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Restaurant Bar in Mandaluyong Secrets to Success: The HOLA Story by Chef J-Ann

Success, the sweet sound of it will make you think of your ambitions and your aspirations as a dreamer who wants to accomplish things in life. In this small world we live in, several stories of life and success have been told countless times and many of them are from famous people that we are all very familiar with. 

Now, what interests us the most are the ones that we can relate to — normal people with dreams that they finally achieved after hardships and difficulties. This is the story of HOLA, the rollercoaster ride to success.

The History of HOLA Restaurant Bar

It all started with a goal, a noble goal to create food that satisfies the taste buds and cravings of the customers who dine in their very own restaurant bar. Whether it be experimental food, classic Filipino dishes — even a mix of both — and custom made cocktails, their goal was simple and it is to serve food for anyone willing to dine. 

Conceptualization alone started around March of 2019. With every little detail tackled, the plan slowly progressed as days passed by. A menu tasting was planned and after a lot of effort, it was finally realized around June 2019. 

Now that everything was checked out on paper, the construction started. From the acquisition of the building materials to the hiring of construction workers, all were planned to perfection. The final brick was laid in July 2019. 

After the continuous hiring process, menu development, and general planning of the launch, HOLA Eat, Drink, and Play opened its doors for the customers for the first time. 

Now, it might seem all flawless and smooth; but all of this came from a great number of hardships and difficulties. More than half of HOLA’s life as of now was in the middle of a pandemic. 

This pandemic became HOLA’s greatest hurdle since a lot of people were not allowed to go out during that time and HOLA’s efforts are greatly focused towards customer experience. It was an uphill battle, but HOLA won that fight.

What makes HOLA special?

A lot of restaurants can offer a wider variety of food and have better all-around spendings on furniture and size, but what HOLA can offer is the feeling of home even though you are far away from it. Using a mix of industrial and tropical inspiration with a rustic vibe and aesthetics, HOLA makes you feel like you are sitting at the comfort of your own home while enjoying some of the best foods a restaurant bar can offer.

The furniture is also one of the best features of HOLA. 


Because every couch, chair, and table in the restaurant is locally sourced — a lot of which were acquired in La Union to showcase the local designs.

  • HOLA’s noble adventure

HOLA Eat, Drink, and Play is a proud advocate of the environment. HOLA supports the pro-environment movement and the ingredients they use are all local — from spices to vegetables — while the cocktails they serve play around with local flavors. Lastly, HOLA will never take away your right to watch your food be created. A glass division in the kitchen wall will allow you to watch their chefs as they create, mix, and cook your food all depending on how you want it done. After you feast your eyes on the fresh goods, the taste and aroma of your food will definitely satisfy your cravings and make you want to have more. 

  • Skyy, the HOLA Baby: as told by Chef J-Ann 

“I was actually 6 months pregnant when we started conceptualizing HOLA Eat, Drink, and Play and we had the location and the design set already, just finalizing the menu. 

I was supposed to be due by early July and we were scheduled for a food tasting for our soon-to-be menu scheduled on June 16 to 17, 2019. We booked an AirBnB house in Cainta, Rizal and everything was all good and finalized. After that, I finally gave birth via normal delivery on June 14, 2019! “

“We still continued the food tasting — with Chef Najev doing most parts — and just me observing and taking care of baby Skyy. I assure you that I was in perfect condition when we decided to continue the food tasting, and it turned out to be wonderful.” 

“Skyy is a definite HOLA baby because she was born before the start of construction and the final plan. She is now 3 years old, marking the almost 3rd year anniversary of HOLA.”

The Secrets of HOLA – Resto Bar in Mandaluyong

HOLA is a restaurant bar in Mandaluyong — if you think about it, there are a lot of restaurant bars in Mandaluyong that you can go to. 

But why does HOLA Eat, Drink, and Play stand out the most among the rest of other restaurant bars? Here are the secrets of HOLA and why it remains successful.

  • SECRET #1: It all came from the heart

What makes HOLA successful are the people that work hard to make everyday possible. From the chefs to the waitstaff to the very customers that enter the restaurant bar, they are the lifeblood of HOLA and will continue to be, which is the reason why HOLA will continue to be successful. 

  • SECRET #2: What the customer wants, the customer gets

HOLA, as a restaurant bar, serves a multitude of foods and cocktails that aim to satisfy what the customer wants. In a lot of cases, customers ask for things that are not in the menu in the hopes that they have it in the secret menu or they just want something in the closest resto bar near them. Now, HOLA Eat, Drink, and Play gives the customers the freedom to play with their food or drink, which allows them to customize their own order according to what they want. 

Want to try? Order now! 

  • SECRET #3: The Three Secret Ingredients

You may have heard of KFC’s 11 secret herbs and spices, but HOLA also has their own version: The Three Secret Ingredients: Love, Faith, and Trust. 


When a business says that love is one of their secret recipes, people would think that it must be about loving the job. But here in HOLA, what we want our people to do is to love themselves. When you start loving yourself, loving others automatically comes next—this includes the things you do and will do. And when this happens, it reflects on your performance subconsciously, which is why HOLA wants you to love yourself first.

In the past 2 years and 6 months of HOLA running in the field, the same set of people from training, construction, equipment installation, conceptualization, and the opening of the restaurant were all filled with love and are still working hand in hand with each other as of today. This led to the continued success of HOLA Eat, Drink, and Play. 


Amidst all the challenges faced by HOLA and the people behind the restaurant bar, what remains in their hearts is faith; faith that all will go well if you keep doing your best, faith that all the challenges will end soon, and the faith that everyone will take care of each other even through the hardest of times. 

Now, HOLA is booming and what keeps everyone in HOLA going is the faith that they kept in their hearts. 


“When you work with people that value this, you know you are going somewhere.” Those exact same words from chef J-Ann embody the values of HOLA Eat, Drink, and Play. Once trust is established within the team, success will be marked on the calendar — and it is going to be soonest.


Hola means “hi” or “hello” in Spanish and when spoken out loud, it gives you a warm, welcoming feeling that you feel like you have known them for quite some time. 

Experience the warmth with us, visit us!

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