Sunday, 10 February 2013

Pasteleria Phoebe: A Taste of Home

I was told by numerous people that I will find it easy to adjust in Spain. In a way, it is true. There is the familiarity of the Spanish language, from which a big percentage of our Filipino language was adapted from. All around me the familiar signs are there --abogado, huelga, buscar (which to us is bukas), mercado, cerveceria (bar!). And it is so easy to buy and shop here because we are so used to their counting numbers --- singko, siyento trenta' y siyete.

Still, familiar as their culture is to us and as much as I am enjoying the experience, I am still a stranger looking in. Thankfully, there are many Filipinos in Madrid. In the streets, at the train station, the din of Tagalog, and surprisingly, Ilocano ring through every single day. It is a comfort, even though I do not know them, even though at times I don't think they recognize that I am Filipina too, to hear people speaking my language, how, despite our different lives, we are all on journeys away from the homeland.

That's a long drawn prologue, no? But it is in this context that I am so happy to know that there are places like Pasteleria Phoebe.

Pasteleria Phoebe is a panaderia owned and managed by a Filipino family offering a surprising combination of traditional Spanish-European baked goodies and Pinoy delicacies.

See the display cases? Baguettes, Croissants, Cupcakes, Palmeras and Spanish Empanadas share the display case with our beloved Pan de Sal, Spanish Bread, Kakanin sa Lihia and their own version of Siopai called Baked Pao.

They also sell Filipino staples such as Boy Bawang, Noodles, and our pambansang sawsawans--patis, toyo and Mang Tomas.

They usually have some banana turon and lumpiang gulay for merienda too. And both are delicious and absolutely capture the Pinoy taste. But these are not why we religiously drop by the bakery every single day in the evening on our way home.

It's because of these:

Homecooked viands such as Pinakbet, Lumpiang Shanghai, Nilagang Baka, Bicol Express, Binagoongan and Pansit; food for a homesick Filipino's soul.

Before we discovered this little food shop, we used to go out for lunch everyday for 11.50€ for a three course meal. Thanks to Pasteleria Phoebe, we now buy our packed lunches (and our dinners, and our breakfasts) for only 4.5€ , that's rice and delicious Pinoy ulam in generous servings. They come packed in microwaveable containers so all we have to do is to nuke them in the microwave at the office mess hall during lunch. No hassle, no cooking needed.

Of course, the soul of the shop is its Filipino owners and servers. They have set up a few tables for dine in clients and we usually eat there on weekends when we have more time to dawdle and chat.

There is nothing more warm and comforting than being served your food with a side dish of good wishes and small chismis about the community. There's a rumor that it might close down soon, I pray that it ain't so. Let Pasteleria Phoebe remain open, please. Let us have our little sanctuary, a place to go to satisfy our longing, our taste of home.


  1. Wow! Hanggagn sa Spain pala nakakarating ang Boy Bawang hehe

  2. Wow good to find this blog about the business of my aunt in Madrid, Spain..
    Thank you..


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