The last installment of this trilogy ends with a high note. A high note for the people who will be welcoming you back to your ‘reality’. You got it! I am talking about pasalubong, or souvenirs or gifts you give to your family and friends. Well, apparently there is no direct translation for the tagalog word according to Mr. Google Translate. It may be hard for the wallet but it sure is soft to the heart.
There are a number of staples that people buy when going home from Baguio. And these are the things that most people tend to expect to receive.
Good treats from the Good Shepherd.
I remember our way going to the Good Shepherd Convent. It was raining and the road was soaking wet. And add to that, the sidewalk was inclined. So imagine gripping your toes to the ground just to make sure you wouldn’t slip. But then, as the saying goes, there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or in our case, huge shelves of goodies at the end of the wet road. The process of ordering your pasalubongs from the counter really is a smart move. Although there are a few people when we got there, I can imagine how organized they can be when it is the peak season. You write your orders, scribbling on a piece of paper while looking at the shelf of products they offer with their respective prices and sizes, then hand it over. We bought their lengua de gato, adobong mani, and their angel cookies. I apologize but I can’t remember how much they are. This is the place to go to buy goods where part of the profit goes to educating aspiring college students in Baguio. And yes it is legit, they even have a bulletin board of the graduates they were able to sponsor.
For the love of raisin bread.
Okay, so of all the things that Yummy Magazine has featured in their Baguio Food Trip Guide, this is one of the scant things that hold true to their review. Disappointing. But thank God for good bread. Located 10 good minutes from Baguio Country Club is a humble neighborhood bakery with its display cases almost empty as the clock reaches 11am. Yes. 11-A-M. Just the right pressure to make sure you wake up at the right time to get your morning meal. And true to what they say, we arrived there a few minutes passed 11am and an almost-empty display case welcomed us. With frowns painted on our faces, they owner asked us what we want. “We want raising bread!”. That’s what I said… in my mind. He knew we want to take it back to Manila. So he took our orders and happily offered to box it up for us. We ordered Palaganas Bakery‘s more-than-a-foot-long raisin bread. Six of them beauties for P100 (US$2.44) each. And guess what, it was freshly baked, hidden from plain sight. We had a taste of it upon arriving home and yes, it was the raisin bread I have expected – LOADED WITH RAISINS AND CINNAMON. The true essence of a raisin bread. Thank you Palaganas Bakery. (No, we did not keep the 6 more-than-a-foot-long raisin bread to ourselves. We gave them to our family. Just to make things clear.)
Sct. Barrio, Loakan
There are times when books make the best dessert.
I have been eyeing and wanting to go to Mt. Cloud Bookshop at Upper Session Road for almost 10 months and it is only now that I was able to go. I vowed to myself that whenever I travel, I have to make sure that I buy a book by a local author. I bought Butterfly People by Robin Lim (P285 or US$7), a native of Benguet Province. Though I have not yet started on reading it, based on the synopsis, I am intrigued. There are a lot of things that is available for purchase, from books to art to journals. What struck me the most is how small but informational their bookshop is. And I really like how it looks. I think I will be patterning my dream library to this bookshop. Oh and guess what! I found volume 2 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child and Simone Beck! I was starstruck. Really!
Mt. Cloud Bookshop
Upper Session Road, Baguio City
A go-to-place in the Public Market.
Within the market you will find a lot of things that you think you wouldn’t spend on but eventually, you will find yourself carrying tons of plastic bags filled with pasalubong or wood crafts or vegetables or flowers. Yes, I know. I can’t resist it too! During this trip, I fancied a lot of dreamcatchers and woodworks. As a normal market would be, it is separated into dry and wet. And within the dry market you will find yourself in a maze of stalls pulling you in as people try to sales-talk you into buying products from them. Go ahead, entertain them. If you find something you like, inquire, but try to haggle. Most of the time, you can get a 40-60% slash from the original price if you’re good and persistent. If not, then look for another store with the same item. Easy. A point of attraction when it comes to pasalubong is Tantamco’s which is already in existence as long as I can remember. This is where you buy your ube halaya (purple yam jam) and your other staples such as lengua de gato and chocolate flakes as well. P500 (US$12.17) will give you a good number of pasalubongs for your family and friends. And don’t forget Romana Peanut Brittle. You didn’t go to Baguio if you didn’t buy Romana Peanut Brittle.
A great surprise from the Science City of Muñoz.
Walking along Session Road rewarded me with this great find. I have been to Muñoz, Nueva Ecija when I visited a close friend and he introduced us to Eriel’s Cakes & Pastries‘s Silvanas. A normal silvanas is like a big puff. This one, this is different. It is thin and crisp. And the buttercream is perfect. This is the best silvanas I have ever tasted, and my family can attest to that. It was April when we got introduced to one another. I can’t believe its been 7 months already. Guess what! We found a store that sells their silvanas! Before purchasing, I asked the owner if this is the one originally from Muñoz in Nueva Ecija and she said yes. Now the question is that is she the one making this or does she order it from Central Luzon. It is being delivered from Nueva Ecija and she is a distributor. Thank God. It was fate that I (well actually, it was my brother who found the store because of their very distinct box) found the store. I made sure that I buy a big box of 25 (P285 or US$7) before leaving. I bought 2. HA! Now, if you want to buy some for yourself, it is just beside Tea House. There should be a sign saying ‘Silvanas’. You’ll never go wrong!
Eriel’s Cakes and Pastries
(Distributor) Baguio City, Benguet: Session Road, beside Tea House
(Original store) Muñoz, Nueva Ecija: Isla Street, Poblacion East, Science City of Munoz , Nueva Ecija
Angeles City, Pampanga: 332 Jesus St., Angeles City, Pampanga
Quezon City, Metro Manila (soon to open): Grass Residences, behind SM North EDSA
There you go! Now, isn’t it great to find a food guide catering to desserts? I know I want to find one whenever I go to places. But if not, I’m sure my sweet tooth will lead me there.
Till the next S.T.O.F. adventure!
With Love, Baguio.