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  • [BAGUIO] ▬ VIP Treatment Vacation the Azalea Way

  • [TV APPEARANCE] ▬ My Blogs Featured in News Program Teledyaryo Ylocos

  • [BANGUED] ▬ Bamboo Float Parade and the Cool Mountain Tribes

  • [BANGUED] ▬ Kawayan Festival: The Biggest Cultural Show in Abra

  • [BANGUED] ▬ Brgy Patucannay: of Waking Up Early and a Soup Dish

  • [BANGUED] ▬ A Night of Traditional Dances and Cultural Rites

  • [PERSONAL] ▬ My Cousin Married Our Old Friend

  • [BANGUED] ▬ Silnag: Night Parade of Floats, Lighted with Love and Pride

  • Abra River Sunset in Calaba

  • [LA PAZ] ▬ A Village of Abel (Loom) Weavers in Abra Called Bulbulala

0 [Baguio] ▬ Ilocano Food Reigns at Kalapaw Restaurant

"This restaurant highlights the Ilocos heritage and culture in spite of the fact that it's located in Baguio City."

[BAGUIO, BENGUET, PHILIPPINES] ▬ The day was old. Neon lights start to brighten this chilly city in the mountains of Benguet. The rush hour congested the curling roads. The grey tourist van where I boarded brought us to an unfamiliar route in Baguio. 

KALAPAW RESTAURANT BAGUIO

[BAGUIO] ▬ SINANGLAO, A FOOD ILOCANOS CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IS HERE.

▬ Thoughts on Board a Van ▬

BASED ON MY OBSERVATION, THE road is not a major artery. It winded up on a mixed-used hilly terrain dotted with both residential and commercial establishments. The site seemed darker compared with the bright streets of Session and Harrison. But the foregoing won't hinder our way to a restaurant called Kalapaw.

The first time I read the name of this restaurant on the itinerary given us, I knew this has something to do with Ilocano cuisines. I said so because kalapaw is an Ilocano word for hut. The owners of the restaurant, I think, won't take that brand name for nothing, for something unrelated.

The van stopped. On my left is an establishment with well-lighted interior. At my right is a vacant lot—sandwiched by concrete houses—where the tourist vans parked. My fellow bloggers rushed to get out of the van. They've brought out their cameras and that time, I knew that the establishment at my left is the destination. They've taken photos excitedly that the street in front of the restaurant turned crowded.

KALAPAW RESTAURANT BAGUIO

[BAGUIO] ▬ THE RESTAURANT HAS A LITTLE SIGNBOARD.


At first look, it didn't look like a restaurant—based on my standard of a typical restaurant with glass doors and big and colorful sign boards—but I knew this is already the Kalapaw Restaurant. The sign board was hiding that I didn't notice it immediately.

KALAPAW RESTAURANT BAGUIO

[BAGUIO] ▬ THE RESTAURANT INTERIOR


▬ The Interior ▬


THE RESTAURANT LOOKS DIFFERENT COMPARED with the other restaurants I've seen. Its name speaks for its design externally and internally.

The walls may have been concreted but you can see that the ceiling is made of light materials like bamboo and nipa leaves to name a few.

Glaring hangers in spherical form added elegance to this kalapaw-looking restaurant. Bamboos are also present. Piles of woven dried nipa leaves serve as ceiling while benches with calesa cartwheels are eye-catchy.

KALAPAW RESTAURANT BAGUIO

[BAGUIO] ▬ LONG TABLE UNDER A LIGHT-EMITTING SILVER SPHERE

KALAPAW RESTAURANT BAGUIO

[BAGUIO] ▬ CUSTOMERS WAIT FOR THEIR ORDERS WITH A NIFTY INTERIOR AROUND.


I walked near the buffet table and I noticed these capiz windows reminding me of the numerous ancestral houses in ILOCOS

ILOCOS

while the cartwheels remind me of the calesas of #VIGAN

#VIGAN

that are still running the streets for centuries now.

Old photos of Ilocos churches like the PAOAY CHURCH

[PAOAY] ▬ The Multicultural Church: From Borobudur to Ilocos


TEASER ► Quite strange that a church where the religion of the people rests and focused is the recipient of a multicultural influence that even Buddhist influences, Chinese and others have played a part in its existence.

are framed and displayed near the buffet table. This restaurant highlights the Ilocos heritage and culture through food and art in spite of the fact that it's located in Baguio City.

KALAPAW RESTAURANT BAGUIO

[BAGUIO] ▬ ABOUT TWO PINTS OF SINANGLAO SOUP + INNARDS.


▬ The Ilocano Cuisines ▬


THE TABLE FOR BLOGGERS WAS set-up prior. Food too. The long table where our food was served was made of wood. Appetizing cuisines are hunger-stimulating but seeing the Ilocano cuisines I grew up eating made me want to get off my stylish seat and order for additional.

Fellow blogger, Bernie (habagatcentral.com), came to me excitedly telling me that he found out Ilocos empanada here. Bernie, a half Ilonggo, has Ilocano heritage and seemed to love everything under the Ilocos sun. 

I looked at the plate he's showing me and I saw an ORANGE EMPANADA

[BATAC] ▬ Batac Empanada: So What Makes it Special?


TEASER ► I have to say that I was so tired and had no breakfast at all but this 30-peso empanada gave me the energy.

. In Ilocos, orange empanada is a specialty of the CITY OF #BATAC

#BATAC

. Afterwards, we decided to order sinanglao, the great soup dish of Ilocandia.

KALAPAW RESTAURANT BAGUIO

[BAGUIO] ▬ ILOCOS EMPANADA (LEFT, BACK); SINANGLAO (FRONT)


One serving of the sinanglao was good for three. It really tasted authentic. Cubes of clotted blood (from pig) were very present too. The soup? Gratifying! I didn't miss Ilocos this time. Ilocos is just around—on the plate.

Come the orange empanada. The price was twice as expensive compared with the empanadas in Vigan's Plaza Burgos food kiosks and of Batac's riverside empanadaan. I tasted it and I found out that it was not an authentic Batac empanada. The orange color might be deceiving but if you're familiar of the different empanada versions, you'll discover that this is more of a fusion of the different versions.

KALAPAW RESTAURANT BAGUIO

[BAGUIO] ▬ GINULAY NGA PACO (EDIBLE FERN SALAD)

KALAPAW RESTAURANT BAGUIO

[BAGUIO] ▬ GINULAY NGA UGGOT TI KARABASA WITH KBL. SO ILOCANO!

KALAPAW RESTAURANT BAGUIO

[BAGUIO] ▬ IT'S OFFICIAL. BAGNET!


I again encountered this edible fern I first tasted in #LICUAN-BAAY

#LICUAN-BAAY

we call as paco or pacpaco growing alongside healthy river ecosystems while the uggot ti karabasa, squash leaves salad, is a mainstay on my plate. Bagnet? What can I say more? You're not Ilocano if you don't like bagnet. Yes, I stereotype!

After this dinner, what now? ▬ to be continued...

AZALEA RESIDENCES HOTEL BAGUIO

[UP NEXT] ▬ LIFE IN THIS STREET STARTS AT DARK


► BLOG SERIES: AZALEA SUMMER GETAWAY

Part 3 Teaser: What about the frenzy? What about the fuss? This street becomes alive after sundown. Stories will be published in Part 3.



► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This dinner was made possible through Azalea Residences Hotel in Baguio City. I was invited to experience the Azalea hospitality. My big gratitude to Azalea management.

[2] The maps I used below and those appeared on tooltips are the works of Eugene Alvin Villar and Mike Gonzalez published on Wikipedia. Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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Thank you for visiting my travel blog!

EDMAR GUQUIB, Travel Blogger
EDMARATION #TownExplorer


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