Baguio for the Long Weekend Day 1

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Hello! Back from back-to-back out of town weekends!

I don’t know about you… but I’m feeling 22! Haha sorry, I have to pay homage to Taytay who has a new single out. Going back, I don’t know about you, but it bothers me that my weekends are always decisions between resting and doing something new. Lucky are those who have already found the formula to living their lives without feeling like they’re working to survive. Tell me how you manage as I have yet to finish Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour Work Week book. Hoping to get to where you’re at soon.

For now, I shall now write about my Baguio trip 2 weekends ago. Yay!

Pao and I decided to go to Baguio for the August 19 – 21 long weekend. We decided really, really late, like the day before kind of late, so we were left with ordinary bus tickets instead of the deluxe ones and a sketchy hotel instead of a homey one.

Our transportation was not that bad. I missed the wide seats, almost full recline action, and no road stop system that deluxe bus rides offer but for around PHP 500.00 or USD 10.00, we went on board an air-conditioned Victory Liner bus at 5 in the morning and arrived in Baguio 6-7 hours later. Our accommodation, however, is a different story hahaha! We booked the place via Agoda at around PHP 5,000 (USD 100.00) for 2 nights. The pictures on the site showed a place that looked old but decent. Little did we know that it has a “party place” in its premises. And by “party place” I mean a strip club hahaha! Add damp bed covers, bed bugs, and molds here and there and you have a gruesome hotel experience. I think getting through this trip given the room is a perfect example that it doesn’t matter where you are or what you do; what matters is who you’re with. Lol cheese. Pao and I survived our accommodation from hell with just one petty fight over a poisonous insect in the shower hahaha! I will not mention the hotel’s name here, but feel free to message and ask me if you’re heading to Baguio and would want to avoid it.

So what did we do in Baguio?

We ate. A LOT. 

Day 1

We arrived in Baguio after lunch and after checking into our hotel, we went to Camp John Hay to have our first full meal of the day at Choco-late De Batirol. Pao has been there before and he was excited to take me there with the promise of good food and the best Chocolate Batirol. A batirol is actually a kitchen equipment that is used for whisking. In context, Chocolate Batirol is whisked chocolate. It’s a chocolate drink prepared by using the batirol to melt the chocolate until it’s liquid, creamy, and textured goodness that’s perfect for cold days is brought about. Pao’s promise was true – the food in Choco-late De Batirol IS GOOD and their Chocolate Batirol IS THE BEST! Check out what we ordered in pictures.

Choco-late De Batirol FoodOur table spread at Choco-late De Batirol

 

It must be the intense hunger but almost everything we ordered was good! For our main meals, I had Vigan Longganisa which is a breakfast bestseller and Pao had their Dinuguan which is a lunch bestseller. The longganisa was crispy on the outside and chewy inside. It had a touch of sweetness but is dominantly salty and is best paired with spicy garlic vinegar which you can ask from the servers. I do not like eating Dinuguan but it tasted okay for a non-fan. Pao enjoyed it so I think that is testament enough. I like that it’s a bit spicy. It had slices of green chili mmm I love spicy things!

Vigan Longganisa and Dinuguan

For our drinks, I ordered the original Chocolate Batirol and Pao ordered the mint-flavored one. I knew he ordered the mint one because of me because I like mint-flavored chocolate but just didn’t order for myself because I wanted to taste the original one. Sweetie pie. Both our drinks were really, really good. I may be running out of adjectives here but there’s also no better way to put it but that! The texture of our drinks was smooth even though there were cocoa particles that remained in the drink given the whisking process. It was sweet but not too sweet and creamy but not overly creamy. It felt like I was drinking something raw and unprocessed but also something made with effort and care. It was love in a cup. Well, love in two cups hehe.

Bibingka. Tsokolate Ah. Mint Tsokolate Ah.

Pao also ordered Bibingka, a Filipino cake dessert made from rice. Again, not really a fan of this food. Out of everything we ordered this is probably my least favorite but who I am to judge? Hahaha! All I know is I’ve had better tries of other bibingkas. Pao made a supporting statement by saying it’s missing something. Might I suggest a salted egg? 🙂

After eating, we let the food in our tummies digest by going around Camp John Hay and enjoying the cool air. It’s a bit of a bummer that it was rainy. I’ve never experienced Baguio in perfect weather. This makes me sad. Hopefully, next time! 🙂

Pao wants to make a blogger out of me. The unsure and fearful side of me cannot deal as seen in Exhibit A below.

Pao making me do poses and myself being awkward and uncomfortable. He’s very determined though so maybe in time, I’ll get the hang of it hahaha!

On the other hand…

He has no problem whatsoever hahaha!

How lucky am I to find someone who can make me laugh so much until it hurts? ❤ The pictures are of him feeling he was Jacob Black transforming in the woods. Hahahaha!

FYI, walking around Camp John Hay is no easy feat. It is full of steep uphills and almost uncontrollable-to-walk-down-at-slowly downhills.

We made our way to this area of CJH where there are outlet stores and some restaurants. I think this area is popular. I remember going here before with friends from work. I didn’t imagine doing any shopping in Baguio but I ended up buying a trench coat for myself! Hahaha! Go and look around if you find yourself there, you might end up scoring something cool like I did.

Our best buy though? Matching Philippine Military Academy shirts! Hahaha!

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PMA-ready! Hahaha!

No, we are not the “let’s don matching shirts outside” kind of couple. But if we find it amusing, we feed our amusement. Like what happened when we bought our first “couple shirt” in Taiwan.

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Dao Ming Si and San Cai in Ying De lol

Before leaving CJH, we went to Mile Hi diner for a milkshake. Because we wanted to feel like we’re part of the TV series Riverdale haha! The interiors of the place looked like where we were hoping to be. There was a bar, some stools, booths, records on walls, and of course, a jukebox. We got ourselves a strawberry milkshake and some fries with cheese sauce and bacon, a good afternoon snack for 2.

Mile Hi Diner

Strawberry Milkshake and Fries

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Betty and Jughead, beware of Gemma and Pao ahaha!

We went back to our hotel at around 7:00 PM to rest before going to the night market for dinner.

The next thing we know, it was already 2:00 AM! Hahaha!

We ended up ordering Yellow Cab (THEY DELIVER IN BAGUIO!) and calling for a massage… telling ourselves we’d be disciplined tomorrow and we’ll wake up early to exercise then hear mass.

You could guess how that turned out. Hahaha! Until I write about it though, may you get to experience a good cup of hot chocolate.

Love,

Gemma

 

Drive-by Taco and Southern Dairy

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Way back 2013 or so, I thought of starting a site to be named “Table for Two”. It would be a food blog, because I always ate out with my then boyfriend and that phrase was what we’d normally say when we enter a resto. In the same manner that the relationship did not progress, so did that idea never materialize hahaha! No bitterness, just a comedic opportunity haha!

Fast forward to 2017, when I noticed Pao and I did nothing but eat, the idea of making a food blog came back. Alas, the domain tablefortwo.com (well .blog) is now taken. So we just continued eating, with me taking (horrible) pictures of my food every now and then.

Then around 2 weeks ago, we had dinner with my college best friend Pauline (Pol) who has noticed that our top couple activity is eating. The idea of food blogging came up and I told her about how I had that Table for Two plan way back. Ever so supportive, she said I SHOULD write about our food adventures. We played around the idea of “Table for Three” wherein there would be a friend eating out with us – her being the first guest haha.

I kept that idea on the surface every time I’d eat out, telling myself I’d get started on writing about things I ate in due time. As of 15 minutes ago, it was still on the table. Until I searched for Table for Three on the internet and found that another witty individual already owns it.

Hence, just read about my food encounters under gemmaflorido.com and enjoy! Hahaha!

Kicking things off with my Drive-by Taco and Southern Dairy experience!

I used to rarely go to the South. The “South” basically refers to the southern area of Metro Manila. In distance, I don’t live far from the South. But with Manila traffic, oh boy! There are days when that 20 km drive would take you 3 hours to cover. But since Pao lives in the South, my visits have increased. And Pol who also lives in the South is happy about it because she’d always be the one heading to Makati (where I live).

So as mentioned, a couple of weeks back, we had dinner with Pol. We ate at Drive-by Taco located in Aguirre St. in BF Homes, Paranaque. If you search it online, Aguirre St. is a famous street for eats in the South. It’s known for good restaurants that you can only find in the area.

At Drive-by Taco, we ordered Beef Nachos (for sharing), Chicharones Taco (Pol’s order), Chicharones Burrito (Pao’s order), and Cubano Taco (my order). Best paired with either a bottle of beer or my personal favorite, a cold glass of Coke Zero.

Disclaimer: I’m not the best in taking food photos ahaha! Nonetheless, see as follows. Our orders arrived after just the right length of waiting.

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The Beef Nachos at Php 200.00

Cubano Style Ground Beef Taco at Php 85.00. Chicharones Burrito at Php 245.00. Chicharones Taco at Php 125.00. 

The nachos were okay. Not out of this world but good. Currently thinking where I had the best nachos… and zilch. I like Nachos King lol! But it could use some jalapeno, and the Drive-by Taco nachos has jalapeno so thumbs up for that!

I think if you’ve had La Chinesca, which is another taqueria located in Aguirre St., you’d have a hard time finding a place that serves better. This was what crossed my mind while I was eating my Cubano Taco which I found to be a bit dry (naks fumu-foodie lol). The Chicharones Taco of Pol was really good though! Wish I had gotten the same thing. After trying Pol’s food I proceeded to eat Pao’s burrito because I like the meat and flavor of Chicharones 10x better (OA haha) as to that of the Cubano.

One thing to note is that Drive-by Taco makes their own tortillas. Pol really likes this. 🙂

Overall our meal at Drive-by Taco was good! It’s worth going to especially if you want a laid-back night. Compared to La Chinesca, it has more space. I like that we chose an outside table because the air that night was not so hot. Hence, going al-fresco was perfect.

We craved for something sweet after so the suggestion of the Southerners (hehe) was to go to Southern Dairy. I garnered it’s the only dessert place in Aguirre St. Let me know if there are other places! It was a 3-minute drive away from Drive-by Taco.

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I didn’t get to take a picture of Southern Dairy’s interior but I like the neutral colors and the chalk on blackboard menu they had going. One thing I didn’t like about the furniture they used though are the steel chairs… which have turned rusty. So if you rest your arms on the armrest, you smell of iron after.

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Pizookie at around Php 200.00? I forgot the exact price

We ordered a Pizookie which is a half-baked chocolate chip cookie served on a skillet with ice cream on top, drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce. I sadly didn’t like it. 😦 I tried hard to, but did not. The ice cream was good! But I think half-baked cookies aren’t for me. I can taste the rawness and my tummy had to suffer on behalf of my whole body haha. I definitely won’t come back for a Pizookie haha but I’m up to try other desserts or maybe main menus since they have those too. 🙂

Here are pictures of us at Southern Dairy. Spot Pol giving a look of disgust with our new habit of doing a finger-heart ahaha!

Expect more South resto reviews! Til then –

– Gemma