Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lighting Up Baguio Skies


For a change, I wanted to shoot a different angle of the fireworks in Baguio diverting from the usual wide landscape shoot. I wanted to focus on this single so-called Christmas tree.  The idea was, there's the light of this tree and the passing cars for the foreground and the fireworks as background. 



Unfortunately, the lights were turned off just as the fireworks starts. I took several shots of the fireworks posted below. I did not bother to clean the electric wires and the final shots looked like a BDO commercial but without the tree lights, I'll just leave it as it is. 


 


Panagbenga will be my next fireworks shoot. See you all next Panagbenga for our next fireworks display shoot. There usually are five fireworks during the closing of Panagbenga. For your next visit to watch Baguio's fireworks, contact this writer for the excellent vantage point.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Edible Curtains at the Baguio City Market

I took a short cut from the City Hall to Centermall and passed by these beautifully arranged colorful curtains. And they are not ordinary curtains, they are edible.


Had a discussion with King (Frank Cimatu) regarding the English term for this edible curtains.

I guess even Frank missed this in school. :-) He said it should be chorizo but according to wikipedia, the term chorizo is Spanish, not English. I also found out that the term longaniza is Spanish, not Filipino. I am now wondering how many of our food names are borrowed from the Spanish language and if we have our own terms for these.

Anyway, there are different preparations for longaniza and the Vigan longanisa is more famous. But comparing these delicacies, Baguio longanisa don't shrink much when cooked unlike the Vigan version I bought. The Vigan longanisa too is more spicy than the Baguio version I tried.

Even with this "foreign" named local products, there are many versions to try. Drop by the Baguio public market and find the best that suits your taste. Please leave a comment bellow of your choices and why. :-) Happy shopping at the City Market.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

8 degrees Pastries something not to be trifled with

Eight degrees may not be the coldest temperature in Baguio (it was 6.1 recorded in 1961), but it is a place to visit when it comes to pastries and coffee in the City of Pines.


A great cafe at the Azalea Residences that uses the local produce like strawberries and carrots for pastry ingredients. In here (like any other cafes) you will encounter strange words like fritzer and trifle.   

What in the name of %$#@ is a trifle? As far as I know, the dictionary's description is some sort of a thing of little value or importance. Never thought it has a taste.

Well, yes it does and there are even different tastes depending on the ingredients. For the ignorants like me who have no idea what a trifle is, here's wikipedia's description:

Trifle is a dessert dish made from thick custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or jelly, and whipped cream. These ingredients are usually arranged in layers.

Now that we're clear on that, where is that trifle that we can try? Aside from one place where I tried one recipe, which I liked and disliked: liked because it does tasted good and disliked because it was too expensive.  But at the 8 degrees lounge, at 90.00 it is more affordable, and that trifle is not something to be trifled with. A strawberry and chocolate trifle was the favorite of at least four of the seven of us who tried the pastries at the lounge. 



Next was the chocolate pudding cake which was not so sweet and not so bland to easily melt your appetite. Then there's the carrot cake and strawberry & apple fritzer that are equally enticing. The special ensaymada must be good coz they run out of stock while we were there. It is a must try next time I return to the place.

       

  



But I will definitely go back for the trifle and will try to steal the recipe or beat it out of the chef. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Street Foods less the Streets


Here’s another catch at the Azalea Residences in Baguio worthy to take a short detour. You can enjoy your favorite street foods in a safe environment with a price that is the same as the prices in the streets, less the pollution of passing cars and the City noise. And of course, the foods and sauce are expertly prepared by chefs who made sure that you won’t have to worry about food contamination.

Scheduled from 3pm - 6pm daily since December 14 until December 30, except Dec 24 & 25. Meat BBQ at P15/stick. The rest is P10 each.

According to management, the idea is to bring what people enjoy closer to them, in their second home when visiting Baguio. 


I am not a food critic but I like street foods and comparing the sauce of barbecues in the Harrison night market, with the knowledge that the foods at the Azalea were prepared by chefs,  I feel safer here. You wouldn't see someone eating a barbecue and dip the stick again and again in the sauce jar. According to my blogger friend, Dean Cuanso, who has more experiences with foods (given the size of his body, he is way above my understanding on foods), the sauce are a combination of Chinese and Filipino cooking.



Should it have been near my watering hole, I’d rather frequent to this place. But definitely I will return here before the year ends. 

 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

A "Tradisyon" with a class of its own

When I entered, I was wondering why the Restaurant was called Tradisyon. I believe some of the reasons were the traditional foods they served as the slogan says, Pinoy comfort food.


The ambiance, although smaller in dimension, is not in a way inferior to the high class hotels or clubs in Baguio but with a price that’s more affordable. 

The buffet brunch is worth the price for only 350.00, cheaper for a few hundreds than the one I tried before in another club restaurant. But with great chefs like Chris who I chanced upon preparing the omelet, the foods are in no way inferior.


In my own humble opinion, enjoying a great food need not be so expensive.

Here are some on the buffet menu:  

The Baguio longanisa - The Vigan longanisa was perhaps one of the most talked about of this kind of food among my circle of friends. But in Azalea, they serve what the locality offers. I believe that is more traditional than serving something that is not from the place. Which one is better? I believe it's no competition for this matter. There are differences but that doesn't make the other inferior. I just know for sure that the Baguio longanisa is much larger when cooked.


The vegetables -  from the locally produced vegetables, better cooked that most of the Restaurants I've dined in in Baguio. I hate over cooked vegies. In Tradisyon, they keep the sauted vegetables green; 

The corned beef - who would want to open a canned corned beef after trying the Tradisyon version; 

The Pizza - I don't like leftovers when it comes to pizza. The toppings are great so I went back for one more slice but the crust is tough so for this one, I had to leave something in my plate;  

The Bolognese - I've tried others that are a little different but this one is still above my standard for pasta; 

Ham and Cheese Croquette  - why do I always love cheese based foods?

Before I could try all of the deserts, I found myself going back for second serving for the ones I liked. I was only able to have the Tiramisu which I love. Then attempted to take one more Blueberry muffin.  No more space in my tummy but successful in my attempt. :-)

 

I guess there are better reviews from food critics out there to get more opinions about the foods they serve here. I am not one of them and I only do comparisons to places and Restaurants I have been to. But I do believe this Restaurant delivers good quality food at a very affordable price. 

If you get to Baguio this long Holiday, take a short detour to La Azalea. Here are more foods to try. (Next series will be pastries and street foods at the La Azalea.

   

 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Visiting Sadanga's Tallest Falls


Sadanga was dubbed as the living museum of Mountain Province with its culture and practices still intact. They continue to practice the old agricultural calendar.

But the culture is not the only thing to visit in Sadanga. They have several destinations unique to the place. This time, we visited Fowa-as, the tallest falls in the municipality. The municipality has several smaller ones.

Going to the falls, you will be passing by magnificent rice terraces. During our travel which was June, most of the fields are green. During this side trip, you will frequently see my fellow travel photographer Raffel Hidalgo in my frames.



It took us more than two hours passing by rice paddies and irrigation canals to get to the falls. For the locals, they can hike it for only an hour and a half or less from the Poblacion (town center).


From Barangay Belwang, we followed the irrigation canals for about 30 minutes. The canals were concreted making it easy to follow the trail. 


In some areas, vegetation has grown around the irrigation making it a little difficult to pass.


But those are part of the adventure. Soon you will hear the loud noise of the falling waters.


A few more steep and slippery descent from the irrigation, you will feel the misty air caused by the falling waters. The waters at Fowa-as is not big but the falls is really high. According to Raffel's estimate, it's about 70 meters. I have hundreds of shots but the water particles coming from the falls kept my lenses wet and water particles are very visible in my slow shutter speeds so I only have a few decent shots. 

The following are some of them.

 



Sadanga has no hotels or Inns but they have a homestay owned by Abood.  You can communicate to the local government if you want to visit the municipality. For booking at Abood's homestay, you may also contact this writer for the number.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Le Chef at the Manor Special Treat

Dropping by the manor during a shoot, got a special treat of grilled Australian Striploin and a strawberry flambe for dessert from Le Chef.




Le Chef at the Manor by Billy King is regarded as one of the best fine dining in Baguio. Nothing beats a sumptuous meal with a view of the refreshing Manor Garden with its lighted waterfalls and kissed by the cool breeze of Baguio.