The Scientist: Munding Robles

There may be great debate as to the actual progression of steps in what is globally known as the Scientific Method, yet all versions of the process equally share the thought that no scientific conclusion can be made without extensive observation, questioning, and experimentation.

The same process may very well describe the story of the breakthrough that is Breakthrough-the restaurant that has made its mark as one of Iloilo’s compulsory stops for the freshest in seafood fare. Marine Biologist-turned-restaurateur Munding Robles remembers how it began: “The original venture was just a snack bar along E. Lopez in Jaro. My wife, being a Hotel and Restaurant Management major, needed something to do, as I was busy with my fishing business.” At that time, it was all trial and error.

The experiment of the Jaro branch soon yielded encouraging results, as a steady stream of customers saw the scientist and his wife the entrepreneur joining forces, applying his proficiency to ensure the freshness and quality of their seafood offerings. It was what the customers wanted, so we gave it to them. It was also then that we realized that it was time to get serious.

Breakthrough’s growing reputation prompted a move to its current location at the midpoint of Villa Beach. The modest snack bar has developed into a sprawling restaurant complex that can accommodate up to a thousand diners-but for Munding, the experiments continue. “The managat, he says, referring to the local red snapper that has become one of Breakthrough’s signature dishes, was technically considered a pest for bangus farmers. But we discovered that its tender and juicy meat was delicious,” now, managat has become one of Iloilo’s most famous fish dishes, and can be found on the menus of seafood restaurants both here and elsewhere around the country.

Even as scientists continue to debate the true formula for successful theorization, we Ilonggos can count on our very own Munding Robles to ever be experimenting, coming up with discoveries and Breakthroughs to delight the palate.


Sheila is a digital marketing enthusiast and obsessed in promoting Iloilo. She is a kdrama fan, a dog person and a certified foodie!

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