Disclaimer: The food item(s) in this review were bought to-go. I prefer eating restaurant food in the comfort of my own home. Also, I would say that I eat more than the average Igorot does on one meal. My tongue is inclined towards salty and spicy food. Lastly, most of food in this review series are made in my hometown, La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines.
On my way home yesterday, I developed a craving for siopao from Town Fiesta Restaurant and Bakery. Siopao, in the Philippines, is a steamed bun stuffed with meat (pork, chicken, or tuna) sparingly mixed with vegetables and egg. It can be eaten alone or with dipping sauce or ketchup. There are two general varieties of siopao stuffing: Asado (a technique of cooking pork) and Bola-Bola (stuffed with a large meatball and boiled egg).
When I graduated from college, I kept telling myself:
“I need to get out of here!”
“I have to leave this place!”
“If I stay here, I’ll be left behind; I wouldn’t reach my dreams!”
It’s been more than four years since I told myself that, and I’m still living “here”. I’m still in “this place” and surprisingly, I’m doing good. Maybe not as far off as I imagined myself to be in back then, but I’m comfortable and happy. I may not be in doing what I aspired to do; nevertheless, I’m closer to family and friends.
Yesterday was another chance for me to explore obscure but worthwhile food places / cafés, one of which is Kape Bantay. The word, “kape” is both the Filipino and Ilocano (one of many Philippine languages) translation for “coffee.” On the other hand, “bantay” means “guard” in both languages. Coffee Guard. Interesting … Kind of like Coffee Prince? Coffee King? Coffee Queen? Why not Coffee Knight, instead? 😛
Too bad I wasn’t able to ask the café owner, Masako. She was busy preparing food for other patrons so, meh. I’ll do a proper interview for a another blog post on this café. By the way, Masako is my classmate in Master’s class. She’s a Japanese who, surprisingly, knows how to converse in Ilocano, one of the widely-used local languages here in our area.
Last evening, I had the opportunity to experience a party/limousine-style jeepney, aptly dubbed, Jeemo.
For those of you who don’t know, a jeepney is the common land transportation vehicle here in the Philippines. More commonly called jeep, its design is derived from military vehicles created by Jeep (the automobile manufacturer) in World War II. The modern jeep can accommodate up to 22 passengers; it is thus, a public utility vehicle (PUV). Moreover, it is a striking material culture of the Philippines.
Going back to the Jeemo, its creators took the PUV jeepney and overhauled it into an enclosed vehicle complete with a karaoke system and in-vehicle refreshments. The inside is adorned with neon and disco lights, thus the “Party Jeep” moniker.