When in Baguio, Try Good Taste!

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When in Baguio, try the Good Taste Restaurant, located at the corner of Otek and Carino Street. For breakfast, I ordered mami (80 pesos) and Good Taste rice (100 pesos). Sulit naman dahil andami, pang-dalawahan sya. True to its name, good taste talaga ang pagkain nila.

From ordering to serving took around 10 minutes only.

Cleanliness,okay naman . Wala naman akong nakitang ipis o langaw.

Yung cushioned chairs ang kailangan ng improvement, worn out na kasi. Nag-monoblock na lang kami ng friend ko. Waitresses are nice kaso dahil very busy sila, panay lagi silang nagmamadali. I appreciate na malawak ang dining area dahil hindi nagkakabungguan ang customers.

Again, breakfast nang pumunta ako at nag-taxi lang kaya hindi nagging issue ang serving time at parking space sa akin. Will I go back to Good Taste when I’m in Baguio? Definitely yes! Overall rating: 4/5.

 

 

Whatever Happened to Master Hopia?

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Today is my 5th day here in Baguio for a week-long strategic planning session with the heads of sales and operation. We are confined in the company owner’s houses which is located near Burnham Park. Work normally starts at 5AM and ends whenever the task for the day is done. I usually wake up at 4:30 AM and retires to bed at around 12:00 AM. Stroll time is limited to the area near the compound and the nearest places to go are Burnham Park and Session Road.

Last time, three of my colleagues asked me if I wanted to stroll outside of the compound. I hesitated at first because I was already tired and sleepy and it was supposed to be the 1st time in four nights that I could sleep earlier. I discouraged them to stroll and even told them that it was risky to be going out at night. One of them told me that she was a frequent visitor of Baguio so she had an idea how night life in Baguio was.

So, okay, I counted myself in and minutes later, we hailed a cab and asked the driver to drop us off in Session Road. Along the way, I saw the night market in Harrison Road and asked the group if they wanted to see it (as it was also my first time to be going to a night market here).

Two decades ago, ukay-ukay or selling of imported used clothes and shoes were already existing here but I never got the chance to buy then because my allowance as student simply could not afford any excess expenses.

Wy, one of my companions, bought corn in a cup. I would have wanted to try some but being cautious of what I eat while on vacation stopped me from doing it. The ukay-ukay excited me and most of the goods were good and were priced very cheaply. I saw a small sweater suited for a little girl and thought it would look good on our former neighbor. The price was a steal at PhP20 only but I refrained myself from buying as I might end up occupying half of the company van!

So after a quick tour at the night market, I asked them if they wanted to go to Session Road already. They agreed and so we proceeded. I noticed the long queue of jeepney commuters near Silang Street and I said to myself that there was nothing really new about it as it was just like that two decades ago.

“Is it okay with you if we go up to Mabini Street and from there, proceed to Session Road again?” I asked the group.

“Why? What’s with this street?” they asked.

I did not answer right away. They noticed that I was taking pictures. I was not sure if I just missed it but I did not see any Tiong San store in Mabini. The arcade where we used to go bowling was not there already.

“You see that Victoria signage? I used to buy my groceries from there.”

“But why?” they asked.

“Because I spent five years of my life as student here,” I said.

They were a bit surprised because maybe, they assumed that I finished my college from a Manila university and my secretive nature was partly to blame because I don’t divulge personal information to people unless they ask. The good thing was, my colleagues became just excited as me.

I took a picture of the dorm where I stayed as a freshman and memories of that place just kept reminding me. It was my first abode in Baguio where I met my first dorm mates. It was there where I had my first boyfriend of only two days. It was there where I first broke a man’s heart by breaking up with him a day before Christmas. It was there where I first tasted alcohol while my ex-boyfriend and friends watched over me while intoxicated. It was there where I first had a beach outing without my family. It was there where I had my first serious relationship that lasted for five years.

Our favorite bakery was just across the street. It was a small bakery named Master Hopia. The bread, hopia and siopao were tasty but very affordable for students like me. On the roof of its second floor extension were cats cuddling and sometimes fighting; they were my source of entertainment aside from the television located on their second floor room.

Unfortunately, Master Hopia is no longer there for reasons still unknown to me as of this writing. In a bittersweet moment, I  realized that I’ve been away for so long a time. A lot of things have changed: the people, the weather and the places that I used to go.

 

 

 

 

 

Hangar Market in Baguio City

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Nothing is really special about Hangar Market except to those who want to give more value on his money as the price of vegetables are cheaper there. Hangar Market is one of my memorable spots in Baguio City because it was there where I used to get my allowance from my parents in the province.

Confused? Don’t be! You see, during the mid-90’s, ATMs were not yet the main mode of monetary transfer. We had telegraphic transfer back in the days but it would take 2-3 banking days before one could claim his money. When the ATM system was introduced to the public, we were one of those who were skeptical about it. A piece of plastic for transaction? You must be kidding!

So, my parents would ask our neighbor in the province to kindly be the “messenger” because he and his mother were in Baguio twice a week, four times a month. They were vegetable dealers in our town and there were times when I would “hitch” on their trip to save travel cost.

Hangar Market intimidated me at first. Thanks to my generous dorm mate who was more than willing to accompany me to get my allowance.

The Baguio That I Remember

“You’re joining the 2017 Strategic Planning! Congrats!”

This was an IM from an officemate/friend some three weeks ago. I forced myself to sound gay. I was not very excited about it. Not that going back to my second home is a bad idea but leaving behind two small children was a wrong timing. My husband assured me that everything would be fine and I should just focus on the work to do before the actual planning session. I was evidently stressed one week before the Baguio session. I wanted to tell my boss that, “Sorry talaga Sir…I cannot make it” but it looked like a bad idea and I would forever be tagged as unprofessional.

I packed my things two hours before I headed to the head office where the van (service) was stationed. It was so un-Iris because the usual me would have packed her things at least a day before the departure.

While we were on our way to Baguio, I remembered the following:

  1. I was a 16-year old naive student of Saint Louis University and the struggle to commute back to Bataan was lessened when a boardmate named Sonny, who was from Abucay, was “forced” to accompany me. I could feel then that he would have wanted to stay a little longer to be with his then girlfriend but his kababayan duty forced him to travel home with me at an unplanned time. Thank you, Sonny for bearing with the young me!
  2. I have motion sickness and I am prone to nausea when travelling. My father would always go with me to either Olongapo or Pampanga just to pick me a better bus seat. I remembered that while we were passing by the Dau exit last week. I could see the young me pretending to be tough but trembling deep inside. I survived 12 hours of travel from Bataan to Pampanga (sometimes Olongapo) to Baguio.
  3. We passed by TPLEX. I checked my watch. It took us only 1 hour to reach Tarlac from Quezon City! I was amazed at the modernization of our higways and the comfort they bring to travelers. Great job!
  4. The stop-over in Sison, Pangasinan had no major change. It’s still the same old stop-over that allowed me to reminisce more about my teenage years. But hey, I was amused to see statues right before the bridge leading to La Union. I should have taken some photos but our van was moving at 120 km/h. LOL.
  5. When we entered the Kennon Road vicinity, stronger emotions lorded over me. I felt like a 17-yr old girl in the company of a neighbor who was a vegetable dealer. There was one occasion when my parents asked them if they still have  a space for me at their service. Thank you, Almario family!  A lot of beautiful memories with two of my exes happened in Kennon Road. When you are young and in love, the mountains look magical. The waterfalls look enchanting and the rivers, never-ending. Fast-forward to present time, I was in the company of intelligent and driven professionals. I was holding back my emotions and what I could have revealed. How would they understand? Our emotions are our own and what is euphoric for me might just be a simple experience for them.
  6. The big boss’ houses (it’s in a compound) are spacious, cozy and clean. I would have wanted the same accommodation if I were still a student. During my first year, I stayed in a dormitory with a room that is 1/3 less than the room where we stayed for the Baguio planning session. Staying in the big boss’ house was a contrast to the simple abode that I had as a student. Then one thing that has improved today is the way I deal with roomies. I used to have a short patience on a noisy or lazy housemate but now I become tolerant of a roommate’s routine.
  7. I expected a cold November the way my thumb was frozen at the middle of a Political Science class how many Novembers ago. The instructor then was Atty. Rolly Dela Cruz, a father figure to me not just because we had the same last name but because he was the one who reprimanded a group of (male) batchmates who tried to trespass to his class just to talk to me. (Pagbigyan nyo na, konti lang dati ang female sa engineering! Hahaha!)
  8. We passed by Burnham Park, Maharlika, Magsaysay Road and a portion of Session Road. More emotions poured over me. Burnham Park was a witness to my first, second and third love and how each visit metamorphosed me into an improved person. With my first love, it was magical and surreal. With my second love, it was love-hate and very passionate. With my third love (husband), it is as calm as a lake and as balanced as a fulcrum. My husband is my equinox, my yin to my yang and my yang to my yin. I imagine the day when all three of them would be together, talking about me and each one of them would have a different description of what I was as a lover. It would all depend on the time and period I was with them but I hope that beyond all the changes the years brought upon me, they would recognize that I am a person who is very selfless when it comes to love and loving.
  9. Surprisingly, the traffic in Baguio is just the same as the one in Quezon City! I notice, too, that there are more houses than trees on a mountain. Good thing, the big boss’ compound is still filled with pine trees and plants that brings back the beauty and charm of the old Baguio.

Mt. Samat (Bataan) Photos

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Panoramic view of the Dambana ng Kagitingan grounds.

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The situation when Maj. Gen. Edward P. King  surrendered to the Japanese forces (red lights). The blue lights represent the Allied Forces whereas the red lights, the Japanese forces.

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Just look at what happened to Balanga then. =(

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That’s Maj. Gen. King.  Talisay is such a historical place that most Bataenos take for granted.

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Stairway to the cross.

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Tsk! Tsk! Tourists, please don’t throw your garbage anywhere!

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The magnificent cross and our flag!

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View from the top.

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Ah, that’s Manila on the other side of the sea!

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My personal mission is to be grateful for all the sacrifices made by our ancestors during the war era.

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Not sure what this hall is for.  Hihi!

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