Believe it or not, I’ve been fascinated with the music of Freddie Aguilar. Never mind that he’s generations ahead of me or that his songs, no matter how legendary, would have me sitting beside greying old men and swooning women when I watch him sing. Every time he croons his popular songs, I know I’m listening to one of the country’s best artists, ’nuff said.
When I heard that Ka Freddie opened a restaurant in Malate late 2009, I was really hoping I would see the Man himself in action… Except that back then I was a tightwad and I couldn’t get myself to pay the P250 entrance fee… So I passed the chance and waited for a better time to go to the place.
Enter 2010, when I decided I would try new things and spice up my life a bit, at least for the sake of finding good food and drink and nice places to hang out. So on the first night of the year, after a long day at work, I decided to go there, pay the fee, and get it over with.
Ka Freddie’s Music Bar and Restaurant is like a mini-museum of Freddie Aguikar’s achievements. There’s a plaque in Japanese honoring his song “Anak”, some of his memorabilia such as posters and vinyl records, and even lyrics of some of his songs painted on the walls.
The place looks small, but it probably ends up as standing room (or just full) when Ka Freddie plays. (They have function rooms, by the way.) It’s actually very cozy, albeit it has the air of a high class restaurant.
The restaurant plays host to a wide genre of music from Filipino to foreign indie
pop/rock, acoustic, and so on. Ka Freddie himself oversees the music program (add to that the fact that he plays there every Friday and Saturday), making every gig night a unique experience.
Ka Freddie’s take pride of its comfort foods, a mix of Filipino and international appetizers, beermates, and other favorites. They also serve a special cocktail everyday (none of which I’ve tried since I went there by motorcycle), in addition to their selection of alcoholic drinks.
Some of the dishes I tried are Ka Freddie’s Spaghetti Side B (shown here), spaghetti with Spanish sardines, Side A (with sardines in sweet-sour tomato sauce), and their beef mami, a deceivingly small bowl of beef noodles which is actually tasty and heavy on the stomach.
When I visited Ka Freddie’s that night, it turned out to be a good night since it’s a Friday, and Fridays in Ka Freddie’s is “impromptu song night.” Patrons could write down a few paragraphs or so about their feelings, experiences, and thoughts, and then Ka Freddie would pick three submissions to be sung onstage.
After a few minutes, Ka Freddie and The Watawat Band started playing onstage. It’s a nerve wrecking yet enlightening experience to see The Man himself in living color singing before you. And let me remind you that this is the guy that gave us “Anak,” “Bayan Ko,” and all those hits known worldwide back when we were still watching “Voltes V” and chewing candy and such. Where was I? Seeing Ka Freddie belt out his classic songs was heart tugging and awesome.
One thing I like about Ka Freddie’s songs is that they reflect the emotions and conflicts of his time. Some are close to home such as work (“Trabaho”) and student life (“Estudyante Blues”), while others require deep understanding (“Magdalena”). In any case, patrons of all generations like his songs, much more seeing the man himself singing them himself.
Finally, it was impromptu song time. Here’s a video of one of the songs he played onstage. The look on his face before he sang it was priceless though.
Now THAT’S what I call LEGENDARY.
Needless to say, I think I’d like to go back to Ka Freddie’s again, if not for the fine food and cool drinks and the legendary artist’s music, then at least for another round at impromptu song night. It’s wonderful knowing what happens when you try out something new and put your heart into it… The surprises you get are endless.