Posted in Food

Where to Eat Japanese and Korean Food in La Trinidad

Are you craving for Samgyeopsal or sashimi? You don’t have to go far anymore to satisfy your cravings. There are at least a couple of restaurants within La Trinidad offering these foreign dishes. Here are two I’ve tried so far.

Yasuragi Japanese Cuisine

This newly opened restaurant offers different kinds of Japanese courses. Their menu consists of appetizers, main courses, snacks, and desserts- all Japanese. So if you want to have a taste of Japan, try Yasuragi. Their operating hours is from 11 am to 10 pm from Tuesdays to Sundays; they are closed on Mondays.

How to get there

Yasuragi is located at 1C-106 Swap View, Betag. You can find it amidst the valley’s strawberry and vegetable gardens.
If you are from Baguio City, ride a Jeepney bound for Puguis- Swamp. The loading area is located between Baguio Centermall and Goodtaste. The restaurant can be found around 100 meters from BAPTC, look to your right.
If you come from Halsema Highway, go to the entrance of Strawberry fields, across BSU last gate. Wait for a Swamp Jeepney unless you want to walk, it will take you around 15-20 minutes.

The Ambiance

The atmosphere is chic and relaxing. The restaurant is surrounded by tinted glass walls. The geometric-designed ceilings are adorned with Japanese inspired lamps. It has a sushi bar so it’s not awkward if you are going solo. The wooden tables and chairs are classic.
Japanese music is playing in the background to complete the Japanese feel. I was waiting for a waiter in Kimono to take our order only to be attended by a kailian in white T-shirt and black pants, haha. Kidding aside, the ambiance is great!
Though, I think they sure need more space. We almost didn’t have a table. The kind waitress offered the sushi bar which was not an option for me because I have a 4-month old and very active pre-schooler in tow. Thanks to the angelic couple who gave up their table and went to the sushi bar instead.

The Food

I am not a reliable critic if the food is authentic Japanese, but my Igorot palate is surely delighted with what I ate. I only went there once so I only tried their Torikatsudon- chicken cooked in sauce with egg, onions, and scallions over rice. The serving was generous and it was flavorful. My picky-eater daughter also loved it so don’t worry if you have children with you; they have child-friendly choices.

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YASURAGI

Because I am not a dependable judge on its authenticity, I looked at the reviews on their FB page. One of the reviewers said that the taste of their food is similar to what they tried in Japan so I guess we can assume that the taste is genuinely Japanese.

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Yasuragi: Torikatsudon 120php

 

 
We also had vanilla and green tea ice cream which was both nice, but nothing extraordinary. I wish I could tell you more about their food but I haven’t tried many yet. I’ll definitely go back soon; I’ll update this blog if I do.

 

The Service

The staff is polite and accommodating. The waiting time for the food is at around 20 minutes, which is reasonable.

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Yasuragi- My daughter trying chopsticks for the first time

Bonus

Since the place is situated in the middle of the strawberry farm, the view of strawberry and vegetable gardens and the mountains surrounding the valley is a bonus!

79 BMB Korean Restaurant

BMB has been here for quite a while; they have been reinventing the place during the past months. Aside from serving Korean food, they are also selling other Korean stuff like cosmetics and clothes.

How to Get There

The resto is located in the Basement of Pineshill CTC Business Center, Km. 5, same building as Avon. You should see the building before you reach Jollibee if you are from Baguio City. You can ride a Jeepney bound to Tomay, Buyagan, or Pico.

The Ambiance

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79 BMB Resto

The place is spacious and cozy. There is good lighting and ventilation so it is still convenient even if it is located in the basement. They decorate the place according to the season. Their decoration the last time I went was outdated, though. They still haven’t moved on from Valentine’s Day.

The Food

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79 BMB Resto: Dumplings 79php

They don’t have the best Korean food I tasted but it’s good enough to satisfy your craving for Korean cuisine. They serve Samgyeopsal, ramen, ramyun, kimbap and dumplings. They also have fried chicken, pork sisig, and budget meal if you like other choices. The samgyeopsal is 120php per order, minimum of 2 orders. Most of their menu costs 79php, thus the name.
I tried their samgyeopsal, kimbap, and dumplings. They have to improve their kimbap since the home-made varieties I tasted are far better. Their samgyeopsal is good enough though it would be better if they add to their side dishes. I loved their dumplings the first time I ordered it. Unfortunately, the quality was not the same when I tried it again. They have generous servings.

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79 BMB Resto: Kimbap- 79php

The Service

The management should work out their consistency. There were frequent instances when some of the items were not available from their menu.
The taste and quality of the food should also be consistent. The staffs are nice but perhaps they need more since the cashier is also working in the kitchen so there is no one at the counter sometimes.

Bonus

Korean drama fans have a feast for the eyes in this resto. One corner is filled with pictures of Korean artists.
You can also play darts and billiards at 100php for one hour and 50php for 30 minutes. They have Hanboks you can use and take a picture with.

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79 BMB Resto: Korean Hanboks for your FB and Insta pics

Do you know other restaurants serving international cuisine in La Trinidad? Let me know in the comment section so I can check it out!

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized

10 Things You Can Do In Tam-awan Village, Baguio City

Are you interested in arts, culture, and nature? If yes, you should visit Tam-awan village.

The place is nice though it needs plenty of improvement. The place is labeled “village” and “garden in the sky” which can be both misleading. I hope the management will add more elements for it to have an authentic village feel. For the garden part, I hope to see more flowers or perhaps even strawberries and vegetables along the trails. Nevertheless, I and my daughter enjoyed the place.

Here are 10 activities to enjoy if you are planning to visit Tam-awan Village

1. Trek your way up–If you are a fun of trekking, this place is for you. The village has trails coiling around the mountain. Along the trails are nipa huts and other attractions. When you reach the top, you will be rewarded by a fantastic view of mountainous landscapes.

It is best to go there during a week of sunny weather because the trail gets slippery when it rains. Wear rubber shoes and don’t bring heavy stuff.

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My niece and nephews enjoying the trail.

2. Enter some of the huts– They allow you to go inside the huts to experience what it feels like to be inside a dwelling place of the Igorots in the past.You are required to remove your shoes in one of the huts. Some of the cottages have artworks inside.

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Tam-awan Village

3. Watch Swimming Koi Fish in the pond. – Just a few meters from the entrance is a pond full of gigantic colorful koi fish.Some of the visitors are trying to shoot coins in the ring at the center of the pond so maybe you can do it too if you wish!

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The Koi Fish Pond

4. Look at (or buy) art exhibits made by Cordilleran artists- Tam-awan is home to several forms of artistic masterpieces made by local artists. There are paintings made with the traditional paint while some are made with other mediums like coffee. There are also solar paintings, paintings which are made using the heat of the sun as a medium with the help of a magnifying glass.

5. Watch cultural dances– During various times, I’m not sure if there is a definite schedule, performers dance some of the cultural dances in the Cordillera.

At the picture below, you can see the performers doing a traditional couple dance in their ethnic costume.

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Photo taken from Tam-awan’s Website

6. Join the cultural dance. – At the end of the presentation, guests are invited to join the dance. You can even try to play the traditional instruments. The best way to enjoy other’s culture is trying it yourself. Dancing with the locals is surely a fun way to learn about their culture!

7. Have a portrait sketch as your souvenir. You can have your portrait drawn by an artist at the rate of 100 for black and white solo portrait and 150 for a colored solo portrait. A couple black and white portrait costs 300 while colored costs 350.

8. “Dwell” inside the nipa hut. You can fully experience it for a day at a rate of 500 per day. Beddings are not provided so bring your own unless you want to feel authenticity at its best.
9. Enjoy a bonfire inside the village. Between 6-11 pm, you can go ahead and warm yourself up with a bonfire. You just have to pay 120.

10. Eat at the Nearby Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant\While you are there, do not miss the chance to try this diner. Their menu consists of authentic Ibaloi dishes. I tried their mix-mix, grilled pork, and pinikpikan; I loved them all. Their watercress salad and pak-pako salad are also delightful. A bonus to the appealing food experience is the exquisite ambiance of the restaurant.

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The Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant

Have you been to Tam-awan Village? Tell me about your experience in the comment section.

Posted in Travel

Making the Most of Baguio Flower Festival

Are you going to Baguio City this weekend for Panagbenga’s main events? The Grand street dancing parade is on February 25 followed by the Grand Float Parade on February 26. After the Float Parade, Session Road will close for a week-long Session in Bloom.

 

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One of the entries of the landscape competition in Burnham in 2016.

 
Here are a few tips so you can enjoy the festival with few or no hassle.

Travel and Lodging

1. By now you should have booked for accommodation since hotels and transient houses are usually full during this season.
2. If not, be sure to book only with legitimate businesses. Recheck the place before paying the deposit fee.
3. We HIGHLY DISCOURAGE you to bring your car because of traffic congestion.
4. If you have no choice but to bring your car, make sure your accommodation has parking space. Leave it there when you explore the city or watch the parade. Establishments are mostly within walking distance. Use your car and you will spend most of your time in traffic or looking for parking space instead of enjoying the city.

Street Dancing and Float Parade

1. Enjoy the parade to the fullest by finding the perfect location. Find a restaurant along session road or Harrison road with a second-floor veranda or glass walls. It is best to view the parade from the top. You can watch comfortably without having to cram with the crowd.
2. Go to the location early to make sure you get the best spot.

 

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One of the entries in 2016 Float Parade. 

 

Safety

1. Unfortunately, thieves also take advantage of the flock of tourist so be alert at all times.
2. Do not leave your bag and other valuables inside your car.
3. Keep an eye on your valuables when you are out.
4. Just bring with you the cash you need and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

Discipline

1. Almost every year, traffic is terrible and trash is all over the city during the festival. I hope it will be different this year.
2. These should be common sense, but then I will specify because there would have been no problems during the past years if we all practice “common sense”.
3. Throw your garbage only in garbage bins. If you can’t find one yet, it wouldn’t hurt to take it with you until you find one.
4. Follow traffic rules.
5. Follow city ordinances.

We all want to enjoy the festival, let us remember that other people want to have fun too. Are you joining the festival this year? Do you have other tips? Let me know through the comment section!

Posted in Food

5 Reasons Why Half Cup is Still My Favorite Café in La Trinidad

It’s good news for residents in La Trinidad that the café industry around the valley is flourishing. We no longer need to go to the city to eat and hang-out. Among all the café’s in town I tried, Half Cup is my favorite. Here are 5 reasons why:

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Half Cup Cafe

1. The location is easily accessible.

This café is most convenient at least for me. I don’t always have the time to go far just for a good dining experience so Half Cup is such a boon! It is 10 minutes’ walk away from our home and just a minute walk from the highway. It is also not far from supermarkets so I can easily drop after tiring errands.
Half cup is located at Kilometer 4, just behind Marosan’s restaurant. Enter the gate right before you reach the “Wagwagan”.

 

2. Their service is impeccable.

The staffs are polite. It wasn’t just a couple of times where I experienced one of the staffs walking the extra mile to give good service. Simple stuff like opening the door or placing my umbrella in the proper rack (all with no sign of displeasure) all means so much to me.
The waiting time is just right and I love that they have placed the expected waiting time on their menu. And oh, they have free flowing water and coffee!

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3. The place and the employees are clean and tidy.

Nothing can turn off a customer more than a restaurant with poor sanitation. I’m glad to see the staff, even the boss wearing hairnets and scrub shoes. I can eat with confidence every time since I know the food is prepared cleanly and the cleanliness of the place is maintained.
4. All the details are well-thought-of.
From the name of the café, the way you take your order, the names of the menu; everything is so cute! You give your order by writing it down yourself. I especially love the names of the halo-halo; single, in-a-relationship and it’s complicated!

5. Of course, the food is great.

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Carbonara

I would love to try all of their dishes, but I keep going back to my favorite treats so I only have few to describe, sorry, hehe. I tried their carbonara and spicy shrimp. The servings of these pasta dishes are hefty; they also come with slices of whole-grain bread. They taste just fine but they aren’t my superstars.

 

The French fries and Banana hazelnut waffles are my superstars. The combo would easily comfort a tiring day. My five-year-old daughter loves them too. The French Fries is so far the most unique fries I tasted. It is not the usual fries you see in fast foods. I already love fries as plain as they are but I never thought I could love them more. The fries are mixed with a generous serving of meat sauce, tomatoes, and cheese. The banana hazelnut waffle is the perfect comfort food for a sweet tooth like me. It has the perfect blend of waffles, Nutella, cream, and bananas.

 

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Banana hazelnut waffle

 

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French Fries

Thanks to a friend I have a new discovery, their pizza dips. I don’t know if this is a new idea but it is new to me. You will have to dip slices of chewy crust into the pizza sauce. The dip tasted like Hawaiian sauce.
Their sandwiches and cupcakes are great too. I love their blueberry cream cheese cupcakes. They have loads of sweet treats to choose from, a haven for sweet lovers like me! I have yet to try any of their rice dishes.

 


I wasn’t able to try plenty of drinks since I always had the free flowing brewed coffee which always taste great and fresh. But when I got pregnant I had to shift my drinks. I tried their milk tea and I loved it.

Posted in Food, Uncategorized

Gasat’s Resto Café Review

 

I’m so glad to see plenty of dining places kicking off around La Trinidad.  I would love to try them all but my budget won’t keep up, haha. The latest I have tried is this cozy café located along Longlong road. Here’s my share of experience one lovely afternoon in Gasats by Minan & Joy.

 

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The cozy, romantic evening ambiance of Gasats

 

The Ambiance

I love the atmosphere of this place; serene, cozy and immaculate. The details are just right, not crowded so you can focus on the beauty of nature surrounding the café.

Upon entering, you will be welcomed with greeneries in their patio landscape. One of the highlights of this place is the overlooking view of the valley. You can glimpse a large portion of La Trinidad from where you are eating or you can go to their veranda for a closer look. It becomes even more romantic at night. Dine while viewing the lights of the valley and feeling the mountain breeze.

You can opt to dine inside or on their veranda. The place is spacious with modern architecture. I love the pin lights and geometric ceiling; it looks classy and romantic.

The Food

I still haven’t tried plenty since I only went there once. But I’m satisfied with the first batch of treats I checked out. We had Schramme (white pasta), Tsanum Fauna (grilled salmon), strawberry pie and red velvet cake. I love the grilled salmon, it is scrumptious and juicy. The white pasta is fine; I love the sauce, but the pasta isn’t that great. I am not sure if it’s the quality of the pasta or the way it was cooked. Their desserts are delightful too. I have yet to try their best-selling grilled pork belly.

 

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White Pasta, and yes, they have books too! This one is perfect for me. (P120)

 

 

 

 

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Strawberry Pie

 

 

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Red Velvet Cake

 

 

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Grilled Salmon (130)

 

Prices and Service

Most of the items range from 100-200 pesos. The prices are not bad for great food and great place. The staff is welcoming and the service is wonderful.

 

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A landscape on their patio. I didn’t ask if costumers are allowed to eat here. But it sounds like a great idea!

 

Gasat’s Resto Café is located at Longlong, Puguis, La Trinidad., around 5 minutes’ walk from Puguis Elementary School.

 

Posted in Parenting

7 Quotes to Inspire You to do Chores

There is no way we can get away with household tasks. There are rare people who love to do them but unfortunately, I’m not one of the chosen ones. Well, there are occasional times when I actually enjoy doing them but most of the time, I just don’t.

The hardest part is starting, especially during those “off days”. Once I started, I’m often surprised on how soon I get to finish. So if you are like me who needs motivation to get started with house chores. I’ve compiled these “chores quotes” for you.

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It pays to look at the brighter side. 
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It’s not just about a measly chore! It’s about improving the world! 
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Plenty would love to do the dishes in exchange for food! 
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Think of chores as gestures of love… 
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The more you prolong, the more it piles up! 
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Don’t let clutter blur your family’s dream. 
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Getting rid of clutter from your house and from your mind open doors! 

There is more to life than doing chores. So it doesn’t make sense to spend all our efforts on domestic jobs alone. But we cannot deny the fact that household tasks are inevitable for a happy and healthy home. It’s a matter of balance and time management.

What do you do be motivated to do house chores if you don’t feel like it? Let me know!

Posted in Parenting

Time Saving Hacks Every Mom Should Know

Moms have to juggle chores and errands in every day. Try the following so you won’t need to spend more time than you have to.the-eleventh-hour-758723_960_720

“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”

– Nelson Mandela

 

Outside Errands

  1. Do your shopping on weekdays and not during or few days after pay day. The grocery is full during pay days and weekends. The best time is the weekday right before pay day. It is best to go there in the morning, avoid after office hours.
  2. Make a grocery list, and stick to it. I use Wunderlist app on my phone, it’s handy and I can cross the items as I go.
  3. Do your bank transactions midweek. Keep away from the first and last days of the month and days right after holidays. It is also wise to avoid the first and last banking hours; these are the busiest times of the day.
  4. Pay bills online or through ATM. Plenty of service providers provide online and bank payment transactions. Take advantage of these options to avoid long queues.
  5. In the department store, pay at the cashier in the men’s section. The line at the men’s section is usually the shortest.
  6. Wait for a cab at an intersection if possible. Doing this gives you more chances of riding a taxi faster.

At home

  1. Boil eggs together with rice using the rice cooker. I’ve learned this from my husband. It doesn’t only save time; it also saves water and cooking gas.
  2. If space allows, hang as many clothes as you can instead of folding. Hanging clothes is easier than folding them. Especially if you are like me who hates folding.
  3. Have a designated place for everything and let your housemates know. This will avoid them asking you where every single thing is.
  4. Prepare clothes and bags at night. Jamming everything in the morning means chaos and stress.
  5. Delegate! No, you are not a superwoman, you cannot do it all. Try to delegate the chores you don’t like if possible. My husband is in charge of bringing out the trash, feeding the dog and cleaning up its house. I let my daughter pick up things from the floor and buy things from the store. I delegate other things  too but these are the things they know they have to do.

Do you have other time-saving hacks? I would love to know them!

Posted in Parenting

How I Let My 5-year-old Help Around the House

 

Letting our children do household chores is vital for them to become responsible adults. Different researches like this,this and this have emphasized the significance of chores in relation to a child’s future success.

Plus, the little things my five-year-old does with her little hands are big relief on my to-do list

Here are some of the chores I let my daughter do.

  1. Fix her toys and books
  2. Bring dirty clothes and linens to the laundry basket
  3. Get stuff from another room
  4. Mix pancake/ cupcake batter and scramble eggs
  5. Line muffin trays with muffin cups
  6. Get plates before meals
  7. Return washed dishes on the dish rack
  8. Water plants
  9. Buy from the store ( only from the store adjacent to our house)
  10. Wash her underwear
  11. Fold her pants ( she has yet to learn how to fold the others)
  12. Fix folded clothes back to her drawer

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    My daughter helping up with baking when she was still 3 years old.

Giving chores to kids have difficulties. It is often easier to do the tasks ourselves, but the struggle is worth it if you do not want you and your children to end up miserable in the end.

I sometimes worry about wasting resources when my child does some chores. However, the chore can be grounds to teach values on frugality and economy.  I also wrestle with my patience when I let her do some chores because she does it so slowly. Sometimes I nag unreasonably or end up doing it myself; which should not be.

WebMD has suggested age-appropriate tasks here. This is just a guide, though; children have varied abilities. Often times, my daughter gives clues on what she can do. She even asks if she is allowed to do some chores. As long as the chore will not obviously harm her, I let her try then decide if she can do it more often.

What are your struggles in letting children do chores? Do you have tips on how to make giving chores easier? I would love to know them!