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Marcial’s Grille – Best in Calbayog

Marcial’s Grille – Best in Calbayog

[smartads] I ended the last post with a plea for y’all to read and judge my first from scratch story on the Idle Thoughts & Altered Dreams blog.  Don’t worry about hurting my feelings, I can handle it if the story sucks.  A Robert Ludlum I’m not.

I got up at 8 something or another and decided that before I open the store, I’m going to cook and eat pancakes, so I did.  I added too much water to the mix and tried to compensate by adding corn starch.  Either I’m confused about what corn starch does or I didn’t use enough.  Whichever it is, it gave the pancakes a unique flavor that was kind of nice.  Rick says that his wife, Flor, likes to put vanilla in her pancake mix.  I like that too and often buy the Pillsbury mix that has the vanilla already in it.  Maybe I’ll  get that and try a little extra vanilla with it.

So LolyKat got opened a little before 0900.  Sometime today, probably early afternoon, I have to go pay those bills.   If Lita doesn’t feel like watching the store, I’ll just close for awhile.  Somehow or another I’m going to have to find a way to save enough money from this check to buy an extra tank of propane and a big bag of charcoal.  That comes out to about P1200, so I should be able to handle it.

Without going into detail why, I found out that from now on I will get the paycheck, pay what needs to be paid, get what needs to be got, save what needs to be saved, the give Lita most of the leftover money.  I personally need little to survive here.  I’d like to have enough to buy at least 3 beers per week and then just a little more after that for odds and ends.  I figure about P1500 ($37) per month to spend on just me.  She seems to need a bit more.  After I’ve paid everything and saved what I think needs to saved.  I don’t mind giving her the leftovers.  After all the only thing that I won’t be buy is the food for us to eat.  That’s her department.  I just make some requests.  From now on my requests should be easy to obtain.

New Grand Tour sign

We’ve had quite a few people asking for envelopes.  Maybe we should buy a box and see if they sell.  Most of the requests are coming from people that are staying at the Ciriaco, so maybe I should just suggest to them that they have a gift shop there.  Maybe that’s already in their plans.  They are progressing over there on the building, so we will see soon.

I just had another little girl come by that must have been to the “What’s your name” academy they have here.  It seems that is one of the first things kids learn to say.  That’s all they say too.  I mean if it’s a small kid, shouldn’t they be saying something like, “What’s you name, po?”  If they did that I might just answer them.  Right now I only do it occasionally and then I answer “Uncle John”.  This little girl was with Evelyn, so I just told her to, “ask Evelyn”.

I guess Arnel wasn’t too drunk when I showed him how to play cribbage.  At least he still remembers the highest hand possible, after losing that P10 bet.  Maybe I can get him to sit down for awhile and play so he can get a better feel for the game.  Titing showed some interest in the game also, so maybe we can all 3 play.  I would not enforce the “muggings” rule until they were both well versed in the game.

At 12:45pm, here comes the rain again.  I was hoping it would not rain before I went downtown, but too bad for me.  Maybe it will stop.

I’ve been watching the window washer at the Ciriaco the last few days.  He does a very thorough job, but that must be a full time job.  The whole front side of the hotel is glass.  By the time he cleans the whole first floor, inside and out, then whatever other windows he has to clean, it’s time for him to start over again.  I’ll bet it takes about a week for one person to clean all those windows, inside and out.

A couple of Australians stopped by looking for a Globe load.  I sent them down to the sari-sari store where I buy my “Red Pepsi”.  They also wanted some Marlboro Lights, but we don’t have any.  Actually I’ve never seen any light cigarettes here, but since I’m a non-smoker and basically a non-shopper, I usually only deal with the cigarettes we have in the store.

Marcial’s Grille menu

Around 1:30pm Lita came out to LolyKat and I got ready to go downtown.  I had to be sure that I had all the bills, money and check card first.  I have left without the check card before and had to come all the way back to get it.  Such a waste of time.  I took a tricycle downtown and got out a couple of blocks from the bank.  When I’m downtown by myself, I don’t ride the trikes, I walk.  I walked to the bank, but the line at the ATM was too long.  I decided to pay what I could pay then come back to the bank.  As I was walking around, it was not raining.  When I was inside 2 of the 3 buildings I had to go into, it rained.  By the time I got out, it had stopped.  When I got back to the bank, the line was still a little long, but not quite as long as before.  I had nothing else to do except to visit the DILG office, so I waited in line.

I ended up having to go to 4 different offices before I finally found the right place where Joan worked.  I did get some information from them, but I was hoping for more.  I did find out that the Official Website of the City Government of Calbayog should be updated soon.  They said in the near future.  It was my intention to stop by the Tourism Office before I came home, but I forgot.  It was a nice day again when I got out of the DILG office and I didn’t see any rain clouds, so I decided to walk home again.  It never did rain while I was walking and I took several pictures on the way home.  Yes, that’s right, I remembered to bring the camera.

I closed LolyKat early, about 7:00pm so I could fix stew for Lita and I.  We had the chicken stew all cooked and were just about to sit down to eat when Robbie came in and said, “Don’t eat”.  Mar was taking us to eat at Marcial’s Grille.  Now Mar knew that I wanted to take Lita there, but she was sick so, as Mar put it, he wanted to continue my dream.  He picked us, his grand kids and daughter-in-law (Robbie) up here at the house and brought us all over there.  Ludy and Marianne were already there and Marlou, Chique and Ramil showed up later.


They had already ordered a family meal with about 10 different foods, but he let me order anything else I wanted, because he knows I am a picky eater.  As it turns out, the one thing that I really wanted to try was within that family order.  It was the baby back ribs that Gary, Blair and Rick have told me about.  The order came with a medium order (big bite), but we ended up getting another order.  In fact we ended up getting 2 extra orders.  You guys were right.  Those things are excellent.  This is coming from someone that is not a big pork eater people, so you know that I thought they were excellent.  I will never go to the restaurant and not order those.  I can tell you that already.

Garden Fresh Salad (before)
Garden Fresh Salad (after)

Also the spring rolls were very good.  I usually do not eat any spring rolls that are not made by Lita, but at every restaurant, I will at least try them.  This is the first time, that I actually liked them and in fact ate 4 of them.  I had to save some for the others.  I also had some rice, a small piece of chicken, a large salad and about 8 glasses of ice tea, but the glasses are small.  I would drank more tea, but we ran out.  Oh, and the ribs, I ate 9 of those, I think.  Maybe it was 10.  Count the bones in the following picture.  Remember one of the is from a piece of chicken though.

Some baby back ribs (before)
Baby Back Rib Bones

I’m going to have to say that Marcial’s Grille is the best restaurant that I have every eaten at in the Philippines.  Lita said she was happy because it was the first time since we’ve been here that she’s seen me eat so much in one meal.  When/If you ever visit Calbayog, it’s a must place to try.

Salamat, Paalam

Useless Knowledge:  In August 1998, Priscilla Presley won $75,000 in a defamation lawsuit against Lavern Grant, a former army buddy of Elvis Presley’s who claimed they had an affair before Priscilla married Presley It was ruled in a California superior court that Grant made false statements that were repeated and used in the book Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley by Suzanne Finstad. Priscilla long assured the world she was a virgin when she married the King.


  1. Hey John,

    I commented on your new story but it didn’t stick. maybe their is a problem in your comment section on that site.

    • Thanks Tom. It was set for Registered Users only. I have since changed it to “Anyone” although that will probably bring out the Spammers.
      However, could you please try it again to see if it works now?
      I wonder if others have tried to do it also?
      This is why we should have Feedback on things.

      • Hi John,

        I left you a comment on your other site regarding you story but it kept disappearing when I would post it.

        • Tom I don’t know what the heck is wrong with it. I’ve double checked everything I know and it just doesn’t work.
          I was hoping to get feedback so I could see if I should continue with the site or junk it. Would you just send whatever comment you had to my e-mail?
          Just send it to
          Thanks. I value your input on this, since I think you are a wonderful writer.

        • Or you could try again. I looked up the known errors for Blogger and that comment thing was one of them.
          They gave a possible temporary solution and I’ve tried it. So maybe it will work now.

  2. How to contact your guy Mar? i got a kano friend from Texas arriving Feb 7th with his soon to be wife for a visit and i need transport service to take us, Flor and me, out to airport, then return the 4 of us with their luggage to our house. I would like to work out a deal and reserve him for this transport.

    • Ado and his multi-cab would probably be a better choice if luggage is involved. Mar’s cars are small. A multi-cab could hold all of y’all easy.
      Get me a time and I’ll ask Ado about that. He’s easy to get along with. I’ll even come along with him if you like, since your friend is from the Great State of Texas.

      • Sure you are welcome to come along, Cliff is about our size his gf grace about the size of my wife if you remember Flor. Plus they get in about 11 am i was thinking stopping at Marcial’s grill fr Lunch on way back into town my treat for you and the driver too, just a little welcome to Calbayog party Cliff’s first time Grace was born on Almagro but her family moved to Manila to work their fish market when she was young child, so her first trip home in many years.

        • Okay cool. I’ll ask Ado about the price when he comes in tonight. I’ll let you know. He might not want to eat though. I’ll try to talk him into it.
          Did u get ur Pepsi order?
          I have to shut down the computer for now. Fan is bring used elsewhere and it’s too hot in here again.

          • no reply or contact about my order yet

          • Remind me and I’ll double check with him in the morning.

          • Cliff and Grace’s flight info
            07-FEB-12 Z2 Zest Air 280 V AN365 CONFIRM
            From: MANILA ETD: 1000 DOMESTIC TERMINAL 4
            To: CALBAYOG ETA: 1125 CALBAYOG AIRPORT arrives feb 7th at 11:25 am, pick us up, to airport,pick up grace,cliff their luggage then on to Marcial’s Grill for Lunch, then drop off at our house is the plan. Be hungry, I think Cliff ,you and me can polish off 3 Goliath Bites of ribs.

          • I asked Ado about the amount he would charge for this and he is kind of up in the air on a price because he says it’s a friend of mine. I told him that he still needs to feed his family so just quote a price. He’s debating himself. I was just wondering what you think a good price would be and I could tell him that.
            Be hungry? Okay. When you say that you and Cliff can polish of 3 Goliath Bites of ribs, is that each or together?
            I’ve never seen the Goliath Bite, but I assume it’s about as big as 2 big bites because of the price. I think I’ll be able to hold my own in that department.
            It may be my only meal of the day though.

          • Oh … I see … it says that Cliff, you and me could polish off 3 Goliath bites. I didn’t catch that the first time.
            I guess that as long as the spring rolls, rice and ice tea go along with it, that should be good for me. Heck I ain’t being picky, I ain’t paying.

          • if it was just round trip it would be easy to quote but you know the airports here and delays, plus lunch time, so it will be considerably longer time than just round tripper, how about 500 piso i buy lunch and we get a short sight seeing tour around town on the way back home?
            your right man’s got to feed his family.

          • I’ll tell him and see what he says. I should tell you that he would be doing this instead of his normal multi-cab run that he does everyday, so he’d be losing that money to do this and remember that gas is expensive here. Just explaining everything so you’ll know all the facts, not judging, after all I don’t have to do anything and I’m not losing anything, everything is a gain for me. I will tell him of your proposal and see what his response is.

  3. UJ I remember awhile back you saying you was reading the Bourne series books. Was reading in MB that in the next couple of weeks they are going to be filming some of the scenes to the Bourne Legancy in Manila. Maybe you can get hired as extra and make a few pesos.

    • Yes I have been seeing that on the news. Different lead role though. I mentioned it once before in one of my posts.
      The Bourne Legacy is Book 4 of 7 (so far that I know). If they go even remotely by the book, it should be good.
      The first 3 were very remotely by the book and they turned out good. I doubt I’ll go all the way to Manila to make a ‘few’ pesos though.
      If it was around here, I’d show up at the set and see.

  4. LOL, told you,told you, told you! best food in the Philippines is not the first time i heard that said about Marcial’s Grill, one the kano and a filipina said it when we were there last. The Springrolls are excellant, I agree, the Ribs, well let’s just say if all of Calbayog knew how good they really were there would be a Rib Shortage, in our area. I wish there was a bigger Jeepney or Multi-cab making trips to there need a big one as when you leave you are stuffed! No alcohol served there, it’s ok to me I don’t drink much and prefer soft drinks with a meal anyhow. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Yes, you told me. Gary told me, Blair told me. I got the hint and I’m glad I did. I’m kind of stuck here. I don’t want there to be a rib shortage, but I feel obligated to mention the restaurant in the blog. I think I’ll keep mentioning it and take a chance on the rib shortage. There are a lot of pigs here. I didn’t even notice about the alcohol, but you’re right. I don’t care either. I prefer ice tea with my meals. The Red Horse is for later.

      • When we had our wedding reception on the 2nd floor, we did not do the rooftop afraid of rain, catering an excellent buffet meal was only P250 per person , plus we were allowed to bring in our own beer and soda that Marcial’s grill iced down for use, the Lechon baboy was extra we had to provide. They also provided the sound system and microphone with decorations SO cafe provided and delivered our cake which Marcial’s Grill had a nice display table set up for it. Pics on my FB UJ if you have not seen of our wedding there.

        • Sounds like a good deal. I told Lita that if I had a party, I would have it at Marcial’s Grille just for an opportunity to get some more of those ribs.
          Plus, it is a nice looking room for a party. I’ve got some pictures of it on this site under the restaurant page.

Texan in the Philippines