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Friday, June 25, 2010

Philippine Foodventure pt. 3 - Manaoag/Baguio

Now that the San Rafael festival is done, all that was left to do is relax and enjoy the rest of the stay. One of the things we made sure to do was take a trip up north to Manaoag and Baguio. The day started off early. By early, I mean leaving at 2:30am. Luckily, our driver was well up for the 5 hours drive going there. I'd compare the distance between Nagcarlan to Manaoag as say going from Los Angeles to San Francisco by the 5 Interstate freeway. We pack into the van. There was 8 of us total. Three of my aunts, two cousin, my mom, our driver and me.

At the Shell for a quick pitstop

I slept for a couple hours up until we reached the city Tarlac. Seeing the sunrise over vast farmlands was a beautiful sight to see before I dozed off once again. The next thing I knew, we arrived in Manaoag at around 7am. Just in time for that hour's mass.

Boy was it crowded in that hour of the morning. It look to be a wedding as well. It's a beautiful church.

It is said that this statue of Our Lady of the Rosary is miraculous, so many Roman Catholics make pilgrimages to pray, make offering and to touch the cloth of the statue in the hopes of having their intentions heard.

By the time we were ready to leave it was 10am. I haven't had breakfast yet. My stomach was grumbling and I needed something fast. Luckily, my aunt had brought some ensaymadas with her. It's basically a brioche made butter. Making it really soft with butter and sugar on top. Sometimes shredded cheese is also added. To my hunger, I forgot to take a pic of that. With the ensaymada I also had some chicharon. I know... I've probably already clogged up my arteries with the lechon, but they were soooo good.

Many eateries in the Philippines sell homemade snack from local vendors. All packaged by hand. Delicious crispy porky goodness. I love the big fluffy pieces rather that the pieces that a small chunky ones.

The bridge photo used to be an over flooded river bed due to typhoon Ondoy, now it's just a dry rockbed. It was turned into a road detour, while workers repair the bridge.

This was my view for the next two hours.

Endless winding roads and lush green mountains as we headed north toward Baguio. I love it. One one side the mountain and on the other a steep cliff with the road barely wide enough for two lanes. Once you pass the giant stone lion's head, you know you're almost there.

Our first stop in Baguio was to visit the Philippine Military Academy, where visited the museum and the Korean War Memorial. As well as the academy museum

Next, a stop at the Baguio Country Club, where we visted Villa Cordillera, They are known to have some really tasty bread. We bought one of each. I had slices of them for breakfast the next day.

banana bread. Moist, delicious, chewy.

Raisin bread -- packed with delicious raisins

Cheese Bread - melted cheese on top with raisins and nuts inside.

 Chocoflakes -- My cousin wanted this one.
It's basically corn flakes coated in milk chocolate and white chocolate and put together like little balls.

There's also carrot bread.

Lunch... We headed to Barrio Fiesta. It's a local chain of restaurants serving Filipino dishes. 

Outside there are these life size statues where people can pose with.

me with the police man

My mom the Cory Aquino and a Cardinal

The inside was a moderate size. Brightly lit from the windows. 

TO quench my thirst, I order Sago at Gulaman
The tapioca pearls and gulaman jelly. It was a little too sweet for my taste.


Crispy Pata
basically the knee/hind leg part of the pig that is poached then deep fried. 
It's delicious with some liver sauce. The meat always ends up tender with a nice crisp skin

Grilled Pork Chop

Kare-Kare Gulay
It is a stew made from a peanut sauce (usually peanut butter) with different vegetable like 
eggplant, green beans, banana hearts. Sometimes made with ox tail, pork, beef and 
occasionally offal or tripe.

Lumpia Baguio
This is a vegetable style lumpia. And one you make yourself with lettuce leaves. The filling is made from cauliflower with the side to sweet sauce. It's a variant take of the fresh lumpia, which is made with rice wrappers. 

Pancit canton
The only difference in this pancit is that is has thicker noodles, but is has the same mix-ins like vegetable (carrots, onion) and cooked pork or chicken. Served with calamansi slices.

After lunch we take in more of the sights. A quick trip to the botanical gardens, where we take a few quick photos with some of the indigenous women there. 

I love how they're holding up the peace sign. hehehe...

nilagang mani (boiled peanuts) and fresh green mangos slices from a street hawker

fresh oranges from a street hawker

The Mansion
This is the summer house of the president. Think of it as Camp David here in the US. Though, the front sort of reminds me of the entrance at Disneyland because of the big letters.

A street vendor selling grilled corn and snacks dried fish at the street near Mines View Park, Baguio.

Sari-Sari stores

You'll find many sari-sari store all over the country. Mines View Park is is one of the many attractions people visit. It's a market full of little store from clothing, foods, souveniers. And great for photo opportunities.

Fresh little baby strawberries. 
I found them to be cute. Sadly, they didn't allow samples.

From the viewing deck of Mines View Park

I have a similar picture taken 23 years ago at this same spot with my mom.

Later went went to a little shop specializing one one of my favorite treats ever. Aside from chocolate.

Mountain  Maid - Good Shephard Shop

Jar of fresh Ube Jam. My fave!!!!

The jars were still warm, so you know it was made fresh that day. Ube (OO-Bey) is made from sweetened purple yam. Used in desserts like halo-halo or stuffed into bread.

They also had other selections, but they are known for the ube jam. I brought back a couple jars to the states as well as that peanut brittle. Been snacking on it for the past week. 

A view of their other selections. You fill out a form outside. When you're ready they bring out the fresh jars just for you. From my cousins, aunt, mom and I we ate up one whole jar in two days. The jar isn't small either. 

It was getting late into the afternoon and we had a long drive back down to Laguna. We knew we would hit traffic on the way back, too. So we being the journey home. Most of us end up  falling asleep for a couple hours only to wake up only 1/3 of the way home. We sleep it off some more. We all didn't get much sleep the night before so we were taking advantage of this moment. At least, I was. 

Back on the highway, cars move a little more freely. It's around 9pm, I think. We take another pitstop at the nearly shell gas station. Have ourselves a jolibee meal again. I was really the only choice. We were tied hungry and sleepy. At that point, any food was worth it. I didn't take a picture of that I only had the chicken joy again. We ended up get back home around 1:30am. Almost 24hrs after starting our journey. Though we didn't immediately go to bed. no, no, no...

We had ourselves a little midnight snack of Ube Jam.
It tastes so good right out of the jar! Then I went to bed happy.

Stay tuned for part 4!!


~Char said...

oh wow!! I love sago't gulaman!!! What a wonderful trip!

tinyskillet said...

Looks like a wonderful trip. You should find the photo of you and your mom 23 years ago. I love those side by side, then and now shots! Again all the food looks fantastic! I would love to try the Ube Jam!

Ameena said...

I am rather partial to the delicious looking raisin bread! But of course everything else look fantastic.

Love the recaps Jenn!

Tangled Noodle said...

Baguio is on our list of to-go places the next time we visit the Philippines. Thanks for pointing out some great sites to see, especially the Mountain Maid - Good Shepherd Shop. I can think of a lot of edible souvenirs I'd stock up!

Reeni said...

You packed so much into one day! Thanks for sharing all those great sights. And delicious eats! I would love to try that jam!

lisaiscooking said...

Thanks for sharing this tour! Wish I could taste the ube jam.

Nutmeg Nanny said...

What an adventurous day! I have never heard of ube jam. Does it have a pureed potato texture?

OysterCulture said...

Another fantastic recap of what must have been an amazing trip. What an amazing line up of some incredible food. As I was scrolling down the page, I was think I want some of that, I want some of that. There was not one I'd pass up, I would have had no self control and been in some serious trouble!

OysterCulture said...

Another fantastic recap of what must have been an amazing trip. What an amazing line up of some incredible food. As I was scrolling down the page, I was think I want some of that, I want some of that. There was not one I'd pass up, I would have had no self control and been in some serious trouble!

personal injury said...

Thanks for the post, pretty worthwhile info.

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