Friday, May 15, 2015


But before that and all the mangoes in the world is a sweet corner in La Paz where great coffee is brewed and served with pansit, plus that batchoyan where Chef Iking Legazpi learned his craft, and a sampling of what is said to be perhaps some of the greatest brazos de mercedes ever made.

Madge Cafe has lived to its hype although I found its non-coffee menu wanting, especially the anemic pansit, while Deco's should be proud of mentoring Mang Iking who, after sampling a Deco bowl that tasted a lot like Ted's, is definitely assured of having the tastiest batchoy, although I found nothing spectacular with the La Paz Bakeshop's uber-sweet version of the brazos that was consumed with great effort in the shadows of the Church of Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje.

And finally Guimaras and its welcoming giant fake mango that preluded our most expensive tricycle hire ever at P1,500 for a day, plain thievery at first but eventually justified as we chased the rolling roads to the colonial Church of San Isidro Labrador in Navalas, Buenavista where we stumbled into a preparation for a wedding and a fiesta, and more rolling rugged roads that took us to the elegant but hauntingly forlorn and empty Roca Encantada colonial beach house of Iloilo's richest name.

Then the long trip back to Jordan and its spread of a million fair and traded mangoes --- real and sweet at P70 for all you can eat, sliced and shaken and strawed with The Pitstop Restaurant's take on the mango pizza whose toppings will pass but its flaky crust a massive failure, and spiked into the adobo and refreshing tinola of one of the stalls although it was a basin of steamed mango-less oysters that blew the wife's gastronomic heart away.

More roads afterwards, bumpier and steeper, to the Spanish-era Guisi Lighthouse in Nueva Valencia or what remained of it and the ruins that has the potential of Talisay's Lacson Mansion and a decadent restaurant, then back to that bumpier and steeper road to Sitio Alubijod's white sand beach to satisfy our curiosity where we decided to cool our heels with halo-halo [for the three of us] and another mango shake [for Balong] since it is the hottest hour of the afternoon after all. 

We decided we've had enough of chasing Guimaras' roads in a tricycle so we skipped the rest of the day tour, had a brief pit stop at the Trappist Monastery to gawk at its pricey goods, passed by what was once was the world's smallest plaza, and into the wharf where we paid the tricycle driver and took the boat back to iloilo City.

The sad part is we were too tired to explore for dinner so we ended at Robinson's and made do with left-over KBL [kadyos, baboy, langka], reheated sisig, and nuked grilled bangus...   

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