Thou Shall Not Bagnet
As soon as the family confirmed plans to spend the weekend in Baguio for my birthday, I found myself getting more and more excited, as it has been easily 20 years since my last visit. This would also be Anthony’s first, and I couldn’t wait for him to try all the goodies I’ve come to associate with the “City of Pines,” like mountain strawberries, garlic longganisa, fresh ube jam, and (the very aptly named) kulangot.
We left early that Friday morning at around 3:30 a.m., prompting a still-groggy Anthony to ask whether this was our family’s idea of a relaxing vacation. I told him we just wanted to get a head start, and besides, the road trip to Baguio is always a fun one, not only because of the picture-perfect stretches of rice fields and mountain ranges, but also because of the “more than one” food stops you make along the way. Fine, most of these stops would be gas stations, but there is one particular restaurant that stands out as the perfect stop-over en route to the north.
Welcome to Isdaan! A favorite amongst the hungry and, as you will see later, the angry. Enjoy!
Proudly claiming to be the halfway point from Manila to several northern destinations, Isdaan was definitely a welcome sight to the entire family.
I know I should have taken a picture of the massive concrete statues of the dancing fish by the entrance, but I was more enticed by the sign announcing that breakfast was currently being served. Lol!
We walked in to discover a cluster of small nipa huts floating on fishponds, which provided a perfect, breezy setting for "brekkie" that morning.
By the way, click LIKE if you think the word BREKKIE is slightly annoying. Hahaha!
And of course, there were fish. Lots of them.
We were laughing at how large their laminated menus were, and suggested that my dad hold them up 'ala Moses and the Ten Commandments. (Thou shall not bagnet, I told him — And yes, they serve bagnet for breakfast.)
Colored baskets provide a fun and festive touch.
While waiting for our orders, we got up and took a little stroll around the premises, which were tranquil and very Zen.
They were also offering free sheep rides. For the lazy and the slim, I added. LOL!
We came across the much-talked about Tacsiyapo wall, ideal for those who wanted to let off some steam.
Care to smash? It all begins with your choice of cheap porcelain or, if you've really got issues, a small TV set.
Now just aim and throw your object of choice at the wall while yelling out "Tacsiyapo!" which is a curse word in Kapampangan and loosely translates to the S-word. "I'll stick with the zen garden," Cristina whispered.
We were happy to pose with the global ambassador for anger management issues.
"Forget the plates," my loving sister told him. "A hug should do the trick."
Try to see if you can identify which foot is Cristina's.
We got back to the table and found a bountiful native spread waiting for us.
I call this the Breakfast of Champions, pinoy-style, thus making Anthony the equivalent of Bruce Jenner…
and I, Mary Lou Retton?!?
Go… Grow… Glow… Gain weight. Hahaha!
This photo makes me laugh coz Mister looks like a lost little boy here.
Eggs up-close and personal.
Anthony's order was a hit with the family, and soon we were passing his bowl around the table. Hahaha!
Nothing screams pinoy breakfast more than hot pandesal…
… And super thick native chocolate!
I successfully intercepted the fresh watermelon juice from Cristina for a quick swig before she returned the glass to my dad. You gotta be fast in this family… Lol!
In between spoonfuls, these two traveling troubadours came over and started serenading us at our table.
Nothing can be more awkward than listening to Sex Bomb while having breakfast with your parents.
Whoa! Moses can sing too?!?
And thus began my birthday weekend. Watch out for our next post where Anthony happily maneuvers his way around the Baguio public market.
Happy weekend, everyone!