Where great art and great food are found: Balaw Balaw in Antipolo
Balaw Balaw is not your ordinary Filipino restaurant.
EXTERIOR. Outside look of Balaw Balaw
Filled with displays of art, Balaw Balaw seeks not to be just an ordinary restaurant, but rather a restaurant that welcomes people who love both great food and great art. As one of the most popular restaurants in Rizal, Balaw Balaw is definitely a part of Rizal’s historic culture, contributing to Angono where it is located being the “Art Capital of the Philippines.”
FOOD PRODUCTS. Balaw Balaw also sells souvenirs and food products for business.
Owned by the Vocalan family, Balaw Balaw has been around since 1983. What first started as their father (Perdigon Vocalan)’s painting studio has now evolved into a restaurant that serves not only the typical Filipino dishes, but also exotic ones. For a restaurant, Balaw Balaw seems to be more than just your ordinary Filipino dining place. The place was conceptualized to look like bahay kubo (native nipa hut) which serves food mostly found in Rizal. One trivia about the place is that it was named after a specialty fermented shrimp dish made of shrimp paste, fermented rice, and “angkak” that gives a red pigment.
INTERIORS. Inside the spacious restaurant
Apart from its interesting offerings of dishes, Balaw Balaw is popular because of its art museum. Their late father Perdigon Vocalan, a renowned artist in Angono, has his own place for his art masterpieces at the restaurant. Various sculptures, paintings, and illustrations are displayed in the art museum where one can buy from. Several works of their family friends who are also artists are also found at the museum.
ART MUSEUM. Perdigon Vocalan’s art works are exhibited in this place of the resto
Balaw Balaw is also known for being featured in international food shows because of its exotic dishes. Here, they serve out of the ordinary food such as nilasing na palaka (frog), sinabawang balut (duck embryo), and adobong uok (beetle larva), among others. It doesn’t seem appetizing when you hear it for the first time but it will definitely change your mind once you get to try it.
CRISPY ALAGAW LEAVES (P150). Herbal mint leaves dipped in batter and deep-fried.
SINAABWANG BALUT (P250). Duck embryos cooked with soup.
The restaurant also serves Filipino dishes made more flavorful. After 3 decades of serving both foreign and local guests in their restaurant, you’d know that they have already perfected the craft of being a go-to place for both Folk Art and everything Filipino. Being one of the Filipino restaurants that have created an image for good food that meets art, it’s definitely a place to visit in Rizal for a day of sumptuous meal and inspiring art culture.