Saturday, April 26, 2008

In a Baguio state of mind...

My family and I just recently came home from a trip to Baguio and during our stay there I got to thinking just how much I take these "Baguio trips" for granted...especially after learning that someone close to our family hasn't even been to Baguio (and here I was thinking that EVERYONE's been there...wala lang...feeling ko lang...hehe...).

Anyway, seeing as we've been there countless of times, the allure of going to Baguio's must-see places like Burnham Park, Mines View Park, Good Shepherd Convent, and other places, has diminished over time that we actually no longer go to these places anymore. But I guess Baguio really just has this inherent charm that we keep coming back to this place despite the fact that we've gone to every nook and cranny in this place (well, not really...but it feels that way Ü).

What makes Baguio special anyway? After a bit of wondering and thinking, i've come up with a list of things that makes Baguio special for me & our family. It's actually more of like a-visit-to-Baguio-is-never-complete-without... list. So here it goes...Ü

A Trip to Baguio is Never Complete Without...

Having buffet lunch or dinner at Baguio Country Club. Because of some really mabait and superb (Haha! Sipsip!) family friends, we get to stay here as their guests, and one of the things I look forward to in staying at BCC is their buffet. They serve different cuisines every time so you won't get bored with the dishes their serving coz there's always an element of surprise of what food they will be serving for the next buffet. During our recent stay there we availed of their Saturday Dinner Buffet and Sunday Brunch Buffet (too bad I didn't take note of the "titles" of these buffets). They stop serving buffet by Sunday dinner and resume Thursday Lunch (if i'm not mistaken) but no worries can always order ala carte from their menu, which leads us to the next thing that I look forward to when going to Baguio...

BCC's Gambas Al Ajillo. I know it's weird seeing as we're in the mountain and yet I choose to eat seafood which i'm sure is not within close proximity from any point on this City of Pines. However, I just truly love BCC's version of Gambas Al's not spicy (a bummer for some, i'm sure, but i'm just not much of a fan of spicy food), has got just the right amount of sauce, and it's not too bell peppery. Just writing about it now actually makes me hungry! Yum yum!

BCC's Raisin Bread and Hot Chocolate. A Baguio trip is never complete without having raisin bread and hot chocolate for a room-serviced breakfast. We usually order this on the morning of our 2nd day since we usually don't get to finish the entire raisin bread and we most of the time have leftovers of it for midnight snack or breakfast the next day. We also take home loads of it (the raisin bread) back to Manila to stock some in our freezer and for pasalubong since BCC's raisin bread is really very, very good. So good in fact that they're famous for it and to the point that they just recently 'baptized' their coffee shop with a new name which is now called 'Raisin Bread' (of course they have other stuff aside from raisin breads that they sell there).

A visit to Camp John Hay. There's an entrance to CJH near BCC and that's usually where we pass through to get to CJH. What I love doing every time we're at Baguio is to walk the entire way going to CJH's Commissary coming from BCC. It's a good 10-15 minute walk uphill but is definitely worthit coz I get my heart rate up and at the end of it all is the commissary where I can shop a bit for some anik-anik.Ü But if we intend to go a little further to Chocolate de Batirol or the Mini Golf, we bring the car since that's a little further up. There's actually a bit more to see now at CJH since The Manor (a new hotel place there) is now open and I read in the paper that their raisin bread is up at par with that of BCC's and that it's gearing up for a bit of friendly raisin bread competition between the two. I also read in a blog somewhere that the 19th Tee restaurant is now also up and running after a bit of hibernation. Well, i'm not really sure if they closed down the place or maybe they just transferred to a different location but I remember in one Baguio trip that when we visited 19th Tee in the location where we knew it stood, it was closed and we didn't notice any sign anywhere to inform travelers of where it transferred. So all these time I thought it closed down for good. I'm happy that it actually didn't.Ü

A visit to the Palengke. We usually go to the Baguio Market at least twice per trip. The first is to buy some strawberries & Tantamco's ube halaya to take home to the hotel so that we have something to munch on while watching TV or to eat as dessert after a hearty lunch or dinner. The strawberries we store in a container and pour sugar over it after cutting off the leaves so that we can still bring them back home to Manila without it getting lamog, which will definitely happen if we just take it home as-is after buying it at the market. The ube halaya, on the other hand, is a favorite of the entire family except yours truly.Ü It's not as if I didn't try to like it...I did, for several times's just not 'liked' by my tastebuds.Ü
A second trip to the market is almost a necessity for every Baguio trip that we have. This usually happens on the day of our departure from Baguio where we'd buy pampasalubong items and fresh vegetables to take home to Manila. I especially look forward to buying my favorite kutsay tips (Does anyone know the translation of this in English? Coz I don't...maybe someone can share it to me so I know...Ü) which can be very cheap in Baguio when it's in season (it's quite pricey in Manila and you don't actually get to see it often in the palengke or supermarket).

Well, I guess that's all for now. After writing all of those stuff, i'm actually missing Baguio already.Ü If you guys have anything to add in the list above, let me know by commenting...wookie?! 'Til next month's blog!


Before I end this, let me give a shout out to my Lolo who's celebrating his 72nd Birthday today...HAPPY BIRTHDAY Lolo Er! *HUGZ!*and*MUAH!*