Okay the title may seem like as if I've eaten too many asado mami dishes to have made such a bold statement. But maybe I have.

No I'm not Chinese. I'm probably an eighth or a sixteenth part Chinese and some say I look like one. For the background: my dad loves Chinese food. I mean really love it that he would bring us to all the old Chinese restos when I was young - to the point of dread. Almost all our childhood family Sundays were spent in one.

Anyway, Luisa's Cafe is said to be the hangout spot of journalists. It reeks of history, its old walls serving witness to the countless of stories shared here. Regulars stay here longer than mainstays of Starbucks. Not for the wi-fi though. Mornings start with coffee and breakfast, afternoon snacking with pansit, days end in beer while Frank Sinatra serenades softly in the background. And everyone here knows each other by first name, it's like a community of sorts.
This is the Asado Mami, good for two people if snacking. For one if you're having this for lunch. At P120, this is more than a fair price for its taste.
Here's Melvene who's doing a hating-kapatid sharing.

Anyway, for those with really adventurous tastebuds ask for the Samlok. And do tell me how the experience came out for you because I won't tell what it is and I really wouldn't say. Hahaha!

LUISA'S CAFE
53 Session Road, Baguio City
 
This place, I've been going here since I was in college. I would paint/draw here while my folks would roam around the city. It was quiet then, and I won't tell anyone about my hideout except for other artists since I wanted Oh My Gulay to never be commercialized in any way.

When Melvene and I arrived, we'd decided to seat at my favorite corner of OMG, the one with the big window and with the best view of Baguio. Memories! I hear sound tracks of my life playing in my head.
The view from the window makes you want to tambay for hours!
So obviously this is a meeting veggie-spot for artists, since Kidlat Tahimik, the multi and international-awarded indie filmmaker who owns this wonderland is a whole-hearted vegetarian. So healthy is a good adjective to describe this art-filled place.

There weren't too many people who knew about this cafe some years back which made it a conducive venue for my painting sprees. But now, it's quite packed. Thanks to all the blogs out there. And thankfully we have an art venue that is supported by locals and tourists alike.
The second floor of the boat installation has a nice view of the resto itself and Baguio as well.
Art gallery on the second floor.
There's Baguio art everywhere to greet you. The ifugao bounty-providing deities called bulols sure help with the longevity and the coming in of orders.
View from the stage.
Food is more than affordable. Check out the drinks!
This one is called mansanas. Crepe filled with caramelized apples with cinamon is yummy! The warm filling contrasting with the vanilla ice cream will make this a happy finale for the kids and kids at heart. Like us!
Sugar-high smiles!

OH MY GULAY CAFE
La Azotea Building, 108 Session Road, Baguio

 
PNKY Travel Cafe has been one of my fave Baguio spots since I had learned about it some seven years back, for its good food, artsy-quaint ambiance, clean restrooms - all check.
With photography and travel as the resto's themes, there's lots of good vibe and interesting details everywhere - fit for happy trip conversations.
Issa particularly loves the lomo wall counter, pointing to her favorites.
Meanwhile, Bruno Mars here is enjoying our spot. Haha!
There's an option to eat out, too! But we decided on staying in to contain our curious toddler.
The pumkin soup comes with our ordered main courses. Oooh I love the hint of tarragon!
My pa-healthy meal option, Dory a la Roma at P270. Grilled fish with salsa and ensalada side. Fish was a bit dry. Salad was nice. A plus for me since I prefer colored rice. White rice make my sugar go haywire. Next time I'll try a different course.
Melvene opted for the Cheeseburger at P185. The homemade bun, the patty and fries were spot on.
Yummy strawberry fruit shake at P95 to cap off the meal.
So the verdict: I'm a fan! And we'll definitely come back with more travel stories to tell.

PNKY Travel Cafe is located at 13 Leonard Wood, Baguio City
Visit their website at: www.pnkyhome.com
 
It is our first time to visit the pizza joint amidst numerous attempts over the years. We've heard good reviews about the resto along the buzzling Session Road so we decided to do some sampling.
Of course we had to try the pizza. First order was the 8-inched Smoked Salmon Pizza at P209. It was good and I'd recommend it! The salmon pieces were tasty and generous. And the price for the darn thing is pretty cheap!
One of their best sellers is spaghetti with meatballs priced at P298, their largest serving that's good for two hungry people or three girls. I liked the two fat meatballs that topped the dish. Tasty! But the pasta was just okay for me. It needed some parmesan which they heftily agreed to sprinkle on our serving.
The place has two floors and has that old Baguio feel - tight, dark spaces that have some history. I like the second floor better though where you get a low-flying bird's view of the Session Road.
The conclusion: the place is cozy, food is good, but not to die for. Italian comfort food that has a vast array of dishes to choose from: soups, chicken, pizza, pasta, salmon, the list goes on. It has something for everyone. So if you're travelling with people who want a variety of things, this is the place. And if you're with kids, they will enjoy the chicken-pasta combos. Price is very reasonable. They need a better comfort room though.
 
Picture
First ice cream encounter. Look at the sheer happiness!
Lately, Isabelle's being choosy over her food. The once I-prefer-veggies-and-fruits-only baby has been introduced to fried chicken and white stuff: bread, ice cream, cookies, candy. We haven't started with soda and the chips yet and I'm honestly terrified that she might ditch the healthy all together when she grows older. At least for now, she still adores grapes and oranges. But for how long?

Diabetes unfortunately is part of the family heirloom. Our blood not blue, but sweet. Our tongues, sugar magnets. And I pray that we won't have to deal with the disease in the future, or ever.

I heard some parents ban soda and just give one sweet treat a day. Are you having sweet problems? And how are you dealing with them?
 
This is our second time going to Baguio with Issa and here are some things that made the trip run as smooth as it did:
1. Plan & pack ahead. Last-minute packing will surely increase the likelihood of stuff being left behind. We prepared all our bags a few days before the actual trip.
2. Jot things down. I found this app on my iphone called Listary that can help make all kinds of lists - where you can check items once accomplished. I use it for listing grocery items, even ideas!
3. That's entertainment. Our 12-hour roadtrip made Issa bored out of her witts! (Remind me never to travel on Maundy Thursday ever again!) Good thing we brought a good number of her fave toys to keep her happy and occupied. When she got bored with those too, we resorted to singing instead.
4. Time travel. We chose to travel during her nap time so both Issa and I were able to doze off to dreamland.
5. Be zen. If things don't pan out according to plan, let go and enjoy the ride. What matters is that everyone's safe and together.

I'd love to know more tips if you have any!
 
I don't go to Bo's feasts, but I had watched him speak and his charisma oozes out like no other! No wonder why people follow him about!

The other day, I picked up this book, How to Turn your Passion into Profit by Bo Sanchez and Dean Pax Lapid, for my lenten read. Business added with spirituality is something I would love to pursue. And hopefully this book will lead me to the right direction.

So far (I'm in chapter 4), I've been enjoying it. A quote that resonates: "Remember that business is not a 100-meter dash but a long-distance run. Business is like courting a girl, marrying her and sticking to the marriage despite the trials that are sure to follow. If you love what you do, you'll definitely see it through."

 
I remember Isabelle when all she could say was "eh" and now at 1 year, 5 months, she's been churning out words and phonetics! New parents like us I'm sure, get so thrilled with the verbal acrobatics! She does point around and now can easily decipher a dog from a cat, a mouse from a dinosaur. But for now, she can only say these and they're wonderful!

Here are her first five:
1. Mama - While breastfeeding for 8 months, I would constantly whisper this to her so it would be her first word. And the result was positive!
2. Sama - The Filipino word for please bring me along. 
3. Papa - The third word took a long time for her to say. But when she started saying it, there's no stopping her. Indeed a Papa's girl!
4. Nanana - She says this with a hand gesture. It means "wala na." When we ask her, "Where's grandma?" (or whoever is not with us in the room) She will answer you with this.
5. Sasss - This is what she calls herself. She won't say Issa yet.

 
If some women get crazy over shoes and bags, this is my addiction - camera equipment. And today, I had a shopping itch that I tried hard to contain but failed. Hahaha!

It's our first time to shop at Photozuela, affordable photo equipment from Venezuela (hence the name) and we are brewing something for members of Camera Cart, our photography equipment rental and studio business. We're pretty excited about that and I'm equally excited to try the newly hoarded stash.
 
If you guys haven't planned anything yet for Easter, here's something cool to do! A paint party! Have the kids explore their creative side with eggs and paint while the older ones enjoy the scrumptious food. Chef Mia's churning out something wonderful in the kitchen so the menu's sure to be good! Q Bistro is in Ortigas, fronting Podium. They have parking at their building. 
I can't wait until Issa can really hold a brush and do some actual painting. But for now, we'll be happy observers. Anyway, here's the map! Have a happy Easter!

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