Adams, a home away from home

The sun was down when we arrived in Adams. It was quite odd finding these mini betting stations beside the little Catholic chapel during Lent… a little too early for the Adams fiesta.

Brandon and Eugene balled with the local boys before we strolled back to the homestay, where a signature exotic Adams dinner was waiting.

We listened to Eheads and Rivermaya songs performed live by the nephews of our host. Pretty nostalgic and cool. Manang Annavic was asking them to settle down, but we assured her we were enjoying the scene.

We were greeted with hot native Adams cocoa in the morning. Sweetened with muscovado, the thick cocoa drink was a good energizer.

I heart Adams cacao

The Bulo River was shallower than usual, but was inviting as ever.

Adams RiverBulo River, AdamsAlexa

We visited Sinidangan and there are already more houses than before. I was impressed that waste segregation is being practiced in the sitio.

Sitio SinidanganToy TruckWoman and her rice


Caught hikers and bikers from Manila and Laoag. Jonel, our friend, trekked to Anuplig Falls with his love.

A hearty lunch of fried frogs, coco creamed jackfruit, crawfish boiled in Sprite, exotic red ants (buos), banana heart dinakdakan, kiwet, palileng, sauteed watercress, bilagot and mountain rice.

Bucarot broom, a gift from generous homestay owner Manang Annavic Medrano.

Adams Wines

With warm hearts, we left Adams before sunset. It’s home away from home.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

Ties That Bind (Adams)

All the principles of heaven and earth are living inside you. Life itself is truth, and this will never change. Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together. -Morihei Ueshiba


Even before my cousins arrived from Los Angeles and Hawaii for a five-day visit to Ilocos, we were already planning to go to Adams, a place they’ve heard from me. I liken Adams to lavender, it soothes the soul and the mind. The mountain town was instrumental to my growth as a more responsible citizen of the world. Exploring off-the-beaten path and meeting new cultures have opened new avenues for me. Adams will always remain a home away from home.

Girl with a toteParasolfloretsLola Ingga's Tapuey (rice wine)Lola Ingga’s Tapuey (rice wine) from a century-old recipe.

MayLike wineRubber tubes, mugs and basketsCurioTreesdaisiesSusan, the mountain guidecaged falcon:(Koi PondRare White Koi FishGold Koi FishSamanthaBulu River, AdamsAdams eco-tourMain street in AdamsBanana CueFitted

May, Jonas and Sam keep on talking about the fried fat frogs and the freshest wild vegetables and river shrimps we had for lunch at Manang Annavic’s home. They are already planning another trip to Adams for next year.

Anna's tea set collectionPie in the sky

Down here in the urban jungle, I keep on thinking if will it still be the same heaven on earth years from now. The world is moving too fast. Who needs a Vegas-like environment with fancy pink trees when we still have the most gorgeous rainforests and sanctuaries right in our very own backyard?

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

Linamnam (from A-dams to Z-amboanga), by Claude Tayag and Mary Anne Quioc

When I first came across this new book titled Linamnam Eating One’s Way Around The Philippines, authored by foodie couple Claude Tayag and Mary Ann Quioc, in one of the food blogs, I was clueless I would be “part” of the well-documented ultimate gastronomic adventure (from the top of the Philippines all the way to the bottom as seen in the map). Before I brought this beautiful, down-to-earth couple, along with former Ilocos Norte Provincial Tourism Officer Rene Guatlo and master restaurateur Sammy Blas of Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant, to the “Alps of Ilocos Norte”, upon the invitation of Rene and Sam, I didn’t even know Claude and Mary Anne would be among my passengers. And now that I got hold of an autographed copy from thoughtful Sam,  I was surprised to see my name in the last part of the first entry — the exotic mountain river cuisine of Adams, consisting of balbalusa, kiwet, ubog, aba, kardis, kokak, kukutit and upland rice. Just so cool of Claude and Mary Anne! My trusty-rusty Land Cruiser was also mentioned… if only it can talk to say thank you to the duo.

Claude Tayag and Mary Anne Quioc share an Ilocos empanada.

Discover Ilocano bagnet, empanada, crispy dinardaraan, bagbagis, chicharon, bituka, dinengdeng, poki-poki balls, pipian, sinanglao, papaitan, dinoydoy and other select entries from the Cagayan Valley, the Cordilleras, Central Luzon, and the Visayas and Mindanao regions. By the way, Sam’s Saramsam dinengdeng is also in the book.

Only genuine foodies such as artist/gourmand Claude Tayag and former Cathay Pacific flight attendant turned writer Mary Anne Quioc are able to pull together an outstanding Philippine food guide highly recommended to all the food lovers all across the globe. The book is available online at National Bookstore.

Linamnam, that wonderful pleasing taste, is also evident in Claude’s Claude’9 condiments manufactured by the duo’s Bale Dutung by-reservation only restaurant in Pampanga. They’ve mastered ma-linamnam.


The hubby and I wish to thank Claude Tayag and Mary Ann Quioc for the endorsement and the mention of Ilocos sand dune adventure, Rene Guatlo and Sammy Blas for the invitation, and Sam for the book and the thought that went with it.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012