We came to Balaw Balaw Restaurant solely because we wanted to have a taste of the exotic food that Angono, Rizal is famous for, aside from, of course, being the art capital of the Philippines. We tried the Nilasing na Palaka (Deep fried frog marinated in gin) and Tapang Baboy Damo (wild boar jerky).
The frog tasted like chicken. My friend Frances said that eating the frogs felt like eating chicken wings. Jen, Jasmin and I also enjoyed eating those fried palaka. There was one moment, though, when I felt nasty munching it because Frances and Jen were recalling the time when we were dissecting this amphibian during our biology class in high school.
The Tapang Baboy Damo didn’t taste exceptionally different but it was okay. There’s a certain difference in it but I couldn’t really explain it. I’m not sure if it’s the texture or the ‘hardness’ of the jerky.
We also ordered Sinigang na Kanduli sa Miso (not an exotic food) and it tasted okay too. Its soup is delicious though. Balaw Balaw Restaurant also serves other types of Filipino dishes and the price isn’t that expensive. However, the exotic dishes weren’t that plenty in a single serving.
Balaw Balaw Restaurant is more than a food place. It’s also an art gallery. And starting from the first floor up to the fourth floor, works of art can be seen anywhere, paintings, wooden sculptures, metalworks, and even landscape architecture and design.Art was everywhere. The sculptures were mostly religious works of art while the paintings vary.
The rooftop of the quaint and whimsical house of Balaw Balaw is filled with plants, and flowers arranged nicely. When we were there at the rooftop, the view and the feel of everything in there was refreshing.
Also at the topmost area of the house is where a huge room, a workshop, is located. That huge room was filled with unfinished sculptures and paintings. The art materials used for the painting and sculptures were also there.
Like what I said already, Balaw Balaw is quaint and whimsical. The time I spent wandering inside the room, looking at the interior of the house itself, made me wish having a home like that. It felt amazing when we got to the rooftop and we saw this refreshing area of greenery. Also, the woodworks of the furniture inside, the tiles, and the ceiling designs were lovely, fancy, and unusual; and not to mention the vast collection of artworks inside. It’s quite sad though how the sculptures were a bit dusty as well as some of the paintings, even the furniture.
Still, seeing all those images through sculptures and paintings in the gallery made the house all the more charming. The whole house wasn’t extraordinarily beautiful, but it creates fleeting moments of phantasmagorical atmosphere in almost the same way a Miyazaki fantasy film does.