“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Monday, March 24, 2014

Strawberry Fields La Trinidad

Our first visit to Baguio this year was on 9 February. One of the things we did that weekend was visiting the strawberry fields in La Trinidad, capital municipality of Benguet province.

La Trinidad's floor elevation is 1300 meters above sea level. That's why the average temperature is much lower than the rest of the Philippines. It ranges on average from 12 in winter to 22 degrees Celsius in summer.

This climate is good for fruits (strawberry, raspberry, tomato) and vegetables (e.g. cabbage, carrot, potato, leeks, lettuce, Baguio beans) originating from more moderate climate areas in other parts of the world. Therefor Benguet is also called the Salad Bowl of the Philippines.

La Trinidad is only a few kilometers north of Baguio, so half an hour drive if traffic is not jamming. Better don't go on Sundays there.

Pick as many as you like
Baguio is situated in the province of Benguet and some people believe that Baguio is therefor part of Benguet, but it is not. It is an independent city in the Philippines geographic / administrative hierarchy. Benguet province is part of CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region).

What makes it such an interesting tourist attraction is that you can pick your own strawberries. One kilo for 200 pesos. If you buy them in the shop along the road or in the supermarket, you get them for 100 pesos the kilo, but you cannot select them yourself.
One basket is roughly 1 kilo

And while picking you can eat them as well, so you might eat one kilo, bring three kilo and pay 600 pesos. And I assure you they are so nice, tasty and juicy. Just try it once in your life.

The picking period is from November to end of March.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dutch Windmill Foods

During our last visit to Baguio March 10th, we also went to SM supermarket, for items we cannot buy in Dagupan.

Just before we finished I discovered a small glass case with typical Dutch products as you see in the Netherlands super markets and butcheries.

Cold cut (sliced) meat of all kind, sausages and different kinds of cheese. The guy who was behind the glass case told us that two Frenchmen had initiated this business. And he said that this was new in Baguio SM since February 2014, but in some other SMs like in Manila MoA and Clark they sell these products already some time.

Starting point for the river cruise
This was a lucky hit, so I ordered all kinds of sliced meat and cheese and a bundle of sausages, as to try it at home to be sure no sugar added as they do here and it is really tastes like what you can buy in Europe. And they have not only Dutch cheese/meat, but also salami, cheese and sausages from Italy, Swiss and Germany.

The brand is Dutch Windmill Foods (Gourmet and Fantastic), click here  to go to their website. I found on their website that the two owners are not Frenchmen, but Dutchmen, as I expected already.

Good business guys, I love it!

Well indeed we enjoyed all products we purchased and today I consumed the last back bacon, the cheese was finished already last week. So it's time to go again to Baguio next week and buy much more.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Mitsubishi Montero Sport GTV 2.5L 4x4 A/T

Old van (left) and new car on display
Our van (Hyuandai Starex, 1999) was getting too old to reliably drive around, especially to further destinations like Manila, or the mountains of Baguio. I had quite some problems the last two years, so many repairs and headaches.

I remember that a couple of years ago we would bring my parents in law to the airport in Manila, as they were to emigrate to the USA. In Villasis, only 20 km from here the car's clutch failed and we had to continue by bus, including all the luggage.

Two years ago when I was on my way to Manila airport to pickup my mother, sister and brother in law, bad luck struck again. I remember it was a Sunday morning, after refueling the car on the NLEX near San Fernando, Pampanga, the engine refused to start again. It was a miracle that I could find, with the help of a service station employee, a car engineer who was willing to come and help me. He solved the problem (diesel pump leaking) within an hour and I was just in time at the airport for pickup.

We finally decided early this year to sell the van and buy a new car, although we did it the other way around, as it seems to be quite easy to sell a second hand car. Indeed we could sell it for a much better price than I anticipated, thanks to active marketing of my asawa on Facebook

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Restaurant - "Dagupeña", Calasiao

Rating ❶ ❷ ❸ ❹ out of

Early this month of March, I invited my wife to dine in one of the famous restaurants in Dagupan, called Dagupeña, as we have never been there before

Actually the restaurant is located in Calasiao and not in Dagupan, next to the new Robinsons mall.The restaurant was there already before they built the mall.

I was aware of their high profile which they advertised via their website. However, now I can't find the site anymore. But see TripAdvisor for more details and comments of other visitors.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Landscaping - Bahay Kubo

One of the preparations as part of the landscaping project we started early this year was to move the bahay kubo (see here my earlier post on buying and installing the bahay kubo in 2010) to its final position in our landscaped garden.

The position is closer to the South West corner, as to get some more space for trees and eventually one or two more bahay kubo's. The new position also gives a better view over the garden and swimming pool.

Because the level of the garden will be made higher with 50 to 80 cm after all preparations are completed, we had to make a foundation before we could move the bahay kubo.

See the picture show below of the different steps in the process.

Note: after we created the foundation and moved the bahay kubo, we made an elevated terrace as well. No pictures available yet.


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