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?
PAL plane in Silay-Bacolod Terminal
Ever since I started working the family farm in Negros in 1987, my carrier of choice was PAL. It was a monopoly then but even when Cebu Pacific started to fly the Bacolod route, I was loyal to PAL. Although PAL was known to be, “PLane Always Late” name me a local airline that was never late. My usual routine was take a morning flight from Manila to Bacolod on a Monday then about ten days later take a late afternoon or evening flight from Bacolod to Manila to avoid the traffic.
But this time I decided to try an evening flight out of Manila coz it was much cheaper. Anyway, I can eat dinner in the Mabuhay Lounge and drink a couple of Asahi or SML beers. If the plane was delayed, no problem I had my beers. I just hope plane isn’t too late or cancelled. Everything within limits. So as you have probably guessed by now, my PAL plane to Bacolod is late and I’m on my third Asahi Beer while writing this blog. Oops, PAL just announced boarding. 45 minutes late. Not too bad! Ciao!
When I was a little boy over 40 years ago, electronic games and toys didn’t exist. Kids entertained themselves by playing tex, marbles, cards. Sometimes I would play sungka in a Sungkaan with some smooth sea shells. It was fun trying to move all of the sea shells to my side of Sungkaan but just like another old game called Monopoly, I hardly ever finished a whole game coz it took too long. Chess was faster and more interesting.
Anyway, about a month ago I heard about this place in Silay called, “Chuck’s” that had a promo of 5 beers plus a Sungkaan full of appetizers for about P299. So I asked an uncle who liked to drink to join me for some beer and bar chow. My treat. Beer was very cold coz they have a “Beer Below Zero” freezer. When the appetizers arrived I was pleasantly amused. Never have I seen a Sungkaan used this way. In fact, I thought the Sungkaan was already non-existent! Each hole was occupied by different types of bar chow namely siomai, peanuts, fish, lumpia, pork and fried squid. Actually, this promo is enough to make two people full! The food in this resto is also quite good so if one is ever in Silay, try out Chuck’s Restaurant along Locsin St (going towards the sea). Kaon kag inom na ta!