In faraway Panacan

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

THE place had long intrigued us, everytime we, on separate times, pass by the long stretch of Diversion Road as it exits to Panacan just a few meters from the Jose Maria College compound.

There never was a chance before to try it out, however. The sheer distance from where we were (except when we’re on our way somewhere north in separate instances) have discouraged us from exploring the place.

Iko’s is its name.


You will notice it because of the big red sign with it’s name, the vehicles parked outside, showing it’s frequented by some folk, and the garden with bahaykubos.


Around five years or more ago, long-ago buddy Nelson V. mentioned something about a place a friend from UP Los Banos has put up and which they are frequenting. Work, different priorities, and sheer distance, however, came in between and the regular hangouts with either Nelson or his wife Pinky became few and far between. The invitation to try out the place of a friend was forgotten.

Until that night when I rounded up a rather big group, a very rare occasion indeed but befitting a taste-and-see of a faraway place, and we arrived in two groups at Iko’s.

That night, there were more than just the Goin’ Places regulars Miggy, Dengdeng, and Peter. There was also Edgar and Dave, and of course, I.

Iko’s it turns out not just have a garden with individual bahaykubo a customer can occupy, but a regular restaurant hall inside. We chose to stay inside, where the lights are brighter (the better to see the food, my dears).

As we settled down and ordered our stuff, in came Nelson with a bottle of beer and a big smile, and five or more years flashed back. Iko’s is the place he mentioned a long time ago, but which I never followed up on.

He introduced us to the owner, a fellow UPLB alumni, Ferdie Galeno.
The place offers the regular fare of chicken, pork, and beef dishes, and some veggies, and pulutan.

We ordered native chicken soup cooked in two ways – one the regular tinola (although I wanted binacol, except that they did not have buko), and the other Ilonggo style. Ferdie is an Ilonggo from Marbel.

We also got the steamed vegetables served with ginamos, barbecued pork spare ribs, sisig, the “Apat Ito” – an array of fried seafood, and “ApatRin Ito” – this one is meat, and kilawin na kambing.

Verdict: they know their market.

It’s food men will love to munch on any time of the day, and munch on too along with their drinks.

The crowd itself, aside from us, is mostly made up of men. Personnel of agrichem companies that abound in the area, and yes, the UPLB Alumni Association.

As Peter pointed out, it’s a place where you can go if you’re looking for some privacy.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 25, 2014.


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