Just beside the culturally rich Tam-Awan Village is the Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant, offering authentic Cordilleran cuisine at a friendly price.
Baguio City is known for its rich culture and heritage. Apart from the popular tourist attractions, people in the metro oftentimes visit this mountainous city just to have a taste of their unique dishes. When we visited the city of pines on the last week of January 2018, we went uphill in Long Long Road going to Tam-Awan Village; a known tourist destination. It was noon time when we arrived in the location, so we decided to have lunch in Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant.
Real Cordilleran Vibe
The restaurant is thickly thatched similar to the indigenous nipa huts of Cordillera. It is primarily made out of wood, and embellished with different foliage; giving the restaurant a homey and rustic vibe.
The restaurant is well ornate inside with different woodwork and furniture; displaying exquisite Cordilleran art. Since the roofing is steeply pitched, the interior is cool and comforting.
Authentic Cordilleran Cuisine
Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant offers large servings of pure Cordilleran cuisine, like smoked beef, pork, and chicken, at an affordable price. Each meal is partnered with generous amount of vegetables; you will never fall short of various greens in every dish.
During our visit, we tried their chicken pinikpikan; a form of native dish carried out by repetitively beating a live chicken with a stick until it’s dead. The bruised meat gives it distinct flavor, making chicken pinikpikan unique.
In this restaurant, their chicken pinikpikan is served with etag, (smoked pork cured with salt, a common delicacy in Sagada, Mountain Province) giving it a flavor fusion of salty and bitter.
Our short stay in Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant was enjoyable. With huge servings and affordable price, including this place on your food trip list is surely worth it.
The Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant: Quick Details
Address: Long Long, Benguet Rd, Awan Village, Baguio, Benguet, Philippines, 2601
Hours: Everyday from 9AM to 8PM (Sundays: 9AM to 3PM)
Contact Number: +63 74 428 1253
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Tam-awan is a cultural village and art center built by local artists with a purpose of showcasing and preserving the heritage of Cordillera.
During the 90s, the Chanum Foundation started building Ifugao houses in the city of pines mimicking an Igorot village which provides exposure to travelers who haven’t been to the heart of Cordillera. Today, there are now seven Ifugao huts and two Kalinga houses made from original materials. Aside from these native huts, the place is also an art center displaying different forms of artworks.
Located in Pinsao Proper in Baguio City, Tam-Awan is a great addition to your Baguio City escapade. With an entrance fee of PHP 50, there’s a lot of things to discover in this beautiful model village. Here are the things that you can do in Tam-Awan Village: Garden in the Sky.
View Different Works of Art
Tam-Awan Village is also an interactive museum seated on a hill covered in thick rain forest. After paying the entrance fee, a staff member will provide a map of the whole place wherein you’ll find different galleries housing native Cordilleran art. Satisfy your artsy cravings by visiting each galleries, and appreciate the beauty of local art.
Be One With Nature
Tam-Awan is a great place for nature lovers. Immerse yourself in different forms of flora and fauna which is ubiquitous in the village. There’s also a pond in the middle, and a gazebo at the upper part of the village where you can stay and meditate.
Buy Souvenirs at the Local Craft Shop
There’s also a store right after the entrance of the village where you can find locally made products ranging from weaved items, clothing, native woodwork, and delicacies. Find a great pasalubong for your love ones at home in this craft shop.
Have a Break in their Coffee Shop
If you need to warm yourself up in this cool mountainous city, then the Tam-Awan Cafe is right there for you. Located just beside the cultural show area, this place is great for coffee time with friends and love ones. In their menu, you can choose from pastas and breads, breakfast meals, warm drinks, and even native Cordilleran cuisine. The price is also reasonable and pocket friendly ranging from PHP 50 – 300.
Attend Art Workshops and Watch Cultural Shows
Watching cultural shows can boost your knowledge about the culture of the Igorots. It also increases awareness and respect in their tradition and way of life. You can also enhance your skills by joining art workshops held in the village. Check their websites for their scheduled events.
See the Cityscape in their Viewing Deck
The village has two viewing decks wherein you can see the cityscape of Baguio. On clear days, you can see the sun setting in the China sea; which also serves as a definition for the word Tam-Awan (meaning: vantage point). When we visited Tam-Awan Village, the whole place was shrouded with fog and clouds; like a white blanket covering the panorama on the other side.
Have an Overnight Stay in One of the Native Huts
Tam-Awan is also offering affordable overnight accommodation for travelers. For only PHP 500 per person, lodging inside one of the native huts provides an immersive Cordilleran experience. Towels and bedding are inclusive, but toiletries must be provided by the lodgers.
How to go to Tam-Awan Village
Visiting this model village is easy. Make sure to include this tourist spot in your Baguio City trip, and immerse yourself to the beautiful culture and heritage of Cordillera. Here are three ways on how to go to Tam-Awan Village.
By Jeep – From Baguio City proper, go to Kayang Street and you’ll find a jeepney station. Look for the jeep with a signage “Long-long” or “Tam-Awan”. Inform the driver that you will alight in Tam-Awan Village. Fare is PHP 9.00.
By Taxi/Cab – From Baguio City proper, take a cab and inform the driver that you will alight in Tam-Awan Village. Fare is around PHP 80-100, depending on your pickup location.
By Private Vehicle – You can use the available navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps for this. Input ‘Tam-Awan Village’ as destination, and follow the directions. If you’re coming from the city proper, drive to Naguilian Road then make a right turn to Quezon Hill Road 2. Drive just straight up going to Long-long road, and on the right you’ll find the Tam-awan Village.
Tam-Awan Village: The Essentials
PHP 50 – Adults, PHP 30 for Senior Citizens, PHP 20 for Children
Beddings and Towels are provided, but toiletries are care of by the lodger
1 Person: PHP 500/day
2 Persons: PHP 1000/day
Extra Person: PHP 300/person
Group (10 persons or more): PHP 350/person
Picnic Fee (9am to 6pm): PHP 200/ group of 10 (entrance fee excluded)
Bonfire fee (6pm to 11pm): PHP 120 (entrance fee excluded)
Use of Hut without beddings: PHP 500/hut per day (entrance fee excluded)
Function Fee: PHP 8,000 per day (max of 40 persons)
Discover the way of life of the Igorots, and immerse yourself in their vibrant culture and heritage in this garden in the sky. If you’re going to Baguio City, make sure to include Tam-Awan Village in your itinerary.
Tam-Awan Village: Quick Details
Address: 366-C Pinsao Proper, Baguio City, Philippines, 2600
While we are in Baguio City, most of our time spent there was for eating. Funny as it sounds, but it is true.
Simply because Baguio food is irresistibly fresh, tasty in every bite, generous in serving quantity, and priced reasonably; the complete package everyone is looking for.
One of this is Canto Bogchi Joint. It may have a new spot near the city center (located at: Kisad Road, Burnham Legarda Road, Baguio City), but still have the same old menu people have been indulgent of; this includes the well-known, Lomo Ribs. Other items in the Canto Bogchi menu are chicken meals, salad, beef and pizzas.
We ordered the bestseller whole slab of Lomo Ribs. The grilled pork ribs with homemade barbecue sauce that comes with cascade salad. In addition to that, we ordered 2 ala carte of mashed potato with gravy.
Inside the restaurant
The joint has a high ceiling inside, accented by white fans and yellow light bulbs; which creates a calming ambiance. Also, the wide clear windows allow the sunlight to naturally illuminate the whole place.
This new branch of Canto in Baguio is divided by a picket fence. This emphasizes the American touch of the whole diner. Furthermore, the steepness of Canto’s new location was taken advantage by this design, since it was converted into to leveled space.
The tables and chairs show the rustic roots of this new location of Canto Bogchi. They are simple and minimalist. These can be moved to suit numbers of people from 2 persons up to a family sized group.
Turning to this corner (Canto)
After our chill moments in Arca’s, we came to Canto Bogchi Joint just in time to fill our tank with a sumptuous meal.
The establishment greeted us with the Canto signage, backed with the over-all white colored exterior. Its location is along the main road of Kisad, which made it perfect for welcoming guests.
I expected that this new branch of Canto houses good food, since people wait patiently for their turn in line. Yes, all the hearsays are true! It is worth the wait for the queue, and serving time is around 15 to 20 minutes.
The Lomo Ribs is at par along other ribs that fancy resto offers. It exceeded the satisfaction of my craving as it was complemented by mashed potato with gravy; incredibly luscious together!
Never forget the salad! Nowhere else in the country offers the best vegetables other than in Baguio. Fresh leaves and fruits treat your taste buds from that “umay” factor, which is perfect after munching a huge chunk of grilled meat.
Canto Bogchi Joint: Quick Details
Address: 25 Kisad Road, Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines, 2602
Hours: Mondays to Thursdays – 10AM to 9PM, Fridays to Sundays – 10AM to 10PM.
Private Car – Waze your way to “Canto Bogchi Joint” or simply type in “Canto”.
Taxi – A wisest choice for commuters. Fare may vary depending on distance from pick up point. For us, we came from Arca’s Yard; so we paid more than PHP 100.
Feel good, think well. There is nothing to discount from this experience with Canto. Queue line can be long in busy days, but I assure you everything is worth it. Just like everything we have waited for, it will just come in the right time with a twist; exceeding what is the best that you have thought!
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Captivating colors, cold breeze, Pine trees, up and down roads; there is so much more to expect going up north to Baguio City. One of these is the “StoBoSa Hillside Homes Artwork” famously known as Valley of Colors.
The Place: StoBoSa
“StoBoSa” is usually mistaken as the name of the place or barangay where Valley of Colors can be found. It is actually an abridged term for 3 localities, namely, Stonehill, Botiwtiw, and Sadjap. All of them are situated in Barangay Balili La Trinidad Benguet.
It is a massive canvas made from houses on a hillside in Benguet; an attractive project made by Department of Tourism – CAR, in cooperation with the residents and artists of Tam-Awan Village.
Eyegasm x FTW thrill. Colors of StoBoSa never failed to amaze the happy kid in me. Even though that it was completed more than a year ago, it still shows the beauty of an artwork in big sizes.
There are two spots we can recommend for you to view the StoBoSa Artwork up-close. One is the waiting shed which also serve as the drop off point. The other one is the hanging bridge connecting to the colorful houses. In this position, you can take time on capturing photos and videos which are totally Instagrammable.
The Higher Twist: Sitio Upper Cogcoga
We discovered a not-so-popular place around the area which provides a different perspective of the gigantic mural.
We climbed the Sitio Cogcoga Stairway, and this pathway for local residents is not-so-popular to everyone. The place is just across the site, and it is less than a hundred steps up. Here, you’ll see an astonishing perspective of the hillside community; offering vibrant charm of colorful houses.
The place is rich in foliage like this sunflower which relieves your exhaustion from the climb. They are ubiquitous since StoBoSa depicts the image of sunflower in it.
From this point of view, the chromatic houses are more visible. It may not show the sunflower, but to see the hues of the hill is truly satisfying.
If you are allured by the photos online and decided to go here, try this view deck whenever you are in StoBoSa.
Always remember, keep your trash disposed on proper bins. The residents are dedicated in conserving the area for all of us to enjoy the place.
How to get to the Valley of Colors
Travel time from Manila to Benguet is estimated from 4-5hrs depending on departure time. The following are the options on how to go to La Trinidad Benguet from Baguio City:
Private Car –Waze up Valley of Colors Baguio as the location you’re heading to. The welcome arch of La Trinidad is the landmark that you are near. After a few meters, the colorful houses will be at your right side. Travel time is more or less 30 minutes
Taxi – This is the best way to get there. Prepare around Php100.00 for the fare.
Jeepney: Go to La Trinidad Jeepney Terminal station. Ask for the jeepney route passing by the “Valley of Colors”. Pay the amount of Php 8.50 for the fare.
The Valley of Colors in Baguio is a definite example of “bayanihan” spirit of Filipinos. All the people efforts and sacrifices make it more vibrant complimented by the paint visible in the eye.
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The Baguio Night Market in Harrison Road brings life and color in the city after sundown. Hundreds of tourists flock the street to buy goods and locally-made products.
At dusk, a portion of Harrison Road becomes inaccessible to both public and private vehicles. Vendors and merchants assemble their shops, and lay their products in preparation for another busy evening. As the clock ticks at 9:00 PM, the lively night begins. I travel up north almost every quarter of the year to this mountainous city; and the night market is consistently present in our itinerary.
There are hundreds of stores, also called as “ukay-ukay”, that can be found in Baguio Night Market. Ukay-ukay is popular in the Philippines, and it contains secondhand products and quality items sold at a very low price. Many people visit this place every night because of its affordability and wide range of choices.
What to Expect?
There are myriad of items to buy in Baguio Night Market, and it never fails to attract customers and travelers. Products offered here ranges from bags, footwear, clothing, and digital accessories. There are also souvenir items that you can buy in this place, even kitchenware too.
My brother and I went to Baguio Night Market last January 2018. As expected, the whole lane reserved for the market were clogged with people, making the atmosphere festive and vibrant.
We bought caps for ourselves, and scarfs as gift to my aunt and grandmother. The scarfs we bought were indigenous products from Sagada, Mountain Province. It is weaved meticulously with beautiful geometric patterns reflecting a native Cordillera design; we bought these scarfs for only PHP 100 each. Since there are a lot of people in this place, you should be mindful of your personal items, such as your bags and wallets, for safety purposes.
Overall, the experience in Baguio Night Market are both fun and exciting. Your eyes will surely be awash with colorful items and stuffs, and have great finds in this place.
When to Visit?
Baguio Night Market is always open for 7 hours every night starting from 9:00 PM to 4:00 AM. It is located in Harrison Road just beside the Burnham Park Football field. Whenever you’re going to visit the city of Pines for a quick or long break, then don’t miss out visiting this marketplace.
Baguio Night Market: Quick Details
Address: Harrison Road, Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines
If you fancied visiting the summer capital of the Philippines for a quick break, and you want to experience something new;
Then why not try going up on a mountain and enjoy a cup of hot beverage in an overlooking coffee shop in Baguio City. Sounds like a dreamy place isn’t it? That place actually exists, and its located at the southern outskirts of this mountainous city; named as Café in the Sky.
A Cold Morning in the City
It was 4:30 AM in the morning and the wind was freezing cold when we arrived in Baguio City. I was with my brother, Leo, when I took a short vacation in the city of pines. After alighting from our bus in Victory Liner station, we braved the cold and sauntered to our hotel. The whole city was still shrouded in darkness, and the sky was painted with silvery stars glistening in the morning night.
The Nuisances going to the Café
Part of our itinerary is to visit Café in the Sky before sunrise, but there are nuisances associated with this controversial coffee shop. First, visiting Café in the Sky is troublesome due to political issues. It is seated on Mt. Sto. Tomas in Tuba, Benguet, and its territory is protected by the local government. With strict regulations implemented on the area for conserving the environment, access to this place for tourist is difficult. As early as 4:00 AM, officers are already present patrolling the checkpoint going to the café; and only the locals living in the area are allowed to go in and out of the place.
Second, going to Café in the Sky is expensive. What’s even more irritating is the hefty price tag going to this place. I did a lot of research prior to visiting the café, and the people who shared their experiences almost faced similar situations. Some rented a taxi for PHP 600-1,000, while others took an FX from the checkpoint going to the café for PHP 600 to 700.
Lastly, the café is sometimes closed due to random reasons. During my research across blogs and social media sites, there were times that the coffee shop is closed for a period of time due to issues relating to the first predicament.
Amidst the issues circling in this unique café, I still wonder how it feels to spend quality time in this place while seeing the panoramic view of the city, and sipping a cup of hot brewed coffee. Nevertheless, we pushed on to our plans.
The Adventure going up
Before leaving the hotel, at around 5:00 AM, I contacted Café in the Sky; I got their phone number in their Facebook Page. A woman with a sweet tiny voice answered the call. I asked if the coffee shop was opened that day, and she affirmed. Nuisance number three is out!
Then I asked for ways on how to visit their café. Well, she replied with a sound of doubt in her voice. She mentioned the local government was strict that time, and the police manning the checkpoint might prohibit us in visiting the coffee shop. Since I was so determined that day, I asked for possible alternatives. I asked her if it’s okay to hike from the checkpoint going to the café; and she chuckled saying, “Kung kaya niyo po, sige po.” (If you can do it, why not?).
The challenge? The hike takes about 4.2 kilometers in distance with 1,200 feet of elevation from the checkpoint going to the cafe; and the temperature was dipping to 10 degrees Celsius that morning. So not a problem at all eh?
After our conversation, we rent a taxi going to the café. We asked the driver if it’s still possible to visit the café at that time. He answered yes without hesitation; but, we have to pay a one-way fare of PHP 600 going up. Nuisance number two: it’s really expensive.
As we approached the Santo Tomas Road (the long winding road going to the café), I became anxious, and questions started to flood my mind. The officers were already patrolling the area when we reached the checkpoint. Our taxi driver did the talking, and to my surprise, the officers let us through. Big thanks to our taxi driver! All nuisances are now eliminated!
My heart was filled with excitement as we rode along the convoluted road of Santo Tomas. I saw a number of people walking down the street while defying the freezing mountain wind. As the pathway leveled, we finally reached Cafe in the Sky.
Café in the Sky Experience
The sun was not yet up when we arrived in the place, and the chilly wind was howling in discord. We found warmth and comfort inside the cafe, and there were a few travelers inside.
The coffee shop generally looked like an old lodge made up of lumber and concrete. The interior was embellished with wooden furniture and indigenous Cordillera art. The cafe has a welcoming atmosphere, and its quiet interior is peaceful.
There’s also a balcony at the northern side of the coffee shop, overlooking the panoramic view of Baguio City. I went outside and conquered the wintry breeze while seeing a different perspective of the city at a height of 6,500 feet. The towns were covered in mist as it slept and waited for the sun to rise.
The lights coming from houses and buildings flickered like stars in the sky. At the crack of dawn, the city became more visible, like a gigantic mural slowly revealing its marvelous beauty.
I’ve been visiting Baguio City regularly since 2015, and I’ve never seen something like this before. I stood on the balcony, and looked at the stunning landscape of the city. The sky was painted with shades of yellow and blue as the first light of the sun greeted in awe. The city became alive as the mountainous plains were flooded with colors.
After taking random pictures, my brother and I decided to take the seats in the balcony. We had our breakfast outside the café while enjoying the stunning view. With this unique experience, breakfast have never been so ecstatic.
There’s nothing really special in their set of meals. We ordered the usual Filipino silogs for breakfast. Their longanisa was both garlicky and sweet, and their bangus was petite but not short in flavor.
What’s really special about Café in the Sky is the experience itself. Although we faced predicaments in the first place, I suddenly forgot all the nuisances we had when we stepped foot in this place.
After breakfast, we also had a chance to talk and share stories with the staffs of the café. Their friendly and accommodating nature signifies genuine Igorot hospitality.
At around 0900H, we were the only travelers left in the cafe. This is a usual situation according to the staffs, and the influx of visitors vary across the day. After our small talk, we bid our gratitude and farewell to the staffs, and started hiking down back to the city.
Cafe in the Sky has nothing special to offer when it comes to their cuisine; but with their cozy interior, and grandiose panorama of Baguio City in their balcony, make a lot of difference. I will never forget our wondrous sojourn in this coffee shop in the mount. A cup of hot brewed coffee and quality time spent while enjoying the scenic view is an experience worth remembering.
How to Get to Cafe in the Sky
Cafe in the Sky is located in Sto. Tomas – Mt. Cabuyao Road, in Tuba, Benguet. You can find this cafe on the outskirts of Baguio City, and visiting this place is not easy.
The territory, where the coffee shop is located, is protected by the local government with a purpose to preserve the environment. Since the release of the hit local TV show Forevermore, the place gained mass interest due to its scenic and picturesque view. Reports vary across social media sites regarding the strict implementation of environmental rules in the area, but one prominent reason is the will of the local government to maintain the cleanliness and beauty of the location.
With this rule, the influx of travelers going to the cafe is prohibited; and only the residents of the city are allowed to go in and out of the place. Amid the strict regulations, there are still ways on how to visit the cafe and savor its unique experience it has to offer.
There are a lot of ways to visit this place. There are methods that might not work due to unavoidable circumstances; like sudden rule changes in the area. Here are three ways on how to get to Cafe in the Sky.
Hire a taxi from Baguio City
This is the method that we did when we visited Cafe in the Sky.
From Baguio City, hire a taxi going to the cafe
We hired our taxi for a one-way ride going to the place for a hefty price of PHP 600! (USD 12.00)
We went to the area at around 5:00 AM
Although police officers were present at that early time, our taxi driver did all the talking just to let us through.
If your taxi is prohibited from passing through the checkpoint…
There’s an FX vehicle from the checkpoint going to the cafe, and the fare costs PHP 700 (USD 14.00). The fare is good for a round trip ride from the checkpoint going to the cafe, and back.
If all else fails…
Then start hiking from the checkpoint going to the cafe. I estimated the hike would take around 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your fitness level.
Best time to go
The best times to visit this coffee shop is before sunrise or before sunset for a majestic golden hour scene of Baguio City. Others wanted to experience sea of clouds on top of the city. This sight usually occurs during noon time; but having this experience can happen by chance. You can call the staffs of the cafe before visiting their place to know if the clouds are already setting in.
Other travelers mentioned that it is advisable to visit the place earlier than 0400H, since there are no patrolling officers at that time.
Going Back to the City
After spending a great time in the cafe, going back to the city can be another nuisance. Since we only hired a one-way taxi going up to the cafe, and there were no available transportation, we decided to hike down. Along the way, there were locals driving down with their private vehicles. Thankfully, we managed to hitch a ride with one of the residents. We alighted in the main highway and from there, took a cab going back to the city.
Travelers will surely love the cozy atmosphere of Arca’s Yard, ideal for the quiet time everyone is wishing for.
Located along Ambuklao road in Baguio City, Arca’s Yard has a wide variety of meals on their menu; ranging from pastas, rice meals, breads, pies, salads, and hot and cold beverages. Aside from their different food choices, travelers will surely love its relaxing environment.
The Cozy Cafe in the Mountain
Arca’s Yard is like a classic American-style home at three-story high converted into a comfortable coffee shop. It is situated on an elevated terrain, and the place is evenly ventilated by cool mountain breeze coming from its wide doorways and windows.
The wooden floor also provides a rustic vibe, and the interior is lit with natural light which amplifies the beauty of the coffee shop. The whole cafe is embellished with paintings, tribal items and antiques.
The upper floor of the cafe contains the attic which contains sitting mats and cushions on the floor.
On the other hand, the main floor has a balcony overlooking the mountainous topography of Baguio City. There’s also a terrace on the other side of the coffee shop with available tables and seats.
Looking for a great place to read? Myriad of books are located at the ground floor of the cafe, perfect for book lovers and readers alike. Every corner of Arca’s Yard is truly instagrammable. This place is not just a cafe, but also a museum and a mini library.
Menu prices in Arca’s Yard are affordable and reasonable. Since my brother and I went here just to have a chill time, we ordered Cacao Hot Choco and Arca’s Cloud Tea (with cream & wild honey)—both considered as their best sellers.
The hot chocolate has an earthy and bitter taste; while their signature cloud tea is creamy with the right sweetness of honey.
We stayed here for a couple of hours in their balcony, sharing stories and ideas while enjoying the panorama of the city, and sipping hot chocolate and tea. I would recommend visiting this place on a weekday if you want to prevent the weekend crowd. Overall, I was convinced that we had a great time, since our stresses had gone down the drain.
How to go to Arca’s Yard Cafe?
If you want to have a peaceful getaway to Baguio City, then try visiting Arca’s Yard Cafe; located in Tiptop, Ambuklao road. Going to this cafe is easy, and you’ll surely have a tranquil experience in this beautiful place.
By taxi: Hop on a taxi and ask the driver to bring you to Arca’s Yard Café. If in case they are not familiar, tell the driver it is located in Tiptop, Ambuklao Rd. It is Located near Asia Pacific Theological Seminary. Estimated fare from Microtel/Victory Liner is around PHP 150.
By Jeepney: Go to Dangwa Terminal (near the public market, behind Baguio Central Mall) and take a jeepney ride heading to Tiptop. Drop off will be at Arca’s Yard directly.
Private vehicle:Find your way to Leonard Wood Road (same road going to Teacher’s Camp and Laperal White House) and go straight to Pacdal Circle, exit to Pacdal road (4th exit) and go straight up to Arc’s Yard on your right. For easier navigation, you can use Waze or Google Maps.
Arca’s Yard Cafe: Quick Details
Address: 777 Tiptop City Limit, Ambuklao Road, Baguio City, Philippines, 2600
Hours: Everyday from 9AM to 8PM
Contact Number: (074) 442-9706 | 0929-325-1868
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Another year has come, and it is a usual practice for most people to create resolutions. We envision a better version of ourselves through writing a list that would bring change to our monotonous daily lives. This includes spending more time in the gym, immersing in a new hobby, be more organized, save more money, and many more.
Nevertheless, I will still create check boxes for this year. I’m a kind of person who loves to jot down notes specially when a great idea pops out like a mushroom in my head. In this way, I am more organized. With my thoughts being materialized through random scribble of notes, I can have laser light focus directed towards achieving goals and objectives. Although evidence shows a slim chance of achieving your new year’s resolutions, still 8% is better than none.
It was a Mess
I launched this blog last April 2017 with a mess. Its identity and character was vague, its objectives were out of focus, and the content was somehow derailed and misaligned. It was like, “I just want to blog all my travels and shit, and that’s it!”
I was in a hiatus for 5 years in the blogging industry, and I was surprised on the changes that took place while I locked myself inside the hospital premises. Bloggers are more inclined in social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I find these platforms helpful in disseminating information to a broader range of audience, and I never underestimate the power of the ‘share’ button; which can start a wildfire of information and web traffic madness. To be honest, with the power of social media, some of my helpful posts reached thousands of shares across these platforms; and I am happy with it.
Never underestimate the power of the ‘share’ button; which can start a wildfire of information and web traffic madness.
The only problem I observed with this kind of practice is the intense inclination to numbers. Many bloggers nowadays are so focused on monitoring the number of likes, number of followers, and everyone seems like on a race in hitting that viral formula. These numbers somehow reflect your ‘influencing’ power towards other people.I’m not saying these metrics are wrong or bad. These data are actually good and helpful in tracking your brand’s performance; it provides insights on your strengths and weaknesses. The only thing which concerns me is the quality of the contents produced. I’m just being honest here. Most creators or bloggers or so-called influencers are so focused in reaching specific targets; hence compromising content.
I tried to follow these trends last year; and it plainlysucked. My blog’s niche was almost ruined because of stochastic posts unrelated to its intent. One time I registered in an advertising group who’s looking for bloggers willing to share a sponsored post. I was accepted, and to my surprise, the topic of the sponsored content was unrelated to my blog’s niche (It was a post regarding an invite for a job fair!). The accepted bloggers must share the post in exchange of a gift certificate. Yes, I put my blog’s content into confusion and jeopardy just for a shallow gift certificate. Honestly, I think this practice works to other bloggers. In my case, I think it’s a red flag, and it’s something that doesn’t work for me.
By the last quarter of 2017, I struggled to update this blog due to personal reasons. Even though this blog became silent for a short period of time, I am still willing to pursue and continue updating it. I believe this blog has potential to become prominent among the other blogs out there, but I am not here for competition. I am here simply because, I just want to help other people through writing quality, useful and informative posts about food and travel. My inspiration in pushing this blog to the next level for 2018 comes from the encouraging words of my brother, loyal readers and followers. Like what I have mentioned previously, I’ll be doing some tweaks and refinements in this blog. With the mistakes I had last year, I will improve my practices and change my perspective towards various issues.
An Unexpected Situation
Have you ever came in life to be acquainted to a stranger; but later on, everything turns out to be different? I believe anyone could experience this; and ironically, this unique encounter comes from the most unexpected people.
I’ve been joining photography sessions in Instagram, and it’s actually a trendy activity for months now. There are community accounts who instruct their followers to share photographs on a given time with a specific hashtag, and followers will have the chance to view shared entries of other users through set hashtags.
Such online activity is an opportunity for people with the same interests communicate and share ideas. This is how I met Leo.
Leo has great passion in street photography. He is fond of expressing his thoughts through a click of the shutter button, and his images speak louder than his voice. He uses his photographs to channel emotions, convey messages and emit inspiration to his viewers. He is a practical user of his talent, and amid the monotony of life, he can see new things day by day; which fits well in his username as LeoWonderer.
Leo is fond of expressing his thoughts through a click of the shutter button, and his images speak louder than his voice.
We started sharing our talents through visiting museums across the metro, and traveling to various places. After months of sharing interests in faith, travel, food and photography, we decided to impart all these through a blog.
Re-branding ‘Blaine is Lost’
With my eagerness to pursue this blog and put it on another notch, I decided to include Leo in this sojourn. I was a lostboy, and Leo is a wonderer; thus we ended up re-branding Blaine is Lost into Lost and Wonder.
Lost and Wonder comes out to digital reality through combined creative juices of various interests; ranging from travel to adventures to food trips and personal insights. This new chapter will set this blog to a higher bar through our collaborative efforts. We will focus on writing quality and non-sugarcoated contents amplified with riveting photographs captured through our own mobile devices (#iPhoneOnly #ShotoniPhone).
Leo and I were brainstorming for months now, and we already have plans laid out for the upcoming quarter. We will reveal some of the details in the future, so just stay tuned in the know.
This is a new beginning for all of us. It may look like everything is back to square one, but we believe that great things come from humble beginnings. The journey can be challenging or difficult, but it will be worth it. With the predicaments I faced last year, Leo and I are prepared to face challenges heads on. Come and hop in board our ship, and join us in this lifelong trip; let’s all get lost and wonder.
Our day will never be complete without a good breakfast. This statement is true for almost everyone, and breakfast buffets are a thing in the metro. This kind of smorgasbord offers a wide range of options from sausages, omelettes, breads, and many more; at a certain price. While breakfast buffets are sprouting like mushrooms all over Manila, we now have a variety of choices at hand.
One Saturday morning, I was invited in Cafe Dominique in Quezon City to try their own breakfast buffet. Cafe Dominique is located at 42 Examiner St. West Triangle, Quezon City. The cafe is seated in the middle of a quiet neighborhood, which provides a peaceful atmosphere; perfect for easing the mind.
Inside the restaurant you’ll find a well-lit interior, surrounded with glass panes and wood, fusing modern design with a touch of nature.
Cafe Dominique started their weekend breakfast buffet last November 4, 2017 as a new offer this holiday season, and this new hype spread like wildfire along the neighborhood. With their culinary expertise and fine-tune meals, Cafe Dominique provides a unique breakfast buffet like no other.
Cafe Dominique’s breakfast buffet starts at 7AM to 10AM, every Saturdays and Sundays. There will be new meals offered everyday ranging from soft and creamy scrambled eggs, sausages, meatballs, dried fish, fried rice, spam, bacon, bread, chocolate porridge and many more.
What’s unique about Cafe Dominique’s morning buffet is their unlimited breakfast waffles. You’ll surely going to love the aroma of their freshly cooked waffle with whipped cream on top, and bathed with sweet syrup.
With this fine culinary goodness, it is amazing to know that all of these wonders cost only at PHP 199 (USD 3.98); a sure fit to your weekly budget!
Visit Cafe Dominique in Quezon City this weekend, and start the tone of your day with their sumptuous holiday breakfast buffet.
42 Examiner Street, West Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines
Mondays to Thursdays: 11AM to 10PM / Fridays: 10AM to 10PM / Weekends: 7AM to 11:00PM
It was 6 in the evening when I woke up from my sweet siesta. We were in Flotsam and Jetsamin San Juan, La Union that time and raindrops were drumming the roof of the hostel that night. Even though I felt recuperated from my short sleep, I was famished. I saw my friend on the other bed searching for any good place to eat around surf town in his smartphone. At first I thought of the Hungry Nomad Kitchenbar downstairs for convenience. Since we wanted to try something new, we looked for other restaurants in the end. Amid the rain, we drove from the hostel to a nearby food place known as Tagpuan sa San Juan.
Love, Food and Memories all in One Bowl
Tagpuan sa San Juan is a small food place located along Urbiztondo Road of the surfing town. It’s like a common eatery or also known as “carinderia” in our language. But what does Tagpuan cultivates is not just the good food they serve, but also the concept of sharing love and memories.
Tagpuan is a Filipino term which means, “a place to meet agreed by two or more people.” In other words, rendezvous, and this is one of the concepts made by Love Union – a consulting company which aims to help other businesses find a niche of their own; and it was a success!
Tagpuan sa Juan serves a variety of Filipino food from flavorful tapa to mouthwatering bagnet. As posted in their Facebook story, meaningful experiences are best punctuated with food. So what memories have Tagpuan in store for us?
To fight off the cool rainy night, I ordered their beef mami for only ₱50 ($1.00). I loved how that salty noodle soup gave warmth in my body in every sip. I also availed their tapa rice bowl for only ₱95 ($1.90). The thinly sliced beef (tapa) has enough juiciness in it topped with fried sunny-side egg, fluffy white rice and spring onions for a jam-packed combination of carbs and protein. To complete ourcravings, my friend ordered tokwa’t baboy for an additional ₱50 ($1.00). That’s fried tofu paired with pork and relished with onions and other spices.
We spent our time in Tagpuan savoring our meal and sharing great conversations while waiting for the rain to halt. What’s unique about this place is its endearing vibe. There’s something in this small eatery which makes travelers, surfers and even locals fell in love with it. We may not know how. But I do know for sure, that every bowl served is a heart filled with warmth, love and good memories.
Tagpuan sa San Juan
Looking for a great place to eat around the surfing town of San Juan in La Union? Then visit Tagpuan located along Urbiztondo Road. This small eatery features various Filipino cuisine with large servings at an affordable price. They are open every Wednesday to Monday from 0800H to 1400H and 1800H to 0200H. The place is close every Tuesday.