"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! ▬ to be continued...

INDEX: INSIDE THIS BLOG SERIES

AZALEA RESIDENCES HOTEL BAGUIO

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


► BLOG SERIES: AZALEA SUMMER GETAWAY

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

Part 1

[BAGUIO] ▬ VIP Treatment Vacation the Azalea Way


TEASER ► Inside the room, I felt like I'm a VIP again. This is probably one of the best rooms in Azalea. I felt privileged. This staycation kicks ass.

| Part 2 | Part 3

[BAGUIO] ▬ Night Market at Harrison Road: What to See and Expect?


TEASER ► The foot traffic is huge. Merchants shout to encourage passersby to purchase their products. But some are just hawkers.

| Part 4

[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ 5 Interdependent Worlds in Strawberry Farm


TEASERI know they need something that's why they need to do something. You see great hope in their eyes.

| Part 5

[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ Bahong Flower Farm: Rose Capital of the Philippines


TEASER ► ...they will transform into beautiful, fully-bloomed flowers and that will be the end of their life because they will be cut and head straight to the flower shop.

| Part 6

[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ Jewel Igorot Restaurant: Non-Igorots Should Eat Here!


TEASER ► Say anything you want to say and this cool restaurant along the main road in La Trinidad will still find its way to become superior.

| Part 7

[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ Jewel Igorot Museum and the Maid-to-Millionaire Story


TEASER ► Greatness does not only come from huge quantities and fat funds. My conviction is something is already great when you are able to put up that something from scratch with a purpose to educate and inspire.

| Part 8

[BAGUIO] ▬ Discovering More of Baguio the Amazing Race Way


TEASER ► We've explored the city under time pressure yet we were awed by these destinations that are truly timeless.

| Part 9

[BAGUIO] ▬ 2600 Gastropub: When Zip Code Turns Into Night Life


TEASER ► Then, the playlist went on and it made me wild, almost shedding tears, remembering the good old days in favor of nostalgia.

| Part 10

[TUBA] ▬ BenCab Museum: History, Arts and Culture


TEASER ► ...everywhere is a learning realm. Everywhere is an answer if you have questions. Everywhere is a definition if you look for meanings.

| Part 11

[BAGUIO] ▬ Tam-awan Village: Old-School Igorot Living of Today


TEASER ► The present has almost erased all the things of the past but some individuals have always been interested in bringing the old back to present.

| Part 12

[BAGUIO] ▬ Tree Top Adventure: What to Expect? + Things You Must Know


TEASER ► The facilities are well-engineered—truly a work of the experts. Pine trees are part of the activities and they claim that no tree was harmed.

| Part 13

[BAGUIO] ► Azalea Residences Hotel Review: My Experiences in Details


TEASER ▬ The room where I stayed is even bigger than our house—complete with a kitchen, a dining area, a sala (with a couch and a twin bed) and another two rooms within the room. Swanky!



► 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

More Stories from #Baguio

Map Showing the Location of #Baguio


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MORE POSTS FROM THIS CATEGORY: *RESTAURANTS*

[VIGAN] ► Chula Saloon Bar: a Museum-Feel Restaurant Bar


_________________
TEASER ▬ Restobars like this one make Vigan a more interesting place to visit.

[SAN FERNANDO] ► Halo-Halo de Iloko Balay - Refreshed in La Union

_________________
TEASER ▬ ...this blue-colored old house-turned-restaurant has many surprises to keep that can only be experienced if you try to visit this restaurant

[DAGUPAN] ► Golden Mami House: Chinese Restaurant in Dagupan

_________________
TEASER ▬ ...this is the first serving for the blog menu I'll be offering soon covering food and restaurants in Dagupan City.

[KUALA LUMPUR] ► Kafeteria Ikhwan: Stories of My First Restaurant Dining Abroad

_________________
TEASER ▬ ...I enjoyed the food, but more than the food are these countless first time travel experiences that taught me to believe that the world, though getting smaller, is complex.

[BANTAY] ► The Commissary at One Vittoria Hotel, Upscale Dining in Ilocos

_________________
TEASER ▬ It's nice to see Metro Vigan evolving so fast on the right path. There are more options coming. For 'The Commissary,' it's setting a new genre for Ilocos...

[TANAY] ► Handong: Vegetarianism, Nature and Religion Intertwined

_________________
TEASER ▬ It's vegetarianism on its face. No killing of animal life—it's primarily based on sustainable farming.


[VIGAN] ► Bigueños Café: A Cozy Place to Chillax and Eat in Vigan

_________________
TEASER ▬ Its trade name, Bigueños cafe.net, came from 'Bigueño', a term used to refer to the people of Vigan.

[SAN FERNANDO] ► Flashback Stories: Sea and Sky Hotel's the Bay Grill and Cafe

_________________
TEASER ▬ There are basic things in a city life commonly done by city dwellers. But for rural-grown children like us, this basic thing is an achievement to try even once and it's a big deal.

MORE TOWNS IN 'CORDILLERA' YOU MIGHT LIKE TO EXPLORE

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Thank you for visiting my travel blog!

EDMAR GUQUIB, Travel Blogger
EDMARATION #TownExplorer


SPEAK YOUR HEART OUT. C'MON! DON'T BE SHY. I PROMISE TO REPLY EXCEPT FOR TROLLS.

Axact

EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

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