Jesus Came to Serve: the Enduring Jesus Panciteria of Marikina
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By: Ejay Domingo
Along M.A. Roxas Street in Brgy. Calumpang, there stands Jesus Panciteria, a restaurant that has withstood the test of time. It was built in 1983 by its namesake, Jesus Pandaan.
“Simula bata, trabaho na niya ang magluto,” said Jennielyn Pandaan, Jesus’ daughter who helps him run the shop, during an interview at the panciteria. “Dati nagtatrabaho siya sa Victory Panciteria.”
Jesus started out as an errand boy for Victory Panciteria, which is also found along J.P. Rizal Street. Over time, he picked up the tricks of the trade and learned to cook pancit himself. Soon after he got married, he opened his own panciteria in 1983.
The panciteria interior has an old, homey feel to it, with black-and-white photographs framed to the walls, while oldies music played over a speaker.
To this day, at 61 years old, Jesus continues to cook pancit because of his enduring love for the dish. He was unavailable for any comments during the interview because he remained in the kitchen, toiling away over the pans and flames. Jennielyn mentioned that sometimes he lets some hired cooks take over, like for the evenings, but most of the time, Jesus cooked away.
During the interview, there came a delivery, a tricycle-load full of firewood.
“‘Yun yung parang secret ingredient namin,” Jennielyn mentioned. The pancit is cooked over a pogon, using panggatong - they had worked that way for a long time, and continued to do so. It adds a unique flavor to all their food.
The menu spans a range of pancit, such as bihon with lechon, miki bihon, lomi, and canton. While pancit is undoubtedly their specialty, they also serve other kinds of meals such as crispy pata, lechon kawali, sweet and sour pork, chopseuy, and different types of soup. Walk-ins are always welcome, but customers may also have their meals delivered by calling their landline at: (02) 225-1076. Feel free to pay them a visit for some quality pancit, made by Jesus himself.
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Photos by: Ejay Domingo, Jesus Panciteria Facebook page
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