Traveling Milking Mama

I traveled to Bangkok a month ago. This by far, was the trip I was most worried about – mommy duties, breastfeeding, etc. My breast milk supply has already gone dipping. I used to pump at least 4 ounces a few months ago, but since I started going to work again, I can only hit the 2-ounce mark maximum. So, I decided to maximize the time and remaining milk by taking in more supplements to bump up the supply. Unfortunately, I was bound to travel during this time of struggle.

Thinking about traveling at this point made me very uneasy. I did a lot of research and even contacted the Consulate of Bangkok for their rules with checking in breast milk on flights. And even if they assured me that it’s fine, I was still worried because Immigration officers are really meticulous and curious or however else you can call it.

The flight to Bangkok was rather easy. I brought my manual pump instead of the electric one to avoid declarations (it’s considered a medical apparatus) and lengthy explanations. I packed antibacterial ice packs and gels, pump paraphernalia, storage bags, insulated packs in my check in baggage.

At the hotel, I was very lucky that the staff were very warm and accommodating. My personal refrigerator did not have a freezer so the staff goes right up to my suite to pick up the insulated bag, wait for me to assemble the breast milk pouches, then bring it back to the hotel freezer. My principals from TaylorMade-adidas Golf as well made sure this trip would be a breeze. They assured comfort checking up on me every now and then if I got enough time to pump on breaks.

On the flight back home, I was more worried because I hand-carried the breast milk. Fortunately, I was assigned to a woman officer during the inspection. My bag was just held for a few minutes to get checked. She asked if it were for a baby girl or boy. I was so relieved that was the kind of question asked! I thought they were going to fire me a lot of questions about it. The woman officer even told me how lucky my baby is for me to get him food while I’m away. I answered politely and smiled while putting on my shoes.

I was smiling to myself on the flight. Days of research and hours of pumping have finally paid off, I have gone home with something my baby would definitely appreciate (he can’t be utterly happy about new toys and cute apparel yet). Hahaha! I would love to thank the staff of Hotel Indigo – I mean it’s their job, right, but their assistance didn’t seem like a chore (FUN FACT: They even got my Writing Project mailed for me!). I would love to express my utmost gratitude to the airport officers again for being nice and sweet. And of course, to my TaylorMade-adidas Golf SouthEast Asia Team for facilitating a very smooth and mama-friendly trip for me (also for the gift last February when I delivered my little boy)!

Oh, if you are wondering, knowing this TSA policy helps a lot! If you are still in doubt, contact the Consulate of the country you are traveling to.

Cheers!

Mother’s Day Random Ramblings

Last week, a colleague congratulated me for my first Mother’s Day celebration. I totally forgot about it until tonight that I’ve gone too emotional watching “Mom” videos on my newsfeed. Funny how becoming pre-occupied as a first time mother leave you with remembrances, realizations and emotions at random times (like now while having breaks doing the laundry).

Honestly, I haven’t imagined myself a mother until the moment I got confirmation that I had a tiny human inside. I was not ready, but I guess you’ll never be really ready until you get there. I deemed myself a mother as early as then. After all, I was already nursing and nourishing him. I had to change diet, skip vigorious activities, and even obey weird traditions roughly suggested by the oldies.

Pushing him out to the world is another story. I was never as frightened. I was not only scared for myself, I was scared for him more. But again, when you have no choice but to be courageous, well, you got to be. Imagine my relief when I saw him for the first time lying on my chest.

And motherhood doesn’t end there. Somewhere I’ve read said that real motherhood comes after you leave the hospital and take the baby home. Sure was right! My baby has been around for almost three months and I can no longer count my tears and sighs out of frustration, fear, paranoia, etc. Knowing there’s a lifetime ahead of him, God only knows how much more I need to bear. But I am not complaining, he’s our best gift (cliche, I know), our most terrible weakness (how can you say “no” when he puts up a cute crying face?), and my husband’s replica, only waaay more handsome (if I loved my husband’s annoyingly happy face, how can I not love my son’s?).

You know in art when they put together totally unrelated things to communicate one solid message? That’s how motherhood is like. It’s always a crazy unpredictable mix of emotions – some intense, some so-so. But unlike art which emanates multiple possible meanings, motherhood comes with but one message. It’s always the same every time – Love.

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Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms out there, most importantly, to my Mama. Now I know the truth in your rants! Hahaha Sending greetings to my husband’s mother as well, for raising such lovely man.

Props to my boys, too, for this wonderful and exciting journey. I love you both.

Like Yesterday

Feels like it was only yesterday we were both sitting in brown armchairs within an airconditioned room. Feels like it was only yesterday I took courage to kiss you in a gush of alcohol. Feels like it was only yesterday I made you a mixtape of music unknown to you. Feels like it was only yesterday since we knew each other more than mere names and faces in our grade school yearbook. 

Feels like yesterday, only, it was actually six years ago. Feels like yesterday, only, we got a month old little boy. Feels like yesterday, only, I married you four months ago. Feels like yesterday, only, my heart is filled with more inexplicable bliss. 

All my gratefulness for making everyday feel like the first time, even if it was already a thousand yesterdays ago. I love you, Husband.

Two is too much. My heart is full.

Oh Hello, 2017

I realized I haven’t really written anything about 2016 – which is weird because 2016 was a rather interesting year for me.

I noticed all my posts were backlogs – trips from overseas of 2015. That’s how bad I was last year! So this time, I’m going to hit the PUBLISH button in all posts in my draft folder. Forgive me, some are, yes, still from 2015.

But, I must promise, I will keep myself more inspired this year. I might have more stories to tell – just a little not my usual topics I guess.

Kuala Lumpur 2015: Another Overdue

WordPress reminded me that my last post was about a year ago, so publishing one that has been rotting in my Drafts folder.

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So June last year, my colleagues and I traveled to Malaysia for a buying trip for one of our brands. It was a short 3-day stay, but it was a productive trip nonetheless.

We stayed at the St. Giles The Gardens Hotel. Here’s a shot from the top floors. Kuala Lumpur looks like Manila, a few green areas, tall buildings, creeks, etc., only cleaner and a more systematized transport system. They have a lot of freeways and the queue at their tollbooths is the nearest thing they have to traffic. Gawd, Manila sucks.

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As same as all other LDR (Long Distance Relationship) phases my Boyfriend and I go through, he has letters stashed in my office planner for me to read upon arrival at the hotel. Yes, it’s that specific. This time, it came in a form of origami. I just stole a few minutes while my colleague was freshening up to have this one shot and read. It didn’t come in a series though, only one for the weekend.

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And here’s my travel buddy. Yes, we have Nike Golf for years, and we acquired Exclusive Distributorship of Taylormade adidas Golf as well. Hurray! And yes, it’s adidas we did buying for, thus, the pair. I think this is one of the earliest of the boost technology models. It’s light and has a comfortable sole, perfect for all the walking we did the entire trip.

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Breakfast buffets are the best! I take shameless photos of my plate to send on Viber to my boyfriend for ~food~ updates.

Malaysia is basically a basin of culture, but majority of its population is Muslim. It’s mostly obvious through food options. Pork is rarely served. So here I had baked cauli flower, cheesy baked tomatoes, Basmati rice, hash browns, beef bacon, and chicken sausages. I almost cried, why BEEF bacon, why? The chicken sausage was good though, I liked that it had cheese.
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We visited the famed Jalan Alor at Bukit Bintang. It is an entire stretch of Street Food. It’s crazy – different races, all chats and noise, public performers, cars passing by, souvenir vendors, etc.

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Food was mostly spicy, or maybe I was just bound to love spicy food (and get fat, too).
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Of course, everyone’s favorite…

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And so far, the food that has piqued my interest in all of Kuala Lumpur, the chicken fish. I know it’s cute because, the heck, it’s smiling. But more than that, this sea creature has no bones aside from the hard one through the center. It’s white meat, chunky yet soft. It didn’t taste like chicken though. It was served fried – not oily nor spicy. Just the right hint of herbs and spices.
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This was the crowd to my right while dining. Crazy street.

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Of course, we cannot miss the Petronas Towers. Good thing we went there at night as it was majestic with the lights on and with the full moon.

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We left the next day hoarding Old Town Coffee.

Farewell, KL. Hoping to get back and take a not-so-touristy time out with you next time.

 

 

Bangkok 2015: An Overdue

Honestly, I can hardly think of an introduction for this post as this has been rotting in the drafts folder for nearly a year. Guess it is about time to finally send it out there as this was my first trip and Nike Golf CSI to Bangkok.

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The flight to Bangkok took us almost 4 hours. That’s the longest I’ve been on air. As mentioned in previous blogs, I am quite paranoid on flight. I had a hard time napping. I took a few trips to the loo and skipped sleep music on my ipod. Another hour was spent from airport to hotel. I was at my happiest when I arrived at my hotel room. Rest, finally.

As temporary LDRs with my boyfriend go, he sneaked out and had cute postcards sandwiched between pages of my office planner. This one’s for the day.

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I traveled in a group of three. So I went along with the two boys’ manly instincts and grabbed grub. At least they didn’t opt to stay at their mancave, they took me out for a big lunch at MBK instead. That was the first of the many spicy food I am to taste for God knows when time I’d be coming in and out of Thailand for buying trips. The boys were too lazy to walk and take the train, so we hailed a cab instead. They kind of briefed me with the the transportation system.

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Met a friend on the first day. I was brave enough to take the train on my own, but ok, I love getting lost in foreign places. I just had to keep a map with me, just in case.

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My first stop in Bangkok was the famed Jatujak market, no less. It’s like Manila’s Divisoria, but only a lot organized. I already had a pasalubong list, so I just had to do the pressure of hunting at that moment so I can relax the days ahead. I had good buys though. I got my mother a nicely weaved table runner. Also got her and my grandmother silk scarves. Haven’t actually bought for myself then, because I was saving for a pair of Nike’s (LOL) but was already eyeing leather bags. It was humid on that day, just had to cool down with coconut ice cream. I think this was just around THB35-50, toppings included. Jatujak isn’t just a shopping heaven, it also boasts of monstrous street food. They have the spiciest balls and grilled pork around, and they perform while preparing your Thai Iced Tea!

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It was rather late when I got back the hotel room. The boys thought I got lost and I kept receiving Viber messages asking where I was, or if I need help commuting, etc. HAHA This was the last snap before I went to bed. Looks just like our own Manila.

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I was never a morning person, but the breakfast buffet definitely motivated me to get up earlier than usual. Their bacon and sausages are the best!

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Nike Golf’s SEA office is just stone’s throw away from the hotel. Thank God! I can get to the Conference Hall in a matter of 5 minutes, depositing of ID at the Reception Area included. Nike really has a sleek modern office! I haven’t taken any photos though as I might be judged of sneaking around. Their rooms/halls are named after novelty shoes. Isn’t it so cool to hold office at Airforce One or at Air Max?

Found Rory McIlroy imitating David lying around. Life (Golf) imitating art, eh? So witty.

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Walked around Paragon and suddenly believed in love at first sight. Heehee.

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Same night, Team PH went out with Team Indo for dinner. We were scouting for real Thai food. We wanted to try Chicken Rice but the train queue was unbearable so we dined at Lek Seafood, which was just right under the train station. HAHA! Good thing I was the only girl in the crew and the only first-timer so I always had the first bite of every dish. All four boys battled it out in the table after I’ve taken my part.

I never thought I’d love Thai food, but Lek Seafood’s Tom Yum and Steamed Fish blew me away. See how beautifully legit this fish is served?

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As everyone ended up being full from dinner. We all decided to swim. Team Indo went straight to the pool area and dipped in the same clothes they wore during dinner. Yes, that Suzanne Petersen-signed shirt was immersed in water. Those two guys were a mix of cool and crazy.

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The next day was more serious stuff at the office, so there just had to be a party by night. This was at Cloud 47, one of Bangkok’s tallest buildings. Beautiful Bangkok city lights. We walked to and fro this venue. We made a detour at Pat Pong on the way back to the hotel. That was one of the craziest walks I had in my entire life. Imagine waking and being followed around by people holding menus of what the red light district had to offer! I was actually asking myself what the hell we were doing there!

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Apparently, fun really starts as soon as the sun sets. As Team PH and Team Indo have been lusting for Chicken Rice, Nike Golf’s head took us to this small Chicken Rice shop on the road leading to the Floating Market. We walked from the hotel to this restaurant, took us almost an hour. We were starving. This better be good!

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And Sui Heng Hainanese Chicken did not disappoint. This quaint restaurant boasts of tasty Chicken Rice, beyond par of those famed Sinagapore counterparts. It was summer and I was already having allergies, but I had chicken to my heart’s content.

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Look at that white tender meat!

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The following day was the Marketing Team’s tour. So tempted to take a dip, but ugh, have to prepare for the long road trip ahead.

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As Nike Golf launched the Vapor line of Irons and Metalwoods, Nike Golf shifted its color scheme from red (remember Covert?) to the Volt Green. I believe this is a good marketing move as it possesses a younger, electric, and more energetic feel. Well, aside from the fact that the color really drives attention. Look at this Limited Edition Driver for Michelle Wie. Doesn’t it look hip?

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And this cute headcover for Rory. I actually asked the Nike SEA team why Rory’s was a dog. (I mean, Tiger’s was a tiger for all the obvious reasons) Well, because Rory had the same headcover for years. Good to know, actually. Would have to consider that a selling point aside from the fact that you could get it for free with a purchase of two dozen Nike RZN Balls.

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Getting from one store to another was quite tiring. I just had to have my sugar fix. Now, this one’s the Thai Tea Crepe Cake. Which is like the best dessert I ever had in Bangkok because duh?! That’s Thai Iced tea and Crepe cake in one! My photo makes no justice and I can’t find the right words to describe what heaven on earth this tastes like!

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Had a lot of curries too. This one’s Green Beef Curry with Roti. It’s a mild curry so it’s easy on the palate.

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One of the most anticipated part of the trip, Nike Factory Store!

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Had to take a photo of this washroom, as it looks like a public bath area in Greece circa Renaissance era. I just wish I didn’t include myself in the photo.

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We had a cruise at the Chao Praya River. It was a beautiful tour, I just hope there was someone who actually spoken about the historical landmarks along the river instead of a voiceover which was hardly ever heard.

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I wasn’t able to take enviable photos of the tour. I was just struck in awe with the images of their majestic temples. I can’t believe I’ve seen a temple in gold, shining at night, or a temple with intricate details seen from afar, or parks and homes of royals luminescent in the dark.

This is the Rama VIII bridge. Majestic is an understatement. I’d like to walk upon it one day.

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Met with my friend, or twin should I say, the next day. We met at Jatujak again. She helped me complete my pasalubong list. She was actually on her last days in Bangkok too. After a few days, she flew and relocated to Norway. So sad, I wouldn’t be able to meet her on my future visits to Thailand.

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I always compare Philippine airports with those abroad. That’s a dreadful thing to do, I know, but this one I can’t help to.

Thais are deeply rooted in their history. They take so much pride in their country and culture. Their gateways (airports) have guardians (see pictured below), narratives and depictions of their gods and goddesses. And mind you, these are enormous.

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Finally, it’s time to board the plane. Farewell, Bangkok. Until the next Nike Golf CSI.

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On Heneral Luna

Mali ata na pinanood ko ang “Heneral Luna” ng last full show, hindi ako nakatulog masyado kase nabother ako. Di ako mapakali. Supposedly, Facebook post lang to, pero dumami gusto kong sabihin. Sandali, mai-enumerate nga:

1. Kudos sa cast kase binuhay nyo ang mga karakter pati na din ang emosyon ng tao. Sa una medyo magugulat ka sa casting na parang malabo, tapos mapapa-“in fairness” ka sa pagganap ng bawat isa. Congratulations kay Mon Confiado kase di na rapist ang ginampanan nya kundi isang passive-aggressive na pangulo ng Pilipinas. Kay Ketchup Eusebio din, kase finally, kahit minor character lang sya e, napatay naman nya ang bida. Si John Arcilla, na swakto ang role sa kanya, ang intense nya, para mo syang pinapanood sa teatro. Si Epy Quizon, effective din bilang si Apolinario Mabini. First time ko ata sya napanood sa role na napaka-kalmado. Kay Nonie Buencamino din, kase nakakapikon sya.

2. Bet ko yung gumanap na Rizal e hindi si Piolo Pascual or sinong sikat na artista (or di ko lang kilala talaga yung artista). Ang mga Pilipino kase mahilig sumamba at umidolo. Yung paggamit nila ng “who you?” or anonymity factor e suggestive ng demystification ni Rizal. Hello, hindi sya lage ang bida.

3. Gusto ko yung tableau ng Spoliarium. Medyo awkward pano nagtransition sa eksena na yun, sobrang “K, I see what you did there” pero na-appreciate ko yung effort. Or baka Art Stud kase ako kaya gusto ko yung may mga allusion sa paintings.

4. Ang mga kababaihan rin naman ay nagkaroon ng mahalagang papel sa pelikula. Andyan ang mga babaeng sumabak sa digmaan, ang pagiging socially aware ng karakter ni Mylene Dizon at ng mga kababaihan ng Cruz Roa, at syempre ang ulirang ina na ginampanan ni Bing Pimentel. Bagamat maikli lamang ang eksena ng ina ni Luna dito, at karamihan pa ay flashback na nagpakita kung gano ka-privileged ang pamilya Luna, e malakas pa din ang empathy dahil sa point of view ng ina. Interesting din na sobrang naging contrast ito sa portrayal sa nanay ni Aguinaldo na napaka cold blooded, nakakashock ng slight. That b*tch. Charot!

5. Mabuti din na naipalabas muna dito yung pelikula bago naibandila sa bansang banyaga. For sure, ma-appreciate nila yung film in a formalistic sense, ngunit hindi kasing lalim ng hugot at reflection ng mga Pilipino. Kadalasan kasi ng mga ganitong uri ng pelikula e nauunang ipalabas sa mga tanghalan sa ibang bansa bago dito, minsan piling piling sinehan pa naipapalabas.

6. Nung isang gabi natanong ako baket ang mga Pilipino hindi kasing Nationalistic let’s say ng mga Hapon. Malaking factor ang pagiging arkipelago ng Pilipinas. Bawat rehiyon, may iba’t ibang kultura. Ang sobrang pagtangkilik sa sariling rehiyonal na kultura madalas ay nagreresulta sa pagkakaroon ng feeling ng superiority (ethnocentrism kumbaga) patungo sa ibang rehiyonal na kultura. Dito din lumalabas ang stereotypes sa mga rehiyon – katulad ng nosyon na mayayabang ang mga Pampannggenyo, pala-away ang mg Batanggenyo, at maiingay ang mga Bisaya. Ako lang ba ang nafrustrate nung narinig ko yung “Sa kapwa Kabitenyo lang ako susunod” (or something)? Hindi lang naman mga Kabitenyo ang Pilipino, ano! Sana ang mga pelikulang gaya nito ay tumulong na mag dugsong-dugsong sa mga pagkakaiba sa bawat kultura’t rehiyon, para naman yung sense ng “Nationalism” naten ay hindi selective sa sariling rehiyonal na kultura lamang.

7. Good to know din na ang pelikulang ito ay “fiction based on facts”. Pinortray dito ang kasaysayan ngunit may mga parte na romanticized at ginawang cinematic. Mabuti ding itanong kung bakit ganito ang treatment sa mga eksena o sa pangkalahatan ng pelikula. Kaninong kasaysayan ito? Kanino naka-address ang pelikula? Saan mayaman at kapos ang pelikula? At anong implikasyon nito sa mga manonood? Naisip mo ba gano ka-timely ang pelikulang ito? Nagalit ka ba kay Aguinaldo? Naisip mo ba paano ka din minsan o madalas naging si Aguinaldo?

8. Since malapit na maging thesis ito, lighter notes naman. Yung “punyeta” at “p*tang ina” walang kasing intense, pwede sumali sa cast si Angelica Panganiban. Pwede din ako pag high blood ako.

9. Sobrang nabother din ako kay Heneral Del Pilar. Baket ang kinis kinis nya sa panahon ng digmaan??? Na-excite ako tuloy sa 2nd installation.

K. BYE.

Baguio Eats

There’s a certain kind of love that compels me to travel up North every now and then. Must be the weather, must be the food. This post will be focusing on the latter.

As previously mentioned in most of my posts, I have spent but a brief time in Baguio in 2005 during my freshman year in UP. I never actually cared about the good eats then. I relied majorly on cafeteria food, carinderia stalls, fastfood, food my roommates bring back from home, or some food I experimented. It was actually only a few years ago I realized Baguio really does boast of good food finds. Here are a few from my last trip:

Cafe Sabel is the restaurant within Bencab Museum. The restaurant has an artsy interior and a breathtaking view of the Benguet mountains. A cup of coffee would actually suffice (the view was already filling to the soul), but since it was a little past lunch time, I had to order something heavy. I opted for the Tuyo Pasta. I liked that it wasn’t too salty but still flavorful – there was a hint of herb, of cheese, and of tuyo (dried anchovies). It was a tasteful delight to the palette.

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Boyfriend had the chops. It was rather ordinary, if not for the fresh siding.
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Vizco’s Strawberry Shortcake!!! This is something you just can’t miss when in Baguio. Creamy and dreamy, just the right amount of sweetness. I’m so craving now, wish we had Vizco’s here in Manila.
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Oh My Gulay is one of the most popular culinary finds in Baguio. Owned by artist Kidlat Tahimik, it’s a restaurant and a gallery in one – the most beautiful too, methinks. I personally consider this one of the most memorable places in Baguio. Not only have I spent afternoons here after researching for my thesis, I met and had the most sensible tete a tete with artist Willy Magtibay. I believe that conversation persuaded/lead me into actually going to the direction of Artsafter Graduation.

Well, that was too much an introduction! My favorite from Oh My Gulay is their Bulaklak Tempura (Deep Fried Pumpkin Blossoms) but was unfortunately already phased out (WHAAAAT?!) so I opted for this Kabute (Mushroom) Pasta instead. Must be because I was never a fan of purely vegetarian dishes, I felt some “meat” taste lacking in the pasta.
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The Sili Omelette, however, was nice and cheesy. I always loved omelettes and have been used to having omelettes with only veggies so I had no issue with this one. Don’t let it fool you though, it isn’t hot nor spicy.

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OMG’s Clubhouse Sandwich was as fresh as it could be. It didn’t bother me that the egg was substitute for meat. I actually kind of liked it, like it was a healthy breakfast sandwich of some sort. I loved the fruity, sweet, and tangy salad dressing!
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50’s Diner is one of the oldest establishments in Baguio. Best known for its Hollywood themed interiors,you’d see posters of old movies hanging on walls. I just hope the Jukebox still works though! This is also one restaurant that boasts of grand servings so just had to had She. It’s actually a protein plate – with beauty all mixed and mashed up – pork chop, chicken wing, beef sirloin, fish fillet, hotdog, french fries, and mixed vegetables, all golden fried. Taste was nothing spectacular though, or maybe I was already full upon first sighting.
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Boyfriend had the Gambler’s Choice. It was a heavy plate too. It had beef chops, prawns in barbecue sauce, and mixed vegetables. Nothing spectacular again.
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For days, we had breakfast at the Tam-Awan Village Cafe. I was very impressed with how they fused the normal food fare with traditional flavors of the north. For example, their clubhouse sandwich had etag (fermented lean pork) instead of ham and bacon. Taste was more smoky and flavorful.
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As for their omelette, you wouldn’t get butter alone for your toast. They mixed in honey, which is one of Baguio’s best produce, to give a tinge of sweetness to the savory breakfast.

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We also dropped by Hill Station for sugar fix one afternoon. We sampled on their New York Cheesecake, which was smooth and creamy, nothing special though.

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I’ve developed an instant liking though with their Lemon Meringue Bars. It gives the right tang when you’re already having a feeling of “umay” from all the sweetness.

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For the boyfriend’s Birthday Lunch, we opted to just stay in the Village and have a helping of their Cordilleran dishes. Boyfriend chose Pinikpikan, as we missed this during our trip to Sagada a year ago.

Pinikpikan is basically a chicken stew much like tinola, only more savory. Its root word “pikpik” directly translates to “light beating”, a process the chicken undergoes for its preparation. The dish originated from Cordilleran ritual of sacrifice for special occasions.

The Village’s version had thick broth with mostly fleshy parts of the chicken and a few etag strips. Etag’s strong flavor greatly enhanced the broth, lending a smoky and salty flavor to it.

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I had kini-ing. It looks like liempo, yes, but undergoes a rather complicated method of preparation too. Kini-ing is mostly left under the sun to dry, but is smoked only when it rains. These are thinly sliced and possesses a smoky flavor. But do not mistaken this for etag, kini-ing does not undergo fermentation.

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Before we left Baguio, artist friends insisted we try dining at Good Taste. It was kind of hard to find, but if you’re wondering, it’s actually near the bus/jeepney terminal to Sagada. There were a LOT of people when we visited there. It isn’t an upscale restaurant so don’t expect too much.

Good thing though we were a bit observant of what other customers were ordering. The other table, which was only a group of three, ordered fried rice. Thus, a BIG bowl of fried rice was served in a matter of minutes, it would have been good for 8 people. Upon acknowledging the fact that their servings was hefty, we had the rice meals instead.

Boyfriend had Lechon Broccoli. Big serving, big taste. This one did not disappoint. Oh cmon, it’s lechon!

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These are but a few of the many restaurants to dine in Baguio. I might do a better food crawl in the next visits. I need to have my boyfriend sample more food choices from Cafe by the Ruins, Tsokalate de Batirol, the Slaughterhouse, Ketchup Food Community, Sage, Solibao, Chef’s Home, and the list goes on and on.

Thus I assume, this one will be the first of many other Baguio food posts.

Friday’s 10 Happy Things

Welcome to Friday’s 10 Happy Things where I/we list ten things that made us smile this week so that we can start the weekend on an even more positive note!

Finally gave in to this “Friday’s 10 Happy Things”. It’s actually on good timing as I am pretty much swamped with work and just need a little breather here and there.

Here’s the list this week, keeping it short as I might, like most of the time (if not always), overshare:

1. I can now drive decently! I can drive from house to work to boyfriend’s place and some other places. I can drive up and down a curved ramp. I rarely get bullied by larger vehicles. I now drive calmly with a few cuss words every now and then. LOL One thing though, I need to practice parking. Heee!

2. Boyfriend bought around one kilo of homemade BACON from his colleague and we are very excited for a bacon cookfest this weekend! Anyway, even if bacon was just fried or baked or whatever, I’d already be happy. That’s a lot of bacon, you know.

3. Projects are slowly slowly materializing. I mean it’s really in a very slow pace (Gawd! did I ever mention SLOW?) but it’s getting there, getting there. Still keeping my fingers crossed it will turn out great though.

4. Someone from the other side of the office is playing Damien Rice’s Cannonball and I was like “Goodness! I used to cry every time I listen to that song circa 2009!” Kind of glad it no longer elicits as much ~feels~ as it did before. But yeah, I believe my sister when she said it gives a lovesick feeling.

5. Pet bunnies are growing up healthy and fast. Open to willing parents, we’ve got an unbelievably cute pair! One’s brown and the other’s white with grey streaks. Both are perky and smart, they got their Daddy Clyde’s genes.

6.Boyfriend surprised me with a copy of Eleanor and Park! Now I know when he gives me books that are no longer wrapped, it’s because he has already written sweet and short notes on it. Works every freaking time though. *wink*

Also excited for the spare time this weekend so I can start to devour this one.

7. Got one of my first molars removed just yesterday. I have very very low tolerance with pain so I was just like asdfjkl;! It reminded me of the last time I went to the dentist to have a tooth removed and I can only feel thankful and #blessed it’s not as painful as the last one. Well, I’m struggling to eat, but it’s a lame excuse for a ~diet~.

8. Discovered this parking alternative in Valero area whenever the office building falls short of parking spaces. I can even leave my keys with the guard so he can adjust parking when one car gets off the space.

9. This Phonto App I used to create this Featured Image. Forgive me if it’s not as cute/artistic or whatever it should be yet. I’m still on the experimental phase. Also, it makes me font-happy.

10. And lastly, because it’s a Friday and August (long weekends!!!) is just around the corner!

Dear Lover, Some Little Thing I Owe You

Dear Lover,

I don’t remember saying “We’d see the entire world together”. Or maybe I did, but entirely forgotten because a few memorable places would actually already do.

Remember when I told you I’m taking you to Baguio? In my head I was actually telling you I’m taking you home. And just a month ago, I did. As promised, we took the midnight bus. We did not have the luxury to recline our seats as we missed the bus we’re supposed to take. I would have wanted to keep the curtains open for you to watch the outside pass us by, but I chose that you take rest instead, for mostly, the ride we took were all freeways in sight.

The sun had already declared its might by the time we arrived. I briefed you of my soon-to-be tendency to point out random places and tell stories of what happened then and there. You let out a small laugh because I have already started right before I warned.

We jetted to Tam-Awan Village after that. We were greeted with a massive wall of graffiti my friends did for the village. It looks brighter and a lot less gruesome than it had been. We were welcomed by my old friends, whom to you are new. But at that moment, I knew you knew what I meant how faces become places and how places become faces. Their sanctuary has also become ours.

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1

You insisted we take the trek past the view deck before leaving. You loved how the weather afforded us a sweat-free trek up until the borders of the village. We hopped on to museums – of people and works you knew. Might have been because you met them once, or I acquainted you with them as per stories told then and there. We took the road up to meet the Oble of the North. I roamed the halls I used to roam. Some ten years ago, I was here, without any idea we’d exist here at one point.

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2

The night has finally put on its veil just as the rain poured, we sought refuge in a cafe because I promised to give you a taste of the best Strawberry Shortcake. I knew you’d find it not sweet enough, you requested for a slice of Apple pie. We felt we needed something to refresh our palette so we crossed Session Road and headed to an artsy vegetarian restaurant. I know I promised you a glimpse of a lesser known road but equally beautiful as Session, but the weather did not afford us – it was washed white from where we stood. Oh, it was that night you took literally The Magnetic Fields’ The Night You Can’t Remember – deluded with alcohol, you forgot how you wounded up in our room the following morning. And I, of course remembered, how you took a cold shower and jumped to the bottom bunker naked.

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The next day was a stroll on Baguio’s scariest. I must say, I am one lucky person – to have someone like you who looks at these kinds of places with utter admiration of beauty and history rather than what they are shallowly known for. I love how you marvel and wonder like a kid presented with an idea that aliens exist or something. And of course, you made the same face when confronted with a plate full of meat and protein. We took a cab home that evening. It was a toil getting one along Session Road, but it was along the trip you admired Baguio’s city lights. You struggled to take a photo from the moving vehicle. I laughed a small laugh and slipped into my mind that image of you in awe of Baguio’s lights.

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I took you out for touristy things the following day. You knew this was not my forte, I hated to do this actually. We strolled Burnham Park, maybe I just had to lend you stories which unfolded there – afternoons at the playground and some moments affront the lake. We judged a few people because it was what I used to do there. We felt a pull towards SM Baguio, you insisted we watch a movie for sixty pesos. But that was then, two hours spent at the cinema now costs a hundred and fifty. Well, still not bad these days. We stayed a little while at Harrison as we did thrift shopping that evening. It was not really your thing, but I got you sniffing around looking for vintage shirts you could parade and be proud of.

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We woke up early the next morning to oblige for everyone’s pasalubong requests. I took you to the outskirts of the wet market – not everyone has ever been to where vegetables from La Trinidad or Sagada is dropped off, not everyone sees how vendors wash their goods onsite, and not everyone knows there’s a fifteen peso kilo of carrots there.

We no longer left the village after that. We strolled back again to the roof deck, but we caught rain. We missed the sunset, which beauty I promised you forevers ago. However, we were presented with a dazed view of the mountains and South China Sea. We stayed there for a little more while, unmindful of the sharp shudders, without need of a coat, a jacket, or a warm cup of coffee. It’s like a cheesy scene in a movie bound to make you cringe and giggle at the same time.

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I thought the trip would be totally over when we set foot at the bus. On the way down Marcos Highway though, you pointed out again how beautiful Baguio’s city lights were and how it kind of reflected the serene night sky. Just when I thought we missed that part on the beginning of our journey, you brought it to me even before it came to an end.

I kind of smiled myself to sleep, knowing those days have been very exhausting, but promising and exciting. We may not have been able to tick off all that was in my Baguio checklist, but I was glad to have brought you to my heart’s home. Now, it’s yours as well.

Love always,

Asteorra