I. Background Analysis
For 26 years, the Cabalen chain of restaurants has been the standard for excellent Filipino cuisine. Combining the freshest ingredients and the most stringent quality control, Cabalen has kept its patrons coming back for more through the consistency in Taste and Quality of its dishes served in the buffet. Balikbayans and regular patrons say that dining at a Cabalen Restaurant will make you feel the aunthentic traditional home-cooked food the Kapampangan way that you have not experienced for a long time in a very reasonable priced buffet. This is why Cabalen is every family’s all-time and leading buffet favorite for 25 years now.
Cabalen Restaurant is a casual and amiable restaurant of molave wood tables and chairs and folk songs playing in the background, Cabalen serves up traditional Filipino entrees heavy on influences from the Campanga region of Central Luzon. Cabalen, which literally translates to a fellow Capampangan, is a group of casual – fine dining restaurants known for authentic Capampangan dishes and different Filipino specialties, originating from Pampanga. This province is known to food connoisseurs as the seat of sumptuous food and delicacies while the Capampangans are widely known as people with good taste and innate cooking talent. These factors contributed to the eventual birth of Cabalen, the Capampangan specialty restaurants. Philippine Cuisine has evolved over several centuries, influenced by East Asian Indian, Malay, Chinese, Spanish and American cooking. Filipinos traditionally eat three main meals a day- almusal (breakfast), tanghalian (lunch), and hapunan (dinner) plus an afternoon snack called merienda. Dishes range from a simple meal of fried fish and rice to rich paellas and cocidos.
Popular dishes include lechón (whole roasted pig),longanisa (native sausage), tapa (beef jerky), torta (omelette), adobo (chicken and/or pork braised in garlic), soy sauce, and vinegar or cooked until Dry for the Visayan variety), kaldereta (goat in tomato stew), mechado (beef or pork cooked in tomato sauce, pochero (beef in bananas and tomato sauce), afritada (chicken cooked in tomato sauce and vegetables), kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), crispy pata (deep-fried pig’s foot), hamonado (pork sweetened in pineapple sauce), sinigang (pork, fish, or shrimp in tamarind stew),pancit (stir-fried noodles), lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls).
Typical dishes include bopiz (kidney), Gatang Kohol (snails in coconut milk), Ensalata Ampalaya (a bitter vegetable with garlic and ginger), and laing (a root vegetable in coconut milk. There’s also choices of pork, beef, and fish stews, as well as Chinese influenced fried Lumpia, Pinakbet (noodles), and Adobos (traditional barbeque). Finish off with some local ice cream or one of the rice-based puddings (yam, corn, or plain milk), or the fried banana.
Cabalen family started in 1974 in San Fernando, Pampanga as a small Bahay Pasalubong Restaurant selling specialty food dishes, then grew into a restaurant called “Ituro Mo, Iluto Ko”. In 1986, the first Cabalen Eat-all-you-Can, Eat-all-you-Want Restaurant was opened in West Avenue, Quezon City that ushered the expansion .to more outlets. Gradually it became the most popular buffet restaurant in the Philippines. Many Kapampangan festivals display an indigenous flavor unique only to the Kapampangan people. Consider the Curaldal or “street dancing” that accompanies the Feast of Santa Lucia in Sasmuan or the Aguman Sanduk were men cross-dress as women to welcome the New Year in Minalin or the Batalla Festival to reenact the battle between the native Muslim Moor and the new colonist Native Capampangan Christians, the historical battle between the two religious native Kapampangans.
They start the battle in Ugtung-aldo or afternoon and they end it in Sisilim or sunset with the tune of what Macabebeanons and Masantuleñios called BATTALA Masantol, Macabebe and Lubao. The Pistang Danum of the barrios of Pansinao, Mandasig, Lanang and Pasig in Candaba – where food is served on floating banana rafts on the waters of the Pampanga River – was originally a non-Christian holiday that is now made to coincide with the baptism of Christ. The Kapampangan New Year or Bayung Banwa that welcomes the coming of the monsoons and the start of the planting season is made to coincide with the feast of John the Baptist. The colourful Apung Iru fluvial procession of Apalit, once a thanksgiving celebration in honour of the river, has become the feast of Saint Peter.
The most dramatic festivals can be witnessed during the Mal ay Aldo, which is the Kapampangan expression of the Holy Week. These include the erection of a temporary shrine known as the puni where the pasion or the story of Christ’s suffering is chanted in archaic Kapampangan. The melody of the Kapampangan pasion was said to have been taken from their traditional epic, whose original words were lost and replaced by the story of Christ. The highlight of the mal ay aldo celebration is the procession of the magdarame orsasalibatbat penitents covered in blood from self-flagellation.
Some of them even have themselves crucified every Good Friday at the dried up swamp of barrio Cutud in San Fernando. Kapampangan cuisine, or Lutung Kapampangan, has gained a favourable reputation among other Philippine ethnic groups. Some popular Kapampangan dishes that have become mainstays across the country include sisig, kare-kare, “tocino” or pindang and their native version of the longaniza. Other Kapampangan dishes – which are an acquired taste for the other ethnic groups – include buru (fish fermented in rice), betute tugak (stuffed frogs), adobung kamaru (mole crickets sauteed in vinegar and garlic), estofadong barag (spicy stewed monitor lizard), sisig,calderetang asu (spicy dog stew), sigang liempu, “dagis a tinama”(marinated rats), laman panara and bobotu.
IV. Marketing Orientation
The Cabalen Buffet Restaurant was Affordable and Easy to Go. They have Different Foods. You have so many options to eat it’s either you want deserts, sea foods, meats, chicken and vegetables. It is a good Buffet Restaurant because, the place is near on the transportation area, so that you can easily go there. And also, they had a good serving and nice crews.
Courtney from Study Moose
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