafood and produce for your meal. After your market tour, which will last about an hour, drive back half and hour to Greg's home.

Notes: Greg's home does not have air conditioning and may get warm. They use fans to stay cool. Greg's home is also a homestay so you may meet other guests during your visit.

Jorge may not always be in town in which case one of Greg's friends, Oscar, an equally talented home cook, will teach you his family recipes.

Languages spoken: English

PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

Meeting Greg, Jorge and Oscar was a delightful surprise. Their house was really beautiful and their food and prep were phenomenal.

Jimmy, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Traveler reviews

4.75 (8)
I was with Oscar for my tour. We had a nice outing to the seafood market, before cooking and relaxing in the beautiful home. Oscar has a quiet warmth and hospitality that are sure to charm you. Lunch was delicious. A great way to spend a few free hours in Manila.
- CourtneyMD December 07, 2019
We booked a cooking experience at Greg's home for friends who were in town. For them, it was perfect because it represented real Filipino home-cooked dishes that they could follow and would be able to replicate when they went back home. Greg's home was also an amazing place filled with keepsakes that were real conversation starters.On top of this, we would be remiss if we didn't mention how accommodating Greg truly is. We had messed up the date of booking and only realized it at the last minute. When we called him up to try to see what could be salvaged of it, Greg went out of his way to accommodate us anyway and arranged everything at the last minute. We cannot thank him enough not just for being a gracious and hospitable host to our friends, but also a really generous, big-hearted, and awesome human being.
- morningcup13 October 03, 2019
Highly, highly recommend. What a great experience! Greg and Oscar are fabulous host. Oscar taught us traditional Filipino dishes. That we have made for friends since we returned home and everyone loved them! Their home is lovely and we were lucky enough to have two of their homestay guest and some of their local friends join us later. Such a great group! Hopefully we didn’t overstay our welcome. The whole evening was such a wonderful experience. We plan to do it again the next time we are in the Philippines.
- roadrunner633 March 21, 2019
We met our host Greg at his lovely home- decorated with amazing Philippine antiques. His friend, Oscar was a cooking instructor, and with his help, we made delicious pork & chicken adobo and shrimp sinigang (a tomato shrimp stew). We enjoyed our meal- complete with fresh local mango for dessert, with Greg & Oscar and learned about Manila and the Philippines. A great opportunity to learn about the real Manila and eat authentic Philippine cuisine. I highly recommend! Bit of advice: give yourself plenty of time (at least 2-3x expected) to arrive at Greg's home (Manila traffic is horrendous) and if possible, arrange your transport back beforehand.
- Stefanie P July 03, 2018
Greg & Oscar showed us a great time. We stayed past our time just talking as if we were old friends. Oscar is a great cook and their home is also a bed & breakfast. So traditional and beautiful. Friendly animals around. Pretty easy to find. Wee had a hands on experience and took great pictures and notes. Everything tastes so good!! Definitly would recommend as a must do to everyone!
- redd7734 April 02, 2018
Greg is a friendly and gracious host. And Oscar is a fabulous cook. He taught us a few delicious recipes which I look forward to replicating at home.
- Dawn August 07, 2017
When we booked this cooking class, we were enticed by the descriptions of the food at Greg's: "pinakbet (an indigenous mixed vegetable and pork dish), fish paksiw (local white fish in a vinegar reduction), pechay (chinese cabbage and shrimp in a light sauce), bicol express (sliced vegetables, pork and chili peppers in a coconut milk sauce) followed by suman and mangos for dessert". We ended up cooking a good pork adobo, as well as a tasty vegetable with pork and shrimp dish, but we felt like it didn't quite live up to the description offered, and we didn't get very much instruction as we went. In fact, both of us were fairly bored during the cooking process and had we paid full price (we used a 50% coupon) we would have felt pretty upset at the value we got from it. While the food was good, it was also very simple and we felt that it didn't merit the price tag involved, especially since we got so little instruction and education while we cooked. I think I would recommend going to Greg's for the in home meal, but I wouldn't feel as good recommending the cooking experience here. That being said, Greg was a fantastic host. he's really knowledgeable about local history, he's very engaging, and incredibly welcoming. When we expressed interest in the heirloom rice he had in his kitchen, he even gave us a bag to take home! We really wish we could write a better review for this class because we had a really nice time with Greg - the disappointment was simply that we didn't learn much at all about cooking or the various regional Filipino cuisines while we were there.
- Jannell April 11, 2017
It was a great experience at Greg's place in Manila. I absolutely loved his home!!! Oscar was a great chef and it was a lot of fun to help him prepare the food we were going to eat. The food was tasty and very flavourful! We chatted and had drinks after for quite some time and had lively conversation. We got to meet some people that were staying there - as Greg hosts a B&B as well! We got to know more about Manila and the Philippines and were provided with information for our day of sightseeing the next day. Thanks for a wonderful time, Greg!
- Expat and the City January 30, 2016
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Greg

$42-$152 USD

per person
100% VETTED
Learn more
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Credit card is not charged until the host confirms your booking
  • Private experience
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$64 $52 $42
Cooking Experience + Meal
$108 $58 $48
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$152 $86 $68
Alcohol
$4 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$64 $52 $42
Cooking Experience + Meal
$108 $58 $48
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$152 $86 $68
Alcohol
$4 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm 6:00pm-8:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm 5:00pm-8:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:00am-2:00pm 4:00pm-9:00pm

Meet Greg

Although originally from the US, Greg has lived in Manila for over 28 years, speaks Tagalog fluently and is passionate about sharing the history and culture of the Philippines. He is a wealth of knowledge about the country he has adopted as his home. Greg and his Filipino partner Jorge live in a traditional colonial home surrounded by trees and filled with beautiful antique Filipino narra (hardwood) furniture. Whenever he gets the chance, Greg loves traveling within the Philippines to discover new beaches, explore architectural styles, and meet friendly and welcoming Filipino people. He has been to 65 of the country's 81 provinces - and counting!

Greg says he didn't appreciate how good Filipino cuisine could be until his partner Jorge started cooking. Jorge is a professional tango instructor and competitor who cooks the food of the central Visayas region which is known for its cuisine. Greg's friend Oscar, with whom he sometimes hosts when Jorge is traveling, cooks Ilocano style (Northern Filipino cuisine) which is known for its meat and vegetable dishes and use of sugarcane vinegar.

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) You will be greeted at the entrance to Greg and Jorge's home before walking upstairs to the living room. Sip on refreshing buko (coconut water) as you learn about local Filipino culture and cuisine from Greg. You will share a traditional Filipino meal with Greg and Jorge at their dining table. Your menu might include dishes such as pinakbet (an indigenous mixed vegetable and pork dish), fish paksiw (local white fish in a vinegar reduction), pechay (chinese cabbage and shrimp in a light sauce), bicol express (sliced vegetables, pork and chili peppers in a coconut milk sauce) followed by suman and mangos for dessert. Menu may vary based on the season.

Cooking experience: (1-6 guests) Join Greg and Jorge (or Oscar) in the kitchen for a hands-on cooking lesson. They will teach you to prepare a few dishes that might be accompanied additional food they prepared in advance. You can expect to spend about 1.5 hours in the kitchen together before you sit down to eat.

Market visit: (1-6 guests) Meet your host Greg at home and sip on a cup of coffee or tea before you embark on your market tour of a local Filipino market. You will drive half an hour to the Seaside Market (known locally as "dampa") where the freshest of fish and an incredible variety of seafood is sold. Greg will also introduce you to local and regional vegetables at the vegetable market. The market is outdoors but very clean and presentable, and is surrounded by restaurants (the idea being people can buy their own ingredients and have them prepared at a selected restaurant, or let the restaurant buy on their behalf). This is where Greg shops for his seafood and where you will watch him purchase seafood and produce for your meal. After your market tour, which will last about an hour, drive back half and hour to Greg's home.

Notes: Greg's home does not have air conditioning and may get warm. They use fans to stay cool. Greg's home is also a homestay so you may meet other guests during your visit.

Jorge may not always be in town in which case one of Greg's friends, Oscar, an equally talented home cook, will teach you his family recipes.

Languages spoken: English

PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

Meeting Greg, Jorge and Oscar was a delightful surprise. Their house was really beautiful and their food and prep were phenomenal.

Jimmy, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Traveler reviews

4.75 (8)
I was with Oscar for my tour. We had a nice outing to the seafood market, before cooking and relaxing in the beautiful home. Oscar has a quiet warmth and hospitality that are sure to charm you. Lunch was delicious. A great way to spend a few free hours in Manila.
- CourtneyMD December 07, 2019
We booked a cooking experience at Greg's home for friends who were in town. For them, it was perfect because it represented real Filipino home-cooked dishes that they could follow and would be able to replicate when they went back home. Greg's home was also an amazing place filled with keepsakes that were real conversation starters.On top of this, we would be remiss if we didn't mention how accommodating Greg truly is. We had messed up the date of booking and only realized it at the last minute. When we called him up to try to see what could be salvaged of it, Greg went out of his way to accommodate us anyway and arranged everything at the last minute. We cannot thank him enough not just for being a gracious and hospitable host to our friends, but also a really generous, big-hearted, and awesome human being.
- morningcup13 October 03, 2019
Highly, highly recommend. What a great experience! Greg and Oscar are fabulous host. Oscar taught us traditional Filipino dishes. That we have made for friends since we returned home and everyone loved them! Their home is lovely and we were lucky enough to have two of their homestay guest and some of their local friends join us later. Such a great group! Hopefully we didn’t overstay our welcome. The whole evening was such a wonderful experience. We plan to do it again the next time we are in the Philippines.
- roadrunner633 March 21, 2019
We met our host Greg at his lovely home- decorated with amazing Philippine antiques. His friend, Oscar was a cooking instructor, and with his help, we made delicious pork & chicken adobo and shrimp sinigang (a tomato shrimp stew). We enjoyed our meal- complete with fresh local mango for dessert, with Greg & Oscar and learned about Manila and the Philippines. A great opportunity to learn about the real Manila and eat authentic Philippine cuisine. I highly recommend! Bit of advice: give yourself plenty of time (at least 2-3x expected) to arrive at Greg's home (Manila traffic is horrendous) and if possible, arrange your transport back beforehand.
- Stefanie P July 03, 2018
Greg & Oscar showed us a great time. We stayed past our time just talking as if we were old friends. Oscar is a great cook and their home is also a bed & breakfast. So traditional and beautiful. Friendly animals around. Pretty easy to find. Wee had a hands on experience and took great pictures and notes. Everything tastes so good!! Definitly would recommend as a must do to everyone!
- redd7734 April 02, 2018
Greg is a friendly and gracious host. And Oscar is a fabulous cook. He taught us a few delicious recipes which I look forward to replicating at home.
- Dawn August 07, 2017
When we booked this cooking class, we were enticed by the descriptions of the food at Greg's: "pinakbet (an indigenous mixed vegetable and pork dish), fish paksiw (local white fish in a vinegar reduction), pechay (chinese cabbage and shrimp in a light sauce), bicol express (sliced vegetables, pork and chili peppers in a coconut milk sauce) followed by suman and mangos for dessert". We ended up cooking a good pork adobo, as well as a tasty vegetable with pork and shrimp dish, but we felt like it didn't quite live up to the description offered, and we didn't get very much instruction as we went. In fact, both of us were fairly bored during the cooking process and had we paid full price (we used a 50% coupon) we would have felt pretty upset at the value we got from it. While the food was good, it was also very simple and we felt that it didn't merit the price tag involved, especially since we got so little instruction and education while we cooked. I think I would recommend going to Greg's for the in home meal, but I wouldn't feel as good recommending the cooking experience here. That being said, Greg was a fantastic host. he's really knowledgeable about local history, he's very engaging, and incredibly welcoming. When we expressed interest in the heirloom rice he had in his kitchen, he even gave us a bag to take home! We really wish we could write a better review for this class because we had a really nice time with Greg - the disappointment was simply that we didn't learn much at all about cooking or the various regional Filipino cuisines while we were there.
- Jannell April 11, 2017
It was a great experience at Greg's place in Manila. I absolutely loved his home!!! Oscar was a great chef and it was a lot of fun to help him prepare the food we were going to eat. The food was tasty and very flavourful! We chatted and had drinks after for quite some time and had lively conversation. We got to meet some people that were staying there - as Greg hosts a B&B as well! We got to know more about Manila and the Philippines and were provided with information for our day of sightseeing the next day. Thanks for a wonderful time, Greg!
- Expat and the City January 30, 2016
Read More
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$64 $52 $42
Cooking Experience + Meal
$108 $58 $48
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$152 $86 $68
Alcohol
$4 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$64 $52 $42
Cooking Experience + Meal
$108 $58 $48
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$152 $86 $68
Alcohol
$4 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm 6:00pm-8:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm 5:00pm-8:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:00am-2:00pm 4:00pm-9:00pm
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