Manokan Country! Where you can never be wrong on chicken

Manokan Country

The first thing that crosses my mind about Bacolod is “chicken inasal” or better known as “inato” in the local language. All the stuff I read, all the recommendations I collected pointed to one direction… Manokan Country.

The place is a strip of joints offering the same thing…Bacolod’s famous chicken inasal.  Manokan Country is not a place for squeamish  people. Why? They don’t offer utensils! But they have enough stations where you can wash your hands before and after dining! Yup! Kamayan style…the best way to enjoy grilled chicken.

chicken inasal

Chicken Inasal. Marinated chicken and cooked over charcoal grill.  What made Bacolod’s grilled chicken different? You’ve got to taste it to know the difference. It’s not an overstatement. Nothing beats the authentic inasal right off one of the grills in Manokan Country.

I’ve read a number of posts talking about which joint is the best. In the end, when I dropped by Manokan Country, I was starving so I went to the first one I came about, Aida’s.

…and there was the traditional LOST IN TRANSLATION 🙂

I came in (wala pa kasing masyadong tao)…

Looked around…(walang pumapansin)…

I asked…”San umoorder?” (there was no counter nor stand where you can identify where to place your order)

Sabi ni ate: Ano yun?
I replied: San pwede umorder? (ate pointed me to middle-aged woman so I came and asked)

Ate offered me a seat and I waited…(It did not occur to me that she was waiting for me to state what I’d like to have). Wala palang Menu. hahaha

And since I am literally a foreigner in this side of the country…I asked “anong pwedeng kainin?” (now that was a stupid question).

Ate politely smiled with her one-time hiritmanok“. (Then I realized how stupid my questions was).

What else could I possibly eat from a joint in MANOKAN COUNTRY? Syempre MANOK! (I silently laughed out). Your only choices are the parts.

I got myself the usual…

Well what do you know! The meat is tender, soft and moist! pero luto down to the bones! The meat was tasty. It has that flavor in every bite. Samahan mo pa ng chicken oil over a hot steaming rice ball and the spicy toyo-mansi!

Now even before I came I knew that they’re not serving utensils so before the chicken gets cooked I have washed my hands clean and ready.  I came out full and satisfied…

Where is Manokan Country?

You can easily spot it because it has a huge inflatable chicken on the roof. It’s pink and facing SM City Bacolod.

 

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Hello to the City of Smiles!

Relatively fresh from Singapore, I packed my backpack again with the basics…Lightweight clothes and not to forget Nikkie. Where to? Where else but to the City of Smiles!…

After the very quick UAT (testing) in the office, I went home and packed my bags so I can catch my flight to Bacolod…As usual, I almost missed my flight…

Photo from: http://welcometobacolodcity.blogspot.com/

Airphil Express (now PAL Express) arrived at Bacolod-Silay International Airport.  I did not expect to find a very modern airport in this side of the country.  It’s quite similar to Iloilo International which seems to take its inspiration from the very modern NAIA T3. I knew that the airport is far from the city, but I never realized it was not even in Bacolod. The airport is sitting in the nearby city of Silay which I learned to be historical at the same time.

So there I was! Welcome to Bacolod! And guess what? I got a bit lost…as always…(It’s a tradition)…:)

Credit to the photographer.  Photo taken from http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7005/6814602657_69cb090aab_z.jpg

The airport van’s final destination is at the transport terminal within the confines of SM City Bacolod. When I got off the van I started singing Evita…”Where do we (I) go from here…” I was starving. I have not eaten since I left Manila. I got my Sergio on my back, my tripod and Nikkie inside the mall hoping to find a place to eat…(so malling ang first activity of the day)…I realized, going around the mall with all my stuff isn’t very ideal, but I’ve no choice…I don’t even know where and how to start hunting Ong Bun Pension…(insert flashback of my epic search for Ong Bun Pension in Iloilo)…

As always, Mr. Google Maps showed me the way…It was easier than Iloilo. I found the streets of downtown Bacolod easy to navigate.

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cheap place to stay in the City of Smiles: Ong Bun Pension

Raving over the low cost air travel courtesy of Airphil Express (now PAL Express), my traveling feet got giddy again and my fingers took a few minutes to get myself a flight to and from the city of Smiles – Bacolod City! The moment I was done booking and confirming the reservation I asked myself “So what is there to see in Bacolod?”

After almost a year from booking this flight, I was reminded that I am supposed to make reservations and arrangements for this 5-day stay in the City of Smiles.

Accommodation

With a bit of research, I narrowed down my choices between my usual option, Ong Bun Pension and Check-Inn Hostel I read from a friend. A week before my arrival, I confirmed my reservation. The start of a couple of setbacks started a day before my scheduled flight. After learning that I have to be in the office on the day of my flight to run some tests on newly installed profiles, Ong Bun Pension called to let me know that my reservation for a single deluxe room cannot be confirmed. Reallly, I was totally disappointed.  More than disappointment, it was worry that’s creeping at the back of my head. I’m flying tomorrow without a clear hint of where to stay. When the panic subsided, I decided to check other options, hence, Check-Inn Hostel.   The reviews weren’t that bad and the photos were quite decent. I made an online reservation. The price difference from Ong Bun was a bit noticeable.  I only have approximately P 400/night budget for accommodation. The budget is too tight as I just came from my Singapore birthday trip and my resources aren’t that much. I need a place real quick so I closed my eyes and hit the reservation for a P 650/night single room.

I was about to go home from an unplanned assignment when I got a call from Ong Bun Pension asking if I my reservation request will still push through.  I was tempted to be give an act over the phone but I took it as an opportunity to get all the savings I can get (Ma-G lang talaga). I confirmed the reservation and advised the lady of my arrival time later in the day.  I had to cancel my Check-Inn reservation.

Ong Bun Pension House is strategically located in the center of downtown Bacolod, right in front of Bacolod Central Market…

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