The Gods of Mt. Olympus Really Really Liked Pan de Manila's Pandesal So They Made a Mortal Review It

It wasn't really a Zeus-as-an-eagle-snatching-Ganymede-to-make-him-a-cupbearer-in-Olympus moment, but during this morning's usual bread-and-coffee visit to Pan de Manila, I kinda took my phone out and began typing like JK Rowling circa 1996; the inspiration came to me and I had to write something. I knew it was orchestrated by the Gods because there's no force in this entire world that could make me blog using a smart phone. Yes, it was this serious.

Some companies knew it better perfecting their product and let the word of mouth do its wonder than doing relentless ads that don't live up to the consumer's expectations. The point is, Pan de Manila's products are so good it left me with no choice but to blog the heavenly bread's impact to my daily routine. If I don't, this gut feeling (I suspect 'appreciation') wouldn't let me sleep for the rest of my life.

So, Where to Begin?
First off, I discovered Pan de Manila on that day I was trying to change a 500 peso bill. I was originally to buy water but feeling ashamed of myself, I ordered 4 pandesal to make it credible. I was not the biggest fan of breads and pastries (I loathe sweets and breads) so I wasn't really excited to touch them when I'm done with the store. But the gnawing warmth emitted by the oven fresh bread in my hands was calm yet demanding, as though it was teasing me to take a bite while it's hot. Whatever, I took a bite and Avatar Aang possessed my existence.

Not exaggerating, well, a bit, but I've never tasted anything so heavenly from the pastry industry. The bread is soft, warm, almost like a tender meat. The taste is something subtle yet memorable. The sensation brings everything good and sexy. And the smell only heighten the experience; it's like sniffing Aphrodite's arm pit.

A brand must be consistent from packaging to store interior. Pan de Manila is consistent. After being transported to Mt. Olympus with that first 'bite,' I set to try its other products. The cinnamon pan, particularly, just blew everything out of the water. How can it consistently surpass my expectations? When its slogan "Sinfully sweet cinnamon spice!" said it's gonna be sinfully sweet cinnamon spice, it wasn't kidding.

While most cinnamon scented breads usually overwhelm the senses and eventually ruining the bread, Pan de Manila avoided this travesty by perfecting the balance between smell and taste without overpowering each other. Such mastery of yin yang!

Its Glorious Products:
Spreads:

Peanut butter, coco jam, fruit jams, garlic butter (must try!), herb cream cheese, sharp melting cheddar cheese, Spanish -style sardines (extra-virgin olive oil,corn oil, and tomato - must try!).

Beverages:

Cafe con leche (a personal fave, not activating my hyperacidity), chocolate con leche, chocolate blancho, cafe mocha (must try!), and soya milk (regular, chocolate, melon).

Breads:

Pandesal (classic, wheat, cheese - all must-trys!), loaf breads (tasty, whole wheat, raisin, monay), whole wheat breads, cheese sticks, ensaymada, pan de coco, pan de ube, pesto-flavored breads (personal fave!), bananamon, banana loaf, sugar-free breads, macapuno, leche flan tarts, mamon, and Spanish classic.

Also, by visiting its official FaceBook Page (and liking it asap), I found out, it's introducing donuts! Though they're still available in the capital region, it surely will reach Cebu next year.

Interior and Customer Service:
So far I've visited 3 Pan de Manila branches in Cebu; one in IT Park, J Centre Mall, and Banilad Town Center. They all share the unified obsession with the empire who colonized Philippines for 333 years; the Spanish feel inside every store is conservative, a balance of the past and of the present.

What's unique about Pan de Manila's stores is you get a glimpse of the bakery. It's such a nice feeling seeing how the baker takes the bread out of the oven circa 1800s style; it's so old school I had the urge to talk to Grandma and ask about Spanish oppression and stuff (She's dead btw).

Kidding aside, the people working there are hospitable and friendly. When I say hospitable and friendly, I'm talkin' about the consistent professionalism they show every time I visit the store. There are instances when I've become so familiar with a store and the cashier has grown so accustomed with what I order they go overboard treating me extra special and gets extra friendly (asking questions of this and that). I don't like that. With Pan de Manila, I'm treated like a new customer every time. So cool.

To cap it all...
Now that the Gods have been served their blog fix, I see my future in franchising and if the opportunity comes, Pan de Manila will surely top my list. I was captivated by the brand and it would be a joy to be a part of such investment. When you love a product and believe in it, it shows. In Pan de Manila's case, it's a union made in Demeter's backyard. The Gods couldn't agree more.