Maida’s Portfolio

MAIDA PINEDA is creatively committed to savor the golden delicious moments of life. For the past fifteen years, she has poured her energy on her passions for food, travel, writing, and food styling. No two days are alike for Maida. She may be on a mission to capture how traditional Asian dishes are made, stalking a balut vendor, or eating her way on the Orient Express. She has written hundreds of magazine articles for international publications such as CNNGo, Business Traveller, Reader’s Digest, Silver Kris, Timeout Singapore, Fah Thai (Bangkok Airways), Tiger Tales (Tiger Airways), Mabuhay (Philippine Airlines), Cebu Pacific Smile, Elite Traveler Asia, Appetite Asia, Silk Winds (Silk Air), Fraser Suites’ Cachet, Turbo Jet’s Horizon Magazine, Foodservice Consultant Magazine, CEI Magazine (a publication for MICE professionals), and MIX (a publication for MICE professionals). Maida is the author of two books: “Do’s and Don’ts in the Philippines” and “Six Degrees of Expatriation: Uncovering Lives of Expats in Singapore.”

This writer has a Master of Arts Degree in Gastronomy from Le Cordon Bleu and the University of Adelaide, and a liberal arts degree from Smith College in MA, USA. She is also the recipient of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) full scholarship for Gastronomy.

Born in Philippines, she has traveled all around the archipelago and to the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, Bhutan, Argentina, Myanmar, and Macau, She has lived and worked in the US, Australia, Singapore and in Hong Kong. Her big dream is to eat her way around the world, and blogs about the delicious adventure.

The author was also specially trained in the US for food styling. She has produced camera-ready food for the editorial requirements for Good Housekeeping Philippines, and advertising requirements for TV and print of Coca-Cola, Monde Nissin, Del Monte, and many other multinational companies. She also offers Creativity Stew, a workshop designed to nourish and inspire weary creative souls. With her diverse and in-depth experience in food, travel, and culture, she has given lectures in the National Museum of Singapore, the Asian Development Bank, the Australian School in Singapore, and the International School of Manila.

Maida is currently based in Manila, Philippines, but continues travel extensively around the region and beyond.


published work , clips….

Bhutan’s Bucolic Charms
Doing the Tango with Argentina’s Delicious Spread
Following Rainbows and Finding Magic in Darwin (Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 2012)
From Gawking Tourist to Responsible Traveler Philippine Daily Inquirer (March 4, 2012)
Laos: High Wire Adventure (Business Traveller Asia Pacific) 
Darwin, Australia: On Top Down Under
Vietnam: Castaway in Con Dao
Adelaide, Australia: Having Cup after cup after cup

Hit the Road in the Greater MekongDining on Board the Eastern & Oriental Express Tiong Bahru: Singapore’s Oldest & Hippest Hood (CNNGo)

Cool Britannia Still Kicking in Tropical Singapore (CNNGo)
Gaggan Anand Looks to the Future
Promoting Peru: A Shared Taste
Gastronomika:Rethinking Food Together 
Top 50 Filipino Dishes in CNNGo
A Culinary Rockstar is Born (Gaggan Anand)
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014: Innovation, Tradition and Camaraderie
Chef Bo Songvisava is Breaking Boundaries
Hope and Comfort from Filipino Food
Saving Washoku
Taking It Home (David Thompson)
Ben Shewry: New Zeal for Foraging
TV’s Top Chef is Filipino: Paul Qui
Thomas Keller
Kenneth Cobonpue
Bobby Chinn
Jeff Shi
Inthy Deaunsavanh
DO’s and DONT’S IN THE PHILIPPINES – A Cultural Etiquette Guide
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SIX DEGREES OF EXPATRIATION: Uncovering Lives of Expats in Singapore

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What begins as an innocent food trip to partake of roti pratas, Hainanese chicken rice, and oyster omelettes turns into a life changing decision. International food and travel writer Maida Pineda captures the thrills, quirks, and adjustments of her big move to Singapore. Her candid and honest story covers everything from the inescapable conversations with cab drivers, to finding a place to rent, and even the arof saving a seat at hawker centres. Through her everyday adventures in this small island, she encounters a diverse mix of expatriates from all over the world, including a photographer, a linguist who speaks eight languages, and a meditation teacher. She tells the story of their lives in this compact country, closely interconnected, where everyone seems to be linked in less than six degrees of separation.” -from the back cover of the book.


Read my adventure along with the stories of other fascinating expats from the US, Canada, Japan, Thailand, Italy, France, New Zealand, India, Australia and the Philippines  in the book.  Released in Singapore, November 2009 and in Manila in 2010.

It has the special honor of being the first book to be sold in all Starbucks cafes in Singapore last July 2010.


Some Reviews:

Arguably Singapore’s most famous ex-expatriate, Neil Humphreys gives his take on Six Degrees of Expatriation on Kopitiam:
“Whereas many of the expats stories in the book cover common ground,Pineda takes on Singapore itself in all its exuberant, flawed glory. Her nuanced take on the quirks and foibles of this wonderful country are both balanced and entertaining. The other expats’ anecdotes will probably be enjoyed by other expats, but Pineda’s Singapore story is one for all Singaporeans.”


Glowing reviews from total strangers who emailed, expats and non-expats who enjoyed the book:

Just need to say thank you for a refreshing and unmistakably honest account of the eclectic life in the Red Dot! Well done!
– Nancy

Hi Maida, I bought your book (six degrees) at the Manila Book Fair. Nice read! 🙂 – Aisa

…Overall, I find the book an enjoyable read and I am glad that my decision to buy the book (without being able to browse through the contents) was right. – Gary

I’m a Brazilian, married to an American and I just moved from Philadelphia to Singapore! Your book (six degrees) came to my hands by coincidence… (as i believe books should come to one, the right book just comes to you, at the right time) I read it in 2 days! Loved it!! Probably you get lots of emails of expats who read it, but I felt i needed to connect and say thank you!! You have inspired me!!I hope I get to know lovely people here in Singapore as you have! – Paula

I just wanted to with you about my chanced encounter with your book, and how I am rather inspired by what you wrote, the way you weaved the feel of your stories together, and most of all, your bubbly personality, outlook and perspective of life which is evident in your writing.- Seow Ser, Singaporean

View a TV interview on ANC lifestyle show City Scape about Six Degrees of Expatriation: