This entry is part of the Viva Manila series inspired by the tour of Carlos Celdran. If you haven’t caught up with Part 1, click here
Our Viva Manila walking tour adventure continues as we proceeded to our next stop, Hizon’s Cakes and Pastries along J. Bocobo Street in Ermita, one of the few remaining old dining places in Ermita.
From its humble beginnings in 1946 as a bakeshop located along Raon (now Gonzalo Puyat) Street in Quiapo, Hizon’s grew as a beloved brand in its reputation thanks to its pastries, particularly their big and fluffy ensaymada which became synonymous with the bakeshop itself. One of its growing number of loyal customers happens to be a budding theater and film actor Rodolfo V. Quizon, who we better know as Dolphy.
In the 1960s, Hizon’s moved to a bigger venue where it stands today, right along J. Bocobo Street. Along with the bakeshop, they also opened a restaurant serving dishes of American, Spanish, and Filipino fare.
The bakery and restaurant gained some new customers as the old ones went out of their way to drop by, Dolphy being one of them. He was such a loyal customer that he managed to memorize the restaurant’s menu inside out and the people there already knew what to serve him.
While the King of Philippine Comedy died in 2012, his spirit lives on in the bakeshop/restaurant that he has loved all these years. As a tribute, the restaurant proudly showcases his favorite dishes for patrons to appreciate the comedian’s quite fine taste in food.
After the stop, we proceeded to walk up to Engracia Reyes Street where our group passed by this interesting old house being renovated at the time. We learned that this was the site of Pension Filipina, a pension house and a venue for Pinoy rock artists during the 1970s. While the business has closed down, the renovations being done is preparation for its reopening soon as a venue where artists would be able to perform live music once again. So that’s something to watch out for.
Our group also dropped by the Hiraya Gallery along United Nations Avenue to check out some contemporary art on display. The space is not that big but the art showcased here is impressive, to say the least.
To be continued…