3 Reasons Why Allegro Is A One-Of-A-Kind Filipino Dining Experience
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You got guests coming over from all around the world. Why? I have no idea. Oh, I almost forgot. You got a son who’s an exchange student in the States.
How was that possible? Maybe, he was a gifted child who grew up drinking that popular and quite expensive milk supplement that’s always being advertised on television.
Or it must be the genes. Yours or your husband’s? I don’t know. I guess you should debate over that and send me a memo.
Anyhow, you’re overachieving son Jun-Jun just Skyped you and informs you that he’ll be coming home for Spring Break and he’s bringing with him his college buddies who are also exchange students from Europe and other parts of the world.
That’s expected when you send your son to NYU being situated at the Big Apple, a melting pot of cultures.
He asks you for a favor to arrange for their transportation for a Cebu road trip plus find a good restaurant in Mactan for dinner on a Saturday since their flight would be at midnight.
Fast forward after getting the best deals and smart how to guides for all the whaleshark watching, sardine runs, chasing waterfalls, island hopping, trekking and traversing peaks, cliff and discovery diving at marine sanctuaries after following @slaypinas on Instagram, you receive a text from Jun-Jun telling you that they’re already back in the metro asking if the dinner reservation is all set and good to go.
You panic and quickly do a Google search only to find this weird article that will help you solve that immediate problem.
The answer? Go to Allegro at Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort in Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines.
You might ask, why there?
Well, before I’ll give you a point by point answer, let me just put my shoes on Jun-Jun’s college friends.
After doing all those activities in the past few days and eating probably at random restaurants serving international cuisine or side stalls offering cheap barbecue, they might think that the Philippines is just like any other touristy Asian country since what they’ve experienced so far is just the adventure side of things.
Being a concerned Filipino mother, it is your duty to let them have a holistic Filipino experience that they absolutely won’t forget, which Allegro has, and presents it with flair.
Still not convinced? Allow me to explain.
They probably noticed it along the way on the vast countryside while watching outside the glass windows of the van, chances are, they were not able to see traditional Filipino architecture up close and personal. Allegro is designed like that of a massive nipa hut adorned with lamps, tables and chairs made from interwoven abaca and other indigenous materials.
Add to that, the food is served on traditional clay pots and spread on sanitized banana leaves.
You’ll experience a local Filipino festival also known as a barrio fiesta themed dinner which is celebrated all year long among different barangays in honor of their town’s patron saint.
Who said Filipino cuisine sucks?
I guess it would absolutely suck if you’ve been eating something I personally prepared.
However, Allegro offers an interesting array of chef-prepared Filipino favorites from the timid tuna ceviche to the popular pork sisig, to our own version of beef stew and my ultimate comfort food, the bicol express up to the world-renowed Lechon, a slow-roasted pig on a spike over red hot charcoal, which Anthony Bourdain himself calls it, the best pig ever.
If that didn’t impress you, you can choose from any of the countless grilled or sautéed seafood or salad offerings. Keyword: fresh lumpia.
There are also local sweets you should try such as the heavenly brazo de mercedes, buko pandan jelly or the Filipino signature halo-halo with ‘dirty’ ice cream. Why the term dirty? Ask the manager.
Traditional folk dances from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the three major parts of the Philippine archipelago presented like a cultural extravaganza on the pool side of the restaurant.
This is by far the best form of entertainment I’ve witnessed while sipping a pinacolada.
The performance starts off with a live instrumental music with a historical intro explaining the three unique and individual performances: the Cordillera which involve tribal rituals and war cries in the mountain provinces of Luzon, Kasadya Sa Barrio which show lively dances involving bamboo sticks and glass candles and Mindanao Exotica which show courtship dances and display of royal elegance from Muslim Filipinos.
What I loved more about this aside from their graceful execution and colorful costumes is how they reach out to the dining audience for participation as a chance for you to try out the Tinikling dance yourself jumping over bamboo sticks.
Good luck with that after consuming almost fifty percent of the buffet like I did.
Well, I guess that’s it. Tell Jun-Jun.