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Seasonal Foodie Featured Maker

Meet Fila Manila Co-founder, Jake Deleon

Filipino food on table banner

Fila Manila founder Jake DeleonFila Manila is shining a spotlight on the under-represented dishes and flavors of the Philippines. Recently, Filipino cuisine has experienced an exciting rise in popularity in the U.S., which means it’s finally becoming more accessible. For too long it’s been hard to find Filipino food unless you’re making it at home—even then, it’s a challenge to find quality ingredients.

Coming on the scene in 2020, thanks to the forced slow down of the pandemic, Fila Manila offers authentic Filipino sauces that make cooking delicious, flavorful meals a snap. We love the complexity and approachability of their signature line-up and are excited to share it with you this season. These dishes are an easy complement to many of our Fifth Moon wines. We invite you to mix and match, finding your favorite combination.

We caught up with the brain behind Fila Manila, founder Jake Deleon. He shared a bit about what inspired him to start his brand and what he hopes folks experience when they try his sauces for the first time.

What inspired you to start your business?

As a 1st generation Filipino American immigrant, I was surprised to learn that our community was one of the largest Asian American groups yet our foods were nowhere to be seen in most grocery stores.

I started Fila Manila to (finally) add representation in the market for delicious Filipino cuisine. We’re starting this journey with three award winning product lines inspired by iconic Filipino flavors that also happen to be my family’s favorite recipes.

What do you love most about food and cooking?

My earliest start in the food business was as a young child helping my mom make Filipino delicacies in our kitchen. We would then resell to friends and family for extra family income. Since then, food and cooking was always synonymous with love and hard work.

Overhead shot of colorful Filipino food and Fila Manila sauces

What is your go-to comfort food?

Chicken Adobo is the Philippines’ unofficial national dish and also my favorite go-to-comfort food. Although its made from a few simple ingredients, it is incredibly flavorful with umami, salty, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor notes. We enjoy Chicken Adobo with a heaping pile of freshly steamed Jasmine rice.

Describe your dream dinner. Who’s there, what are you eating, what are you drinking?

My father sadly passed away last year after a long battle with illness. My dream dinner is for my dad to join my mother, brother, and I once again and we would enjoy our favorite home cooked Filipino dishes, like Chicken Adobo or Kare Kare Peanut Stew with Oxtail served your choice of ice cold soda, beer, or white wine!

Fila Manila jarred sauces on a table

What is your hope for people experiencing your product for the first time?

I started Fila Manila to represent the next generation of Filipino American flavors. My hope is that more people can experience delicious Filipino American cuisine and hopefully have the same emotional connection to our food that my family and I did.

Are you a wine drinker? Any particular kind of wine you’re loving right now?

I am! I do enjoy a crisp New Zealand white in a social setting and other wines depending on the type of food that it is paired with.

What most excites you about this food and wine pairing?

Filipino food is made from simple ingredients yet is incredibly full flavored with layered tasting notes. It is quite versatile in regards to wine pairing and many of our dishes can easily pair with your preferred wine!