Mission accomplished. One of the plans I had for this trip to Bacolod is to get myself, at least, into the Manokan Country. It has been years since I last set foot at this famous Bacolod landmark. So last night it happened, it was a matter of fate, it was a matter of will.
The idea was initially scrapped as my father tried to avoid being stuck in bad holiday traffic. He suggested that we eat at a chicken inasal place just close to the Shopping area. But the waiter has some bad news for him—they do not have isol anymore. It was no isol, no go so we were out of the place in no time. I was all smiles going back to our car.
Traffic to the downtown area wasn’t bad after all. Trip to the Manokan country was uneventful except for me making some effort to keep nanay’s old minivan from stalling. Yes, I was that eager to get my hands into Bacolod’s famous chicken barbecue against all odds.
It was not long before we found ourselves seated around a yellow linoleum covered-table where a pair of sinamak and patis (toyo for you Manileños) bottle waits. Nena Beth’s place was buzzing with activity. The servers are going back and forth, entertaining customers from one table to another, carrying chicken parts on stick to the kitchen and coming back out with plates of nicely done barbecue along with orange-colored garlic rice among any other orders. The smoke leaking from the kitchen that carries the lingering aroma of chicken inasal complements the experience.
All good things do not last though. Just like our isol on our plate. And to make it worse, the waitress advised us that they too have ran out of this delicious chicken ass. The other chicken parts were also good but the isol was our favorite—even Marcus liked it. The news made me realize that maybe that was the last good isol I could ever had.
There are news that the Manokan Country will soon be gone to give way to a new commercial buildings and the signs are all over. SM’s parking lot adjacent to the street of Manokan Country does not exist yet the last time I was there. SM is now like a giant slimy blob monster waiting to devour the Manokan Country. Let’s just all hope that the place would be relocated, somewhere easier to access, so that we continue to experience and taste Bacolod’s authentic chicken inasal.
Mood: 3/10 Honks! (If only I could extend this vacation more.)