Friday, June 01, 2007


There's no way you could miss it. People around here talk about it. Drivers point to it like it's an important landmark that must be visited at all cost. When you're hungry and you find yourself in a far-flung town as Liliw, it's Arabela Camello's or bust.

Puca shell curtains make for a mysterious entrance to Ara Bela.

It's a surprise, to be honest about it, to find such a quaint restaurant that offers a wide array of Italian goodies in a 4th-Class municipality that's known for its tsinelas and uraro. Arabela (or Ara Bela) is like a sore thumb sticking out, but it's a welcome break nonetheless.

Upon entering the shop, one immediately notices one's head scraping the ceiling. Hmmmm... They're not exactly fond of tall people around here, are they? Well, this is because Arabela was carved out of a house's basement hence the low ceiling. But making up for this little inconvenience (watch out for that beam!) are the shop's bright colors, wonderful collections of knick knacks probably sourced from the owners' travels, paintings, and the multi-colored batibot chairs that make for very comfortable seating. There's also a nice old wooden table at the foyer with magazines to amuse you while you wait for your orders to be served. It wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to dine here, as I soon found out.

For 5 people, we racked up a bill of only Php 810 for four (4) kinds of pasta, one (1) huge pizza for sharing, and five (5) lemon iced teas! The experience: priceless. Forgive me if I am given to cliches lately. I just can't help myself.

Starting it right. The salad

The pizza with green pepper, olives and feta cheese.

The shop is almost always full, I think, judging from the lunch crowd - and this was a Wednesday, mind you! Credit owners Bobby and Tonet Camello for whipping up such heavenly offerings nobody can possibly resist. I am amazed at their business sense, really. Who would have thought a resto like this would be a hit around these parts? (I wasn't being condescending when I said that, hey! The comment is one of true and honest amazement.)

Colorful batibot chairs side by side artworks on walls

I bet Arabela is contributing greatly to Liliw residents' growing girth. Just kidding!

Gaita Fores would be very envious of the Camellos. She's the one on that magazine's cover. She also owns Cibo, Pepato and Cafe Bola back in Manila, but I digress.

Methinks Liliweños (or whatever it is that you call the nice people of Liliw) are very lucky to live in such a lovely place as this town.

ARABELA Camello’s Bakehaus and Coffee Shop
503 Rizal St. Liliw, Laguna.
For inquiries, call (049) 5632495, +639172041447 or +639273860639


eye said...

wow, thanks for posting this one! i never knew this place existed in liliw. P810 bill!? whoa, sa CPK or italianni's eh half pa lang ata yun ng 1 pasta order hehe! the red sauces look appetizing, they even serve non-iceberg lettuce for their salads, bilib talaga. sana may ganitong kainan sa metro manila, hehe suntok sa buwan.

Ferdz said...

WOw! Pasta madness. Weakness ko rin yan actually. Hehe. I like the place, even the chairs are so italian.

jeng said...

that's just another 'wow' of liliw! now there's another reason for me to go back to liliw - other than the massive tsinelas/sandals shopping. It's actually 2 towns away from our province, Lucban, Quezon. I myself have have a penchant for traveling and culture. Thanks to your blog and now I'm more compelled to tell stories (& not just post pictures) of the places I've been to in the Philippines. :)

iskoo said...

ang sarap tignan ng bake mac, sa panlasa kaya? sana ma try ko din dyan.

myjanuarypink said...

i was @ arabela last holy thursday and decided to get back last june. the baked mac was a hit and i misssed it twice...although the bolognese spag was great plus the pizza...their pudding is a must try...the ambience is really homey and my favourite spot is the little corner. as what balikbayan drew arellano says - "CERTIFIED RAPSA"..i will be here again tomorrow...