March 07, 2007

A Whole Lot of Shakey's Goin' On


Caught the re-run of Ate Sha's timeless flick, "Dear Heart", on the movie channel while I was surfing recently. The scene was inside a Shakey’s Pizza Parlor where April (Sharon Cuneta) and her barkada were hanging out. The atmosphere was classic Shakey's: noisy laughter from diners while banjo players and a pianist in their signature Shakey’s striped uniforms and foam hats played Dixieland jazz.

As if on cue, something clicked in my brain and all the sights and sounds transported me back thru time. I was a young kid again in mid-70s Makati with my family. We were on a weekend stroll around Greenbelt Park when the siblings and I decided to take our favored stop outside Shakey's.

We fumbled to climb on a perch to get a closer view thru the glass window. Inside, a chef was about to perform his regular show in Pizza-making. This experience was a novelty to us at that time. From the outdoors looking in we watched as a chef kneaded, twirled, threw dough in the air, and with a flourish caught it back again. The bread was shaped into a large circle and laid flat on a dish in preparation for baking. Tomato Sauce was ladled onto it and the choice toppings were added: shredded cheese, ham, green peppers, mushroom, pepperoni, etc. Finally, his masterpiece was ready. He cranked the oven door open and slipped the garnished disc into the waiting heat.

I also recall dining within this restaurant. I vividly remember the casual setting and the same lively chatter of other patrons in nearby tables. Someone also played the familiar banjo and piano music. During breaks, a solo act would alternate playing the acoustic guitar and singing folk songs. Meanwhile, our parents ordered root beers with our pizzas. The waiters brought our beverage in tall pitchers and poured individual servings into our mugs.

As we waited for our pizza to arrive, my eyes roamed the place. I took note of the different pans adorning one wall towards the kitchen. They were in succession and were labeled: Large. Medium. Small. Family.

Sometimes, the air-conditioning got too cold for comfort. I reminded myself that it was OK. Soon our delicious pizza will arrive and all its warmth would cover us and wipe out my discomfort. I just made sure to eat a little faster. Kuya gobbled up pizza slices like Cookie Monster would with his cookies and we little ones were left to fight for our seconds.

Trivia Note: Shakey's Pizza is tagged as the "World's Greatest Pizza". The first Shakey's Pizza Parlor in the Philippines opened in 1975. Its namesake was one of its founders, Sherwood "Shakey" Johnson. Johnson was an American G.I. who caught malaria during WWII and got the "shakes". Find out more about it here.


More Random Recall Machine: Sine-Swerte-Swerte Lang

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28 comments:

Edmond said...

wow! shakeys! galing! you even have the links to the movie showing that scene. man that's so cool. i used to live in greenhills east, and of course the family always went to shakey's. i remember that was the first time i played that driving video game. remember that? they had all these arcade games at the greenhills shakey's, but i think the most popular game was the racing game. there weren't that many arcade games at the time, and i was so excited to be driving this thing with a steering wheel. tapos MANAGER'S CHOICE! that's what gabbby ordered in the movie! hahaha. that was my favorite. thanks for the memories. this site is the best!

Jon said...

Dati ngang connotation sa Shakey's ay beer garden kasi they serve beer at may banda pa. Nito lang naman sila naging family place.

Anonymous said...

i remember the chick n chips placed in a "lunch box" and the skilletti, spaghetti in a skillet plus a free balloon for kids.

Vince said...

I think the first Shakey's I ever went to was the one at Makati Commercial Center with my family. In fact it was the first time I had pizza, ever! I also remember the large glasses of root beer we downed our pizzas with. As I got older as more Shakey's places opened up, I remember when I was in high school, me and my crew would often go to the Shakey's near our school at the Makati Cinema Square where I can even remember the name of our regular server, Ross! Mind you this was 1984-1985 time frame so it was a good 20 years ago. Alas nowadays, I don't get to go to Shakey's much. I think the last time I ate at a Shakey's was a few years ago in Los Angeles where they have the $8 all you can eat lunch buffet.

emdond said...

Skiletti! and chick n' chips! tapos all these pitchers of rootbeer! man it's all coming back. i remember going with my titos back then, we kids would have rootbeer and they had sanmiguel, and we kids felt cool kasi we were drinking rootBEER! hahaha. parang beer na rin. those were the days. i miss the old shakey's greenhills. hey vince, you know i tried a shakey's branch in la not too long ago, and it wasn't the same. i think the recipe changed. it tastes flat and cheap. just like most fast food today anyway. lower quality and gross processed food.

gatorPinoy66 said...

First time I went to Shakey's, it was 1979, sa Loyola Heights, tapat ng Ateneo Grade School. Miss ko talaga ang thin crust pizza. Meron ding video game sa loob--- "Pong". Sana tinago ko ang styrofoam hat ko. Good memories

gatorPinoy66 said...

Late 1980s, ang Shakeys na pinupuntahan naman namin ay yungShakey's Taft. I was an adult already by that time. May live music, malamig na San Miguel. I remember the live band singing songs by the Eagles and America. OK talaga!!

gatorPinoy66 said...

Jon:

As you can tell by my postings, yung Shakey's when it first started in Manila it was strictly a family place, tapos naging parang beerhouse (Shakeys Taft and the one near Malate Church come to mind), tapos sometime in the 1990s naging family oriented uli.

Vince said...

edmond, your'e right, the food seemed not as delicious as the food I remember from the Shakey's of my youth. Did you go to the one on Sunset blvd.?

edmond said...

vince,

yeah that's the one, on sunset. the recipes have really changed. bad quality na. sad talaga. i miss shakey's back in manila. that was a different shakey's talaga diba?

Vince said...

you said it edmond, those Shakey's that I remember from back in the day just had more personality and atmosphere.

edmond said...

i love the link to the scene in 'dear heart' where they're in shakey's. HEY VINCE! can you recognize the shakey's branch they used for the movie? man i miss the atmosphere. the piano and banjo players, so cool. tapos the cool folk music. they used to do covers of america and eagles! two of the best bands ever! i remember as a kid singing to 'ventura highway'. my tito taught me the lyrics. my sister and i used to sing along real loud while we had our rootbeer mugs in our hands.

wasn't there a hamburger special in the menu... i think it was called a 'flying saucer'? i remember it vaguely, i think they called it flying saucer cause they would serve it on a plate, and they had this red plastic dome cover, that pretty much looked like a spaceship. thus the name flying saucer. or was it UFO? does anyone remember? i could've sworn it was one of the two.

yeah tapos the free baloons they would give the kids. shakey's was way better than mcdonalds, as it really was a family thing you know? you all shared the pizza, and there's more interaction. it's more family style, kasi with mcdonalds you have your own trays and food, it's not family like.

man does anyone here have photos of shakey's from back then? please submit it to nostalgia manila so they can post it! i wanna see!!!!!

Vince said...

I know of two other 80s movies that featured scenes filmed inside a Shakey's. One is of course "Bagets", in the scene after the prom nung nag-i-inuman si Herbert at Aga. The second is the movie "Like Father Like Son" again with Herbert Bautista. It's the scene where he and Nino Muhlach first meet Lea Salonga and Cheska Inigo. They order a lot of food but find out they don't have any money so they escape via the men's room window.

Anonymous said...

Yeah i saw that one also. Y'know, there are times that all of a sudden, my brain mimics the smell of the old shakeys recipe pizza.. the one that smells like the carton box and pungent pepperoni...

I really hope they bring back the old 70's recipe of shakeys :-(

--cristianorolandokl@yahoo.com.my

Joyce Talag said...

Grabe! I super like this blog. I'm way, way younger than most people here but I really enjoy re-discovering the past. I'll be posting a link in my Multiply.

Nostalgia Manila said...

Hey Joyce!

Glad you discovered Nostalgia Manila! Please tell all your friends about Nostalgia Manila and continue to spread Nostalgia Fever!

Add the Nostalgia Manila Chicklet to your blog and come visit daily for new posts and goodies!

Maraming salamat!

jamesbaxx said...

Mmm... Yummy... Shandy, chick n chips with lots of mojo fries and especially large Manager's Choice pizza. Those we're in the early 80s with my friends and classmates at Letran when we always go to Shakey's Escolta every Friday night for our nite out happenings.

Ismael said...

Hero Burger and Chick n Chips, Mojo Potatoes mmmmmmmm Sarraaappp! We were just a couple of blocks away way back from Shakeys Taft.We were there every friday with my cuz. Does anyone remember Pizza Inn in Robinsons Manila?Great Place too, Great bands played there too like The Kiss Me Band!

Gellor said...

I joined Shakey's as a Rider in 1991. From then on I've been loyal to the brand. I was employed with other companies but there's nothing than the "FAMILY" culture at Shakey's. Shakey's in the Philippines has become a byword now. If you visit any Shakey's outlet today, you see the transformation of once dimly-lit Shakey's Pizza PARLOR to a cozy , well-lighted, family-oriented RESTAURANT. I still won't settle for anything less than the world-famous thin crust pizza, chicken and MOJOS. Plus the super shakes, of course! The best!

Anonymous said...

remember ko yung Shakeys na lagi naming pinupuntahan nung mga friends ko sa may Cubao, to think na sa Pandacan pa kami nakatira nun, talagang dinadayo namin, meron pang live band...hanggang sa naging friend na rin namin yung almost all ng members ng band na nagpe-perform dun, pati mga food server, some of the band that i can still remember are: Justice Band, Split Image, Pick Up the Pieces Band....mga late 80's yun, then change nila, tinanggal na nila mga live band...siguro kasi pag may live band, madalas nagkakaroon ng gulo din nuon...forgot ko na yung name ng katabing sinehan yun, na madalas magkaroon ng Premier night ang mga pelikula..madalas din magpunta dun mga artista....
then every thursday, binibigyan ng chance ni German Moreno magperform sa "That's Entertainment" yung mga live band dun...kaya pag pinapanood namin sila sa tv..tuwang tuwa sila pag pinupuri namin pag balik namin ng shakey's ...i hope someone can relate on what i am saying...sarap balikan ang nakaraan...

Anonymous said...

ang tagal ko na di nakakakain ng shakeys pizza and mojos.

denzz said...

i used to be a member of a band which we play almost all shakeys,it was fun and lots of girls as well...

Vince said...

i used to crave for Shakeys when i was a kid. My dad was the one who introduces to me to this great pizza. But it seems that the pizza now is way different from before say 80's era. If i can remember it right the box of the pizza is white with a lot of drawings on it and at the same time there are little wholes at the side that you can punch it using your finger and that amazing smell would come right out it. Up to now I am still searching for that smell. And to add I remember that Shakeys always shows looney tune movies in their resto's.

mamizaza said...

cool blog.. >_< nakakatuwa.. kahit wala pa ko ng mga taong yan.. very interesting! keep up the good work..
love reading your blogs...

Marina said...

Hi there, I live in Los Angeles and am helping to plan Shakey's 60th Anniversary Celebration for next year and am collecting stories and memories like these that you have to share. I'd love any video clips of people telling the stories and we'll put the best of them on a Shakey's dedicated YouTube channel. And, maybe even invite a loyal fan or four to the big party in Los Angeles. If you have a story, or would like to submit a video, please contact me at: mmuhlfriedel@bigla.com. Thanks! Marina

Nenette Davies said...

Hi puede bang malaman kung kilala mo ang Hotlicks Band house band sila sa Shakeys Malate doon ko sila nakilala I am a vivid fan. Since I went abroad nawala ang communication ko sa kanila I know the lead guitar his name Herman Navarro yung kasamahan nya sa first name ku lang alam dalawang Boy drummer at base guitarist. However, kung puede na malaman kung saan ako maka pag enquire sa management kung may possible record sila. I was searching them cant find an access. Noong nakita ko ang post mo naglakas loob ako at least baka kilala mo ang band nila. Thanks Nette

Anonymous said...

the best talaga sa shakey's taft nung late 80s, magaling mga rock bands yung iba galing pa sa Olongapo ..masarap na food ganda pa ng sounds..daming magaganda gumigimik din.. kasikatan ng mga kanta ni Billy Idol at Bon Jovi...wow unforgettable...fave namin ng barkada yung dont dream its over na kanta..

Jomarie said...

Shakeys Malate, Cubao, West, Unimart been almost in all of them but my fave is the one on Taft Ave. I'm a regular during the 80's. I go early when folk singers onstage and have my regular fave skilleti, mojo potatoes, but sometimes stay till the evening and listen the bands. Being a regular got me to know and be friends with some of them like Von Veloso, Chris Cristobal. I remember Hijos (b4 they became Amo), Brother& Cousins and hang around with Von, Rey, Bobby his bro of Magic Band, also Rollie, Jun Pobre(RIP) of Abrakadabra and at times with Freddie Aguilar at Bodega and Hobbit House.Those were the best years of my life.



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