Posts Tagged ‘baguio’

This is my way of reminding myself of the little things that recently made me happy as inspired by Helga.

 

This week has been both busy and boring at the same time. You know those days when you have so much to do but you still seem to be bored? I’ve had those days all week. But I still have to be thankful of the little things.

  1. I spent the weekend in Baguio. With Manila’s heat, I cannot stress enough how refreshing it is to have spent a couple of days somewhere cold.
  2. Because I went to Baguio, I got to spend some time with my little (and only) sister. She goes to college in UP Baguio and my visit coincided with her last few days before their semestral break. The last time I’ve seen her was during the Holy Week and I’ve missed her so much.
  3. Fruit (and veggie) smoothies. I brought home strawberries and other fruits from Baguio. I have been making smoothies almost everyday and I’ve been slowly incorporating some vegetables into the mix. I plan to transition on having green juice everyday soon.
  4. Catching up with old-time friends. I don’t text a lot and I honestly hate phone calls so when I don’t see my friends personally, I tend to lose connection. I am thankful to have met up with friends I haven’t seen for a long while now, and finally got updated on each other’s lives.
  5. Speaking of catching up, I finally caught up on all the iZombie episodes. When I started watching this series, there were already 10 episodes out. And just yesterday, I watched Episode 12. I am so excited for the season finale!
  6. Finally finished my process cross training at work. I am offloading a bulk of my current book of work to make way for incoming processes. The training was tedious but I am glad we got it over with.
  7. Post-fight niceness from Cris. We didn’t really fight FIGHT but we got into a little bit of misunderstanding a few days ago. He’s always extra nice and attentive after these episodes so I cherish these “spoiled” moments LOL.
  8. Facebook’s “On This Day” thingamajig. I guess this has been existent for a long while now but I only got to notice it this week. It gives you snapshots of your Facebook posts on the same day, several years ago. It’s just fun to reminisce such memories.
  9. My housemate’s brother is in the city and he brought over some pre-cooked Bicolano food: sinantol and laing. They are now sitting in my fridge,waiting for me to devour them. I plan to do so tomorrow, and pair it with fried fish. Omnomnom!
  10. Today’s lunch at SOM’s. I always look forward to Friday lunch-outs with my team. Today we had copious amounts of Thai food and I washed it all down with SOM’s Thai Tea which I terribly missed.

How was your week?

On my most recent trip to Baguio, I got to try out quite a number of restaurants for the first time – one of them is Oh My Gulay. I have heard a lot of good things about this restaurant so I was really excited to taste their food. I got so winded after the long trek up 5 flights of stairs, but was immediately appeased at the sight of the restaurant’s interior.

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Oh My Gulay is housed at the Victor Oteyza Community Art Space (VOCAS) so be on the lookout for random art scattered all around. The space has a high ceiling and big open windows that invites a lot of natural light in. It is so calm and serene, perfect for an afternoon of chitchat with friends while eating good food.

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When we walked in, the place was a bit swamped which was quite surprising because it was already way past lunch time. We took our time perusing their menu which wasn’t really that varied, in my opinion. When we all had our picks, we beckoned a waiter over to our table only to be disappointed when almost everything we ordered were out of stock. We asked for more time to re-pick our orders and by the time we were ready, we were informed that the kitchen is temporarily closed for additional orders without any assurance on what time it will open again. WTF?!? My friend who recommended the place took matters to his own hand and ordered directly from the kitchen – which apparently was not closed. LOL what is up with that?!?

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We settled on three items to be shared among us four.

Anak ng Putanesca | Php130Our version of putanesca, enriched with a hint of cayenne pepper.
Don’t be fooled by all that cheese, this was as tasteless as a piece of paper. We had to add a loooot of ground pepper (we would have added some salt but the waiter never got back to us when we requested for some, seriously what’s up with the terrible service?!?). I think I should also mention that we never got any individual plates so we all had to eat off the serving plates haha. Back to the putanesca, the only good thing about this dish is that the noodles were cooked al dente.

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Pancit Gulay | Php135Egg noodles with tofu and ten assorted vegetables in season with your choice of spicy or non-spicy special pancit sauce.
To start off, the tally of vegetables did not come up to ten. At best, there must have been five in there. Rip off! But the good thing is that the egg noodles were perfectly cooked and the sauce was tasty. It felt like eating Chinese-style pancit canton without all the grease.

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Talong Parmigiana | Php135Breaded eggplant over whole wheat bread topped with our special red sauce, pesto and cheese.
My favorite among the three dishes we got that day. The sauce was tangy and slightly sweet and the fried eggplant tasted fresh. However, I would have wanted the bread to be more crisp (I swear I am not nitpicking!)

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We would have loved to order some coffee to beat off the cold but with the kitchen situation going on, we figured we should just spare ourselves the trouble. In fact, some diners got so pissed off that they refused to pay the service charge.

I seriously hope that it was just an off-day for Oh My Gulay because I honestly believe that their food have great potential. It’s cheap and healthy, and the ambience is really a hit so maybe I will give them another try on my next visit to Baguio.

Oh My Gulay is on the 5th Floor of La Azotea Building along Session Road and tehy are open from 11am to 830pm

Anyone who has ever been to Baguio most probably have already visited Wright Park. It is commonly known as that place in Baguio where one can ride a pink-haired horse.

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It is also well-known for its “pool of pines” which is not meant for swimming but rather a long walkway with a well manicured garden and towering pine trees along its far sides. Unfortunately, the flowers were not in bloom when I visited but the yellow flowers peppering the “pool” were still pretty.

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All over the park are peddlers selling all sorts of local fruits and novelty souvenirs. I passed up on the touristy key chains but the enticing Sagada oranges were too sweet to resist. I got a couple of pieces which I had for breakfast the next day.

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Climbing down more than a hundred stone steps, I came across some elderly Igorots decked in traditional clothing. But I was more interested with these cute kids posing for their parents as they rock them colorful woven garbs. So precious!

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Going further down the stairs, my nose began to twitch at the smell of horse manure. I’m not really into horses so after a few snaps, I moved on.

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The entrance near the horses’ stables is lined with vendors selling succulents and a whole lot of other plants. This is where I went trigger happy and snapped at the lovely flowers on display. I was seriously mulling over buying a few pots but decided against it when I realized that I will have to lug all of them all around. I just contented myself with the photos I took instead.

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To be quite honest, I didn’t find Wright Park too interesting. There really isn’t that much to do aside from riding the horses. However, I still think it is worth a visit if you’re in the area anyway.

During my last trip to Baguio, I got to try out a couple of restaurants for the first time. First on the line is Vizco’s Restaurant and Cake Shop. It is located along Session Road so upon alighting a Victory Liner bus, we simply trekked a short way from the terminal to the restaurant.

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It’s a good thing that they were open early enough for us to grab some breakfast, or else we would have ended up at one of the 24-hour operating fast food chains. All their -silog meals are served with free coffee, which is a good way to warm up in a cold Baguio morning. Their breakfast meals range between Php100-Php125, which is not too bad I think. However, they all tasted pretty average, nothing special to write about.

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While reading up some online reviews of this restaurant, almost every article raves about their Strawberry Shortcake. There are whole cakes on display along with other flavors, but to be quite honest, I only had my eyes on this beauty.

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And even though it was not even 8 in the morning, we couldn’t help but order a slice of their Strawberry Shortcake. To be fair, that’s just one slice among the three of us so I didn’t feel too guilty about having cake so early in the day.

Strawberry cake with fresh strawberry filling, icing and glazed topping – this is how it was described in the menu. It was heavenly! It was perfectly creamy, not too sweet, and the strawberries tasted fresh and juicy. And a slice is only worth Php80. Such a steal!

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If you ever find yourself along Session Road, go ahead and pay Vizco’s a visit. And never leave the restaurant without trying out their Strawberry Shortcake.

According to history, The Diplomat Hotel used to be a vacation house and a seminary way back in the 1900s. It was established by the Dominican Order hence the hill where the hotel is perched is called Dominican Hill. By the time the vacation house was constructed in 1915, it was considered as the grandest and most extravagant stone structure in Baguio where most of the houses are still made up of wood.

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During the World War II, the place witnessed gruesome deaths when it was occupied by fleeing refugees from the Japanese Army. The Japanese forces bombed the place and its surrounding area causing extensive damage but soon after the war, reconstruction started and the building was later restored.

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In 1973, Diplomat Hotels, Inc. acquired the property and turned it into a 33-room hotel. Whilst the interior was remodeled, the exterior and overall character of the building was retained.

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The hotel was under the management of Tony Agpaoa, a Baguio-based spiritual healer. Diplomat Hotel ceased its operation and was closed to the public after Agpaoa’s untimely death in 1982. The structure eventually fell into neglect and disrepair.

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Local residents claim that The Dominican Hotel is now a haunted place. People who live nearby attest to sometimes hearing banging of doors and windows, despite the fact that the hotel does not have doors nor windows anymore.

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At times in the middle of the night, voices of people screaming and sometimes laughing could be heard. In other times, headless apparitions are seen. Folks say that this could be the ghosts of nuns and priests who were beheaded during the World War II.

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On the upper façade of the building overlooking the city, there remained the 12-feet Gyronny cross of the Dominican Order sitting on a pedestal.

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These days, it has now turned to a favorite site among local photographers and tourists due to its nice location and vantage point.

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It is also flocked by ghost hunters and thrill seekers who are brave enough to go to the place at night to check if it is really haunted. I am not brave enough to go there alone but maybe it would be a fun adventure with friends (and alcohol, copious amount of alcohol LOL).

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Kind of out of topic and what looks like a fairly new addition in the area is the biggest Ten Commandments Tablet that I have ever seen in my life.

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If you ever go to Baguio (or have been to Baguio several times), a quick trip to The Diplomat Hotel could be an exciting addition to your Baguio itinerary. You wouldn’t regret it, I know I don’t.

I have heard so many good things about Cafe by the Ruins from friends and other bloggers. This made me even more excited to try it out. So excited that I didn’t even care if I was going to dine there alone on my solo trip to Baguio.

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Right after getting off the bus, I immediately hailed a cab and asked to be dropped off at Cafe by the Ruins. It wasn’t too long til I was seated at a table and perusing their quite extensive menu.

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I didn’t get to roam around the restaurant because I was quite hesitant to leave my things unattended. But this is the view from where I was seated. Most of the tables near the kitchen were filled, mostly by families. While I sat quietly in the distant, forever alone. LOL!

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I was quite hungry and really cold so I wanted to have something warm and filling and their Pinikpikan seemed like the perfect choice. Pinikpikan is a chicken soup used in rituals in the Cordillera region. I think the chicken is killed in a special way where they keep tapping (pikpik) it with some hard object until it dies (this sounds so morbid LOL). I heard this is also what turns the meat of the chicken to a dark color.

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It was served with a cup of red mountain rice which was a little too wet for my liking but I still ate it all up anyway because I was really hungry. The Pinikpikikan meal comes at Php320, a little pricey but most of the dishes in Cafe by the Ruins are around this price range.

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I decided to get the Strawberry Soda at Php120 for my drinks. It’s simply soda water mixed with strawberry syrup.

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I really enjoyed my first meal at Cafe by the Ruins and I vowed to go back to try their freshly baked breads.

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There are things in life that just can’t be achieved in an instant. Saving up for a house, getting over a heartbreak or maybe as simple as venturing to unfamiliar places – these things might take time to accomplish. But this doesn’t mean they can’t be done. With continuous effort and perseverance, those things that were seemingly unattainable on the onset will be ticked off on your to-do list one by one. Little by little. Baby steps, my friend. Baby steps.

 

 

*Photo taken in Baguio City, Philippines