Pagetek is Puerto Princesa’s trendiest dining and entertainment hub, located in the heart of the city along Rizal Avenue. Despite its sprawling and spacious layout, on most nights it gets full to the brim.
The reason is quite obvious—it’s the luxury and convenience of having some Puerto’s best kitchens in just one place. Currently with 15 food stalls offering diverse treats, it is food indulgence at an easy pace—which is exactly what the Cuyonon word “pagetek” stands for.
Pagetek the food hub actually traces its roots in the 80s as one of the most popular restaurants of that era, located at Circon Hotel owned by the Castro family.
Keeping the name and its intent for the locals, Bobby Castro, President and CEO of Palawan Pawnshop, continued the legacy of his father, Gregorio. He built an eco-friendly place that will always remind guests of the joys of dining together.
Dan Chua, Integrated Marketing Communications Head of Palawan Pawnshop Group, said Pagetek evokes the good feeling you want to experience after dining with the presence of 15 merchants occupying the food court. .
“In Pagetek, we feature different local restaurants kasi gusto natin tangkilikin ang mga kainan na ‘to sa Puerto Princesa. Some of them familiar na rin ang mga taga Puerto. While they are competitors, they are co-operators in Pagetek, with different variety of food choices for our customers,” Chua said.
Food courts are not rare in Puerto Princesa, but Chua thinks that various selections and ambiance present in Pagetek are factors that would stand out. Each corner is built with a different personality and is suitable for all types of diners at any time of the meal.
Arch. Charlene Chiu who was commissioned to design the Pagetek said the ambiance of the place fosters the joy of getting together.
“We made it a point to create something that will entice everyone to revisit the joy of dining together with friends, families and colleagues. Elevating fast food dining experience through careful spatial analysis, variety of seating options, and well lit dining that sets a Filipino fiesta vibe,” she said.
The interior also shows how grand Palaweños welcome guests.
The interior is a mix of wood and some elements fused into a modern design. The woods used in the place came from the felled Acacia trees from typhoon Odette.
Her team made sure that all materials applied are sustainable and easy to maintain as it is located in a heavy traffic area with over 400 seating capacity.
“It is relaxing, a place where you can converse. For the two years, hindi tayo nagkaroon ng pagkakataon para makasalamuha ang mga tao, we have a place like Pagetek to have that. We have different options of what to eat, any time,” Chua added.
After having fun with the wide selection of food, Pagetek wants diners to also commit to cleanliness as it promotes ‘clean as you go’ inside the food court. There will be pushcarts assigned on the side to put their utensils and maintain cleanliness in the area.
“Gusto natin maipaalala na gusto natin na ginagawa ng mga Palaweño. Kahit ‘yong hindi mga taga-Palawan ay natututo rin. Sa tingin ko, it just goes hand in hand with the impression that Palawan, Puerto Princesa, has built over the years,” he added.
To also avoid leftovers going to waste, the management will soon have its third party collect the waste and turn it into a vermicast fertilizer in support of the organic farming promotion.
The pandemic has changed the manner of transactions of locals and offered the convenience of paying through cashless means. To help locals avoid any hassle in dining, Pagetek is introducing its cashless transaction through its e-wallet PalawanPay.
It is not only a convenience to diners but also to merchants to save time in providing a change from the purchase or accounting for their income at the end of the day. The point of sale (POS) system can also help merchants monitor the tracking of payments through PalawanPay.
“Even after the pandemic, now that we are starting to open na, I think na-embrace na rin natin ‘yong ganong klaseng convenience. Na hindi mo na kailangan na laging may pera sa wallet, kasi pwede ka na mag-transact with just your phone and your e-wallet,” he said.
‘’I think it’s bound to happen. Ngayon, gina-guide natin ang mga tao na they have an alternative sa cash,” he added.
PalawanPay has its team at Pagetek to assist diners in downloading the e-wallet application on their phones. There are also instructions posted in the area to help guide on how the payless transactions happen.
The marketing associates can help diners to cash in to their e-wallet or assist them at the satellite branch in front. Existing money from other e-wallets or online banks can also be transferred to PalawanPay, he added.
Once their money has entered their PalawanPay apps, they can scan the QR code of the merchant to pay at any restaurant they want inside. There is also a free wi-fi connection inside for the convenience of diners.