Although having had my breakfast an hour and a half earlier, I couldn’t resist my driver’s invitation to try out AWENG BALBACUA on our way back to the office from the airport where I delivered a cargo of tuna for Manila. Long been a favorite stop-over of drivers who just sent off their passengers to their planes out of Gensan, I felt it was time to try its famed balbacua.

Located along the Airport Road, right at the Barangay Fatima, the city’s 2nd largest vilage in terms of population (60,000 as of 2003), which was mainly a relocation area for squatters and homeless government workers in the early 80s, this nondescript humble eatery is now one of the area’s more famous dining destinations.

I peeked at the back of the eatery and saw these two large “calderos” separately containing the oxtail and the broth. For each order, the cook (Aweng) gets it straight out of these.

Aweng’s BALBACUA Soup.

My take on it: the taste of the slightly thick broth is just right, no need to add soy sauce. The small meat portions from the oxtail are tender and have the sufficient amount of fat for the “guilt” feel, not too much to make your lips shine. Price: P25.