A Saturday night is extra fun for yuppies in the big city. Unfortunately, being in the province would leave you with very few options of fun things to do. Every time I go home to Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, my Saturday night is spent dining with friends and sharing stories with a few bottles of beer. I am lucky that some of the restaurant and bar owners in my hometown are my friends which leaves me with a handful of options.
My former student and another high school friend started a small kiosk last December 2015 and sold pork liempo which turned out to be a big hit. Marinated in lemon grass and other spices, the liempo is very flavorful and the servings are large. For only 120.00 pesos, you can enjoy a serving which is good for two to three persons. But honestly, I can eat the entire thing all by myself because of its crunchy skin and juicy meat.
After a couple of months, their business evolved into a restaurant and bar. Chiino’s Place is a cozy and laid back tambayan for young adults serving cold beer and delicious food at very affordable prices. A lot of people dined at Chiino’s Place during its first couple of months. But people started to get bored with the usual beer and food experience on Saturday nights. The young owners held a beerpong tournament which drew a lot of people during the competition which happened for two consecutive weekends. People were asking for more and Chiino’s Place now offers their red cups and beerpong trays with no extra charge every time you order a bucket of beer. This is a first in our entire province!
Aside from the leimpo and beerpong, Chiino’s also offers savory dishes and finger foods. My personal favorite is their kare-kare which is made with ox tail that has been boiled until tender and smothered with peanut sauce served with steamed vegetables. I can’t help but cheat on my diet and ordered an extra platter of rice. A unique offering of Chiino’s is their Ma Ling Fries which is Chinese luncheon meat cut into French fries size pieces and fried until golden brown. A bucket of beer would also go well with a platter of chicken snake or crispy fried chicken intestines served with spicy coconut vinegar dip. It looks like the cousin of our favorite streetfood, the isaw. Chiino’s Place also serves food which is commonly served in restaurants such as the pansit canton, sisig, and a lot more at a very affordable price!
Every night in our quiet little town is now very exciting with beerpong and tasty food at Chiino’s Place located in front of the municipal hall in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. Traveler tip: the “I love Ipil” sign is just a few steps away! Go and take a selfie!