One fine November afternoon, Ate Manessa and I got bored and decided to go for a trip to UP Diliman. While both of us were UP students during our undergraduate days, neither of us know UP Diliman too well, because we both hail from UP Manila.
Our target that day was really to get to try Mang Larry’s famous isaw. We took an FX to Philcoa and rode an ikot, got down in front of UP Law. It wasn’t really easy to find, so we had to ask around some people, including Kuya Ice Cream. Ang mahal na pala ng ice cream ngayon. A cone of ice cream cost us 25 pesos each. That’s steep.
|Kids forming a pyramid. the sight while waiting for our ice cream|
We were directed to the back of UP Law, in our search for Mang Larry’s isaw. And when we finally found it, after thirty minutes or so of searching, we felt like we struck gold.
There were lots of people in line to buy themselves a bulk of whatever Mang Larry is selling. Which brought us to ask ourselves, “Ano bang droga ang meron sa isaw ni Mang Larry?“
We saw a few people park their cars in the adjacent parking area, and order from Mang Larry, then went back to their cars to eat and hangout. A few others enjoyed staying at the benches surrounding the food cart.
Their isaw cost at least 3php/stick, which is really cheap. Unfortunately, it’s not much per stick, but it’s okay :)) At 3php, you can buy a dozen of these if you’re not happy with just a few.
Is it clean? For someone like me who’s been guarded by my parents practically all my life from eating street foods, I can say that I have no issues with their sanitary handling of the food. The sauce is contained in a water-container with faucet, so there’s no chance for double-dipping. They give you the food in a small brown paper bag. I guess the area is not so clean with the number of people buying, eating, and leaving their trash where they shouldn’t, but it’s not Mang Larry’s fault.We tried all kinds of grilled carcinogen-flavored offerings that Mang Larry was selling. It was good and cheap, too. Mang Larry’s isawan is definitely a nice place to hang out after class, work, or whenever you don’t have anything to do or anywhere to go with your friends and want to grab something light.
I think that more than the isaw, what I liked about finding Mang Larry and trying his famous isaw is the fact that behind this small food cart peddling cheap isaw is an enterprising success story that everyone should take inspiration from. With little capital, yet returning high profits, and what’s more, the fact that it is famous, not only to UP students and staff. It has become a UP Diliman attraction.
Will I come back? I like the casual feel of enjoying isaw with friends, so yes, I would come back, if only it wasn’t too far from Manila. It’s not the isaw that you’re paying for, really, because I’ve had better isaws than this. It’s the fun of eating cheap isaw with friends, feeling full and satisfied with the little money that you spent for a dozen or so sticks of street food.
How about you? How’d you like Mang Larry’s Isaw? -ED