Published: February 17th 2012February 6th 2011
Cafe by the Ruins
It was a special bonding trip with my little cousins and little brother (who are not so little anymore), we initially wanted to go to El Nido in Palawan, then changed the plan to Coco Beach Resort in Puerto Galera, until we finally settled with Food Trip in Baguio - Surfing in La Union - and the 100 islands in Pangasinan.
For our first stop, we managed to get on a non-stop Deluxe Bus bound to Baguio - we had our own 'special' lounge while waiting for departure, a bus hostess, snacks, toilet, comfy reclining seats and free Wi-Fi; oh, Hollywood! We left at midnight and arrived just before 5:00 in the morning. The taxi driver we hired helped us find an affordable hotel since we didn't had prior reservations. And as affordable as it was, our toilet door was broken, our water heater didn't serve its purpose, and our shower drain got clogged at one point -- oh well.
It was my third time in Baguio, second time for my little brother, and first time for my cousins. For some reasons, I find the roads of Baguio quite chaotic but I keep coming back because of previous memories
Cafe by the Ruins
of eating good food. We went to the usual to-go places, The Philippine Military Academy, Mines View Park - walked all the way down to Wright Park, ate street foods, and walked around some more until our feet hurt. We also had the chance to go down Benguet and harvest baskets of strawberries, ate strawberry flavored ice cream, and bought strawberry wine - which will be drank later that night.
Food tripping it was, eating random street food that anyone fancies, and then a proper lunch at the cabin-style Forest House Bistro and Café
located at Loakan Road, where we enjoyed (a very wrong choice) of wine (we had to mix it with sprite just so we could finish it off), steak, fried seafoods, and fresh vegetables before meeting up with another cousin and her company at Camp John Hay. The restaurant's selection of international & local dishes, wooden walls, and intimate ambiance was somehow still as good as I remember but it seemed to have deteriorated in some way, just like how more beaten up Baguio seem to be whenever I come back, sadly...but the food was still great, so we're happy.
The reason why I actually
wanted to go to Camp John Hay
was because of my vague memory of eating a generous serving of delectable waffle at a reastaurant I forgot the name and specific location of - all I remember was it was in Camp John Hay...but the search was unsuccessful. But we did enjoy the stroll around, the frozen yogurt, and the zip line/rappelling at Baguio Treetop.
Later that night we also had a taste of Baguio's Nightlife at Nevada Square with its assortment of Korean students packed bars, disco house, and cafés - I almost got in trouble with the security because of a souvenir knife I bought at the market earlier that day which I forgot to remove from my purse.
Before moving on to our next destination, La Union, we had our last meal at Cafe by the Ruins
at Shuntug Road by lunch time the next day. The cafe is not really located by a ruin, it is built artistically with materials from an old building, cozy and nice, and at times, also features art pieces of local Baguio artists. The restaurant serves local ethnic, healthier food - we were able to enjoy their native Cordillera Coffee
Duck Noodle Soup
Cafe by the Ruins
a traditional Cordillera dish for well being, a chicken soup for rituals which contains 'etag' (salted pork); Sinigang na Malaga with Shrimps
, a filipino shrimp dish boiled with string beans and taro with tamarind as the souring material (we use the term vinegar soup to describe 'sinigang' to our british expats); Duck Noodle Soup
which is like the Viet Pho but with egg noodles in tasty hot broth with slivers of tender roast duck, dried mushrooms and bok choy; and of course the Chocolate Lava Cake
for dessert topped with a scoop of rich homemade vanilla ice cream and sided with sliced fresh mangoes - though the food is a little pricey (ranging between 300 - 500/dish) they offer a snug resto that caters local artwork, native cuisines, and local produce.
The two hours ride to La Union started with very foggy roads, and eventually, our supposed second and third stop; surfing in La Union and Island Hopping in Pangasinan did not progress because of the bad weather - we were only able to visit my cousin's relatives in La Union to join them in a feast and then we were headed back to Manila. The typhoon was
such a bummer but I guess we'd have something to go back to for next time - nonetheless, it was such a fun time with the family.
Information: Victory Liner
Deluxe Bus - 5 hours From Cubao Station to Baguio City
There are more photos below