Saturday, March 4, 2023


I'm on the lookout for good places to eat, so I know where to bring my friends whenever they come visit. I wrote previously that deciding to where to eat—or meet—is a perpetual dilemma. Compiling a list of restaurants and establishments in Marbel, Gensan and South Cotabato that serve anything that can be eaten would probably make these decisions easier. 

So here's the first restaurant I've tried: Juego, on the way to Agan Homes in Koronadal.

My cousin Hannah told me about an good place that serves good chicken wings. It's a walkable distance from the house. She said, "You won't notice it. It's on the second floor, like a hole-in-a-wall thing." I learned that it's a hip place to go to. There's a live band that plays music until late at night. 

We tried it out for early dinner.  I was with my brother and cousins, Hannah and Alyza. To discover new and exciting places, one must seek the wisdom of youth.

It still comes as a surprise that this area used to be rice fields. Tricycle drivers charged double whenever we visited classmates who lived here. The passengers were few and in between. After a short stretch of paved road followed a longer dirt road. 

As we turned from Judge Alba Street to enter the road that leads to Agan Homes, Manong said, "It's like Maginhawa," referring to our gentrified neighborhood in Quezon City that used to be almost exclusively residential but has now become a restaurant hub. In a way, this area feels like that: infused with energy and bright lights and joie de vivre. There are many vehicles that pass by. New places have been put up and seem to be enjoying good business. 

To Agan

But we found Juego. It's hard to locate if you're not local to Marbel, but the people here are always smiling and will point you to the right direction if you ask nicely. 


We arrived at 7 PM-ish, just as the place was coming to life and the live band was setting up. Juego opens at 4 PM. It's probably the best time to eat there if you hate crowds, but it might still be too hot. There's no air-conditioning. At night, the cool air is refreshing. The open air vibe adds charm to the place. 

Happy staff - Juego

The pork sisig was delicious. 

Sisig - Juego

The chicken wings were great, probably the best ones I've tasted in the region. Crispy on the outside, but tender and moist on the inside. We had the hot wings. The sauce was spicy, but just the right kind.

Wings - Juego

We also had the garlic chicken wings. We had them with rice—as you should, given the explosion of flavor—which completed the combo.

Garlic chicken wings - Juego

I came back last night and ordered the same things. There was a good crowd of families and friends and schoolmates and officemates. The band was playing beautiful contemporary music whose lyrics I didn't know.



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