Pension de San Juanico Restaurant in Tacloban City is around 15 minutes by foot from the Leyte end of San Juanico Bridge. Maybe it was less than that, but my feet were sore and my clothes were still a little damp from the day’s activities that the hunt for a dinner place, in the dark, where the roads were under construction, and vehicles whizzed by us like tornadoes, seemed like it took light years.
Pension de San Juanico stands on the side of the road, well, it was more of a gaping passageway than a road, with its exterior decorated by Christmas lights. It was the only restaurant in that stretch of highway that was dotted with sari-sari store attached to concrete houses and rustic looking and poorly-lit thatched roofed-structures that contained a couple of tables where men drank their poison of choice after a day’s work.
Pension de San Juanico Restaurant is seared in my memory as the place where I lost a game of chess to Juan. Customers had several board games to choose from while waiting for food to be served, and Juan and I were the only people at that time. There were sungka, Checkers, Snakes and Ladders, and Monopoly, among others, but the chessboard just piqued my interest at that moment. My version of the story says that it was neck-to-neck until the Choco Loco arrived and the superfluous amount of sugar made me lost my concentration. I think I lost my bishop or rook at this point, and Juan gave me a Cheshire smile. I looked at the board and knew that I would be checkmated in three moves, so I gave up. Thankfully, the rest of our orders arrived so I could wallow in despair while stuffing myself with cholesterol. Technically, I can claim that I did not officially lose to him. 🙂 I should have settled on sungka for the easy win. Oh, well.
Pension de San Juan is along Galbica-Tacloban Road, Barangay Cabalawan, Tacloban City. It is in front of National Maritime Polytechnic. If you are coming from Leyte to San Juanico Bridge, it is on the left side.
Inside Pension de San Juanico Restaurant along Galbica-Tacloban Road, Tacloban City
One part of a wall contains post-its with romantic and encouraging messages
The upper portion of that wall holds photos of guests of Pension de San Juanico Restaurant.
A table near the entrance of the restaurant contains board games and books. This was the cause of my great fall. I should have ignored it. Hahaha.
Kropek, P50.00 (US $0.99). Juan could not have enough of it. He ate so much kropek but still won the game. I should have eaten more kropek for brain power.
Pork sisig, P170.00 (US $3.35). I loved it so much. It was the correct balance of crisp and tender. It was a little bit on the spicy side but it was perfect for me.
Fried whole bangus, P150.00 (US $2.96). The amount of sautéed onion and tomato was overwhelming although they added flavor to the dish. Once the bangus was unearthed and tasted, it was yummy! The exterior remained crisp and not doused with oil from the onion and tomato on top, and the fish was flavorful. The sliced fresh tomato and cucumber were a welcome relief from all the oil and sugar.
Choco Loco, P99.00 (US $1.95). Choco Loco was one of the six varieties of freak shakes available. It was an utter freaky shake. I like chocolates of any kind (maybe not the 80% or more dark chocolates), but the Choco Loco is too over the top for my taste. It had chocolate liquid at the bottom, chunks of Choc-Nut, chocolate-coated pretzels, chocolate-coated fishes (Knick Knacks, I think), chocolate balls, chocolate cereals, chocolate wafers, chocolate doughnuts, and chocolate sprinkles. The spaces with no chocolates had whipped cream. Thank goodness, Juan and I decided to order only one shake or I would still be having sugar rush at this point.
Pension de San Juanico Menu
Short orders, good for one to two persons
Fresh Fruit Shakes
Alcoholic and carbonated drinks and others
Some of the waitstaff of Pension de San Juanico. They were so nice to us. We requested them to place the cake we had bought for our hosts in their refrigerator, and they allowed us to do it. Thank you, guys! ☺