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The view from Racz Cafe

By WOWIE REYES

Right along Maasin City’s scenic Espina Boulevard is a new food landmark which Maasinhons have now love to frequent. Racz Café which is located at the New Baluarte Building near the pier is the perfect place for family and friends to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

The café which was opened in 2012 by the enterprising couple Mr. Serando “Rando” T. Estrada and Dr. Ma. Teresita “Mayette” Dajao Estrada, is best known for its scrumptious and affordable specialties like pork humba, beef and pork steak, and pancit noodle dishes.

Worthy to mention is the café pork and chicken barbecues, which are very tasty and priced the same as the restaurants in the “McDo” area. Every Friday night is “Acoustic Night” at Racz as they offer free live entertainment which highlights the province’s best acoustic talents. For those who want something extra special the café also serves exquisite cocktail drinks, good gourmet coffee and free Wi-Fi service.

The food and ambiance at Racz is definitely one of the best in the city, as it offers its guests good affordable dining while enjoying the majestic view of the Canigao Channel and Bohol Sea. The view and food specialties of the cafe will make anyone’s visit there a memorable one.

For reservations or take-out orders, you can call (053) 381-2128.

Panny's Secret Recipe

By WOWIE REYES

From Maasin City to Tacloban almost everyone in the region has tasted and enjoyed a Panny’s Homebake cake, bread or pastry. Let us get to know the people behind this well loved bakeshop and their secret recipe for success.

From simple beginnings in the 1970s, Nestor Malmis Sy and Epifania Eran Cardeño met and married before deciding to move to Maasin to raise their family. Nestor who was then a salesman for La Tondeña Distiller Inc. covered a sales area from Silago, Southern Leyte to Isabel, Leyte. Meanwhile Epifania or Panny, who took accountancy in college helped him by collecting liquor bottles from stores and returned these to La Tondeña for extra income. They tried numerous business ventures but eventually ended up in the baking industry.

Nestor who always liked cake suggested that Panny take lessons in baking, so she learned the basics of baking in Cebu City. This turned out to be a blessing for them as this was the start of their growing bakery business. As early as 1978 they started to bake cakes for school canteens and restaurants throughout Maasin.

The enterprising couple then focused their time on the business of wholesale Ipil-ipil leaves trading which were then abundant in Southern Leyte. Little did they know that the booming supply was a result of Typhoon Besing. After the farmers started propagating their traditional crops, the supply of Ipil-ipil leaves diminished, and they could no longer supply enough for the feed mills that bought them.

The years that followed (1986 to 1988) were financially trying times for the Sy family. But as the saying goes “you can’t put good people down” and they recovered and picked-up where they left off in the bakery business. Then in March 1992 with only P4,000 on hand and a P20,000 loan Nestor and Panny opened their first Panny’s store at the Old Zialcita building in Maasin City.

The bakeshop which started out small got bigger and better because Maasinhons loved their products and now Panny’s has 5 branches across the cities of Tacloban, Baybay and Hilongos town. Presently, they are partners with Jollibee all throughout Leyte Island.

We asked Nestor and Panny what advice they can give to aspiring businessmen; they said one must focus on their business, keep an open mind, learn to work hard, make great sacrifices, take large amount of risks and have a harmonious partnership with your spouse.

When asked what their plans are for the future they said that Panny’s is already a family corporation and is now looking into establishing new branches in other areas in Region 8. Nestor and Panny Sy have definitely come a long way from their simple beginnings.

The couple who are about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary have six children namely Effie Noreen, Effie Naida, Effie Nina, Effie Nadine, Nestor, and Effie Panny. They have 8 grandchildren; Joel John, Joel James and Joel Joseph S. Anog, Rhino Niño and Rhino Nathan S. Fernandez, Nesse Khar, Nessa Khris and Nerissa C. Sy. Their in-laws are Joel S. Anog, Vincent Visaya, Rino Fernandez, Ramel Magale, and Kharissa Caberte.

Pagatpat Seafood Paradise

By WOWIE REYES

Just 30 minutes from Maasin City, surrounded by beautiful mangrove trees with a panoramic view of the sea is the Pagatpat Seafood Restaurant. Located at Barangay Santa Fe, Matalom, Leyte its nothing short of a gastronomical paradise.

The restaurant which opened last May boasts of freshly caught seafood which customers can either take home or have it cooked and served there.


The restaurant’s ambiance is a nature lovers delight, as guests can enjoy their meals inside bamboo cottages built on stilts within the mangrove forest itself.


Their crispy or sautéed fresh shrimps, and their boiled sea crabs are simply the best in Leyte.

Pagatpat Seafood Restaurant is owned by Glenn Yosores Gorne and Lucille Boyboy Gorne, who are blessed with two children Khorkina Marie and Kirstin Khate.

You may contact Pagatpat Seafood at 0906-6165929 (TM) or 0928-7450771 (Smart).Customers should confirm their reservation and orders in advance to ensure shorter waiting time.

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