AMBOS MUNDOS RESTAURANT and Its Role in Philippine Culinary History

6:27 PM

I got to thinking about the role that Ambos Mundos Restaurant played in Philippine culinary history when someone from a foundation related to a known restaurant emailed me as to the possibility of obtaining photographs of Ambos Mundos . They intended to use such photographs as part of an audio-visual presentation related to tracing the history of the Philippine culinary industry. This made me realize even more that Ambos Mundos Restaurant has indeed managed to carve its space in Philippine culinary history.

The Beginnings

The idea of putting up a restaurant that serves Filipino and Spanish dishes came from the mind of an unexpected source. A petite, unmarried lady from Bulacan by the name of Felisa de Leon thought that there was potential in serving dishes commonly enjoyed by the Filipino masses in a quick way. During that time, the term "fast-food" and the "tapsilog" variants probably haven't been coined yet but Ambos Mundos Restaurant was already at it. Of course, fast-food in our context means to be able to serve freshly-cooked food in minutes.

The Heydays

The atmosphere in the main restaurant in Estero Cegado and the other branch in Quiapo was quite relaxed and informal. The Ermita branch had a more "elite" feel. No matter, these three Ambos Mundos Restaurant establishments attracted and served popular movie stars as well as more private individuals and families. This was during the time of Jose "Nene" Gaudinez Jr. and his siblings, Luis and Carlos. It looked like it will go on and on.

The Forced Slumber

By some unexpected twists and maneuverings, the real Ambos Mundos Restaurant was pushed into a forced slumber while a pretender tries to capitalize on its name. People however do not easily forget the genuine taste and continue to look for it. It would seem that a popular business name under the hands of people with no real history in it is nothing. As the legitimate trademark holder up to this time, I, Maria Teresa Gaudinez fight on.

My Say

I am often tempted to give up the fight for Ambos Mundos Restaurant but I wonder why every time I grow weak in spirit, something will come up to remind me about my responsibility and so I fight on. I write articles like this just to serve as a constant reminder to the public not be misled. I do not gripe, I just lay down the facts as they are.

That said, today April 20 is the death anniversary of my father. This is the time when I get reminded the most why I should not give up. This day makes me remember more than ever that no one has the right to take away my family's right to the name AMBOS MUNDOS RESTAURANT.

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