Be Benguet.

Whenever someone asks me which among the 76 Philippine provinces I have been is my favorite, I without batting an eyelash, would quip — Benguet. Bias as it may sound, but no one gets close to a place you call home.

Benguet is one of the 6 provinces that comprise the Cordillera Region. The province has 13 municipalities and 1 city. I have been to 9 of the 13 towns and it is quite a shame that I still have to set foot on 4 of them.

Anyhow, be amazed with its picturesque landscape, cool climate, and warm, friendly people — Beautiful Benguet. 🥰

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy.

Baguio’s Local Folks

“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.” – Jean Vanier, Community and Growth

What does a community mean to you? Your university class, or your theatre family, or maybe your neighborhood? Is it a place you go to whenever you need some breather? Or, a particular individual you seek advice when confusion and problems arise? Or in a nutshell, a community could be any space where thoughts (or opinions), talents, and passions are made communal, acknowledged, and shared in an encouraging and fruitful manner. A community, therefore, evokes a sense of support to people and their creatives.

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I have always taken pride that Baguio, my city, is a creative community where locals (and visitors alike) can freely express their ingenuity in any form that is inspiring. Last June 20, I finally got the chance to attend one of The Local Folke’s monthly gathering. THE LOCAL FOLKE is an inventive outlet for various kinds of creative individuals from travelers to writers to photographers to artists of different kind. As I see it, it hopes to become a peer-led community for connection, inspiration, inclusion and of course, creative expression. Moreover, I sense that The Local Folke can eventually become a space to feel at home, to spend time with others, to be to be one’s self, to be accepted, and to learn and grow.

During this recent gathering, a very timely topic was discussed. It was about financial management and the troubles that go with spending and saving one’s money. I usually say no to any invitation about financial advocacy talks. For one, I feel that such talk usually leads to networking. I am just glad that the sharing made through this get-together was enlightening. It has dawned on me that the problem is not the lack of money, but the lack of financial literacy. I won’t put into details the things we talked about, but I must say that I have learned a thing or two. (Thanks to Sir Galang of Insular Life).

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After this basic discussion about financial management, every attendee got the chance to know each other better by sharing something about themselves. It was such a diverse group wherein there were musicians, photographers, travel enthusiasts, and more. The best part (and the one I enjoyed the most) was when each of us were asked random questions that allow sharing of thoughts/ opinions and be an inspiration to others. It was such a delight to listen and learn from different people’s viewpoints and sentiments. Such simple meeting provided a humbling opportunity to mingle and gain confidence in a situation where we are all appreciated.

It definitely won’t be the last time I am attending such get-together. I am beyond ecstatic that I was able to meet like-minded individuals over good talks and laughs. Special shout-out to Micah and Mikka for organizing this wonderful event. Thanks too, to Lance Oneil for the photographs.

Take it easy everyJuan.

Baguio is Home

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right. — Maya Angelou

Sometimes I feel there’s a love-hate kind of relationship that exists between me and Baguio, the city I call my home. Occasionally I think it is too small and limited regarding opportunities and expanding my horizon. I once left the city for three years thinking it would be a real escape from forgetting the bad memories of a failed relationship. I thought leaving Baguio was a good excuse to explore the things outside my comfort zone. It made me believe that leaving my home will help me find where I want to be, and who I want to become.

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After ten weeks of backpacking around Europe, I was reminded that there is no better place like home… that there is no better feeling than being in the city that I love so much. So here are the main reasons why I will always be happy to stay in the City of Pine, Baguio.

The Weather: Baguio has the best weather from among the Philippine cities. Well, it may have gone a little warmer over the years, yet the weather here is incomparable. Moreover, the smell of the cold air is so comforting to my body and soul. You’ll feel it the moment you arrive in the city. It is distinct from anywhere else. I think this is the prime reason why a lot of people come to visit Baguio.

The Good Food: I want to believe that Baguio offers an array of excellent food. I am a self-confessed foodie and so exploring food possibilities with my palate is one thing I love doing. I go out and try new gastronomies whenever a new café or restaurant opens. I want to think that Baguio is one big food hub ideal for a food crawl. Home-grown eateries like 50s Diner, Vizcos, Arcas Yard, and Canto are some of my favorite. Just like Baguio’s unruffled weather, the food here is soothing to the soul.

The People: Baguio may have become a melting pot already, but Baguio people remains to be some of the most hospitable and genuinely kind individuals and families. Aside from having the best taxi drivers in the entire country, on a personal note, the people I have met here in Baguio are incomparable. These people I call friends and family, these people whom I have made a lot of memories, these people who have contributed much to my growth as a person – are the main reasons why I love Baguio to the core. Not all of them may no longer be here with me (as they are already living their own lives), but the moments we have shared together are here to stay no matter what.

Lastly, I love Baguio because this is where I get to enjoy my time and my space. I love that reassuring feeling that I will be fine whatever the circumstances are because I am in Baguio… because I am home.

Hurts & Broken Hearts

Most of you might be surprised to see yet another entry that deviates from my usual posts. Let’s just say, I am trying to share a little more of myself. So here’s something I wrote some 9 years ago.

Loving, getting hurt, and loving again and getting hurt again may sound over-used as a blog topic and it may sound cheesy. But on second thought, it doesnt matter since its always relatable.

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We are all human. Even superheroes have there human side. No matter what our economic background, cultural standings and our chosen profession is — we all bleed the same color if we are cut. But more than that, we are prone to heart break and old battle scars from old relationships that somehow went wrong.

Relationship failures, if we knew why they went wrong or not, we still ask ourselves with “Why? What did I do wrong?” And this could be one sided or on both sides of the relationship.

Some affairs are made in heaven. And there are certain relationships that are simply not meant to be. They are doomed from the very beginning. Then there are those that start off as a storybook romance, and then they sour over time.

After being in a string of bad relationships, we start to wonder if we are defeated… defective… useless… It becomes hard to open our heart again to anyone and to trust someone again. Even if it involves trusting yourself to let go to love again.

BUT, if we don’t let go — how are we going to get over the heartbreak and turn it into another battle scar? Too bad they don’t award the purple heart of valor and bravery for surviving undesirably painful relationships.

“The only way to forget is to accept, and the only way to move on is to look ahead. And let the footprints of the past, be blown away by the wind of time. Only then can our hearts find a partner in the dance of life.” — This is one of my all-time favorite lines from Joe D’Mango.

BUT, again, we have to take baby steps in learning how to let go of the past and how to trust again, even with all the wounds and scars and broken hearts.For if we don’t, our heart would not heal enough to give ourselves another chance at the crazy roller coaster called love.

Perhaps, one difficult situation one could possibly be into is when two broken-hearted individuals collide. I wonder if together, it would help them heal each other. Sounds weird, but it could be something that could happen. Its about taking chances, its about taking risks, its full of uncertainty… but who knows… a sweet love story is on the brew.

I wrote (and first posted) this blog at my Multiply account on October 24, 2008. It was inspired by my bonding with some friends who have shared their love stories with me – most of which were tales of being broken-hearted. During those times, I was in a seemingly perfect relationship and so hearing their stories made me realize how fortunate I was with the person I have. Some 9 years after I wrote this one, it made me reminisce my personal “hurt and brokenness” experience 7 years ago. So I guess we all have our fair share of injustices when it comes to love. Nevertheless, I am still on high hopes that someday, I will meet that someone who will make me believe in love again.

***Photos used are 9 years old as well 🙂

If it is meant to be, our hearts will find each other when we meet. And if our hearts melt together so will our bodies and souls. Then every word and every touch will fuel our passion flame. I will be yours, you will be mine, and we will be one.

Lucia’s (A Delightful BnB Experience): Baguio City, PH

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace. — Gaston Bachelard

Baguio is one place I never get tired of bragging about to my friends. I tell them to visit its various tourist attractions (Burnham Park, Mines View Park, Botanical Garden, PMA, Tam-awan, BenCab, Session Road, John Hay to reiterate some), which is a staple to anyone coming to the city of pines. I also encourage these friends of mine to explore the local cafes and restaurants (like Arcas Yard, Café by the Ruins, Vizcos, Sweet Stop etc) that offer some really palatine-satiating food and beverages. Lately, I have also been suggesting them to come to Baguio and just laze around, chill, and experience a true blue staycation.

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An overnight stay or two in one of Baguio’s bed and breakfast places is one experience I recommend someone to try. And maybe, you’ll end up discovering new things about Baguio, and yourself. Just like my recent know-how in a charming, and serene house-turned-BnB called Lucia’s.

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Lucia’s Bed and Breakfast (named after the owner Ms. Lucille and her daughter Lia) is a classic Baguio home I have always seen during my formative years – homey, and pleasant in every corner. I am not usually very good with describing things to the least detail but what caught my interest (in terms of the house’s features) are the following: the murals, the peculiar accents, quotes, and vibrant color of each room, the wooden floor, and wooden window borders! My eyes almost always ogle in excitement whenever it sees something wooden. All the elements of a desirable BnB are exemplified by Lucia’s – from the warm, personalized service, the hospitality, the mingling with other guests, to that “beyond sumptuous” breakfast, and of course, the relaxing stay.

 

My 2-day “staycation” at Lucia’s wasn’t just about pampering my physical self for a much-needed rest. My stay at Lucia’s made me realize a few things. These realizations were inspired by the names of the BnB’s rooms.

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  • The best way to learn something is to LISTEN intently to someone else’s stories and shared experiences. I had a great deal of time exchanging stories and ideas with the BnB’s manager and her family. We talked about travel, Baguio life, and much more.
  • To LAUGH with all my heart whenever I find myself staring at the ceiling… smiling because I remembered a funny, silly experience. Having had a lot of “me time” during this staycation, it made me reminisce a lot of past experiences. To which I end up laughing at myself.
  • I have also re-discovered that despite being an adult, I still LEAP with joy whenever I see something really enticing like a lovely art piece (like some of those that I have seen within Lucia’s home) or hear an interesting story (like when Ms. Cate, the manager, told me about her climb to Mount Pulag before).

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  • The 2 breakfast meals I had at Lucia’s was a gastronomically LUSCIOUS experience. I both love the breakfast calzone and chicken fajita in a veggie tortilla that was served during my stay! It was so palatine-satiating that I wish they could have their own café soon and serve those dishes.
  • My LOVE for Baguio has never been this intense. I admit, I used to feel a love-hate relationship with this city, but having left it, made me recognize that there is no place like Baguio. Lucia’s BnB is Baguio in a nutshell – it’s a place of love, warmth, and the very essence of a home.
  • We all have a LOONEY side in us. In my case, I’d say, my crazy soul, can range from mild to wild. I’m used to spending time alone, and during these times, I tend to go a little berserk (in a good way) because I get to have more opportunities to entertain my crazy ideas. And I actually like it.
  • Lastly, my wonderful stay at Lucia’s reminded me of how happy it is to LIVE. I had a great time exchanging pleasantries with the kind and accommodating staff of Lucia’s. They made my stay exciting and at the same time, fulfilling. True enough, the life and soul of a house, are the individuals who live and make it a home.

 

So, if you are yearning for a tranquil Baguio stay with your family or friends or a love one, Lucia’s BnB is a perfect choice. They have 7 bedrooms to choose from, with ample bathrooms, 2 living rooms, a dining area, a kitchen, and even an indoor recreational space. Also, they have a garden and an outdoor breakfast area.

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Here is a summary of the room rates at Lucia’s. Please do note that there may be changes without prior notice hence it is best to contact them for validation purposes.

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Lucia’s Bed and Breakfast:

Address: 7 Navy Base Road, Extension, Baguio

Phone: 0917 530 3623

 

Lucia’s Bed & Breakfast is easily accessible via Leonard Wood Road. It is near Teacher’s Camp, Baguio Botanical Garden, SLU Navy Base campus, and a handful of cafes and restaurants of the Newtown Plaza Commercial Complex. Lucia’s has a parking lot so bringing in your own car isn’t a problem. Both public jeepneys and taxi frequently ply the area.

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Special thanks to Ms. Catherine Saranglao (Lucia’s manager) for accommodating me, for the awesome travel stories we shared; Sir Emerson Bimuyag (Lucia’s chef) for the sumptuous and healthy breakfast, and of course to Ms. Lucille Yambao (Lucia’s owner) for opening your home to travelers, backpackers, and tourists who would like to experience Baguio’s warmth.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Old Orangewood BnB (Baguio City, PH)

The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back. – Wendy Wunder

Baguio is, and will always be my favorite Philippine city. I mean who wouldn’t love the City of Pines? It seems that it never runs out of charm, well, besides the fact that a lot of people love it for its cool weather. Having spent a long time in this city, a lot of my people I know would consider me as the person to go to about places of interests, and of course, accommodation.

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So here is one homey and really cozy place I recommend called Old Orangewood Bed and Breakfast. Yes, it is an old house (one that is post WW2 I suppose) that is given a new look. And yes, it is an orange one. A hue that matches the entire vibe of this simple and laid-back home.

This once abode of a group of diverse Baguio foreigners now caters the growing population of Baguio tourists, travelers, backpackers, and even local who want to do a staycation in their own city. The house features old wood and stone pillars and which I like. I really have a soft spot for anything wooden. Since it is located at the backroads of Baguio’s main thoroughfare, it is spared from terrible traffic. Nonetheless, it is still within walking distance to the central business district and a jeepney away from most popular Baguio sites.

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It has 11 rooms of different sizes. Interesting to note that each room is named after famed landmarks and tourist attractions in the Cordillera (primarily in Baguio). Moreso, each of which has a distinct “personality”. The color of the room, the bed sheets and pillows, mural artworks by artist Kelly Ramos, and even some hand-crafted decors make each room unique. And did I mention that they also have a special playhouse for toddlers and young children that are just beside their café? Perfect while you have your coffee and at the same time, watching over your young.

So here is the current rate for each room (as of July 2017):

Name of Room # of Pax Off Peak Rate Peak Season Rate
Asin Hot Springs 4 – 6 3, 600.00 3, 800.00
Banaue 2 1, 600.00 1, 600.00
Burnham Park 8 – 10 650.00 /head 650.00 /head
Botanical 2 1, 600.00 1, 600.00
Camp John Hay 4 – 5 3, 600.00 3, 800.00
Kennon Road Rooms (1, 2, 3) 2 pax or solo 1, 100 (for 2) or 700 if solo 1, 100 (for 2) or 700 if solo
Mansion 3 – 6 3, 900.00 4, 000.00
Mt. Pulag 1 900.00 900.00
Sagada 2 – 3 2, 200.00 2, 300.00
Scout Hill 2 – 3 2, 200.00 2, 300.00
Session Road 2 – 4 2, 800.00 3, 000.00
Tam-awan 2 – 4 2, 800.00 3, 000.00
Wright Park 1 – 2 1, 600.00 1, 600.00

***Please do note that these rates are subject to change so it is best to confirm with them through the contact numbers enlisted below.

The Burnham Room is a dorm-type room wherein there are bunk beds.The Mt. Pulag room and the Kennon Road rooms are the rooms ideal for solo travelers/ tourists. The Botanical and Banaue rooms have 2 single beds while the Tamawan and Session Road rooms have 2 double beds. John Hay room has 1 queen-size bed and 2 single beds; Wright Park room has 1 King-Size bed; Sagada and Scout Hill rooms each have a double bed & a single bed. While the Mansion room, true to its name, has 3 double beds. Note that each room has its own toilet and bath except for the 3 Kennon Road rooms wherein T/B is shared. The T/B is equipped with a hot shower.

During my 2 night staycation here, I had the Mount Pulag room. I just love everything about it. It’s the topmost room so I get a beautiful view of the sunset during late afternoon, and some nightscape after sundown.

They do have a wi-fi. All rooms are inclusive of a daily breakfast, per person. It has a resident café called Hotcat Café where breakfast is served. Well, you can also opt to eat at their newly created dining area found at the back of the house. (By the way, if you intend to bring with you a private vehicle, they do have some parking space but let Sir Nic know about it in advance).

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Old Orangewood BnB’s house rules:

  • Check-in time is 2 PM, Check-out time is at 12 NN.
  • Extra mattress is Php450, inclusive of breakfast.
  • Laundry services are offered for a fee.
  • Flexibility on pricing can be discussed for a longer stay.
  • Breakfast is served between 6 AM and 10 AM only. (You can let them know your preferred time).
  • Rooms and extra beds must be paid before checking-in.
  • Pets are NOT allowed at The Old Orangewood.
  • Rooms will be cleaned only upon request.
  • Handle keys with care. Since there will be a fine for lost or damaged keys. Leave your room key at the front desk or keep it with you whenever you leave the premises.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the rooms or anywhere else in the house. There is, however, a designated area for smoking.
  • Conserve water by NOT running the faucets and showers unnecessarily and turn them OFF when not needed. Please report any signs of leakage or damage to water closets/appliance.
  • There is a QUIET TIME observed between 10PM-7AM. So refrain from shouting and running around in the common area.

FOR RESERVATIONS and INQUIRIES

Contact: 0928-970-7357 (Smart), 0956-645-2249 (Globe), 074-442-5060 or 074-244-9384 (landline)

Email: theoldorangewood@gmail.com

Location: 20 Gomez st., Lower P. Burgos, 2600 Baguio City, Philippines

You can also check their Facebook Page for promos. OLD ORANGEWOOD BnB

Shout out to Sir Nik, Mam Danette, their adorable daughter Lilu (who would come to me and have some really nice conversation), and her brother Noah for accommodating me with utmost warmth. And to all their uber friendly and helpful staff – keep it up! You truly add up more warmth to Old Orangewood BnB, and Baguio’s cool climate.

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So, the next time you look for a place to stay in Baguio, and you want some place totally relaxing and really homey, give The Old Orangewood Bed and Breakfast a try.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy everyJUAN.

 

Vanilla Café (Baguio City, PH)

Since I left Baguio 2 years ago, more and more cafes and restaurants have sprouted in the City of Pines. Whenever I go home, I make sure to visit one of them. My previous stay led me to try Vanilla Café. Tucked in an unobtrusive place along Ignacio Villamor Street in Baguio City, lies this dining place that is being gradually recognized.

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My initial impression is that Vanilla (Bean) Café offers a homey, comfortable for those who would want to just hang out or those tired folks looking for something refreshing to the senses. With the café’s vividly decorated, pastel interior, anyone who enters this abode will surely be delighted. Ironic as it may sound, but I adore how inequitable everything viewed and that it actually made the cafe organized. I personally love the dining area outside where one can marvel at Baguio’s pine trees and smell the cool, fresh air. One’s palate will feel the excitement even more once they get to see the display of saccharine goodness – from cakes and other pastries. They also serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Since I was alone, I can only order a meal that’s good for my tummy. With so many foods to choose from, it was a bit challenging as I wanted to taste all of them. In the end, I settled for a pasta called Spanish Armada (a linguine pasta with sardines, black olives my love, and egg – which by the way made everything in this pasta beyond palatine satiating to my taste), frozen strawberry shortcake for dessert (I am big fan of strawberries that is why I chose this), and a pot of warm Earl Grey tea. It was one, gastronomic meal!


I would definitely come back and try their other food offerings when I go home to Baguio. In the meantime, let the photos in this short write-up entice you to give them a visit. They are open as early as 6am until 12 midnight!

Vanilla Café
Kamiseta Hotel,, Ignacio Villamor St, Baguio, Benguet, Philippines
You can also check out Kamiseta Hotel as the café is its resident food place.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Stobosa Murals (Benguet, PH)

There are three specific places I would like to see in Brazil one day. One, the gigantic Christ, The Redeemer statue; two, to trek the Amazon, and three, to have a photo shoot at its famed favela — slum in Brazil within the urban areas turned into a giant mural.

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I am a sucker for anything artsy that is why I included the favela. While that dream of going to Brazil seem to be a far-fetch reality as of this moment, I am more than glad to learn that La Trinidad – Benguet’s capital and the closest municipality to Baguio, is slowly turning several communities into one humongous mural.

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Passing by Benguet’s capital would mean enduring the traffic especially along Kilometer 3. I used to grudge about it since you’ll get stuck without any form of entertainment (unless you are preoccupied with your phone). Now, with the multi-hued Stonehill community just above the Balili River turned into a favela-like masterpiece, getting stuck in traffic becomes more pleasing, at least to the eyesight.

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The Stonehill community is comprised of 3 sitios. These are Sitios Stonehill, Botiwtiw and Sadjao (all part of Brgy. Balili). This mural project has been called Stobosa, named after the three sitios. According to an article, I have read, there are about 180 houses in this area. With the supervision of Baguio City’s Tam-awan Art Village artists and the sponsorship from a paint company – the once dull set of houses sitting along the mountains of La Trinidad have become more delightful as they are converted into a humongous painting.
Today, La Trinidad has a new moniker because of this. Besides being known as the vegetable capital and strawberry capital of the Philippines, the town is being promoted as the “Valley of Colors.” It is worthy to mention that the residents of these sitios have actively involved themselves in this project. The project is almost into its completion. Tourists who flock Baguio, have also considered checking out the mountain of houses in various colors.

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I went to see it myself one sunny day. It could be easily spotted when you are on your way to La Trinidad town proper. While I was thrilled to see it, there are also some other things that caught my attention. I like the idea of turning the houses into this big mural – yes I do. What I didn’t like are the many electrical wires hanging. I don’t know if there is a solution to this. More so, I hate that a giant tarpaulin of the paint company that donated the paint used in this project is more distinguishable than the houses themselves. It is such an eyesore! Well, they could promote their product in a way that it wouldn’t take away the beauty of the place. Lastly, I have noticed some garbages along the road fronting Stobosa (actually a turn-off). I hope the locals and tourists alike, would do their fair share of keeping the place clean.

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Nonetheless, the project is a good start and such a good welcome treat when one is making his/her way to the strawberry farm, or would go to Atok and Sagada. Maybe, soon, they would also consider painting the opposite side so that the area will be bursting with so many colors.

Good job to the REV-BLOOM campaign of Department of Tourism (DOT) Cordillera which aims to promote a more sustainable tourism in my beloved CAR!
¬Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri”juan”.

Let’s Eat: Masa Mexitalian Grub (Baguio City)

Because of my undying love for pistachios and sundried tomatoes, I went on to try a relatively new restaurant in Baguio called MASA: Mexitalian Grub. Since it is just near our place, I opted to walk my way.

I saw a post a pistachio pizza post while browsing my Instagram one time. I was kinda disappointed when it wasn’t a food offering around Manila area. Out of nowhere, I went on to google “pistachio pizza Baguio” and to my surprise, a Baguio-based food blog site mentioned that there is this resto that offers such pizza. I went to check on the address and I was delighted to know that it is near our place in Baguio.

Next thing I know, I am already in Baguio, walking my way to this eating place. It wasn’t difficult to locate it as I am pretty much knowledgeable of the area. I was there just in time for their opening hour. I immediately noticed the interior filled with wooden chairs and tables and the large handwritten menus hanging on the wall.

Going over the menu, they do not only offer Mexican and Italian dishes, but they also have Singaporean meals. (They call it Hawkers meal), and they’re pretty cheap — even their Chilly Crabs). Since I was there for one ultimate mission (that is to taste their Pistachio Pizza), I shrugged off the idea of trying any of the Hawkers meals.

So, I happily told the lovely woman at the counter that I am having Pistachio Pizza, and Prawn Feta Pasta and Lychee – Grass Jelly for dessert. There was a hint of surprise on her part. Maybe she was wondering if I have someone else with me because of my order. While waiting for my food, I took a few pictures.

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After around 15 minutes, my pasta was served. For Php180, I think the serving is just right for one person. I couldn’t wait for my pizza so I started eating. And wow! I love everything about it — the cashew, the flavorful shrimps and the feta cheese AND the al dente pasta! Just perfect! So far this is the most al dente pasta dish I have tried here in Baguio. My taste buds are enjoying every bit of my pasta when my pizza came out. Upon gazing at it, my eyes (and stomach) started to feel giddy in a good way. The sight of the grated pistachios and sundried tomatoes and bacon and pesto and mozzarella — made me even more excited. I instantly grabbed a slice and with eyes closed, I masticated it slowly. It was so good. Really good. I don’t know how to better describe but I hope you (my readers) are convinced that the pizza is really good. (So you better storm your way to Masa after reading this, okay?)

The pizza is good for 2-3 person so it’s understandable that I wasn’t able to dig in everything. I almost forgot I still have my lychee – grass jelly for dessert. I would have wanted to try their other offerings like the spicy wings and nachos but I was already full. I will most certainly come back here. Food is palatine satiating and worth your money! So there.

MASA: Mexitalian Grub is located at #65 M. Roxas St. (Trancoville), Baguio City. You can take a cab or a Trancoville bound jeepney and ask the driver to drop you off the “talipapa” or in front of Cecilia Commercial Building. Across this building is a black gate that houses MASA.

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Update: As promised, I went to eat again here at Masa when I went home to Baguio this weekend and tried their Beef Ribs. And wow! What a soft and palatine-satiating ribs they have. (Now, Kanto has a competition in the house). I also tried their Manzo Pizza. There is so much more to try so I’ll be back again soon.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebriwan.

Why Travel?

On October 15, 2008 – I made my very first blog about why I got hooked with travelling. It was a Taglish write-up. And today, to celebrate the 1st year anniversary of my travel blog here in wordpress, I am sharing several paragraphs of that writing about why I travel. Going over my reasons then, it seems to me that they are still the answers to why I continue to travel. Read along 🙂

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I like to travel because of the following reasons:

Una sa lahat, exciting bumyahe. Some people term it as stepping out of their comfort zone. Iyong iba naman, naniniwala na its a way of pushing boundaries and exploring; but it all boils down to the same thing — to take a trip is EXCITING! EXHILIRATING! ELECTRIFYING! (isipin niyo na lahat ng naguumpisa sa letter E). Hindi ba at nakakaexcite na you get to see new things, experience new sensation, o kaya eh makatikim ng pagkain na bago sa panlasa mo. Isipin mo, kapag naglalakbay ka — every step you take is something you’ve never taken before, especially on places less traveled. Sometimes, you don’t even know what to expect. And that, makes it more exciting…

Ikalawa, travelling (especially kung mag-isa ka) is something ENLIGHTENING. Kung bumibiyahe ka, mag-isa man o may kasama eh paniguradong marami kang malalaman tungkol sa sarili mo (at pati na rin sa mga kasama mo). Ika nga ng isang quote — “The best way to know somebody is to travel with them”. Totoo ito. Naniniwala ako dito. To travel is to learn about your limits, your strengths, your weakness and even discover things you have never imagined that you can actually do. WE LEARN ABOUT WHAT WE CAN BE, BUT HAVEN’T BEEN THUS FAR. We learn about emotional stress one can deal with, what we dare, what we don’t. Ngayon, mas masasabi ko na mas naging flexible ako sa maraming bagay…. Narealize ko na mabubuhay ako kahit walang mga luho… na marami akong kayang gawin na mga bagay-bagay na once I would not dare do or thought I can do.

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Ikatlo, EXPERIENCE. Bukod sa masayang isipin na may bago kang lugar na mapupuntahan o bagong taong makikilala — doing all that new stuff is something extremely educational. Experiential learning sabi nga sa Pschology. The places, the people, the things you do are not those things that one will be forgetting soon. Hindi gaya ng mga inaral mo sa exam na pagkatapos ng pagsusulit, kinakalimutan na. Ung mga naeexperience sa mga ganitong lakad, usually stays forever or would leave a certain mark to you. An experience may change the way we think about things – again from people to culture to places. In some cases, some will even change our own life. It usually brings things into perspective.

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The fourth reason is something very different for all of us who like to travel. It is because, the third reason is considered to be something VERY PERSONAL. May kanya kanya tayong espesyal na dahilan kung bakit gustong gusto nating maglakbay. Yung iba, they love how simple life is on the road, iyong iba naman eh dahil sa gusto nilang matuto ng iba’t ibang bagay tungkol sa isang lugar (ie history, culture)… Others do it to capture their stolen youth, or to make up for some precious time… For some, it is a must because if they don’t travel, they wouldn’t feel satisfied or complete. Yung iba siguro, its a form of escape, a form of searching for something missing…  Well, I share most of these reasons most of the time. But if there is one thing I have come to realize after several years of traveling around my beautiful Philippines eh heto iyon. I like travelling because i wish that others traveled more. Totoo iyan. Proud ako na panay ang hikayat ko sa mga kakilala ko na sumama sa akin… I feel extremely happy everytime I get the chance to share my experiences and stories. It feels good pag may nakoconvince ako to travel and see places — malayo man o malapit.

Lastly, traveling is LIVING. Lahat tayo gusto natin yung pakiramdam na WE ARE FREE, that WE ARE ALIVE. We want to live life to its fullest. My travels made me realize that communities are boundaries. Boundaries, somehow, have invisible walls. I want to break these walls, I want to break these boundaries. Sabi ko nga sa 4th reason ko, I like the idea that everyone gets to travel. Bukod sa masaya ung pakiramdam na may nahikayat ka, it feels even better to see them appreciate also the things that captured your heart. Most importantly, they to are able to break boundaries.  Gusto ko ‘to dahil naniniwala ako na mas magkakaintindihan tayo kung nakita mo rin ant naranasan mo rin ang mga nakita ko at naranasan ko.

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Ikaw, ano mga dahilan mo? Bakit gusto mong naglalakbay? Kung hindi ka mahilig, bakit hindi mo subukan? You will never know, it might unlock something new in you.

I don’t know what the future holds for me. But one thing is certain, I will continue going to places. Kahit saan pa yan. Meron o walang pera. Marami pa akong gustong mapuntahan. Marami pa akong gustong malaman. At sana, sa susunod, kasama ko pa rin kayo… kasama ko na kayo…

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. take it easy ebriwan.

Yay! Happy 1st anniversary to my travel blog, No Juan is an Island!!!