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.