I spent a lot of my March weekends in Batangas... and I think I never had the chance to sleep sober on all of those nights.

Anyway, instead of unloading on some random Alfonso or Fundador stash, my cousins decided to check out a couple of watering holes – and we stumbled on this neat establishment called Gastro Publiko.

Needless to say, it was awesome.

The last time I went to Lipa City is almost a decade ago and it’s cool that the city has turned into some sort of “clean” urban jungle with Commonwealth Avenue-like roads and Timog Avenue-like bars.

This place, in particular, serves macho mugs.

A macho mug is a large mug with at least a liter of beer inside it.

I’m cool so I had San Mig Super Dry in it. It’s also nice since my usual resto-bar of choice in Timog – Quattro – has since phased out their macho mugs.

And here’s the other thing about Quattro. I don’t know if they are being like this because of the pandemic and all of that but... their food isn’t as awesome as it was back then.

Their sisig looked dry.

Maybe I went there at the wrong time?

Meanwhile, Gastro Publiko gave old Quattro old-school vibes. Their sisig looked and tasted well and so is their nachos and the other grub I didn’t know I ate then.

They also have a wide array of drinks. I know this because after consuming a liter of beer, I decided to try every extremely girly drink contraption they could unearth. Odd choices (at least for me) like gin with coke, mojito, drinks with cherries and umbrellas on them, and alcohol with sprite are among the things that went inside my system.

It is nuts!

Also, while I am not a fan of show bands and stereotypical acoustic sets, at least it’s been a while since I listened to actual live music. I went inside a virtual cave, got buried with work, messed up my social life, and I need to just chill and unwind without a laptop in front of me. Sure, I got giddy with a lot of Korean variety shows during the sleepless nights, but it’s nice to drink in front of company, puffing and instantly regretting a cigarette or two, and just forget about work.

Note: I went to the establishment before the launch of my basketball account and looking back, this Gastro Publiko stint is like good food given to death row inmates.