When you say “isaw” (chicken gizzard and intestines), it is impossible not think about Mang Larry’s Isawan in UP.
Mang Larry has been an icon in UP, maybe in the same ranks as the Oblation itself. Lauro Condencido Jr. who is fondly called Mang Larry by students and diners established Mang Larry’s Isawan in 1984.
“Institusyon na ako dito (I’m already an institution here),” Condencido jokes. “Sabi nga nila, ‘haligi ka na ng unibersidad’ (They tell me that I’m already a pillar of this university).”
His stall is so popular that he is able to sell 3,000 sticks of isaw a day. This is despite his frequent moving. No matter where he transferred, students still find their way to him and his isaw.
He has been to Balagtas Street near the UP Alumni Center. Before that, it was previously found near the Kalayaan Residence Hall, the UP Post Office, in the parking lot of the College of Law and near the arcade and UP swimming pool since 1984.
In August 2017, Mang Larry’s underwent a more permanent and better makeover when his stall was turned into a full-scale food joint. This is complete with table and chairs in a dining area that can seat 20 people.
Condencido recalls that 33 years ago, he started his business with only Php40 pesos capital for 15 kilos of pork and chicken giblets. He set up his grill near the house of his aunt where they were residing. He sold isaw for 50 centavos per stick. Today it costs 5 pesos per stick.
In 1995, he decided to resign from his day job as a janitor in LVN Pictures Inc. to focus on his booming grilling business. He decided to call it Mang Larry’s Isawan.
“Kasi lahat ng tawag sa akin ng mga estudyante Mang Larry’s na (Because all the students already call me Mang Larry’s by then),”
Entrepreneur PH shares with how Mang Larry’s hard work has now paid off. He has 7 branches in Quezon City including the one in UP.
Because of hard work, Mang Larry was able to send his 5 children to school. He already has a manager, a nurse, and an accountant, while the two others are still in college.