Mandy's "Cafe Lago" by the Lake

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Mandy's "Cafe Lago" by the Lake

Postby jadis » Sun May 26, 2013 6:49 pm

PARADISE FOUND:

(MANDY) MARINO BY THE LAKE...
:)

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It has been a few years since I heard about Mang Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Sampalok Lake in San Pablo City in Laguna. I saw a few pictures posted somewhere but I never imagined how beautiful and serene it was till I actually set foot in it.

A few weeks ago I was invited by Mang Mandy to visit him, and if possible, to have Zen Master Pat Morita tag with him the diminutive Minimax which as I had documented, he can easily carry and 'balance' with 1 hand. :D Morita's reply was affirmative, and when he assured me that he will take me to Cafe Lago safely in his 'bullet proof' (in looks) Revo, the game was afoot. While I had ridden with the 'Evel Knievel of the Philippines' to Paranaque a couple of times, I am now entrusting my life to him in the longest trip down south I have ever taken. :lol: And it helps to know that the man had driven in a German autobahn many years ago in a rented Volvo whose speed setting was limited to a lowly 80 kph which he found out only when he was in the autobahn. :D

Happily, we arrived at Cafe Lago without a hitch. Mang Mandy was there to meet us and when we entered, we found a beautifully landscaped place which fits the description of a greenhouse paradise with a view of a lake to boot. Upon entering, we saw these 'scenes':

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The view opposite Cafe Lago is Sampalok Lake:

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Gastronomy101:

Fresh Green Fern Salad with salted eggs and chopped tomatoes

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Utterly delicious Binagoonan Pork

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Pancit

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Suman from Liliw, Laguna

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Far East (Morita) meets South East (Mang Mandy) :lol:

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They were discussing 1950s audio, noong wala pa akong malay at wala pa rin naman sa mundong ito. :lol: Mang Mandy was telling Morita that it all started while he was working in a Zenith factory in Chicago. And the rest of his audio building passion was history.

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After lunch, we proceeded to the music hideout of Mang Mandy. Here looking for a record to play.

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Setting it all up.

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Volume Control.

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Presto! Morita in the 'hot seat'. :lol:

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The speakers - Lowther single cone/single voice coil loudspeakers from England. Enclosure was made by MM locally.

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Pat testing if the center image is accurate. What better test of dead center imaging than to use his own body!! :D

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2 'WHITE DOGS' spotted behind the speakers, no 'shaded dogs' found though. :lol:

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YIN - A warm view of the soundstage.

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YANG - A brighter view of the soundstage. :lol:

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The all-too-familiar creation of Mang Mandy - his DIY turntable active record clamp and tonearm made by his own hands.

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The Minimax sitting on the bench, literally, :lol: as it waits for its number to be called to 'serve' its phono amplification chores, kung baga maging 'starter' in basketball parlance. :lol:

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We all had a very enjoyable afternoon yesterday. My dislike for long long rides and horrendous queue at the toll booths all diminished after visiting a place where the Chinese would regard as possessing good 'feng shui'. Feng, literally meaning WIND, and Shui, meaning WATER. Both were in abundance from the air above the lake and from the lake itself, respectively. Plus the natural green landscape, full of trees and plants, make the surroundings a man-made paradise in the mold of a classic ecological park.

Our main purpose of the visit was audio, and good sound was what we got. At the first drop of the needle, Morita looked at me with a smile, and I responded with the same. Our minds spoke without words that the sound we heard was music to our ears. All tube electronics mostly DIY'ed produced a warm and lovely sound but what surprised us was that coming from a single 8" cone 'full range' pair of speakers, the sound was amazingly big and all frequencies were covered well without any hint of deficiency. There were sparkling highs when there was no tweeter present - ribbon or dome. Many times Mortia would look at me with a smile and raised eyebrows in approval at each pluck of the guitar, crash of the cymbals and whack of the drum. The system left a good impression in our minds. Vocals were sweet and alluring and one comment that stood out from Morita to me when Carol Kidd sung, 'O! Nasa gitna pa rin si Carol Kidd kahit nakabukas ang sliding door sa likod niya. Bilib ka ba? Hindi lumabas sa Carol Kidd sa likod kahit nakabukas ang pinto sa likod ng speakers!' :D :D And it was true. The image stayed firmly in the sound field although the open door to the lanai seemed to suggest a suck out effect. No such thing happened. :o We played some more albums till Mang Mandy wow'ed us with a passage of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring wherein the dynamics and drum whacks belied the physical appearance and size of an 8 inch driver. Incredible. After that, I begged MM's indulgence to leave earlier to escape the Saturday traffic. When I went home, I had to google LOWTHER immediately. :D :D

Our heartfelt thanks to Mang Mandy for a beautiful audio session. It will be something to remember for a long while. Thanks too for the fantastic lunch served at Cafe Lago, and hopefully, when I finally take up my father-in-law's long time offer to drive down to Daet, I can visit your lovely place of serenity again. :)
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby dimfer » Sun May 26, 2013 9:12 pm

excellent reporting again :clap:

a trip to Mang Mandy's is an experience that cannot be soon forgotten.. I haven't seen/ spoken with him for a while but judging from the pictures, he is doing very well
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby timber715 » Mon May 27, 2013 1:45 am

Is there fish in Sampalok lake? Could be a good excuse to try the bigagoongan ah :lol:
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby mandym » Mon May 27, 2013 6:39 am

Thanks, Phillip for the nice compliments. I am glad you and Morita san had a good time. I am presently having a good time with the AMAZING MiniMax!
Dimfer I enjoy visits from my WS friends. They are always welcome here. Timber715, yes there are fish in the lake but I'm afraid they are so small that only avid fishermen would savor catching them.
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby jadis » Mon May 27, 2013 7:11 am

dimfer wrote:excellent reporting again :clap:

a trip to Mang Mandy's is an experience that cannot be soon forgotten.. I haven't seen/ spoken with him for a while but judging from the pictures, he is doing very well


thanks ding. i forgot to mention that mang mandy's cafe lago is part of the VIAJE DEL SOL network of go to places and eats in the area. i never knew there are so many things to see and do there!
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby jadis » Mon May 27, 2013 7:12 am

timber715 wrote:Is there fish in Sampalok lake? Could be a good excuse to try the bigagoongan ah :lol:
Cheers


i think so. we saw some small fish pens too in the lake.
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby jadis » Mon May 27, 2013 7:14 am

mandym wrote:Thanks, Phillip for the nice compliments. I am glad you and Morita san had a good time. I am presently having a good time with the AMAZING MiniMax!


My pleasure, Mang Mandy. :) Morita and I were talking all about the good experience we had on the way home. :)
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby dB10 » Mon May 27, 2013 11:05 am

mandym wrote:Thanks, Phillip for the nice compliments. I am glad you and Morita san had a good time. I am presently having a good time with the AMAZING MiniMax!
Dimfer I enjoy visits from my WS friends. They are always welcome here. Timber715, yes there are fish in the lake but I'm afraid they are so small that only avid fishermen would savor catching them.


sir isn't Sampaloc lake on the way to San Bartolome church in Nagcarlan? I have always wanted to go to there, but was hesitant not knowing where to get a decent meal along the way except in San Pablo city proper (Max again :puke: ) now I know where :)
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby Jon Agner » Mon May 27, 2013 11:26 am

dB10 wrote:
mandym wrote:Thanks, Phillip for the nice compliments. I am glad you and Morita san had a good time. I am presently having a good time with the AMAZING MiniMax!
Dimfer I enjoy visits from my WS friends. They are always welcome here. Timber715, yes there are fish in the lake but I'm afraid they are so small that only avid fishermen would savor catching them.


sir isn't Sampaloc lake on the way to San Bartolome church in Nagcarlan? I have always wanted to go to there, but was hesitant not knowing where to get a decent meal along the way except in San Pablo city proper (Max again :puke: ) now I know where :)


Sampaloc Lake is the one nearest the city proper. Lake Calibato is the one you are referring to, when going to Nagcarlan ;) :)
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby dB10 » Mon May 27, 2013 12:46 pm

thanks sir Jon, I might need my GPS then if im going to there :D sorry if OT
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby jadis » Mon May 27, 2013 1:01 pm

dB10 wrote:thanks sir Jon, I might need my GPS then if im going to there :D sorry if OT


no ot there, db10. the whole province of laguna is within the topic here, and i don't mind if it stretches to other provinces or even regions. :)
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Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby jadis » Mon May 27, 2013 1:12 pm

And when my wife learned I was going 'far', she asked me to bring home some native goodies. Since sawa na kami sa Collete's Buko Pie, buti na lang may Rosing's Sampalok Champoy in Mang Mandy's Cafe, saved us the time pa to park and shop at those side stalls. :D Masarap. Yun lang some may need Sensodyne after that. :D

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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby jadis » Mon May 27, 2013 3:05 pm

And a bit of tidbit which I just remembered now. After playing Carol Kidd's 'When I Dream' cut, Mrs. Marino suddenly appeared in the listening room and asked me who the singer was, as she was so captivated by her voice. I almost said 'she's one of my 4 KIDDS', :lol: but wisely, I replied, her name is Carol, Carol Kidd. :) In my books, Miss Kidd never failed to turn heads of people who hadn't heard her voice before. :)
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby dante » Tue May 28, 2013 9:33 am

Very nice write up, as usual, Philip. I enjoyed every visit I made to Cafe Lago and now that I am moving my home south to Sta. Rosa, I will have more opportunities to visit Mandy! Cheers bro!
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby jadis » Tue May 28, 2013 9:49 am

dante wrote:Very nice write up, as usual, Philip. I enjoyed every visit I made to Cafe Lago and now that I am moving my home south to Sta. Rosa, I will have more opportunities to visit Mandy! Cheers bro!


Thanks, Dante. Wow, you're moving to a very nice area. Kung may mini Chinatown lang dun, I'd like to live there as well. :)
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby choyb » Tue May 28, 2013 10:18 am

jadis wrote:
dimfer wrote:excellent reporting again :clap:

a trip to Mang Mandy's is an experience that cannot be soon forgotten.. I haven't seen/ spoken with him for a while but judging from the pictures, he is doing very well


thanks ding. i forgot to mention that mang mandy's cafe lago is part of the VIAJE DEL SOL network of go to places and eats in the area. i never knew there are so many things to see and do there!


Hi jadis,
Thanks for this thread/post.
My paternal side is from Nagcarlan, I agree from San Pablo to Nagcarlan to Liliw and beyond is a really beautiful and a very green area.
I feel ashamed, as a "native" of the area for not visitng Cafe Lago yet... :doh:
Will definitely do it with the next couple of weeks...

Cheers
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby dante » Tue May 28, 2013 10:25 am

jadis wrote:
dante wrote:Very nice write up, as usual, Philip. I enjoyed every visit I made to Cafe Lago and now that I am moving my home south to Sta. Rosa, I will have more opportunities to visit Mandy! Cheers bro!


Thanks, Dante. Wow, you're moving to a very nice area. Kung may mini Chinatown lang dun, I'd like to live there as well. :)


No floods, no fault line close to my house, no pollution, fireflies at night, golf course right outside my village, 20 minutes from Tagaytay, 30 minutes to Makati. Five minutes away from Val's famous black pasta! It's my dream home bro. ;)
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby jadis » Tue May 28, 2013 10:28 am

choyb wrote:
jadis wrote:
dimfer wrote:excellent reporting again :clap:

a trip to Mang Mandy's is an experience that cannot be soon forgotten.. I haven't seen/ spoken with him for a while but judging from the pictures, he is doing very well


thanks ding. i forgot to mention that mang mandy's cafe lago is part of the VIAJE DEL SOL network of go to places and eats in the area. i never knew there are so many things to see and do there!


Hi jadis,
Thanks for this thread/post.
My paternal side is from Nagcarlan, I agree from San Pablo to Nagcarlan to Liliw and beyond is a really beautiful and a very green area.
I feel ashamed, as a "native" of the area for not visitng Cafe Lago yet... :doh:
Will definitely do it with the next couple of weeks...

Cheers


thanks for chiming in too, choy. :)
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Re: Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby JoeyGS » Tue May 28, 2013 10:30 am

Welcome to Laguna Dante.....

In the future, let's schedule with Val and the rest of the Laguna Boys for another trip to Mang Mandy's place. I have not gone there yet.

dante wrote:
jadis wrote:
dante wrote:Very nice write up, as usual, Philip. I enjoyed every visit I made to Cafe Lago and now that I am moving my home south to Sta. Rosa, I will have more opportunities to visit Mandy! Cheers bro!


Thanks, Dante. Wow, you're moving to a very nice area. Kung may mini Chinatown lang dun, I'd like to live there as well. :)


No floods, no fault line close to my house, no pollution, fireflies at night, golf course right outside my village, 20 minutes from Tagaytay, 30 minutes to Makati. Five minutes away from Val's famous black pasta! It's my dream home bro. ;)
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Mandy's Cafe Lago by the Lake

Postby jadis » Tue May 28, 2013 11:27 am

And this brochure was handed to us by Mrs. Marino. Wow...

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