When in Dapitan, you will not fail to visit Gloria de Dapitan, the tiny city’s prime spot for leisure-seeking travellers. You often find me here, as there isn’t really any other place to hang out in Dapitan when you’re not looking to sun or swim.
Gloria de Dapitan (named for the country’s current president, which is a shame) includes several restaurants, a few boutique shops, an Internet shop, some bauble-selling stalls, a snack stall (french fries and ice cream), a bowling place, an impressive fountain (for a provincial town) and in the center of it all, a cock-fighting gymnasium (apparently the Congressman, who owns the entire Gloria and most of Dapitan, is a big fan).
Gim and I go to Gloria everyday to access the Internet. The whole place is a wifi zone, and anybody can access the wifi for free. The girl at the airconditioned Internet shop lets me sit inside while doing my Internet rounds. I try to make her charge me the regular Internet rate but she flatly refuses (she lets me surf and charge my laptop for free) so I sometimes bring her some sweets in exchange for her generosity hehehe. Sometimes she won’t receive those too.
The food in Dapitan is superbly inexpensive, so Gim and I often visit Gloria to get dinner. (Most shops don’t open before 2pm so it’s hard to find lunch there.) Our favorite restaurants are Tapas & Beer and a pizza place (gosh I forgot the name).
At Tapas & Beer, better get an order of tapa (dried beef, fried in soy sauce). It’s very tasty, and the onions are very crisp. Also try their calamares, or fried squid rings. They’re one of the best I’ve ever tasted, because the squid rings are very thick and tender at the same time. Gim loves crispy pata (a leg of pork salted and boiled then left in the air to dry for an entire day, then deep fried) and we found it in the menu so we ordered that one time, and Gim loved it so much he left nothing but bone (the ones he couldn’t chew enough to swallow hahaha).
The pizza shop in Gloria is not to be missed. The shop owners come from Switzerland and the ingredients in their pizza definitely prove it. Regular servings (good for three or four but Gim and I can finish one in 30 minutes) cost only P200 ($4) while family servings cost P300 ($6). Extra toppings cost P30 (less than $1) and a request for thick crust costs P30 as well (you will want the thick crust for sure!). Trust me when I say they are VERY VERY good.
Most of the pizzas are mozarella-and-meat-heavy, just the way Gim and I like it. We love sausage and often ask for extra toppings of it. The pizza is cooked right in front of you if you want to watch. The contraption where the pizza is cooked is bizarrely small, but the server says it cost almost a hundred thousand pesos (roughly $2000). Whoa, but if that’s their secret I want one too hehe!
And here is Gim patiently waiting for our pizza on the counter. :-) It takes about 15-30 minutes for the pizza to cook (it’s not a fast-food place) so when the pizza gets served you’re sure to be starving heheheh.
It’s a great eat. :-)
Gloria is a cheap place to eat for city people, but there are many more spots in Dapitan where you can get cheaper and tastier food, especially when it comes to seafood.
But that’s for another post. :-)