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Powder Keg blows its’ top…
by Ronnie Hoyle

THE FUSE has been burning so fast at the fêted Powder Keg on Alona Beach since the doors first opened a year ago that local people wonder when the whole building itself will blow up…or at least blow the patrons sideways into the road and the adjoining lots.

What was planned as a ‘hobby-style’ ex-pats bar by its owner as a way to keep busy during his third retirement has turned into a full-time business already and has fast outgrown the intention of “just somewhere to drop in for a few beers and a chat with fellow ex-pats living locally.”

Paul Bruno and his wife, Marcy, planned the Powder Keg when they saw an empty building and decided it was just what was needed to keep the old boy busy after moving to Alona Beach for a taste of the quiet life following his second retirement when he was involved with running a bar also called the Powder Keg at Angeles on Luzon.

Within months of the bar opening the building started to need an extension. First the kitchen and stockroom, then the dartboard area which moved to its’ own newly-built room, and then the eating area which expanded when the feature tree in the center of the room decided to give up the ghost and make way for more tables…and some locals are still complaining that the area is too small!
“Hey!” says Bruno. “I only wanted a part-time hobby!”

Beginning to bulge at the seams on some nights, the ‘off the beach’ bar just opposite the Alona Beach Entertainment Village can only blame one thing: it’s the place where everyone wants to hang about from breakfast time until throwing-out time in the evening.

So, what’s the reason? It’s the easy-going atmosphere of the place, brought about in the main by Paul’s love of old-style country music and songs from the days when he was probably a bit of a hell-raiser himself in the late 80’s after leaving the US forces, if you listen to some of his stories and the recollections of some of his friends who have found the bar!

Well, that and a few other things; it could also be due to Aussie John’s delicious mango or apple pies for dessert (“Just like mum makes!”) and his various home-made meat pies for the main course, as well as the contribution which El Jeffe’s (“The Chief’s”) Mexican dishes make to compliment the menu that started life with an offering of various thin-crust pizzas with toppings that the owner himself liked…and the fact that the beer is probably the cheapest around.

Like everything, something had to start the quest for a new venture: it was Paul’s love of pizza. He started making them at home for himself…then his neighbours got to know what he was up to in the kitchen and wanted a few for their own deep freeze. And then it just grew and grew and he began supplying other places in the vicinity.

It did not take long before Marcy threw him out of the kitchen and told to find his own place where he could cook a hundred or so pizzas every week and a few gallons of chili con carne, plus the other foods that he found lacking on the beach…like fish and chips with all the trimmings and easy-over eggs with ham steak or sirloin beef steak for breakfast.

While the menu grew, the prices have stayed as easy as you please…everything is well under 200 pesos. Now and again Paul even grabs members of his rapidly-expanding Powder Keg Social Club and decides to go on a Sunday island-hopping and picnicking tour around Panglao Island.

The menu still seems to expand daily, and now there are threats to bring in inch-thick Australian beef for steaks to satisfy a growing appetite in the area. What next…lamb and kangaroo stew? Now, don’t go and suggest that to Paul – he might take you up on it and use you as the guinea pig!

Then you might be the one to explode! Gad – what a horrible thought!
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About Panglao Island

The beautiful tropical island of Panglao. Clean air and un spoilt beaches. A visit to Panglao is like stepping back in time. Explore and discover a lost Island paradise. Panglao also offers world class diving facilities. Excellent restaurants, Stunning panorama's, lush palm trees, hidden coves and private beaches. And the people of Panglao are warm welcoming a friendly.

Our Team

Paul is from the USA and his wife Mercy is from Carmen (Chocolate Hills) most of the staff are Boholanos and speak Visian and Tagalog, don't worry they all speak perfect English.