• EDGAR SIA II TALKS ABOUT ILONGGO CUISINE AND SM

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    Edgar Sia II, the man behind Mang Inasal, one of the fastest growing food companies in the Philippines, has become an icon of modern Ilonggo culinary culture. He started his dream of being an example of a probinsyano who made it big nationwide when he opened his first outlet in Iloilo in 2003, and today has 208 outlets all around the country. Beyond the story of his business genius, Edgar has shown the economic potentials of Iloilo City, and how these can be realized with partners like SM. This is his Iloilo. This is his SM.

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    Edgar Sia II at his Mang Inasal branch at SM City Iloilo, which he says is tops in sales.

    Manila Bulletin: How did Mang Inasal start? What is the concept behind it?

    Edgar: “The idea behind Mang Inasal is that it would be the country’s first really fast food barbecue business that would be able to expand nationwide and we did just that.”

    “We opened our first outlet in 2003 in Iloilo, and since that time, am happy to say that we now have 208 Mang Inasal stores in key locations in Visayas, Mindanao, Metro Manila, and Northern Luzon. And we are still growing”

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    Edgar Sia II likes to go to Toy Kingdom at SM to buy toys for his kids.

    MB: Why do you think Filipinos love to eat at Mang Inasal?

    Edgar: “What I can consider to be the key ingredients to our success is a distinctively Pinoy stamp-grilling with charcoal, rice wrapped in banana leaves, a marinade concocted out of our local spices and herbs, and bamboo sticks for skewers. We also have an ambience that encourages kinamot, the term for eating with the hands, whenever chicken inasal is served. All these work together to bring about a feeling of nostalgia for tradition, culture, and most of all, home.”

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    Edgar says that SM City Iloilo has given enormous opportunities to business establishments in the province.

    MB: How has SM been helpful to your business especially during the growing years? Would you say that it has become part of the lives of Ilonggos?

    Edgar: “We are glad to have many of our stores in the SM malls. Our SM City Iloilo store – the fourth we opened – is now our top grosser, followed by SM City Bacolod.”

    “What proved to be another blessing to our business is the opening of our outlet at the SM Mall of Asia on September 2006. This was a milestone marking our foray into the fast food landscape of Metro Manila. Today, we have a branch in almost every SM mall.”

    “I am also happy that SM City Iloilo continues to give enormous opportunities to business establishments in my home province. It has also become part of the lives of many Ilonggos by providing us with shops that we would otherwise only find in Manila. My family frequents the mall not only to do business, but also to shop for everything we need. We also love to watch movies at SM Cinemas.”

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    Edgar Sia II at the recent launch of My City, My SM at the SM City Iloilo with fellow My City, My SM endorser Dr. Josette Biyo, mall manager Maria Majella P. Liboon, assistant mall manager Gilbert Domingo, and SM VP and My City, My SM Project Head Millie Dizon.

    MB: Despite the success of your business, you have chosen to spend much time in Iloilo. Why is this so?

    Edgar: “I am proud to be an Ilonggo. We maintain our family residence in Iloilo because it is quiet and peaceful. Although it is a small city, almost everything you need is just around. The pace is just right – not too fast and not too slow.”

    “I also love Ilonggo food – and I am particularly proud to say that the original La Paz Batchoy is an Ilonggo invention. I love native seafood as well, and of course, the Mang Inasal Paborito meals.”

    MB: What about the business opportunities there?

    Edgar: “The economy of Iloilo is very stable because of diversified income sources of its residents. It is definitely conducive to entrepreneurs like me.”

    “Mang Inasal is proud to do its share in alleviating the unemployment burden of the country by stimulating economic activities in communities where branches of are situated. Local suppliers of calamansi, charcoal banana leaves, vegetables, fish, bamboo sticks, and other ingredients, as well as LGUs, trisikad (pedicab) drivers, and a host of other enterprises are benefited by the presence of Mang Inasal in their area.”

    “With the growth of Mang Inasal, I know that in my own little way, I am able to bring economic development to Iloilo as well as the rest of the country, and more importantly, inspire other provinsiyanos not to be afraid to do a business venture on a national scale.”