SO MANY CHOICES – In an interview, President Noynoy Aquino was asked what he wanted to do when he’s no longer in office. PNoy replied that he hoped to try the restaurants near his house on West Triangle, Quezon City.
He will have so many choices as nearby are varied restaurants, from fine dining to casual, offering different fare:
Filipino, Spanish, American, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern dishes.
Think of Morato, West, Quezon, Roces, Timog, and side streets. A little farther are those cozy eateries in such streets as Maginhawa, Madasalin, Maligaya, Mapagbigay, and other virtues, comprising the Teachers, Sikatuna, and UP villages. After which is Katipunan, the favorite hangout of students and professors from Miriam, UP, and Ateneo (PNoy’s alma mater).
JEAN’S MANILA – Perhaps, the President could try Jean’s Manila along Roces Avenue, a small café with two floors, the upper floor ideal for privacy. Jean’s Manila is owned by the very fine actress Jean Garcia. Upon the invitation of her manager, direk Manny Valera, we attended its blessing and grand opening and tasted Jean’s favorite dishes: spicy chicken wings, crispy flaked adobo, cheesy pizza, garlicky salpicao, and tasty bangus. Topped by buco pandan.
Special guests included Mother Lily Monteverde and daughter Roselle, director FM Reyes and wife Rita Avila, Alex Medina, Joy Cancio, colleagues Mario Bautista, Jun Nardo, Gorgy Rula, Nitz Miralles, and Nelson Canlas.
It was time for reminiscing with Mario during the “opening salvo.” But before that, direk Manny explained that hopefully, in time, there will be Jean’s Makati, Pasig, and even Baguio and Cebu.
TRANSFORMATION – Mario recalled that Mother Lily launched Jean Garcia to stardom in the ’80s via horror flick “Impaktita.” But her ascent to stardom was derailed when she got pregnant. Then Jean was one of those young and pretty faces who could act. Most promising.
So she didn’t become a big, big star. But then she transformed into a versatile and durable actress, still very much around when her contemporaries are no longer around. On the big screen and television, Jean played many a memorable role.
The soap “Pangako sa Iyo” comes to mind, where Jean “dueled” with another fine actress, Eula Valdez. It was a big, big hit, revived by Jodi Sta. Maria and Angelica Panganiban. But the revival didn’t measure up to the original.
‘MAY ASIM PA’ – It was noted that although already a grandma, Jean is still very attractive, “may asim pa.”
To which Mario, Jun, and Nitz agreed 101 percent. “Marami pang batang lalaki ang nanliligaw kay Jean.” To which Jean blushed, “Naku, ’wag kayong ganyan. Wala akong lovelife.”