Like most kids who grew up in a Filipino household, Ninong Ry did his own version of a pizza using sliced bread when he was young.
“I remember we have this Hanabishi oven toaster nung bata ako. Isa rin yun sa mga nag-ambag sa desire ko sa pagluluto. (I remember we have this Hanabishi toaster when I was a kid. It’s one of the things that also contributed to my desire to cook),” Ryan Morales Reyes, who is more popularly known as Ninong Ry, said.
Today, the food vlogger has come full circle with the leading appliance brand as he was recently tapped by Hanabishi Appliances for its Christmas campaign. “Ninong Ry is the perfect kapartner for Hanabishi this holiday season. We all know that kids and even adults look forward to visiting their ninongs and ninangs this Christmas. In the same way, Ninong Ry’s inaanaks (what his fans call themselves) look forward to his latest cooking videos,” said Hanabishi Appliances Vice President for Finance and Marketing Cherish Ong-Chua.
She added that through Ninong Ry’s vlogs, they want to show that they can rely on Hanabishi to make cooking easy and fun, that it could be a great bonding activity for the family and that even those who are afraid to try their hand at it will eventually enjoy it. In the videos he will do for Hanabishi, Ninong Ry will be using Hanabishi’s latest product, the Digital Air Fryer, as well as its most popular kitchen appliances, the Electric Pressure Cooker and 2-in-1 Griller.
“We want to share the joy of cooking with everyone this Holiday season through these videos,” Ong-Chua said. Finding Joy in Cooking Joy is something that Ninong Ry has brought to those who have seen his highly entertaining and educational cooking videos. Before he gained millions of likes and views, however, it was something that he sought for when the pandemic hit.
“Yung content creation ko was just there to relieve anxiety. Kasi tulad ng lahat ng Filipino, naapektuhan din ng pandemic ‘yung ginagawa ko noong panahon na ‘yun. (I turned to content creation to relieve anxiety. Like a lot of Filipinos, the pandemic affect what I was doing then),” he revealed.
Ninong Ry shared that from working 16 to 18 hours a day, he was left with nothing to do. “I needed something to direct my attention. Kasi bumaligtad bigla yung mundo ko, eh. Bigla akong nawalan ng gagawin. So bumalik ako sa primal source of joy ko — cooking. (My world turned upside down. I suddenly had nothing to do, so I turned to my primal source of joy, which is cooking)”, he said.
Ninong Ry has always loved eating. It was his father, however, who inspired him to take up cooking seriously. “Father ko ang nagluluto talaga sa bahay. Siyempre ‘pag bata ka, tutulong ka sa kusina. While hindi niya ako tinuruan directly, na-expose ako sa philosophy niya sa pagluluto. (It was my father who cooked at home. When you’re a kid, you had to help out in the kitchen.
So while he didn’t directly teach me, he exposed me to his philosophy in cooking),” he said. As Ninong Ry found his joy in making cooking videos, so has many of his inaanaks found delight in watching him whip up his latest culinary creations with passion and humor. He acknowledged that he himself found happiness and inspiration in watching Cong TV during the days he was feeling down.
He is also grateful to Erwan Heussaf and Wil Dasovich who paved the way for content creators like himself. Advice for First-Time Cooks Asked what his advice is for people who are wary of cooking, he said that it would be helpful to think that it is an essential skill that you would need to learn to survive.
“I believe na lahat naman tayo, kahit konti, merong desire sa pagluluto. Kasi lahat tayo kumakain. Parte ng survival natin ‘yan. Isang step na lang ‘yung igagalaw mo, nandoon ka na sa pagluluto. (I believe that all of us has the desire to learn how to cook because all of us eats. It’s part of our survival. So, it’s just one step that you have to take),” he encouraged.
When it comes to using appliances for the first time, he said it is important to read the manual. “’Pag binasa mo naman siya, hindi naman nobela ‘yan eh. Isang papel lang ‘yan. Ang kapalit niyan ay ‘yung safety mo at ang enjoyment mo sa pagluluto. Ibuhos na natin ‘yung effort na ‘yun (It’s not a novel. It’s just one piece of paper and reading it would ensure your safety and your enjoyment in cooking. Make that effort.),” he said.
Not only has Ninong Ry made cooking enjoyable for his followers, he has, according to the messages he has received, also helped in making their relationships with their loved ones stronger. He shared that some have messaged him saying that cooking has become a bonding activity with their significant other.
There are also some fans who told him that while they can’t do the dishes he’s cooking, they are entertained with what he does. Ninong Ry admitted that he still finds it hard to comprehend how he has affected the lives of his fellow Filipinos, but he is happy that he has brought them joy during these trying times.
“That is also what we want to remind people with this collaboration with Ninong Ry. We want to encourage them to find joy in activities like cooking not only this holiday season but throughout the year,” Ong-Chua concluded.