Sunday, October 07, 2007


Friends who like to munch, A and E, said let's go north young people, so north we headed. With a goal of Pampanga tripping on our minds, we spent a few hours cruising around Angeles where I guided the two through some previous finds: Susie's and Rosings, Everybody's Cafe, and the halo-halo triangle near Nepo Mart. Between the three of us we tried and bought:

12 boxes of candies from Rosings (caramels, nougats, chews, and assorted sweet goodies)
2 morcons
3 packs of chicharon
1 mochi with gata sauce
1 carabao milk custard
4 packs of puto (ube and regular)
a large bag of bread-y goods from Perfect Loaf (cinnamon bread, ensaimadas, mamon, cheese rolls, ube muffin)
Sticky duman bibingka (a very uncommon kakanin that I immediately ordered to taste since it shows up only when there's a harvest of the special rice)

We had also gone north to try an Angeles tradition, the pizza at Armando's. A told me that the restaurant was in a "camalig", or granary, which has been in the Nepomuceno family since 1840. We enjoyed poking around the restaurant, there was a lot of old pieces still stored under the main dining hall, and there's a certain comfort eating inside a place that's solid and built to last. However, the pizza was made for a Pinoy sensibility; think 3A, Magoos. Yup, a cardboard like crust, with a sweet sauce and processed cheese. I doused each slice with hot sauce.

Back in Manila, we walked around the Cubao Shoe Expo (or Marikina Shoe Expo located in Cubao. A bit confusing, but most Manila based people know what it means); A fell in love with a small painting we spotted in White Box, an art gallery chockful of new artists' works. We also met the owners of a new cafe offering healthy salads and cupcakes, Halo. The three ladies there were enthusiastic and full of vim. But they'll need more than that to keep this place afloat. A couple of places we had hoped to visit, a furniture design shop, and an art gallery that sold collectibles, were kaput in less than a year. Vintage Pop, a fun place to poke around had a sign that said "open upon request"; the rain didn't help to keep our spirits up. It would be nice to see the shops make it, but they depend on regular custom.

And at the end of the day, tired friends seek something simple, hot, and comforting while the rain pours down. Soup.


Socky said...

I was hoping Cubao (Marikina Shoe Expo) would be the next Malate. Something was always happening there: a furniture show, poetry reading. lectures. No more. Sigh.

wysgal said...

Is Cubao / Marikina Shoe Expo no more?

mtan said...

Socky and Tina, the expo is still there, but it didn't feel as vibrant as when I was there last (late last year). I was disappointed that Vintage Pop was only open "upon request", so you had to call them and then wait around till they arrived; the collectible shop was gone, and the really interesting furniture showroom was also kaput. Otherwise there's a couple of bookstores, a new cupcake/cafe (Halo), and we noticed a bar with a boho feel to it. White Box, the art gallery was open and we did find some pieces we liked, the other gallery was not open. On a Sunday afternoon, it was a bit of a let down. It might have been different if we had gone Saturday night during their night market promo.

Katrina said...

When they first tried reviving the area last year, they started calling it "Cubao X." You're right, it was more vibrant then. I think the location is just not viable as a future Malate. But don't write it off just yet. I was there a few weeks ago for Pablo Gallery's 1st anniversary, and it was fun. So yes, maybe visiting on a Saturday night would've been much better...for one thing, Vintage Pop would've surely been open.

I miss that collectible shop, too. I only got to go to that furniture showroom twice before it closed, but took many pictures. :-) Frankly, I'm not that surprised it's no more. All the pieces (as far as I know) were knock-offs of famous designer furniture (Aarnio's Ball chair, Gehry's Wiggle chair, etc.). Ironic, given that the shop was called Bespoke.

That boho bar is owned by Eric Mati, the director. I think it's called Mogwai. Both Saturday nights I've seen it, it was half- or nearly empty.

christine said...

Doesn't Carlos still have organized tours to this place? I've always been curious about it, since the last time I was there I was still a little kid.

mtan said...

He does Cubao tours that include Marikina Shoe Expo. I don't know if he holds them as regularly as his CCP and Intramuros tours.

docchef said...

place i love in pampanga is jojo's for the best bbq
In cubao-- i was surprise with Tratoria Uno which for me is better than Bellinis

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