17 May2010


We arrived in Tagbilaran on the morning flight from Manila. Traipsed through an overgrown property with surveyors and lawyers for several hours, had lunch at a fancy resort, visited our favorite artisanal broas maker, had merienda at the Clarin house, visited three different markets, and by late afternoon were in dire need of some refreshment. It had been a hot and muggy day and massive halo-halo under a century-old acacia tree beside the Dauis church seemed like a good idea… I have written about this tree/spot in a previous post, before the Cafe Lawis opened to serve meals and snacks under the acacia tree. The nearby Handumanan gift shop is a favorite source for locally made placemats and other local handicrafts.


The halo-halo arrived in a nice wide bowl. Plus one for that, as I think eating a halo-halo in a tall glass is a pain in the neck. And the halo-halo certainly LOOKED good. It was a bit “upscale” in that it included quite a bit of fresh fruit, in addition to some bottled ingredients, and there were generous amounts of local ube jam, leche flan and ube ice cream. But somehow, despite its wonderful appearance, it was watery and lacked texture and flavor. The fresh fruits weren’t particularly flavorful, the ice turned this all into a much more watery mush than it should have been, and the milk provided was insufficient to bind this all together. Maybe it was the absence of beans that led to that lightweight feeling. It was, cool, however and I still ate most of it… :)


Our lawyer, smart local that he is, ordered a pot of green tea instead, and it came with a slightly nuclear pink cookie. We all just sat under the wide canopy of this tree, watching the sky turn from day to dusk. At one point, the capiz lamps hanging from the branches of the tree were lit up, and it really did make for an enchanting setting for a cocktail, dinner or reception. But maybe in the cooler months of December and January instead.


Just a brief walk from the cafe is a jetty and dock with a great view of the waterway between the main island of Bohol and the island of Panglao. A great place to take in the last moments of a summer sunset.



  1. Meg says:

    the tree looks marvelous…..”poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree”

    May 17, 2010 | 8:37 am


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  3. rhea says:

    I was there a couple of years ago, unfortunately the shop was closed that time and the jetty was still under construction. Am looking forward to seeing the place hopefully next year. I even kidded my aunt, that if I ever get married, I’d want it to be held under that acacia tree, heheh.

    May 17, 2010 | 8:43 am

  4. junb says:

    A poster moment with a chilling halo-halo.

    May 17, 2010 | 9:21 am

  5. marilen says:

    Beautiful photos, MM. Gerald Manley Hopkins’ poem comes to mind – “The world is charged with the grandeur of God….”

    May 17, 2010 | 9:38 am

  6. silvergirl says:

    When I had dinner in Cafe Lawis, I fell in love with the place and hope to hold my wedding reception there someday. :-)

    I don’t know if it was the sweet Bohol air, but everything I ate there tasted wonderful.

    My friends & I had their ube panini, which had 2 ube pandesals sandwiching some sweet caramelized onions.

    We also tried 1 tomato-based pasta and 1 cream-based pasta, which were both delightful.

    Our dinner there was so idyllic, and it just strengthened our love for beautiful Bohol.

    May 17, 2010 | 9:38 am

  7. Bubut says:

    nice photos, very dramatic! thanks for sharing.

    May 17, 2010 | 10:20 am

  8. Trish says:

    Wow that tree is quite AMAZING, So beautiful. It must be pretty old!

    May 17, 2010 | 10:45 am

  9. bearhug0127 says:

    I do not know why halo-halo in Manila is served in a tall glass. But as far as I can remember, halo-halo in Iloilo is served in a wide bowl.
    The scene is beautiful under the acacia tree and the jetty with the sunset is set for some romance. Am intrigued though by the pink cookie?

    May 17, 2010 | 11:56 am

  10. Marketfan says:

    Nice photo of the jetty, with models to boot.

    May 17, 2010 | 12:15 pm

  11. Mom-Friday says:

    Beautiful photos! I’m just curious about the pink cookie…anything special about it? :-)

    May 17, 2010 | 4:18 pm

  12. millet says:

    great pics, MM! must plan to visit Bohol again soon.

    May 17, 2010 | 7:19 pm

  13. Connie C says:

    I am sure there are enough carabaos in Bohol to provide the milk for the creamy full bodied goodness that your halo-halo lacked.

    I was just coming from the market this afternoon and hubby and I had a hankering for halo- halo, my idea of refreshment heaven on a hot sweltering afternoon, but the luscious mangoes and the aromatic smell of the marangs ( making its early appearance I am told) won out. Maybe halo-halo tomorrow and the next few days as we make the usual halo-halo rounds in town to find out which one is the best this time around. I told hubby he’ll have to sacrifice rice for halo-halo.

    May 18, 2010 | 2:03 am

  14. Joy says:

    I want halo-halo now. That is a great view. I hope to visit PI eventually.

    May 18, 2010 | 2:40 am

  15. netoy says:

    the picture of that massive tree with the lit lanterns was beautiful. kudos to your photo skills, MM. i know you always say that your skill still needs refinement, but based on these last 2 photos, they are mighty fine by me…

    May 18, 2010 | 4:00 am

  16. hungrycurious says:

    for me, it’s shaved vs crushed ice that makes a halo halo special. hardened crushed ice+tall narrow glass = sad halo halo experience

    May 18, 2010 | 6:25 am

  17. mbw says:

    beautiful tree photo, MM! :-) The halo-halo also looked promising but as you wrote—looks can be deceiving ;-)

    May 18, 2010 | 8:35 am

  18. sc says:

    awww. . . beautiful! a client held her wedding reception at cafe lawis! stunning in the evening! venue rental is only 12,000, but since- i requested for a 24 hrs blocking of the venue- we paid for almost 30,000. :) soooo worth it! highly recommended!

    May 18, 2010 | 9:41 am

  19. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Someone told me that the secret to Razon’s shaved ice is that the evaporated milk in added to the water which is made to ice. That’s the reason why they don’t stick together and also why you don’t need additional milk.

    May 18, 2010 | 2:47 pm

  20. chel says:

    wow! the place is soooo beautiful. About the shaved ice, there’s really a machine that can shave ice as smooth and fine as that of Razon’s, or atleast close to :)

    May 18, 2010 | 4:30 pm

  21. thelma says:

    artisan, i just had razon’s halo halo and pansit palabok
    last thursday. the halo halo is really good and the halo halo
    as well……

    May 20, 2010 | 3:28 am

  22. thelma says:

    ooops, i meant the palabok as well….

    May 20, 2010 | 3:28 am

  23. ana says:

    I still prefer ChowKing’s halohalo because of the different halo they put into it. But wouldn’t it be better if they use shaved ice similar to that of Razon’s?

    May 22, 2010 | 6:29 pm

  24. Irene says:

    This is so idyllic and picturesque! I love the Philippines :)

    May 24, 2010 | 11:08 am

  25. Quillene says:

    ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES! Thank you for posting the beautiful pictures, MM!

    May 24, 2010 | 12:51 pm


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