Thursday, June 18, 2009


FEAST OF THE SENSES @ SaBALAI Bistro on June 19 & 20, '09. A night of folk music, classical renditions of kulintangan rendezvous, acoustic crescendos of sonatinas and sonatas and enigmatic readings of poetry. Come Alive on SaBALAI Spotlight.

Enjoy a feast of 3+1. When you order 3 items on the menu, you will get the 4th item for free. Only at SaBALAI Bistro. Our one way of saying, thank you for your continued patronage. Isang Taon na po Kami!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Commissioners Lounge

This is the Commissioners Lounge of SaBALAI Bistro. Serving as a waiting lounge, it can accommodate 4 to 7 persons. Leather cusions and rattan chairs are positioned on the right side. An oversize Tagbanua basket stand erect with two harvest gods guarding the entrance. This is a non-smoking area, a Maranao wooden bowl with a glass top is the center piece of this space. Feel free to peep inside the bowl-table where clam shells from Maasim are hidden as treasure finds. Visit at 476 Jose Abad Santos St., Koronadal City. We are a theme restaurant specializing on steak, pasta and east asian cuisine.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This is one of the most beautiful scenery that I immersed myself into as I climbed the majestic Mt. Apo on April 19-20, '09. It was a journey of a lifetime which I know, I will forever cherish because I was in the company of the most incredible friends in Mindanao.

This photo was taken through the lens of master artist Kublai Millan at the Yellow Orange Rock which is rested on the plains of Lake Venado. The lake is a famous campsite for mountaineers.

Taken on at early dawn, the mist showers the beautiful hue of the trees. On the background a number of mossie like plants scattered on the ground. The grounds they say is filled with water during the rainy season.

Lake Venado is 3 hours away from the summit which is being demistified by a gigantic array of clouds that roam on the surface of the mountain. Stunted looking but enormous trees makes it most dramatic, with the hard climatic condition swarmed on a tropical forest, these trees have stood the test of the times and has seen the graffitti of man on the surface of these beautiful creation at Lake Venado.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


This is SABALAI BISTRO's view of the GAMABA hall, at the far edge is an open air Lanai which also serves as a smoking area. Beside it, the restrooms as well as a preparation area for beverages can be located. On the front left of the hall are arrays of for sale items such as bottled goods made in the Bistro, Buddha heads from Thailands and various ornaments and household items. Come and visit us, we are open from 10am to 10pm daily from Tuesday to Saturday and 3pm to 10pm from Sunday and Monday. For reservations, please call us at 228-2384

Monday, April 6, 2009

RAINBOWS, a matweaving creation by Haja Amina Appi of Ungos Matata, Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi. Amina is recognized as the master mat weaver among the Sama Indigenous community of Ungos Matata. Her colorful mats with their complex geometric patterns, exhibit her precise sense of design, proportion, symmetery and sensitivity to color.
Her unique and multi colored mats are protected by a plain white outer mat that serves as the mat backing. Her functional artistic creation takes three months to make. Amina was recognized as a Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) awardee in 2005. An award equivalent to the National Artists Award bestowed only for indigenous peoples of the Philippines.
The exact and original copy of this mat is being exhibited at SaBALAI Bistro. Visit us in Koronadal City.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yummmy Lasagna. . . Made from semolina or durum wheat pasta of either lasagna, spaghetti, fettucine, macaroni, penne just to name a few depending on what is available as posted on the menu board. Baked or sauteed with specially made sauces with beef or chicken, parmesan and cheddar cheese, cream or just toasted into plain olive oil. Sprinkled or loaded with spinach or herbs and spices. Either of the choice of Sabalai Pasta is served al dente with toasted bread on the side.
A prime bone in cut of beef, pan grilled and dredged in compounded butter and soy sauce. Glazed with mushroom gravy and served with rice, vegetables or fries on the side with a bowl of soup.

Our Spanish rustic wine with a good depth of color is a logical choice with this combination meal. These steak dinner can either be ordered as T-Bone, Porterhouse, Rib Eye or Tenderloin.

Only at Sabalai Bistro, our beer are served frozen. Come 2-5pm and you get the buy 3 take 1 Free.


I saw this notes in my PC, it really moved me and so I have decided to share it with you and added some couple of lines along with it. All CAPS are mine, you may copy and paste it in your file, omit my answers and reflect on it. . . .Enjoy the reverie . . . .

There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real! THAT’S GONNA BE MY MOM FOR SURE. . .

The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.. .MAYBE MY FRIEND BAYA, WHO UNDERSTAND MY STRUGGLES, SHARED SOME COUPLE OF LAUGHS AND TEARS.

Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love you back! Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.. . .MAYBE MY EX. . . ROD. . . WHEN I WAS IN FRISCO, I ALSO HAD A GREAT TIME DATING FRED . . .BUT WE NEVER MADE IT IN THE END.

It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives. MAYBE MY TRAVEL. I USED TO SAY THAT I WAS SICK AND TIRED OF IT. NOW, AM MISSING IT TERRIBLY.

Don't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile. I DON’T KNOW, THAT PERSON HASN’T ARRIVED YET. MAYBE YOU CAN HELP ME OUT. LOL

When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but oftentimes we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us. WHEN WE LOST A LOT OF OUR PROPERTIES, I BECAME A COMMISSIONER. I WONDER IF IT TAKES SOMETHING LIKE THIS. WHEN MY MOM DIED, I BECAME A RESTAURATEUR. . .ONE THING I AM CERTAIN NOW, I WANNA BE RICH. BUT IF IT TAKES ANOTHER LOSS, FORGET IT. AM OK WITH WHAT I AM AND WHAT I HAVE NOW.

Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; bewhat you want to be, because you have only one life and onechance to do all the things you want to do.I ALREADY TRAVELED SO MUCH. . . . I’VE ALWAYS BEEN DREAMING BUT AS I’VE SAID. I AM HERE TO STAY AND WILL MAKE MY BILLIONS UNTIL I DIE. BUT THERES A CATCH ON THAT. I DON’T WANT A DEPRESSING LIFESTYLE.

Always put yourself in others' shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too.I ALWAYS DO THAT.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best ofeverything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. I LIKE THIS. IT MAKES ME FEEL HUMAN AND REAL.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around youwas smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying. I KNOW, I KNOW. I HAVE SO MANY FRIENDS BUT ONLY FEW ARE REAL. IN FACT, I CAN ONLY COUNT WHO AMONGST THEM HAVE REMAINED NOW. . . .BUT THAT’S JUST BUT LIFE. WHO SAYS LIFE IS FAIR.

Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives. CORRECT. IN HARDSHIP, GREAT SKILLS ARE BORN. DEPENDING ON THE DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY, BUT THE HARDER THE BETTER. COME TO THINK OF IT, I SURVIVED DEATHS OF LOVE ONES, BANKRUPTCY, UNEMPLOYMENT, LOSSES. OH MAAAAN. WHAT IS THERE LEFT THAT I HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED. I AM READY FOR ANYTHING. DON’T MESS WITH ME!

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches. TRUE, AM JUST WORKING OUT THIS FEELING FOR NOW WITH THAT OLD NEIGHBOUR WITCH-SUCKERS AT MORROW STREET. YOU’LL HAVE YOUR DAY!!

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy. ENOUGH, ENOUGH! ENOUGH OF THIS FUCKING TRIALS. I SAID ENOUGH.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


my grandma died yesterday, mARCH 7, 09. Sabi nga ng kaibigan ko, at least daw ng binawian sya ng buhay andun ako sa tabi nya, katulad ng maliit pa ako na lagi syang nasa tabi ko. . pero ewan ko kung matutuwa ako dahil at least naka pagpahinga na sya at 89 years of age, but on the other side of it, parang nalulungkot ako dahil sa huling mga araw nya, hindi ko man lang sya naalagaan or nabisitahan ng maraming beses. considering na sya ang nagpalaki sa akin noong maliit ako.

seguro, naubos ang panahon ko sa pakikibaka sa agos ng buhay na mahirap. katulad din ng nanay ko noon na halos hindi ko nakasama ng madalas lalo na sa mga travels ko. I also have not spent that much time with my grandma in these last few years. sabi nga laging nasa huli ang pagsisisi.

pero sa isang banda, ganoon naman talaga seguro ang buhay eh, pabago bago talaga. although inalagaan naman talaga sya ng maayos ng mga anak nya, iyon naman seguro ang importante na sa huling sandali ng iyong buhay ay may nakikita kang nag aalaga sa iyo at nag aalala. kaya alam ko, hindi naman naging kawawa ang kalagayan ng lola ng syay nabubuhay pa.

pero malungkot pa din talaga ako dahil I will never see her again but the same thing din, masaya na din ako dahil magkikita na sila ng nanay at tatay ko and they will be both happy and proud of me, dahil kahit wala na silang lahat, nairararaos ko kaming magkakapatid at mga naiwan ng mga magulang ko na mga anak ng lola ko.

noong buhay pa ang lolo ko, hindi iyon bilib sa akin dahil hindi ako naging abogado or titulado katulad ng gusto nyang mangyari sa aming lahat, and my grandmother has always been my defender, at alam ko when they both see each other sa kabilang buhay . . she will tell my lolo ( we call them loloy and lolay) "Jamin (this how she calls my grandpa whcih is short for Benjamin) di ba, tignan mo ang bading mong apo na gustong mag artista, naging Commissioner din, may title din syang nakuha - maniwala ka sakin?" . . . ganun ang lola ko, laging nakatingin sa kaya naming abutin kahit hindi pa dumarating ang tamang pananon ay kanya ng nakikita naman din. Sa mga trainings kong binibigay, ito iyong tinatawag naming Visioning. Ganun ang Lola ko, laging may envision na para sa amin. At hindi ako magtataka kung bakit ganun sya, siempre, naging Principal ata ang lola ko sa public school. Felisa A. Ebeo - Principal. . . Kaya pala, noong sumasama ako sa kanya sa school. mahal na mahal ako ng mga teachers, iyon pala nagpapalakas silang lahat kay lolay, dahil pag principal ka pala, may powers ka. kaya sa lahag ng mga pinsan kong teachers, si Lolay ang role model nila. . . Principal.

in some ways or the other, I am like my grandma too, very strong, at magala. laging nasa byahe. . . hindi pa uso ang jetsetters noon, traveler na ang lola ko. they were one of the few who can afford to take the plane. ito iyong Foker 50 pa lang ang mga eroplano na bumibiyahe papunta sa amin. Kaya salamat sa kay Lolay namin, she set the course for us to do a lot of travels kaya sa awa ng Diyos, halos mabilang mo na lang sa limang daliri ang mga apo nyang andito, dahil ayun, lumayas na ang iba. hindi naman sa kabilang buhay . . andyan lang sa amerika, middle east, sa visayas ang maynila.

natatawa nga ako kanina dahil I asked my make up artists sa parlor ko na ayusan ang lola dahil ang pangit ng pagkaka ayos sa kanya ng funeral parlor .pulang pula, parang may german measles . . . after syang ayusan, naku ang ganda na ng lola ko, ang nakakatawa, sabi ko, lagi na lang buena mano ang pagpapa make up ng mga mahal ko sa buhay sa aking beauty salon. . . laging first and the last dahil laging patay na sila bago namin ayusan sa parlor. una ang nanay ko . tapos ang lola Maria ko na namatay din ng March last year . . una silang nalagyan ng make up services ng aking Beauty Salon noong patay na sila, seguradong hindi na uulit mga iyon, . . ngayon heto na naman ang lolay Fely ko. naku mabuti na lang naka pag paayos na ang iba sa inyo sa beauty parlor ko or else baka ayusan kitang nasa loob ka na ng kabaong ha.

dito na lang muna, sana kahit papaano maiibsan ang kalungkutan ko sa aking pagsusulat na ito.

nagmamahal na apo ni Lolay,


Sunday, February 22, 2009


for some of you that has not understood my work, this blogspot hopefully will give you an insight of what I do. I am a cultural worker, among other things, I remember a friend from Panay island saying in one of our departures, “halong pirmi, kay gamay lang kita”. That was Al Tesoro bidding good bye at Roxas City.
Again and again, I remember what that phrased have always meant. There’s really few of us, few of me I supposed, there are few people that does things as this, crazy things, nor ordinary things but really absurd and extraordinary things.

it seems that every time a loved one departs, something great is happening with my journey. When my father died in ’99, my work abroad started to unfold, first with the Arts Network Asia in Singapore which brought me to other parts of Asia, then to a countless cities specially that in San Francisco, Ca.

when my mother died last year, I have again reinvented myself to become an entrepreneur-artist and cultural worker. SaBALAI Bistro was born in June 20. The first theme restaurant in Koronadal, it opened with an evening of Arias in Spanish, German, Russian and Italian Opera interwoven with B’laan chanting. It was indeed a rendesvouz of musical bravura amidst art works and eclectic European cuisine.

I would like to recount this storytelling beginning with my work in San Francisco, Ca. I first met Alleluia, who is a dear friend and a great director when the Sining Kambayoka Ensemble- a theatre group from Marawi city led by Sunnie Noel, was rescued from its near death-production experience in Los Angeles. Soon, I found myself in the comforts of friends specially Tisay Opaon who is now bringing the name of Stan Ali – the dearest black-American friend whom I considered a Filipino by heart and soul.

i started working with Kularts when Alleuia Panis approached me in february 26, 01 to conceive and direct a program that culminates a yearly festival of multi-disciplinary arts. She was interested in a working arts manager from the Philippines curating a spotlight for the Filipino-American audiences and wondered what would happen if the curator in the Philippines which was me brings in a production to be deconstructed by her in another stage, obviously in San Francisco for that matter. This is the birth of Philippine Master Artist in residency. In particular, she was interested in my network of artists specially that of indigenous peoples all over Mindanao which I had worked with. Bringing to the US a different kind of experience as well as a diaspora of Filipino-Americans. Hence, KulArts Tribal Tour was conceived. I am no longer working in the program due to some commitments especially when I became commissioner for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in the Philippines but more things unraveled over these years.

over the next half a decade, i travelled all over Mindanao and some parts of the globe (Hongkong, China, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, and Europe) to understand a little bit more what was happening in those cultures, finally putting the basic programme together by February of this year, with the Opening Salvo of the World Festival of Puppeteers in the City of Koronadal.

over the last few months starting last year, it has been a process of putting the festival together (and endless budgetting! And conceptualizing) with my Chair, the Hon, Ellen Grace Subere, among others.

for the World Festival of Puppeteers in the Marbeleno Mardi Gras, i have used 3 bases of my working method as an Arts manager to create the festival: the intercultural process/conversation, the laboratory and the documentary approach in performance.

central to the World Festival of Puppeteers will be a laboratory (THE COGON LAB) for the artists which will have windows open to the public to witness the workshops, presentations etc. every evening, there will be a lecture series developing on the theme of "the politics of translation dissecting traditions and contemporary expressions". These I hope will be done in the upcoming City Charter Anniversary of Koronadal in October 2009.

Ultimately the largest challenge has been the presentation of the different contingent’s puppets. Which I believe, little have ever happened if there was any. We have kept a constant dialogue with them to find the best method to present their performance series as juxtapose to the different mardi gras as experimentations and dialogue.

On the request and suggestion of the choreographers as well as some of the invited judges from the NCCA, I have decided to include in the next festival the other events of these concept series , If I will be allowed to continue on this still. To include the different spectacles of conformities and empowerment since the politics of public service is again fast approaching. But this time, to mimic good governance as a cry for change and an education for all.
The City of Koronadal goes into transit during these days, a mid-summer night’s dream! In these days of saga and journey to discovery, we switch our contexts to enjoy another, we enter a collision course of different values and expressions. The carnival is a time of transit, of Spotlight, highlighting the Marbeleno Mardi Gras in the city of Koronadal a.k.a. the World Festival of Puppeteers. The carnivalesque manifests itself in front of KCC on Jan 10, ’09. General Santos Drive and Alunan Ave transformed through the night, with the help of djs and vjs, into a vortex of dance, music and images.

Descending on the street is a communal celebration of life for all the people of Koronadal. Indeed Koronadal is local yet global.

perhaps i will see you in Koronadal in October?

warmly CARLO

Friday, February 20, 2009


SaBALAI Bistro houses the visual and appetizing journey of culinary and artistic works of Asian artists. As the first Commissioner from Mindanao for the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts, I wish to bring an extensive crossing and a wide spectrum of artistic creations from my personal collection and food preferences.

The main challenge of this culinary and artistic exhibition is to present in a non-conventional way the different images and food preference of Asia and selected European countries. As a steak house we serve the best homegrown choice cut beef cooked in the western tradition of pan grilling.

Our various pasta choices are concoctions of my sister Lorainne and mastered by our Chef. Our Tandoori cooking technique are replicated from the Indian style tradition yet suited for the Filipino palate. Our suite of SaBALAI Espesyal offers an alternative choice for seafood and vegestable menu patterned from our neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. We are not Halal but we guarantee that we don't serve pork in all of our recipe.

While in the process of collating all the art works that wold match the various cuisine, we are cautious not to be too overwhelemed with the magnitude and intricacies of the collection. We were careful in grouping them for better understanding, expecially for the first time viewer. We are aware of the many schools of thought that follows certain methods of categorizing in the manner of which the curatorial treatment for this gtallery and restaurant is based. The exhibition has no pretensions of any serious and ambitious scholarly pursuit nor challenges generaly accepted references. It has made every effort to ensure that basic date shared are as truthful, accurate as journeyed by the owner.

It is also the intention of the SaBALAI Bistro Management to encourage future endeavors of this nature, It espouses further attempts to discover the tangible and intangible cultural properties that comprises the cultural resources of SOCSKSARGEN. As clearly seen and maybe replicated in this exhibit, there are man areas where conservation effort is urgently needed.

Many of these visual and appetizing stimuli ignite enumerable interest among us and generate deep appreciation of who we are as a race, a people and nation - diversified and global.

carlo ebeo