Tag Archives: Baguio City

And we’re back!

This is yet another hello-blog entry. Pffffft.


My family is back in Manila after spending almost 2 weeks in Baguio City. It would have been the dream getaway for me and the kids – safe from Manila’s scorching heat and in the company of family that we love.

Except that everyone got sick, starting with Nate, who had to be hooked to an IV just so he won’t get dehyrated. Things went downhill from there. 🙁

As Nate was getting better, VGood started vomiting and pooping, along with a cousin or a tita. I too was not spared from the virus that rampaged our gastrointestinal systems. All in all, the virus downed at least nine family members. Nine!!! WTFH??!

So, instead of going to the wonderful places I promised my kids and myself to go to, I (along with the rest of the well adults) got caught up caring for the patients. We pretty much took turns taking care of each other. Oh well, that’s what family is for.

Aside from the getting sick part, there was also much family drama going on… But that’s best left out here. 😛 (No Chicka-minute for you hehe). Gaaaah.

Anyway, the good side of getting viral gastroenteritis? I lost 2 pounds or so! No need for adipex no prescription, with prescription, or whatever diet pills!

The vacation had its wonderful highlights though: 1)My sister and her kids came up and so it became like an impromptu family reunion; 2) Meeting up with my childhood BFF whom I’ve not seen for 24 years! 3) Being reunited with her at Hill Station!

More about those in later posts… including viral gastroenteritis, which, though a minor illness, could get pretty serious and surely annoying!

For now, I have work to do. Tata!

Igado Recipe and Nostalgic Memories

Yesterday, I suddenly missed home and craved for igado –  a comfort food for me. So I decided to whip it up for dinner. I tried to recall mama’s Igado Recipe.

Igado is a classic Ilocano dish that’s a staple during our family gatherings. For me, the best igado recipe is done by my Mama. Hers is always a hit.

pork igado recipe
The pork wasn’t as thinly sliced as it should be. But heck, it was still yummy!

The pork, liver and heart, along with potatoes, carrots and red pepper, are sliced painstakingly into long, thin pieces. If it’s a big family gathering, imagine the kind of production that goes into slicing alone! Kilos and kilos of meat – bloody task indeed.

I grew up in a pig-raising family. My forester-agriculturist Lolo Indong had a full ‘apartment complex’ of eight pigpens at the back of his house in the province. Each pen is as big as a good-sized bedroom, hahaha! But Lolo never raised the pigs for commercial consumption (as far as I can remember). I guess it was just a hobby for him.

The highlight of Lolo’s piggy hobby comes during December. The rest of the year, one pig (or two, depending on the number of guests – apos, balikbayan children – coming home for the holidays) is fattened up and prepared for the table. The sad fate of pigs… 🙁

In Baguio, my parents also raised pigs, though on a smaller scale. Just the same, a pig was always fattened up for Christmas. The slaughter is always scheduled in the early morning of the 23rd. Or the 24th? I don’t remember very well now.

But I remember the house would be abuzz with activity –  dad sharpening knives, an uncle setting up the area near the pen, a wood-fire burning, a huge pot of water boiling on it…  The pigpens were located down a 20-step or so descent from the main house, surrounded by thick bamboo groves. The pigs are agitated, probably feeling the tension in the air.

Once we hear the holiday pig crying, my sisters, cousins and I would gather and watch from above. I’ll spare you the gory details. (Oh well. I know it’s cruel. But how do you think the meats we buy at the market get there? I aspire to be vegetarian… One day. One day…)

The Christmas buffet table, of course, always included the hearty igado… along with Mama’s Christmas Ham… and dinuguan… and dinakdakan… and barbecue… Oh my, what a carnivorous family we are!

Sorry, I got lost in memories. Anyway, here’s the igado recipe done Mama’s way. I hope you enjoy it!

Continue reading Igado Recipe and Nostalgic Memories

After Ondoy… Pepeng Naman (How to Help) [UPDATED]

Because of the stir caused by the post on ellaganda.com about DSWD relief goods sitting and gathering dust at its Pasay warehouse, DSWD has asked for help (finally!).

Rock Ed Philippines is coordinating with DSWD to schedule a shift for volunteers who want to pack at the DSWD warehouse. There is also a call for vehicles that can help transport the goods. The shift for those who want to volunteer via Rock Ed is Mondays through Fridays 3PM to 11PM. More info at Ms. Gang Badoy’s site.

Instead of complaining and whining (yeah, it’s given that the government won’t always do its job, gahh), let’s all do our part. I agree with what Ms. Gang says:

Political leanings are not primary at this point.  After the work is done – then we can go our separate ways again if that works for us.  Personally, for now – I will be more than happy to help the government if that means more Filipinos get what’s rightly theirs.


Metro Manila, Rizal, Pampanga and Bulacan have yet to recover from the devastation caused by Typhoon Ondoy. But another typhoon,Pepeng (International codename Parma), came to ravage the Northern provinces of Luzon.

I am not sure how much Pinoy resilience can take. I know we are a people  known to crack jokes even in the midst of difficult situations. But this is just too much. And it’s getting closer to home, if you know what I mean.

It’s one thing to see people suffering loss due to a calamity. It’s totally another thing to see relatives and friends who lost family members, property, and/or livelihood.

It’s taxing on the emotions, even for the remote spectator such as myself. I don’t even want to imagine how they themselves are feeling now.

But we must not get weary of helping, and of appealing for help.

Right now, it’s difficult to transport relief from Metro Manila to the North, specifically Benguet, because all major roads are closed. Just this afternoon, Kennon Road was opened to light vehicles, meaning heavy vehicles for transporting major goods cannot pass yet.

But there are ways to help.

Organizations are encouraging local purchase of goods because this will help spur local economy, consequently helping the locals recover their losses. We who are remote can send cash donations. Here are some direct ways I’ve found in the web:

1. Cafe By The Ruins, one of my favorite places in Baguio, is now a feeding and relief operations center. Everyday since Saturday, the cafe has been cooking food for evacuees and rescue volunteers, bringing food to various locations in Benguet such as Tublay and Puguis, La Trinidad. If you’re in Baguio, bring rice, monggo, vegetables, and reusable food containers to CBTR. They are also gathering other relief items such as clothing, blankets and medicines.

I spoke to Feliz Perez, one of Cafe by The Ruins’ owners, over the phone, and she says the operations will continue for as long as help is needed. They will also be extending burial and livelihood assistance to those who lost a lot to the typhoon.

For those outside Baguio or the country, you can send in your monetary donations via the cafe’s bank account:

RUINS INC. savings account #940060574, BANCO DE ORO, Baguio Legarda branch, Yandoc Street, Baguio City. SWIFT CODE: BNORPHMM, ROUTING #: 0210-0001-8.

For more info on how you can help, you can call them at +63 74 4464010.

2. The Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) is appealing for our help for the Cordillerans – the people of Benguet and Mountain Province. They will be doing relief operations in affected areas through its Serve The People Brigade. They need the following items:

food-  rice, canned goods, monggo, salt, boiled eggs

drinking water

blankets and clothing; mats and tents

medications for fever, cough, colds, for wound disinfection (betadine, hydrogen peroxide), antibiotics

For cash donations, please deposit to:

Cordillera Peoples Alliance
Savings Account: 1-326-72354-8
RCBC Baguio Peso Account

Volunteers also needed – drop by their office at No. 55 Ferguson Road, Brgy. A. Bonifacio, Baguio City and look for Mr. Santos Mero, Serve the People Brigade Coordinator and CPA Deputy Secretary General (09152054262). You may also call or text the Hotline at mobile number 09209286370 or Telephone Number 63- 074304-4239, Fax number is 63-074-443-7159, or email at cpa@cpaphils.org for queries.

3. World Vision is also mobilizing its local offices and cooperating with the Philippine Coast Guard for relief operations in Pepeng-affected areas. They are targeting to help 20,000 families who were displaced by both Ondoy and Pepeng. Ready-t0-eat food and cash donations are preferred. There is also a need for able-bodied volunteers.

Donations can be brought directly to WV office at 389 Quezon Avenue corner West 6th Sreet, Quezon City. For online donations through credit card or bank deposit, simply fill out this form at the World Vision website.


I will update list as I gather more information.

I know some of us are exhausted with helping. But let’s not grow weary helping one another.

Hello from Baguio!

Hi, friends!

i’m just dropping a few lines. My family and I are still on vacation in my hometown, Baguio City. We’re going to stay here for a week. As always, I look forward to spending time with my parents and family and some old friends I grew up with.

My kids enjoy horseback-riding, so it’s the first thing we did on Day 1. They prefer riding at Camp John Hay, although on the day we went, it was quite crowded.

I like the forest here. I hope the city government has the will to protect these rare forests, instead of handing them over to the rich developers. Baguio is innately beautiful; it doesn’t need to be concretized (or uglified) anymore than it already is.

I am thankful that there are areas such as this one that are still forested –

Incidentally, I posted about Baguio at the FilipinoMomBlog (FMB). It’s a two-part series, and Part 1 is now posted. Check out the FMB post here.

Easter Break

My family leaves for our Baguio Easter break in an hour. I just finished packing our bags. After so many years of doing this at least twice a year, I’ve gotten the hang of it. AteJo and I breezed through packing everything in two hours. 😀

Along with my laptop and gadgets, I packed this book, lent by good friend Annamanila

I will find time to read “Conversations with God”  (Neale Donald Walsch) in between family bonding and visiting with friends. I actually leave with a heavy heart. Don’t we all go through such phases in life? So this is okay; I should be fine. I’m sure the book will help me get back on track.

At least I go on Easter break in an introspective mood.

See you all soon. May we all find time to look inwardly. Have a blessed Easter break!

Continue reading Easter Break