“Yup, pink,” my precocious three year old replied. “My faaay-vorite,” she singsongs while prancing gaily around.
I wasn’t inclined to believe Boo when she told me that, but when we went to Wright Park for her to go horse-back riding again, I saw that yes indeedy, her horse was pink. The little steed wasn’t of course naturally pink ”“ some horseman with a quirky sense of humor had spray-painted the horse’s mane fluorescent pink, thus a pink horse.
Earlier, my Bin had mentioned that he’d be riding the horse with Boo later at Wright Park. “You can’t do that, Bin. The horse will die,” my dad wisecracked, valiantly trying to keep a straight face.
So while Boo rode gaily on her favorite pink horse and my Bin stood watch, I walked around the park and spied some roadside treats that one doesn’t normally see in Manila all that often.
I caught sight of a woman grilling corn and skipped over to where she was. Near her, the air was crisp and fragrant, the grey plumes of smoke making imaginary pictures in the wind. A straw fan is usually used to encourage the flames but the woman was wrapping up for the day (it was Christmas Eve, after all). She gamely let me snap away to my heart’s content ”“ people in the provinces are so much cooler about taking photos than people in Manila.
As I remember, the corn used for grilling is a lot whiter and tougher than the yellow supermarket variety. It’s also a lot mealier but eaten with a sprinkling of salt, biting into the warm kernels in the nippy air of Baguio is nothing short of nirvana.
A few meters away I espied a woman selling peanuts. She had a good sense of humor and even prettied up her wares for me to photograph. Roadside peanuts are sold boiled in the shell and/or fried with lots of crunchy garlic. Fried peanuts in Manila aren’t usually this red which was why I was so drawn to them. With little specks of salt, these are a muncher’s addiction.
On another day, I was walking towards the market, when I saw another vendor selling honey. She was arranging the honeycombs in neat vertical piles in a pail. It’s a good marketing technique since I’m also wont to believe the honey’s authenticity if I see a honeycomb in the bottle. In their sticky, drippy glory, and looking like something I see on crunch cake, these honeycombs are radiant.
Baguio has the best strawberries, especially at this time of year. I used to buy kilos of the stuff and bring them down with me to Manila, but they never taste as good back home. So I OD (overdose) on them when I’m in the highlands. Up there, it’s the only beverage I drink aside from water. Every restaurant does it differently, and every restaurant has a different set of strawberries, so I get a different drink every time: sometimes sour, sometimes sweet, sometimes both, and either fresh with just water or mixed in with a splash of milk. Never mind that it’s 11°C outside.
Puto bumbong and bibingka. I’ve talked about these partners many times in this website. My Christmas is incomplete without these two, since they usually come together. These ones are from the Baguio Country Club.
Related Baguio posts:
Breakfast in Baguio
The best cassava cake is in … Baguio
Baguio: A Food Trip in Pictures
My Favorite Starbucks Branch (is in Baguio)
Baguio Food Trip: My favorite things
Baguio Food Trip: Coffee at PNKY
links last updated Jan. 4, 2006