Baguio again

I was in Baguio again last weekend, this time for a workshop with FitPhil at Teacher’s Camp. It’s been decades since I last visited Teacher’s Camp and it still looks the same—old but quaint. It reminds me of the Baguio of old–green, quiet, and with just the right touch of small-town littleness. Baguio is ugly now. It’s nothing more than another city bursting at the seams. Downtown is especially horrible with all the pollution. Nevertheless, for all its flaws (and there are numerous of them) this City of Pines still has its charms.

Meat Pies at Star Cafe. This old Baguio institution has got to have one of the best meat pies. The all-meat filling is generous with the savory taste of curry. Oven-baked rather than fried not only makes it healthier but keeps the yummy buttery crust fresher. For only P 25 per piece, it’s definitely worth it.

Ukay-ukay no more. My first venture into ukay-ukay shopping was at a large large store along Session Road a couple of years ago. For about a thousand bucks, I was able to get loads and loads of quality clothing that was hardly used. The Bodywear briefs I got (they were sealed, brand-new, probably old stock) at 3 for 100 were definitely a steal. However, last weekend, I left the store empty-handed. Prices were unbelievably sky-high for second-hand clothing. I pair of trek shorts I wanted was going for 680! Not even Ed, the ukay-ukay master got hold of anything. “People don’t buy much anymore,” said one vendor. Need they wonder?

Greens and Greens.Well, I wasn’t sure if it was really a bargain. Compared to Manila prices, I was at least confident they were much lower. But the manangs at the public market who sold me all those vegetables packed in clear plastic bags said I was getting them cheap. 3 packs fo broccoli for P 200 seemed reasonable. In less than 20 minutes, surrounded by all the manangs , I had 3 braids of garlic, 3 packs of broccoli, 3 packs of cauliflower, 1 pack of lettuce, 2 packs of red bell pepper, 3 packs of large tomatoes, and a kilo of strawberries. I forgot to buy my red rice, black rice, white onions, and potatoes.

Sculpture by Clinton.  If Mines View Park is a must in your itinerary, then at least drop by the shop at Clinton Aniversaryo, a local artist who does wonderful wood sculptures.  Clinton’s shop is located at near the back, close to the viewing decks.  It willbe quite easy to find as it stands-out amidst all the shops selling 4 for 100 food, wooden sandok, and souvenir shirts.  Bam and Ed, particularly like his clocks with indigenous motifs.  I couple of year back, for 500 bucks, I got a lovely carved foot stool.

Torta at Good Shepherd.    Tortas ar sweet little cakes not unlike the mamon but with a little more character. The Torta de Argao (from the town of the same name) is made with the local wine and anise that gives it a little bite amidst all that sugar.  This is staple pasalubong ever time Annie comes home to Manila.  One of the best torta I’ve tasted is by the makers of the best empanada—San Lo’s Famous Empanada.  Absolutely soft, buttery, and really really good, especially the version topped with quezo de bola.  Adding to my list of delightful is torta is Good Shepherd.  Yup, that beautiful convent known for its Ube Jam and Strawberry preserves.  Since I wasn’t really keen on getting any of the jams, I settled for a little piece of tortas (P 35) .  After a bite, I bought 2 large ones (P 70/piece) . Really good.

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