Thursday, September 19, 2019

When Rice is Life: BK Canteen of Brgy. Marulas, Valenzuela City

"Kuya, isang bundok kanin pa nga," a group of Physical Therapy students would say to Robert, the eldest among the children of eatery owner Nanay Rosita Cruz, when requesting for more plates of the mountain-like rice. He would eventually hear some Fatimanians mention, "Doon tayo sa BK!". BK is a shorter term for "Bundok Kanin". That was way back in 1996 and that is also how BK Canteen finally got its name.
Bundok Kanin sa BK Canteen: BK Canteen is named after the mountain-like rice that they serve to diners.
"Dahil rin sa sipag ni mama, nakatapos kaming lahat," Robert added. Nanay Rosita is now 64 and her husband is 71. 

Starting as a carinderia-style kainan in Silangan Park Subdivision around 1985, BK Canteen was still nameless then but was already feeding more and more students from the well-known university in Marulas."Kakaunti pa ang mga students noon sa Fatima. Wala pang gaanong buildings noon," Robert recalled. "Nung nagstart dumami ang mga estudyante from all over the country- dinarayo kasi ang Fatima dahil sa magagandang medical courses kahit mga taga-ibang bansa - dumami rin ang kumakain sa amin." 
Pai Williams' photo of them eating at BK Canteen in 2010.
Photo Credit: BK Canteen Facebook page
The awesome people behind BK Canteen. Hoping to meet Nanay Rosita in the future.
The humble and nameless eatery first opened in a simple garage - thus it was initially called by some medical students as "Garage Canteen". Only a handful of students used the word to refer to the canteen as compared to its now present name, BK Canteen, which stuck and became more popular among many. Working abroad as a hot and cold dish chef, Robert was once approached by a previous student from Fatima. Robert asked where he eats during college days. "Sa BK," was the answer.

Being a well-loved food stop among students, BK Canteen was even highlighted in OLFU's school paper, Fatima Tribune, in 2006-2007 (est.). Surveying 1,000 respondents, BK was among the top three Best Eateries topping the list, followed by Crave (est. location: where Dominoes' Pizza is now located) and Campus Bubbles (est. location: now KFC). Since the year it opened, BK Canteen never closed its doors to its diners. 

Fatima 101: Studes' Hot Picks by Apple Mae Castro and Regine Gonzales
This eatery started way back in 1985. The canteen was nameless when it opened until the students began calling it "BK", an acronym for "Bundok Kanin", for they had always been satiated by a mountain-like amount of rice at a very low price. Now, there are four BK Canteen in Silangan Park, serving a wide array of "ever hungry for sumptuous meals" folks.
Photo Credit: Kerrl Cruz of BK Canteen

One Valenzuela searched for the writers of the article.
The stars aligned and she was able to find Apple who now lives in Zambales, her hometown.
Conversation posted with permission.

Photo Credit: Apple Mae Castro-Soriano
Ms. Apple also sent photos of the mountain-like rice they had way back in 2010 (see photo timestamp dated April 17, 2010)

Photo Credit: Apple Mae Castro-Soriano
"Yes, bundok talaga. Kaya sulit na sulit at siguradong busog ka," Apple added. She hopes to be back in Valenzuela, especially BK, in the future.
BK Canteen's bestselling breaded porkchop (Php40; add P10 for rice).
And, yes, One Valenzuela agrees, BK Canteen's dinakdakan is indeed really good. Best paired with a big serving of rice, of course. (Php40; add P10 for rice)
Another shot of BK Canteen's dinakdakan and their plate of rice. Other than these two bestselling dishes, BK Canteen also has other available viands.
Price-wise,  it remained affordable to students where one can already have a complete meal costing just about Php30.00. BK Canteen is known for its dinakdakan, lechong kawali, and porkchop. On a typical day, BK Canteen cooks 80 kilos of rice which is a definite sign that until now, students and many more diners frequent the eatery. "Mapa-lalake o mapa-babae, nage-extra rice," Robert added.

Just by looking at the comments of their previous customers, the dinakdakan is indeed a must-try.
Photo Credit: BK Canteen Facebook Page
"Mapalalaki o babae, lahat nage-extra rice," Robert mentioned. BK Canteen only makes use of good-quality rice.
This is truly a plus!
Serving good rice is really very crucial - for even if the viand is good, bad-tasting rice will ruin your meal.   
Porky rice. Look at the amount of rice in that cup! You may choose from three sauces: Teriyaki, Barbecue, and Mushroom sauce. This meal is just Php30.00.  
BK Canteen is open for franchising! Another BK Canteen branch is also going to open across RISE Tower (Dambana area; Fatima Avenue).

Getting to know more about long-standing dining spots like this is definitely inspiring. Other than the memorable mountains of rice that it serves, BK Canteen is also proof to Valenzuelanos' hard work and skill.

Special thanks po to BK Canteen for sharing your story.

BK Canteen
Location: No. 17 Philippine Gun Club, Marulas, Valenzuela City
Open Hours: 7:00am - 5:00pm (closed on Sundays and holidays)
Accepts franchising. You may call: 0932-226-2790 for further inquiries.
Like and support BK Canteen on Facebook here.

BK Canteen can be found on the right side of Philippine Gun Club Street. From this point of the road, just walk straight ahead.
Want a BK Fam/Barkada Mini-reunion?

Been to BK Canteen to eat before? Want to do a mini-reunion at BK? Then simply join this giveaway!

1. If you intend to join, you must be available within the open hours of BK Canteen.
2. Like BK Canteen on Facebook and share One Valenzuela's FB post.
3. Write your most memorable "BK Moment" as a comment on the One Valenzuela FB post. 
4. Last day of submission is until September 27, 2019, Friday.
5. For the winner, you may bring 2 more friends/family members to bond with. BK Canteen will be serving you food for free!
Photo Credit: BK Canteen Facebook Page

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