I have visited my maternal grandparents’ house in Lipa City more times in the past year than all of the summer vacations I had since birth combined. It’s where I seek refuge whenever I have breaks that are too long I can’t stay in Manila doing nothing and too short I can’t risk the 12 hour journey to Isabela. Thank God for the AC-TEX because travel time was cut to half. I remember, Manila to Lipa was more or less 3 hours when I was younger. Now it’s only 90 minutes, 60 if the traffic gods are with you.
During my last visit, Ate Janine, Ate Carla and Kuya Kim brought me to The Basoy Xperience, a restaurant and cafe in Balabag. According to Ate Janine, “basoy” is a shortened word for batangenong tisoy or half-bred Batangeno.
tbX is beside a carwash so I guess the owners had the brilliant idea of building a place where their customers can relax while waiting for their automobiles. I think the place is a restaurant during daylight but LCD projectors, drums, and other musical instruments are set up at night because it turns into a haven for local music lovers. In fact, when we went there, a band was launching an album and music video and another artist, an EP. Unfortunately, we weren’t patient enough to wait for the acts. Think of saGuijo, Batangeno version.
The menu, though not really extensive and mind-blowing, had a personal touch. It was actually more of a scrapbook than a menu since pictures of the owners with their friends are present with matching captions. Some of the name of the dishes were handwritten and the pictures of food were printed and glued on the page. Nice.
On one page of the menu is a collection of terms that are unique to Batangenos. I am familiar with some of them and reading through the list made me laugh and reminisce all of the vernacular terms jumbled up in my head, Ilocano, Ibanag and Batangeno. Pantay ba o bangking? Ako lapa ang gagawa. Sige na vud. Ako na ngarud. Namura ako ng mamay. Magsuot ka ng saluwal. et al.
I had carbonara on top of my meal. The bread was obviously bad based on the looks of it but the pasta was creamy and cheesy and delicious not to mention warm, the fresh-from-the-microwave kind which I didn’t mind. Microwaves are one of the best machines invented, ever.
Ate Janine and I meanwhile had spicy wings. It was spicy but not too spicy (ano daw?) and I like the fact that there wasn’t too much flour. I just hope the chickens where the wings came from weren’t too malnourished, there were barely enough meat.
A shout out to Kuya Kim who paid for dinner. Funny thing was, even though we were second-degree cousins, I only met him personally last March during the Pyromusical Festival since I rarely went to Lipa during my elementary and high school days and he was tucked away in the Philippine Military Academy during my college years. He claims he spent summer vacations in Isabela but I don’t remember ever seeing him. haha. Anyway, thanks Kuya Kim! :]
Though the meal was satisfying, our cravings kicked in and our palates wanted none other than Central BBQ Boy’s cheesy potato and nachos plus Jollibee’s mix n’ something ice cream. Ate Janine and Ate Carla went to Central while Kuya Kim and I went to Jollibee via motorcycle (which I missed riding on big time. I promise I’d buy one for myself after I learn how to ride a bicycle). Last stop was Kuya Kim’s house (first time to visit for us ladies) where we continued the murder of my diet while watching bad shows. When was the last time I watched television with another human soul while eating fattening food? I missed that.