Ateneo de Manila Clarifies Status of Manang's Clubhouse
Early in June, liempo fans from all over Metro Manila panicked at the supposed closing of Ateneo de Manila institution, Manang's, a carinderia just beside the college covered courts that's been serving all kinds of lutong-bahay favorites since 1990. The specialty: grilled pork belly; the grill is fired up 'round the clock to cater to the demands of hungry Ateneans.
The tweet announcing that Manang's was closing in December later this year spread like wildfire and brought on a series of nostalgic Manang's post especially from alumni. On June 7, however, Ateneo denied the allegation. Memories were safe.
Now, the Ateneo Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administrative Services has issued an actual statement on the status of the beloved "foodhouse/clubhouse." According to Ms. Marie Joy Salita's memo, "the Renoso couple (Manang and her beloved husband Zoilo)" had planned to retire by the end of the year, but postponed it due to public clamor. Unfortunately, due to Manang's health, the couple has decided to follow their original plan. It's currently closed for the summer, but it reportedly won't open for the first semester.
In the memo, Mr. Zoilo states: "[T]ulad niyo, buhay ko si Manang. Ang pangangailangan niya ay pangangailangan ko rin."
You can read the complete statement here:
Now let's talk about that liempo, the crown jewel of Manang's, the one dish that makes everyone ignore the fried tilapia, the sinigang, and the slew of food available on that narrow off-white counter.
In 2006 (and if memory serves), it was around P75, pricey even by Ateneo standards. It comes with piping hot white rice and toyo, the perfect complements to that slab of glistening pork belly, with charming charred edges and a thin layer of fat. There were always complaints that it was too small, too bony. But we all know that the best tasting parts of the meat are the ones closest to the bone (Serious Eats proves it). Even that thin lace of fat trimming the side is worth sucking into. It's so iconic that no Ateneo eatery has had this much mileage since Beef Teriyaki was reportedly sabotaged with a mothball in 2006.
There's no doubt that Ateneans and alumni alike will be flocking back to Manang's before the untimely end.
But wait, what is Manang's real name?