Month: November 2014

Why Don’t Manila Restos/Bars Serve Ice Cold Beer?

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As I sit here in the resto bar waiting for my friends to arrive, I remember my Manila-based ilonggo friends complaining that Manila resto bars don’t serve ice cold beer. Granted that the hotels serve beer at 10 or 20 times the cost, the beer should be cold at the very least. Some Manila-based restos serve Beer Below Zero or BBZ and there is a listing in the internet. Unfortunately, the only resto I recognize on the list is Grilla and I don’t really go there. Oh, I nearly forgot that the Manila Polo Club serves BBZ. It’s not on the BBZ list but I always recommend it to my five-thirsty friends.

Why the big fuss? Because outside of the National Capitol Region or NCR, Region 6 of which Negros is a part of, is the next biggest beer market. So big that San Miguel had to put up a brewery in Bacolod. In Bacolod and Silay, we drink beer and we like it ice cold! Lukewarm or cool beer will not cut it. Beer must be cold…BBZ cold! Even if the drinking places have no BBZ freezers, some bar owners have their own unique style of keeping beers cold. Bar owners know if the beer isn’t cold, the patrons will complain and not return.

In the 90s I learned that Negrenses don’t like to drink beer with ice unlike their Manila counterparts. They would rather drink warm beer than take it with ice. That’s just the way it is. I however, cannot take warm beer and I have no qualms drinking beer with ice. Whenever my Negrense friends see me drinking beer with ice they would call me “Alog” which I didn’t really mind but later on I found out this comment wasn’t really a compliment. I thought “Alog” was short for “Kalog” of which I am, but it really meant “Tagalog”.

So why don’t Manila restos and bars serve ice cold beer? Beats me! No problem with electricity and such places are open early enough to make the beer ice cold. Maybe not enough freezer space? I sure hope it’s not because the restos don’t want to spend a little extra. Ice cold beer is a huge come-on and can be used as a marketing tool. With all the grilles and bars serving nearly the same food in the metropolis, wouldn’t you go to the place where the beer is coldest?

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My Top 5 Dessert/Coffee Shops In Bacolod

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Ok, so I recommended in an earlier blog my  five “Must Try Restos in Bacolod For Visitors.” These restos serve Filipino food, mostly seafood which is significantly more expensive in Manila but not in Negros. Normally, the Negrense will bring the guest to these places for lunch or dinner then bring them somewhere else for dessert or coffee. Hence, I present my “Top 5 Dessert/Coffee Places in Bacolod.”

1. Calea –  If you have a sweet tooth, you have to come here.  Choose your wild! The desserts are to die for! Everyone in Bacolod knows of Calea, the pastry shop of Yayi and Ging Consing named after their two daughters. I personally like the chocolate chip crusted blueberry cheesecake  or the pecan pie with or without ice cream.  The all-time favorite I believe is the chocolate cake which is the cake of choice for take home as it will survive the plane ride.

2. Felicia’s – This relative newcomer is doing quite well. It started off as a dessert place then quickly transformed into a restaurant. I like their butter Sansrival . Products here like Turrones de Pili and Oatmeal Cookies are attractively packaged so people like to give them away for Christmas or pasalubong.

3. Kuppa – This place in the Shopping district of Bacolod is known for its coffee and has excellent food. Atmosphere here is relaxing and you can stay as long as you want.  Recently The  owners opened a branch in Bonifacio Global Center (BGC) and on a Sunday, the high net-worth  individuals with their fast cars hang around there for breakfast.

4. Bob’s Cafe- An off-shoot of the Bob’s Restaurant, this place serves pizza, pasta, sandwiches, coffee and dessert. There’s also a deli which sources cold cuts, cheese and other deli stuff that rivals those found in Manila. When I’m in the mood for a thin crust pizza I come here.

5. Pendy’s – A restaurant cum pasalubong center. Someone orders something from Bacolod, I get it here if I dont know the supplier. Piaya, dulce gatas and pastel de mangga are some of the products sold. The favored desserts  are of the Filipino comfort food kind like  napoleones and brazo de mercedes. Illy Coffee is served here. BTW lunch and dinner ala carte is very good but i come here for the chicken dinuguan with Manapla puto which  is my favorite merienda.

Negros is the sugar capital of the Philippines so the desserts here are a bit on the sweet side but very good. Thank God I dont really have a sweet tooth but ocassionally I do indulge.  Sugar, spice and everything nice…thats Negros.

Reflections On The Movie, “The Judge”

Excellent  Movie

Excellent Movie

Last week I heard from friends that the Must-Watch movie was “The Judge”. Since the malls were open during the All Saints Day, we took advantage of the situation since there wasn’t much to do. All I knew about the movie was that it starred Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall. For my wife and I, this movie can’t miss! We were so looking forward to the movie and it didn’t disappoint.

I’m sure most of you know the plot of the movie so I won’t go into that. Ok, maybe I will say a little bit of the plot for those who don’t know. Hotshot “Bad Ass” lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) comes home to attend his mother’s funeral but not looking forward to it since he has dead relationship with his judge dad (Robert Duvall). On the day after the burial, judge is accused of killing someone and hotshot lawyer is forced to defend his dad. What really struck me was the frailty of this judge. So we all know that a judge can be like God. Whatever happens in his courtroom is up to him. He decides the fate of the accused. But what about his human side?

When I saw the scene of the judge uncontrollably shitting in his pants while his hotshot lawyer son, struggled to help him out, I couldn’t help but remember my uncle in SFO who took care of his wife by himself for over three years while she suffered from a debilitating disease. All of my relatives saw the sacrifices he did for my aunt and we were one in agreeing that we wouldn’t even last a day taking care of a loved one. There was one time I had the responsibility of taking care of my aunt and when it came to crunch time, I failed. Maybe I can blog about that incident someday. So in my mind, I see my SFO uncle as a living saint.

Hotshot lawyer was the prodigal son who reluctantly came back home to attend his mother’s funeral and deal with his father. In my case, sometimes I feel like the prodigal son. As the member of the family who has to shuttle back-and-forth to follow up the family interests in Negros. I don’t get to see my parents that much. Well at least I’m not like an OFW who gets to see his love ones once a year at very best. I consider myself lucky that both of my parents are alive and I know my parents are advancing in age and every time I spend with them should be cherished and remembered. I used to play golf with my dad but since he got an ACL and refused surgery, he has played less golf and we can’t seem to match our schedules. Lately I have been taking him to S & R as he enjoys buying stuff in bulk for my mother. That’s about once a month. Oh yes, we also went on an Ilocano Roadtrip with my wife and mother. That was special. Lately, I postponed a trip to Negros just to see my mother walk up the stage for her 60th homecoming. Nothing much to see but seeing her up there onstage was priceless!

I have  never been shy to express my emotions. Many times I have heard of people regret not telling their loved ones while they were still alive, that they loved them. I’m not one of them thank God! I’m very affectionate and not shy to show it. So my advice to others out there, don’t neglect your loved ones especially your parents and show that you love them.  You need not be demonstrative. Just be true to yourself, they will know.

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Must Try Restos in Bacolod For Visitors

Balaring, Silay

Balaring, Silay

Lately I read about a list of “Must Try” Eateries in Bacolod which I disagreed with. I got the impression that the writer was just promoting a new restaurant. So for the benefit of my friends and any first-time visitor to Bacolod, I have come up with my list of 5 Restaurants To Try.

1. Aboy’s – A must when visiting Bacolod. Although a bit out of the way now since it’s located near the Old Bacolod Airport, the trip is well worth it. Grilled Blue Marlin, Scallops, Squid, Liempo and other Filipino Lutong Bahay food served by amiable waiters in comfortable surroundings makes this dining experience a memorable one.

2. Chicken House –  All Negros visitors should try the chicken inasal and one of my favorites comes from Chicken House. Their spare ribs is very good too! And their beer…below Zero. Their Mandalagan branch has a nice comfortable aircon feel so many Bacolodnons bring their friends and family there. Other inasal places to try are Aida’s and Nena’s in Manokan Country.

3. Ading’s – Bacolodnons like to bring visitors to seafood market near the fish landing. The most presentable resto there is Adings. Try their scallops and crispy lapulapu.

4. Bob’s – A Bacolod institution since the 60’s. This family restaurant serves Filipino comfort food and is also known for their Mongolian buffet.  Desserts and Breads are excellent.

5. Balaring Seaside Restos – If one has access to a car, go to Silay and  try out the seaside restos in  Brgy . Balaring  and Lantad. The seafood served there is ok. It’s the provincial feel that makes it different. Seaside on one side, fishpond on the other.  There is a new resto in Brgy Lantad called MC Seafoods which looks nice and has been getting good reviews. This resto I will try soon.

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Dining in Negros is relatively cheap. In fact very cheap when compared to Manila prices. Prices quoted are already net of tax and service charge. One saves 22% right then and there.  Everybody loves the food in Bacolod. So why don’t you come on down and do a food trip. Kaon ta! Namets!