"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."

[LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET, PHILIPPINES]Its name proudly represents an identity. This restaurant is just badass that it is setting an extra cool standard in its circle so intimidating to beat. The Igorot culture and heritage are here. Non-Igorots should also experience this not just to satisfy the hungry tummy but also to feed the hungry brain on the brink of knowledge prostration. This place is a restaurant, museum and a piece of inspiration in one! How cool is that?


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ STARTING THIS POST WITH A CUP OF LEMON GRASS TEA


▬ A Dense Introduction ▬


#LATRINIDAD


THE LA TRINIDAD VALLEY WHERE the downtown and the famous STRAWBERRY FARM

[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.

are located is relatively denser in population and in concrete structures. The weather is slightly hotter too compared with the lower temperature of the villages outside the poblacion. But in these densities, there's this thing that stands out; probably by destiny and not by density.


One of the concrete structures I've seen here contains a world of arts, food, culture and inspiration. The concept of density is also here, mind you. Inside this structure generally called as the Jewel Igorot Building is densely equipped with fantastic things to enjoy and learn!


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ FAÇADE OF THE STRUCTURE I'M REFERRING HERE


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ DOWNTOWN LA TRINIDAD: SHOWING THE MAIN ROAD


The exterior itself is already noticeable. It is a big building compared to others around. It is designed with stones plastered to appear stylish. The other unique feature of this building is the hut accentuated with light-greenish ferns which makes the façade look like a fusion of the past and the contemporary.

A portion of this building is a restaurant called Jewel Igorot Restaurant and here is where I've been.


▬ The Entrance Brought Me Somewhere Else ▬


SO I ENTERED THIS BUILDING, left side. Then how come the interior has bamboos? Hah. No it's not really funny. It's affirmatively great actually. It looks like the owner is someone who wants to try new things, adorable things.

Then you have the stones, not really pebbles, so shiny and smooth plastered altogether on the walls inside. The benches made of wood made the place to appear like a park inside a building.

The bamboos' presence with the stone walls made me think I am somewhere else like in a riverbank or those hills I used to see as a child now owned by a powerful politician. Darn wealthy politicians owning everything they can afford to buy—even the hills/land of my heritage!


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ THIS IS THE ENTRANCE LOBBY.


▬ The Interior ▬

THE INTERIOR IS NEVER INFERIOR. 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. My eyes turned to the left side but the stylish interior never left me; never left my interest at least. I was right in my first impressions. I walked straight ahead after.


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ THE WOODEN STAIRWAY IS DECORATED WITH TRUE GREEN PLANTS.


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ HERE COMES THE RED PLANTS OF THE SPIRAL STAIR.


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ THESE DWARF BAMBOOS TURNED THE DULL STAIR REFRESHING.


So the restaurant where I'm going to dine is located at the third floorjust perfectly fine to let visitors step onto the spiral wooden stairs done so carefully creative.

The stairway is a showcase. Beside every other step are sculptures made from wood and clay. From here, the museum character of this restaurant is starting to appear. Well, as I've said, this restaurant is also a museum. I will write about the museum side of this restaurant on the next post.


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ IF YOU NEED FRESH AIR....


The restaurant is not really fully enclosed to allow the cool breeze from the mountains to enter. However, should you wish to go al fresco, you got the choice.


▬ The Food ▬


The first food they served was a platter of brown rice. This brown rice is grown in the CORDILLERAS

CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

. Igorots eat this kind of rice and it is believed that it's much healthier compared with the white rice. Unlike its white counterpart, this brown rice is more organic.


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ THE BROWN RICE OF THE IGOROTS ARE HERE TO STAY.


So these fellow bloggers started to bring out their gadgets and the brown rice became the star of the day. It was surrounded instantly by bloggers-turned-paparazzi capturing a photo for their instagram updates.

Anyway, damnit! How come this champorado-like rice is not a mainstream in the lowlands where lifestyle-related diseases are common? Dumb-ass commercialism. The oily meats and pesticide-grown white rice is making the pockets of the managers of the money economy healthy and bulging, not the consumers. I know a farmer who uses pesticide to grow rice in commercial farming. But they never eat what they sell. They instead plant another pesticide-free rice for their consumption; not of good quality but healthier. It's not for sale anyway. It's for their personal consumption. Also blame some consumers. They think that the whiter, the better. Hence, the demand for whiter pesticide-preserved unhealthier rice.


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ FRUITS ARE PLENTY.


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ WATERMELONS, LOVELY.


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ CHOP SUEY NEVER GONE WRONG.


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ I ALMOST ATE ALL THE GRAPES HERE!


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ THIS PINAKBET + BAGNET IS PROFOUNDLY GOOD!


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ BARANIW (LEMON GRASS) TEA


[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ ENDING THIS WITH A HOT CUP OF BARANIW TEA.


They served mostly fruits but their chop suey, pinakbet and sinigang were all stellar. I can't say any single stupid word against the food. I know where to go the next time I'll visit La Trinidad.

I have described this restaurant the way I saw it. But the most interesting part is yet to be told. The owner of this building is a former domestic helper in Hong Kong. How come she now owned a 4-story building? No, she never married a wealthy guy. Her inspiring story is not the get-rich-quick scheme done in MLMs. This is a rugs-to-millionaire story. ▬ to be continued...

INDEX: INSIDE THIS BLOG SERIES

AZALEA RESIDENCES HOTEL BAGUIO

[UP NEXT] ▬ A DOMESTIC HELPER BECAME A MILLIONAIRE. INSPIRING STORY.


► BLOG SERIES: AZALEA SUMMER GETAWAY

Up Next: I said, this restaurant is also a world of inspiration and fascinating stories of ordinary people who became extraordinary. She is a proud Igorota and her key to becoming a millionaire is by becoming a domestic helper first.

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

[BAGUIO] ▬ Ilocano Food Reigns at Kalapaw Restaurant


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

| 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 | 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] Some important details about the Jewel Restaurant:
  • ADDRESS: KM 4, Balili, La Trinidad, Benguet
  • CONTACT INFO: (O74) 422-3258/(O74)422-9101
  • MENU: They serve breakfast meals, rice toppings, pork, goat, chicken and fish dishes. Solo orders start at 70 pesos up t0 110 pesos. Group dishes start from 210 up to 700 depending on the size of serving and type of dish.

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

[3] All maps I used on this post are the works of Eugene Alvin Villar and Mike Gonzalez published on Wikipedia. Source: 1 | 2

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Map Showing the Location of #LaTrinidad


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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

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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.

[BAGUIO] ► Ilocano Food Reigns at Kalapaw Restaurant


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

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


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

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

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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

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

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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

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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

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

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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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