“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” – Alfred Wainwright
I totally agree with that quote. During our recent trip to Baguio, I realized that bringing the right clothes is important but you have to always ask yourself.. Will this be enough? Let me share to you the story of the three uber excited travelers who recently had an impromptu trip to the highlands.
Pizza and Beer at Zola Cafe
We arrived in Baguio City past 11pm and as a consequence of not having a pre-booked hotel, we ended up asking random Taxi drivers for their hotel recommendations. Few minutes later, we found ourselves checking in at the old Hotel Supreme in Magsaysay Avenue.
Pizza and Beer Anyone?
After leaving our things in our respective rooms, we headed to Zola Cafe – one of most decent 24 hour Bar and Restaurant in Baguio City. We already had light dinner during our stopover in Sison Pangasinan so we just had Hawaiian Pizza and Beer.
Suman sa Lihiya
I like how Zola Cafe melted the Mozzarella cheese and the generous Ham and Pineapple toppings on their Hawaiian Pizza but their dough is not crispy, in fact its chewy like a freshly kneaded dough. I guess theres no bad pizza if you pair it with a cold bottle of beer while in a place with extremely cold temperature!
While everyone is preparing for an early Sunday Mass, we were just about to leave Zola Cafe in Session Road. As much as we want to stay, we realized that we had to take a nap to prepare for our Sunday Food Trip:)
After having almost 3 hours of rest, we took advantage of the complimentary breakfast at the hotel. It’s an ala cart breakfast offering a choice between tapa, bangus and longganisa which is paired with Sunny Side up eggs, fried rice, a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice. A nice and perfect “not-so-light” meal to start our day.
Choco-late de Batirol
Gay suggested that we visit Choco-late de Batirol so instead of visiting my favorite Starbucks place in Camp John Hay, we headed to this famous garden restaurant near Gate 2 of Camp John Hay. Their Hot Chocolate is still traditionally being prepared in a chocolatera (metal pot) and mixed using a batirol (wooden stirrer). Unlike instant chocolate drinks, their Choco-late is thick, bittersweet and nutty. It’s early morning when we visited the place so instead of trying out their famous Pancit Palabok, we ordered Suman sa Lihiya – a glutinous rice delicacy wrapped and cooked in banana leaves then topped with shredded coconut and muscovado sugar… You can never go wrong with Suman and Tsokolate tandem! I swear I will come back for more soon:)
Laperal White House in Baguio
As we approach downtown for our next food stop, we noticed that Laperal White House was already open to public for viewing. We decided to have a short stop at the famous ancestral house out of curiosity. Laperal Ancestral House was built in the 1920s and known to many as one of the haunted places in Baguio City. The White House is now owned by Lucio Tan and it is now open to public for viewing purposes. Since last year, the old house features Philippine Bamboo Art Exhibit, showcasing Bamboo Carvings from various local wood carvers.
Our resident lawyer aka Lakwatserong Tsinelas requested that we visit Baguio Cathedral before we head back to our hotel to pack our bags and check out. After the quick check out, we deposited our bags at the hotel concierge then proceeded to Tamawan Village for Lunch.
Tamawan Green Salad
Tamawan Village is one of my favorite hideouts in Baguio. The place showcases artworks from local artists and a nice souvenir shop that sells handicrafts and other souvenir items from Cordillera Region. The place is considered as Baguio’s Hanging Garden with various art installations and replicas of different traditional houses of Igorot People.
If you want to taste some of the best local recipes, you should dine at Tamawan Cafe. My all time favorite would be their Tamawan Green Salad – a trademark salad of assorted fresh vegetables on a bed of greens served with honey-mustard & herb dressing. If you are not a vegetable eater, try their Pasta Peso – an al-dente pasta mixed with classic blend of basil, garlic, olive oil and nuts.
Fresh Strawberries in La Trinidad
Our Tamawan visit was followed by a short stop at the Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad Benguet. We do not have plans of buying strawberries, fresh vegetables or even souvenirs. The only reason why we visited the place is to have Strawberry Taho. When strawberries are in season, a lot of strawberry products are available for sale at the farm, this include strawberry preserve, strawberry candy, fresh strawberry, strawberry ice cream and Strawberry Taho.
From Strawberry Fields, we proceeded to Solibao Restaurant in Burnham Park. Solibao is one of my favorite restaurants in Baguio. They serve mostly Filipino food including delicacies like Puto Bumbong that is being served all year round. Aside from Puto Bumbong, we also ordered their famous Pancit Bihon – stir fry mixture of rice and flat noodle with lots of vegetable and pork toppings.
We left Burnham Park with full tummies so instead of getting a cab to reach the Baguio Public Market, we headed to the public market by foot hoping to burn some calories we gained from the whole day of feasting. While Gay was busy buying wooden plates for her new house in Tarlac, I tried to locate my favorite coffee bean shop but no luck, I’ll probably comeback and spend more time in the Public Market.
It’s already freezing when we left the public market and we thought it would be perfect to have some tea so we walked uphill and braved 5 floor stairs to reach our favorite Oh My Gulay Restaurant. I really wanted to have green salad but Im still full so I just had Banaba Tea while enjoying the sundown at the restaurants veranda.
Mountain Tea – Tamawan Village
It was already dark when we left Oh My Gulay, we wanted to stay longer but we realized we still have to get our bags from the hotel. From the hotel, we proceeded to Victory Liner Bus terminal to get our tickets but to our surprise, the next available bus will leave at around 3:00am. Left with no choice, we bought our bus tickets then left for Zola Cafe to kill time:)
Travel Bloggers with Mr. Ed Manda
We spent 3 hours at the veranda of Zola Cafe, eating and drinking while enjoying the view of the busy session road and braving the 8.1 degree freezing temperature. It was already 1am when we decided to head back to the bus terminal. In this trip, I learned two things.. First, Never underestimate the cold weather in Baguio, bring at least two jackets, bonnet and a fleece jacket. Second, secure your bus tickets in advance if your planned departure will fall on Sunday to avoid late departure due to huge number of students and weekend vacationers who are also heading back to Manila.
It was 24 hours of food trip and unforgiving temperature but I had no regrets… In fact I want to come back for more:)
How about you, Whats your favorite place to eat and hang out in Baguio City? Can you share?