Monday, April 13, 2009

Scenes from Baguio

Here's more on my recent trip to Baguio. Yes, I know you all prefer pictures to words so here's a lot of pictures accompanied by just enough words for you to know what the pictures are about.

"Isdaan", meaning fish (pronounced as is-da-an), is a floating restaurant. It's a real tourist place so if any of you are planning to visit my parents in Baguio I'm quite certain you'll be recommended and/or brought to this place. Prices are kind of "touristy" as well, although it is worth the one-time experience.

Flying to Clark Field via AirAsia we left our home in Selayang at 4:30am, hitched a ride from our aunty Kim Mooi to Sentral Station, took a bus to LCCT, then went through the whole flying thing, then another 1 hour van ride before arriving at this oasis-like restaurant at about 1:30pm. The restaurant is along the route to Baguio. Here's a good place to take a lunch break.

Food is good, do not miss out on the liempo here. Liempo is marinated pork, much like char siew but juicier, sweeter, tastier, and way fatter. The barbecue (inihaw) stuff there is good, so go with those, but also look out for "black rice", which is rice cooked in squid ink.

Not just a lunch break, but also a photo break. After a good meal everyone's more willing to show that teeth are not just for chewing. Filipinos (a.k.a. Pinoys) love taking pictures, so at places of interests there are always scenes set up for photos.

Mikayla followed her grandparents over to Baguio about 10 days earlier, this was the first time Melanie and I are away from Mikayla for an extended period of time. Melanie misses her sorely while I thoroughly enjoyed my break. It was very much needed for both of us. When we got to Baguio a full 4 hours later, we find Mikayla sleeping, she has grown more hair. She still remembers us of course, but was kind of confused. She had that look of what-are-you-doing-here on her face. Melanie quickly rebonded with Mikayla while I was still trying to extend our break from each other.

This trip was about my father's inauguration. So after a full day of travelling the second day was all about the graduation and inauguration ceremony. There was quite a Malaysian contingent there. I guess it's safe to say that AG Malaysia is standing behind my father and mother. Rev. Ong Seck Leang, the general superintendent of Malaysia was there; Rev Chris Pak and Rev. Chin Keng Leong were representing the AG Malaysia's World Missions Department; Rev. Lim Yeu Chuen was there as part of the APTS board of directors representing Malaysia.

Apart from Malaysians there were AG leaders from all over Asia Pacific gathered on that mountain. All were there showing approval and support for my father's appointment. The graduation ceremony was first to go. Dr. Wonsuk Ma was the speaker, he spoke a message that I felt was prophetic. Then the inauguration commenced. The ceremonies were very solemn and "proper", but count on my dad to break the ice. He cracked everyone up with his comment about Academic Deans being likened to a terrorist.

Of course he got down to business announcing to everyone present his plans to occupy APTS, to make full use of the APTS facilities. That much I can remember, he did mention few other things but that was the main gist of it.

The faculty, staff, alumni, and board or APTS pledged their help and support to their new president. The president then pledged to do his best with God's help.

Of course being pentecostal there was prayer with the laying on of hands. Rev. Ong Seck Leang was there to lead the prayer of dedication for the new president and his wife (a.k.a. my parents).

And of course being Asians there was the makan time (a.k.a. kain time, the pinoy version of the same thing). There was time to meet and catch up with some people that we have met there in our past visits, those who were still there at least.

The AG World Mission Department chairperson (Rev Chris Pak) and WMD committee member (Rev. Chin Keng Leong) flew in on the same flight we did but were due to leave the next morning. It was in and out for them.

Next day we had the best burgers for lunch - Hotshots. Those who have been there will know what I'm talking about. The pizzas there are good as well, but for me, the burgers take the cake. By the way there is also a nice cake place there as well, but still, the burgers take the cake.

Seriously, next time I'm going to try to tapau these babies. But nothing beats eating them while they are hot off the grill (not boiler, not hot plate, GRILL, you can taste it!). Great burgers eaten outside in the mild mountain weather with such a beautiful backdrop makes it a perfect lunch. I'll be dreaming of it till I'm there again.

Yes, if you follow me there, I'll make sure we get us to the Filling Station then you can taste the burgers yourself and find out what the hype is about.

Day 4 started with a luxuriour brunch at The Manor. The exclusive resort is relatively cheap, but nothing beats staying on APTS. The view in APTS is just as good but is less crowded and even more exclusive.

Like other tourist locations there were also many photo ops at The Manor. This is the view from The Manor's observation deck.

Melanie never ceases to amaze me the way she sacrifices for Mikayla, seriously, she's making me look bad...

Well we have been to Baguio enough times to have seen all the sights. So most of our time was really spent shopping and just hanging out in places like the Filling Station. We also made sure we went to the local wet market and bought us a great stash of very fresh seafood. Yes, fresh seafood up in the mountains at prices you won't believe! Baguio is an hour away from the sea and we had oysters, muscles, clams, and prawns so fresh and big they beat KL's Japanese restaurants! All that at the price that is really just loose change! We were initially worried that the seafood were not fresh or clean and did not go all out, but after this experience, next time we have to go a bit further with the seafood.

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