and Sons, Inc. (ESI) is a family-owned corporation spearheaded by the nine
grandchildren (Leonila, Baby, Tony, Gardy, Ray, Mario, Marcy, Rita, and
Raul) of Emilia Buntan. The
company owns and operates Pancit ng Taga Malabon – one of the first
native fast food chains in Malabon started its operations in 1890 at
Malabon-Navotas where its major ingredients were abundant.
After the Second World War, Pancit ng Taga Malabon ventured into
its take-out-counter type chain of restaurants.
Presently, it operates 34 branches nationwide.
The company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on May 30, 1988 with registration number 151743.
Story Behind Pancit ng Taga Malabon
squids, shrimps, smoked fish (tinapa), chicharon, crab pinchers, and duck
eggs laid over fat rice noodles, and thick golden sauce served in a bowl
with bamboo chopsticks. That
was how the dish pancit malabon was served before in the town of Malabon
Tambobong (now divide into two municipalities, Navotas and Malabon).
1980’s, this delicacy, which they called “pancit bame”, was already
common in the locality since toppings abound the area.
However, it was only at the onset of the 1900s that Manileños thru
big name stars discovered this noodle variety when the latter stopped for
food to and from location shootings.
They called the town’s specialty “pancit malabon” referring
to the (only) place where it is found.
firm, fat noodles were made of 70% rice and 30% flour.
From Bulacan factories, where the current supplies still comes, the
noodles where delivered to pondahans or small eating sheds on the shoreline
where travelers, mostly buyers and sellers on their way to the market,
wait for the bancas that transport them.
pondahan was owned by a cousin of Impong Inay of the big Caligay clan of
Navotas. This was situated in
“Badayo Singko” which still exists now as Ferry Station 5.
Inay of Navotas was married to a Tondo man but they raised their family in
Navotas. Extremely proud of
their local culinary fare, she would bring “pancit bame” to family
reunions in Manila, which was fondly called “pancit ng taga malabon”,
or pancit made by the Malabon folks.
Caligay eatery, which was established in 1911, was in brisk business until
a few years after the Second World War.
It was only closed when no more Caligay clan member was
enthusiastic to continue the endeavor.
Caligay thought that was the end of their “pancit bame” business.
But in 1965, Impong Inay’s grandchildren and now her great-grand
children accidentally revived the old business this time in the far
municipality of Marikina.
Impong Inay’s daughter Emilia Buntan (married to Raymundo de la Cruz)
came Jose, the eldest, who became a monsignor and parish priest of
Marikina; Ismael; Rosa, the only girl and foundress of the Pancit ng Taga
Malabon chain of restaurants; Arsenio; and Pedro, who married Leonora
Villegas of Malabon, and had nine children who promoted and developed the
restaurant chain to its heights.
1965, this family was involved in fishing and patis making.
No one ever thought of establishing eateries until Jose, the eldest
son was assigned to the parish of Marikina.
In that municipality, Jose saw the potential of the residents in
shoemaking, which was then an infant industry.
He joined the mayor, late Osmundo de Guzman, several key people in
organizing the first major shoe trade fair in the area.
Several shoe stalls were set and being involved in the
organizations themselves, Rosa and cousin saw the need for a food booth.
They established a food corner, sold “pancit bame” and thereby
introduced the townspeople to the dish they started to call “pancit ng
fair, the residents loved the special noodle dish so much that they
ordered vats from Rosa and cousin for special parties and gatherings.
Because of the food response from the people and the numerous
orders, Rosa decided to open a small restaurant along the parish (side)
church. Take homes were
placed in bilao’s (flat, circular native trays) of varying sizes.
when the first restaurant “Pancit ng Taga Malabon” was opened, several
branches were developed one after the other.
The first branch along Aurora Boulevard corner Harvard Street came
two years later in 1968. At
present, they have seven (7) branches.
“pancit bame” has gone a long way.
And the pondahan of the Caligays developed into a famous and
growing chain of restaurants which is now managed by a family corporation,
Emilia and Sons, Inc. The
fast development can be attributed to the nine enterprising sons and
daughters of Pedro and Leonora who took it ton themselves to manage the
branches. They have already
introduced innovations like using styroboxes and including other well –
loved Filipino dishes in the menu but the sauce, the noodles, and the
tradition continues, and with the guidance of Impong Inay’s
grandchildren or Emilia’s Sons, the new caligay generation’s
enthusiasm will certainly bring “Pancity ng Taga Malabon” to far