Friday, February 14, 2014

UP Diliman's Beach House

Word got out that the Beach House, a popular eatery behind the Main Library building of the University of the Philippines Diliman, was closing down. This was after so many years of feeding so many students at UP Diliman. It is so popular for its affordable food featuring barbecues, munggo, misua and other typical turo turo fare that alumni keep coming back to have lunch at the restaurant. It is also favored by many faculty and staff as well as employees from nearby offices. Its peculiar name is said to come from its location between the library and the vast Sunken Garden and the sandy texture of the soil around it. Then, there is the structure providing shelter for the kitchen and the staff that resembles a cottage in a beach, and the outdoor tables and chairs. The barbecue is grilled outside and away from the dining area so as to keep the smoke away from customers.

I first ate at the Beach House when I was a freshman Engineering student in 1988. We ate here usually during Saturdays and just before formations for our Reserve Officers Training Course (ROTC). Every since that time, we had occasionally eaten there - not everyday but at least a few times in a month. There are many other eateries and canteens on campus and we didn't have lunch everyday at UP because of our schedules and the occasional trip to the newly opened SM City North EDSA.

Pork barbecue, salted egg, tomatoes, misua soup, bananas with tapioca and leche flan
Outdoor barbecue grill

It turns out that the contract of the concessionaire for the Beach House is up and as per government regulations, it was put up for bidding. Unfortunately, the current and only concessionaire for the last so many years lost the bidding so they have to move out eventually and within the year. I don't know when that will be but it is likely that they only have this semester remaining or perhaps until summer to pack-up and clear the way for a new concessionaire. While it is likely that the next one will be serving their own version of barbecue, there are no guarantees for the quality of the food. To be fair, we don't know yet who won. And so we should give them the benefit of the doubt in so far as their food is concerned. I guess the only regret for many concerns their being sentimental about the original Beach House. There are just too many memories for a lot of people (several generations at that) so it won't be easy for people to let go of the old Beach House (or at least its old concessionaire).

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