I observe they are doing good business in Iloilo so far. We have a number of good bakeries in Iloilo. There’s Iloilo Supermart’s Tinapayan; there’s Tibiao Bakery; there’s Angelina.
So the question is, what’s in Pan de Manila that make picky Ilonggos return? I am curious myself. Come to think of it, their breads cost a little more than those in the Ilonggo bakeshops I mentioned above. Ensaymada for P25? The Pan de Sals though are priced competitively.
Could it be Pan de Manila’s attractive interiors and packaging? Well, I do like their Spanish-colonial inspired relaxing interiors and their brown paper paper bags with that colorful artwork. (That’s what I return for. <wink>).
Could it be accessibility? Their branches at E. Lopez and at GT Mall have parking space–ideal for Ilonggos who want to stop by for bread to take home.
Could it be the novelty of having an “imported” bakeshop in Iloilo?
I wonder what my colleagues think. You too are welcome to give your take.
Now, speaking of Pan de Sal. I just finished reading posts in Pepper.ph (interesting and informative essay on popular Filipino breads) and in my fave Marketmanila blog re this iconic pan.
Marketman says they don’t make pan de sal like they used to. I quote:
“There are few if any commercial pan de sals that come anywhere close to the pan de sals of the 50s and 60s. Many variations today are too small, too sweet (it’s a salty bread!), too airy, possess no crust, have a strange shape, etc. etc. I am not sure if it the quality of flour, bad yeast, added sugar, lazy bakers, whateverâ€¦but this is a national treasure that has been allowed to deteriorate. In France, there are standards around their baguette, here we have price controls that result in size diminution.”
Marketman made this observation in 2005. I concur. Nine years later, the pan de sals that are being sold are distant relatives of the real deal , except for one, in inday joy’s opinion of course, as far as Iloilo is concerned.
I’m talking about Pan de Sal ni Pa-a at Pa-a’s Bakery, near Jaro Plaza. This is what Pan de Sal ought to be.
Read more about this heritage bakery in a coming post.