Words by France Pinzon | Photographs by Raena Abella
Even in his seemingly crudest form, our very own Norman Crisologo introduces us to, arguably, the most exquisite pancit palabok offering in the city. Be that as it may, that won’t stop Raena Abella from giving her old one-two on the dish. She accepts our invite and braves the Divi crowd for that ‘cheap’ thrill of dining at Six Ladies Carinderia
Photographer, a mom to an amazing ten-year-old kid and wife, Raena Abella is not only into movies, photography, fashion, books and boxing. But she’s always game for a drink. Also she’s certified diesel engine mechanic, trying to finish restoring a 1962 mini-cooper as well as develop and print her own photos in a darkroom far far away.
She says, “I hate shopping, love traveling and can operate heavy equipment.”
“I’m not a picky eater,” she says, “basta I’m hungry, I can eat anything.
“But I do appreciate good food—from a super fancy 15 course meals to a 2 for 15 peso goto. And I love whatever my husband or my mom cooks. Other than that I go for good hot and steamy ramen, sze chuan dishes, spicy Indian food, fresh oysters, chili crabs, kakanin, 2-dollar tacos in Queens, Korean restos and/or native Bicolano prepared by our fantastic driver/cook.”
Have you heard of Six Ladies before?
From Norman Crisologo, my friend. He found out about that I was going to Divisoria, (and) told me about this carinderia that sells really good pancit palabok.
What’s it like eating at a carinderia?
I enjoy eating in carinderias. no pretentious bullshit. People come there to eat and that’s it. It’s not the most sanitized place but who cares? (laughs) The service is quick and good. They prepare the food right infront of you! Bar type tables and bangko chairs. Plus Aegis background music. Love it! The location of Six Ladies lang is very hard to find. It’s right smack in the heart of Divisoria. So imagine the travel going there.
What did you try?
We had the palabok and it’s the freakin’ best palabok on the entire earth! (laughs) I’m not kidding. It had the usual ingredients of palabok—the palabok noodles, the achuete sauce, couple of slices of hard boiled egg, couple of shrimps, tasty adobo squid, calamansi, then they top it off with extra order of chicharon—mind blowing chicharon! That’s the stuff that can actually kill you but you wouldn’t mind because it’s fuckin’ good. It doesn’t even look like a chicharon. It doesn’t taste like a chicharon. It tastes like bacon and anything that tastes like bacon is good. After that we all had halo-halo.
Yes. Definitely. (laughs)
Would you invite your friends here?
Yes. I’ll bring my cowboy friends. The sosyal but jologs at heart friends.
Six Ladies Carinderia
Basement, Divisoria Market, Manila
Open Monday-Saturday, regular store hours
Except Sunday, until 2pm
Originally published in UNO December-February 2010
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