Monday, June 21, 2010

PENGUIN was here...

Penguin Cafe' was my home away from home
for most of the first half of the 1990s.

I wooed women and got mind-numbingly wasted there so often

that I eventually became the only regular who was
invited to the serving staff's Christmas parties.

It was The Bar of Bars of my reckless youth, and to this day,
no other has come close to replacing it in my affections.

Well, it's gone now.

There's a gaping vacant lot
by the Remedios Circle in Malate
where that most Bohemian of Bars used to be.

Practically all my beloved bars and restaurants in Old Malate
have disappeared, no thanks to over-enthusiastic gentrification.

Patio Guernica is now a poker club, Moviola turned Japanese,
Camp Gourmet and Hard Rock, abandoned and empty,
and even Tia Maria will soon be a Cowboy Grill.

Garlic Rose, Cafe Caribana, Patio Mequeni:
one-of-a-kind restaurants, still very much missed;

Insomnia and Iguana, Sala and Blue
side by side on J.Nakpil street, gone, gone, gone, and gone.

Weinstube, arguably the greatest date place ever,
now just lives on in the annals of Malate's romantic history.

However, the hidden Cosa Nostra
lives on, still with the same waiter and
the same cashier and the same five tables...

But Penguin, my Penguin, is finally extinct.


Blogger Mina Mimi said...

I love their pressed coffee and eggplant lasagna. they moved to makati right?

June 21, 2010 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger spanx said...


you can find the
new penguin here:!/pages/Penguin-Gallery/68824851120?ref=ts

but somehow,
i don't think it's the same : (

June 22, 2010 at 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gone the way of " Blue Hawai'i " .........

Truly a bummer !!

Ricardo in san fran

June 23, 2010 at 2:51 AM  
Anonymous toni said...

COSA NOSTRA! We need to have a bloggers meet-up there. Ha!

June 23, 2010 at 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GARLIC ROSE!!! god. i miss this little place... sarap ng garlic chicken!!

June 24, 2010 at 1:13 AM  
Blogger Le Pirouette said...

and if you're old enough to have been at Blue Cafe to see John Glenn change into his tiny frock doing the best Tina Turner act in town, or catch an impromptu performance by the cast of ballet Philippines, you'd be truly weeping at what Malate has become. Penguin has since resurfaced and am happy they're trying to keep the last bastion of everything bohemian alive. Even if it's not smack in the love of my life Manila.:-)

June 24, 2010 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Manila Hot Stuff said...

"Huling Order sa Penguin" by chris martinez. Indeed it has come to its last.

June 26, 2010 at 1:01 AM  

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