Saturday, July 08, 2006

did you miss the fash pack?

or did you even notice we were gone? for a week. probably not. because no one called or texted or e-mailed or asked us where we were or what happened or why we hadn't posted. except bryanboy, bless his gay heart. from saturday to wednesday, we were in baguio city, the summer capital of the philippines, the land of pine trees, strawberries and ukay-ukay galore. and while we were there, not once were we tempted to go on-line and check our mail, chat or blog. and to think baguio is filled with wi-fi hotspots. how ironic is that? haaaay, baguio is like a time warp, everything still looks pretty much the same as it did when we were kids. except for session road and the streets circling it—the traffic is a hundred times worse. the jeepneys, which have multiplied, are now competing for smog space with mega-taxis.
thank god for the pine trees. we stayed at the manor in camp john hay, and in spite of the fact that two dead bodies were found in one of the rooms last saturday, the day we arrived, to the hotel’s credit, they were very discreet about the crime scene and no one was the wiser. the hotel guests didn’t think anything unusual happened until we read about it in the inquirer on wednesday, while having breakfast. (still, thank god, we were leaving that day!) so how would you like to have your morning coffee at your hotel balcony with this view… or maybe you'd rather have it here… so what’s there to do in baguio besides shop for vegetables and walis in the market, and trawl condemned buildings in search of ukay finds? well, eat. and eat we did in places recommended by friends, discovered in blogs, reviewed by newspapers, and just plain stumbled upon. here are the places we went to:
forest house bistro & café, which is close to the rotonda near the original entrance into camp john hay. (hey, that's not us in the picture.) their specialty is bagnet, why, i don't know. isn't that an ilocano dish? we had the korean short ribs and it was excellent. they have a balcony with a nice view where you can eat, have a smoke or surf (if you bring your laptop; it's a hotspot).

manila folk seem to love this pizza place on session road, but baguio locals are not impressed. the thick crust is very pizza hut-ish (thick and chewy), but it was cheap and pwede na if you're hungry. and the waiters were young and cute-ish.

after an afternoon of walking up and down session road, our feet hurt and we just wanted to sit down and have a drink. we spotted this sign at the la azotea building and remembered a friend said this vegetarian café was a must-visit: we failed to notice the sign said top floor, and it sure was! and in a building with no lift, six flights of stairs are a lot, especially when your feet hurt. but it was worth it for the unusual "decor": remnants from old houses haphazardly nailed onto walls and wherever they saw fit. plus artwork all over the place. it was, after all, owned and designed by famous baguio artist/filmmaker kidlat tahimik. his son, kawayan de guia, hard to miss being caucasian-looking and over six feet tall, was there and was nice enough to tell us all about the place. "it's a work in progress," he said. oh really...

paliz'zata was another recommendation. it’s located on the roof-deck parking of this pink eyesore on session road: and is right next to this pink historical landmark, the baguio cathedral: food ordered: buffalo wings and beef stroganoff and a couple san mig lights. the awesome view was free!

tomorrow, the fash pack goes to the farm.

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