Filipinos love to eat and for a while, it had been almost synonymous to sin to find a Filipino who doesn’t know how to cook.
But when IT professional Vanjo Merano came to Chicago, in the US, he found out wherever he goes, it seems that Filipino food is not well represented. “I can cook this and do this better,” he told himself.
Thus born in 2009 Panlasang Pinoy, a food blog, about Filipino food that he himself tried and tested.
There have a number of blogs that showcase Filipino food recipes. But Google analytics show Panlasang Pinoy is so far the most watched on Youtube with 100 million hits and 1.6 million subscribers. His blog gets 4.5 million visits a month, which is like 45 views per minute.
His subscribers are mostly OFWs, millennials and homebodies but they not only based in the US and in the Philippines. He also has a good following in the United Arab Emirates, Europe, and Asian countries, too.
In an interview with Positively Filipino, Merano said that because of the success of his blog, he quit his day job to focus on sharing more recipes online.
Merano is neither a chef nor a professional cook. He said he just a typical man who couldn’t outgrow his mom’s cooking. And when he started blogging, he became more inspired to push ahead whenever he finds comments such as ‘Salamat talaga kuya, dahil sa iyo, lalo akong minahal ng mister/misis ko.’ or that Filipinos thrive in their food business using his recipes.
The most viewed or most favorite recipes? Adobo, Sinigang, Bicol Express, Lumpia, the Filipino Spaghetti.
“Readers ask for these favorite dishes over and over again so they can validate if they’re doing it correctly,” Merano said.
Merano said one doesn’t need to be an expert or shoot fancy videos. To succeed in blogging, one needs to have a drive for it, be responsible for the information you are sharing. “If you’re starting out as a recipe blogger, commercialization should not be the focus … darating na lang yan, (it will come),” he said.