Dinner at Hilton in Cabanatuan City

The place is jampacked with people craving to be served by pretty waitresses. It is way past dinner time but clients, usually of the male specie prefers the place to satisfy their palates in this famous al fresco dining place ...'Hilton'

Hilton can be considered a part of history in some of Novo Ecijanos life. A visit to Cabanatuan City will not be complete without a taste of what Hilton could offer.

Exactly thirteen years ago, the bride and groom were on the way to a hotel where they were billeted. Annoying close friends, all secondary sponsors during that afternoons ceremony, do not want to leave the couple alone. They all ended up hungry late that night and looked for a place to dine. All made up and some still dressed, they satisfied their hunger in Hilton. Eventually, the friends left the newlyweds and gave them privacy after almost all of them spent the night together!

Spinning back the clock further, about two decades ago: The same set of friends, then teenagers, came from their University's acquaintance party. It was about 2 am and most establishments are already closed. Hungry, they went to the city proper looking for a place to eat. When suddenly, one of them mentioned 'Hilton'.
The guy in long sleeves,Check Spelling who performed (sang) that night asked "'What Hilton? We do not have that hotel here in the province?"

"Oh! You don't know Hilton? Hilton is... Hila-Hila ng Kariton!!" That is where we are going to eat!" another guy replied.
And that was the first time I had my taste of Hilton.

Hilton - in our province's parlance does not mean the name of a famous hotel. It is a small eatery 'Hila-hila ng Kariton' which means Pulled by a Cart. They number from about four for every street in the heart of the city. You will not see them in the morning though. A couple of hours after the sun sets, when the traffic slows down and streets are not busy, Hilton owners will pull their carts to the streets and sets up their plastic tables and chairs. Like magic, they set up their small eateries in instant and with decorative lights to boot!

They offer one of the best and tasty lugaw (rice porridge), goto (with beef tripe), arroz caldo (with chicken) , egg caldo, and guya (chicken liver, stomach and... how do I call it? eggs still inside the hen?) Imagine topping the porridge with browned garlic and green onion! Mouthwatering!!

Hilton eateries are the favorites... of our tricycle and jeepney drivers (ogling the waitresses?). Of teens hungry after partying. Of drinkers, to ease the effects of alcohol before driving home. Of people who loves to stroll at night and have a midnight snack. And of course, of newly weds! (Or maybe not, that story is unique for the couple and their friends)

Some of the hilton owners progressed and ventured into different kinds of businesses. Others of course are not that lucky.

One Hilton stand called Shiela's Hilton is now in a prominent area in the city- a busy corner. They have their own place now buzzing with customers twenty four hours a day. In their new and better location's facade, they still have the good old kariton, their prime investment...the root of their progress. One thing I did not appreciate is the children begging for money, visiting the tables while you eat. Maybe the Hilton operators could do something about it. They do not have it more than a decade ago.

Now, I have again dined at Hilton. Under a red umbrella, I ordered goto with egg. My wife ordered guya. It's still the same, smells and tastes really good!

Next time, I will bring along our three children to have their taste of Hilton.

That reminds me....It has been thirteen years.. and I thought it was just yesterday!!


Matalinong Matsing said...

Very informative, which got me into thinking.

Do they also serve other kinds of food in Hilton besides the usual goto with tokwa't baboy?

Do they have, like, a combination of something a la tapa-sinangag-itlog? A combo... a pair... pares?

Then you can call that one stall:



Promdi Pinoy said...

Yes, the do serve tapsilog, longsilog, dasilog and whatever logs!

Plus the pares!

That's one very good idea!! Pares hilton will be a hit here!

Thanks for the comment!