When she left the big mall atop the hill some years back, the itch to work immediately returned. “I need something to
do. I need also to make money so I could travel more,” said former SM public relations head Karren Nobres while
nibbling on a ribs her staff specially prepared for three journos, two interns and an editor’s wife Thursday. It was a delayed lunch for this writer and several other local journalists, who three weeks ago were ready to feast on the American Ribs and Wings which Nobres opened in October 18 last year.

Dexter See and wife Rose and their two interns from Saint Louis University and Mauricio Victa, whose photos of Nobres’ new resto at Porta Vaga accompany this story, and this writer were treated to three of the resto’s top offerings – ribs, chicken wings and pork belly – as well as kani vegetable as a starter. AWR is located at the Porta Vaga Mall, right behind the Steaks and Toppings of Carlos and Karen Anton is one of the malls newer restos. It is a 30 seater food joint which has steadily built a number of patrons who at least once a week treat themselves to what the resto offers in just seven months of operation.

“Many of them are senior citizens and eat with gusto the meat we offer because it is tender,” said Nobres, a communication graduate from the University of the Philippines – Baguio. Some are students like Amianan Balita Ngayon editor and publisher Thomas Picana, whose daughter Antonette had lunch with classmates at one time. She even asked her dad to buy her lunch the first time we were at the joint three weeks ago to give a certificate of appreciation to Nobres, who was a sponsor to the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club’ Lucky Summer Visitors and Media Camp last Holy Week.

While having coffee after Thursday’s lunch, Luisa’s Café regular Roger Munar dropped by for a bite. He said hello to the staff of three, ushered to a seat and ordered. Nobres said that he is a regular. Nobres said that after quitting her job for more than 10 years, she had nothing to do. One day, a representative from American Wings and Ribs called
her if she is interested to put up a franchise. “I have known about the Manila based resto while still at SM and was quite open to the idea of opening one,” she said in Filipino.

That was followed with a taste test at her home that finally made her ink the deal of opening a franchise here. Luckilly, a space at Porta Vaga opened and she contacted Mangaywan, whose manager is a former SM employee that by October 18 of last year, it was opened to the public. “I host some former colleagues here and they enjoy the food,” said Nobres, who is seeking for other locations especially in La Trinidad. “I want meat eaters and locals are that. They will surely enjoy our food,” said the Ibaloy native from Asin, Tuba Benguet.

Maybe even at the beach,” she added. The next day, she joined Mangaywan manager Jennifer Bello checked a
property Mangaywan is eying in Bauang, La Union where it can put up a branch. With her wings, and maybe ribs and pork belly, Nobres could yet fly high in her new undertaking as a businesswoman. By the way, American Wings and Ribs also offers coffee, hot or cold, frapes and lemonades.

Pigeon Lobien/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon