By Mike Baños
Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club kicks off its first quarter of a century this year with two regional golf tournaments and a new concessionaire for its venerable clubhouse.
“The Mason’s 2nd Grand Master’s Open will grace its 18-hole, par-72, championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II International on January 20-22, to be followed a week later by the JGFP Jungolf tournament expected to attract the country’s top jungolfers,” said Gil Blas M. Velez, Pueblo Golf General Manager & concurrent Golf Operations Manager.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, Pueblo Golf is the first and only world-class, all-weather championship golf course in the area. It is the only golf course in the Visayas and Mindanao ranked among the Top 5 in the country by Golfing Philippines and among the top 10 by Inquirer Golf Magazine. A majestic driving range, clubhouse, tee houses and practice putting greens complete the golf course facilities.
Being an all-weather golf course, it is playable the whole year round. It is also environmentally sound, featuring five inter-connected lakes from which recycled water is drawn to water the course to conserve water.
Pueblo Golf has played host to a number of major tournaments such as the PAL Interclub, the Rotary International Foundation golf tournament, the Southern Ladies Club, among others.
Having gone through three concessionaires in the last 25 years, Pueblo Golf’s new clubhouse concessionaire feels a bit intimidated about the course’s heritage and history it needs to live up to.
Fairways by Frankees is managed by Mark Ledesma of Iloilo City and his wife, MM Tan of Cagayan de Oro. Both former international flight attendants of Philippine Airlines (PAL), they set up Frankees Resto + Bar in Camaman-an nine years ago and are definitely not novices in the restaurant business.
Yet, Mark admits to having a little trepidation about taking over and lifting up the Pueblo Golf Clubhouse to live up to the lofty reputation established by his predecessors as a key partner of the golf course.
Named after his father-in-law Francisco Tan, Frankees Resto + Bar has established a reputation as a family-oriented establishment with its loyal clientele, something Mark and MM wants to continue with Fairways by Frankees.
“We will renovate the facilities and make it look as nice as we can, something we will gradually do over the coming months as we also establish other aspects of our operation especially our menu, and make known to our loyal customers and new ones from Uptown that the Frankees Resto+Bar in Camaman-an is now in Uptown Cagayan de Oro as Fairways by Frankees,” Mark said.
Besides serving the needs of the Pueblo Golf members and guests, Mark and MM also dream of making Fairways by Frankees an events place for everyone, besides being a dining place in Uptown CDO.
Since both Mark and MM were former flight attendants, their menu likewise features dishes inspired by their travels around the world such as Asian BBQ Wings, inspired by the famous chicken wings of Wingstop in Los Angeles, Sate BBQ from Malaysia, and Korean Katsu, as well as famous staples from Mark’s hometown Iloilo like Chicken Pancit Molo and La Paz Batchoy you can enjoy at any time of the day.
Since members and guests tee off in the early morning, Fairway by Frankees also offers Filipino Breakfasts featuring home-town special Golden Friendship Longganisa, Beef Tapa, Corned Beef, Bangus Inun-un, Chicken Tocino and Spanish Sardines, all served with eggs, plain or garlic rice and brewed or instant coffee.
Among Frankees best sellers which are now available at the Pueblo Golf Clubhouse are Tiny Baboy (Cured paper thin pork strips, double fried), Dakdakan (Pork, tofu, onions, bell pepper and chilis) and its famous Caesar Salad (with bacon, croutons and fruit bits).
Besides others previously mentioned, their other best-selling entrees include Tuna ala Pobre (billed as Golden Friendship Sizzling Special), their Chef’s version of the Classic Pueblo Spaghetti and Carbonara (with ham, bacon, mushrooms + parmesan cheese).
For snacks, Frankees’ habitués from downtown will be delighted to learn their favorite sandwiches like Big M’s Burger (topped with cheese and onion rings), Club House (chicken, ham, egg + cheese layers), Pueblo Burger (Grilled Burger + GF Longanisa + egg) and Classic Chicken (old school recipe on grilled toast) are likewise now available at Fairways by Frankees.
In the not-too-distant future, Mark and MM aim to eventually make Fairways by Frankees an Events Center for social, corporate and sports with the Family Vibe its loyal customers from Camaman-an have come to love.
“Once we are ready, we will also invite non-golfers/members, residents from nearby uptown subdivisions, and uptown guests from as far away as Bukidnon, Iligan and Lanao to hold their social, corporate and sporting events in the fully equipped conference room, and clubhouse areas,” Mark said.
Meantime, its first priority will be to address the needs and wants of Pueblo Golf’s members and guests on a daily basis, as well as for the upcoming tournaments which are expected to draw bigger crowds.
Velez said Pueblo Golf is also scheduled to host the NGAP Regional Tournament on June 30-July 1 & 2, and the 18th Pueblo Golf Team Invitational on August 16-20, its biggest tournament during Cagayan de Oro’s Fiesta Month.