Thursday PM at Paoay Church, Stone House Cafe and Tayamen’s

A glimpse of Paoay Church

It’s mid-summer in the Philippines… the height of the Ilocos heat, but what the heck, I wrapped my head in my Red Dot silk scarf and cajoled Alexa to go with me to Paoay. Although I’ve posted photos of Paoay Church a few times, I realized I’ve never shot the inside except for a casual midnight mass 2 Christmases ago.

We parked by the Herencia Plaza and checked out the souvenir shops. At Nazarene, I got beautiful, colorful summer cotton scarves — one in tie-dyed rainbow and another large one in vibrant tribal print I intend to wear as a sarong. Alex and I each got a Sagada friendship bracelet. I also picked a cute bamboo ear reliever:)  All in all, we spent 400 pesos, which means, we still had 100 pesos (a little more than 2 US dollars) for merienda.

A rainbow of scarvesAlexandraPrintscolors of friendshipdainty crochetIlocos garlic

The nearby Strasburg Coffee serving fine blends

Paoay Church

The Paoay Church aka St. Augustine Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is one of the Philippines’ most beautiful churches. In earthquake Baroque style, surprisingly, it’s made of coral stones, bricks, egg whites and lime. Construction of the church was started by the Augustinian friars in 1694 and was completed and re-dedicated in 1894 during the Spanish era..

I honestly don’t like the newly installed official marker. For photographers, it is a serious annoyance. I like a clean view of the church and the bell tower with just the foliage enhancing the gorgeous panorama. More often than not, less is more.

Bell Tower and ButtressesTo churchAngel of Holy WaterConfessional BoxPrayersJesus in Stained GlassInto Paoay Churchthe young once and the young onesAt a glance...yellow bellsUnhurried Thursday

I guess Stone House Cafe (by the Airport Road in Laoag) doesn’t like Alexa. The door was open, but no one would welcome us. A little better than last time.  A nice thing, though, ‘coz our remaining 100 pesos won’t be even enough for two cake slices perhaps.

The colors inside were so refreshing that we took photos of each other. I promised Alex to take her some other time.

white wallscute guinea pigSOOC Portrait

We hopped to Tayamen’s, where surely, we can relax and eat fishballs, kikiam and isaw (barbecued pork intestines) to our heart’s delight. Tiong and Tiang were cool as ever serving street food (outside the streets) to their well-dressed and hip patrons. Mind you, the no-frills Tayamen’s is always full. We paid a sick 92 pesos for our 4 sticks of isaw, and 4 servings of fishballs and kikiam plus ice cold soda. A filling Thursday jaunt;)

Kikiam at IsawFishballs and Sukang Iloco with Sili
[Tip: Better eaten with well-aged sukang Iloco (vinegar) and sili (chili).]Barbecued Pork Intestines aka Isaw

Photographed by Alexa and BlauEarth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

Tayamen’s: Street food outside of the streets

Street food can be found all over the world. New York wouldn’t be New York without hotdog and pretzel stands. Can you imagine the Arab countries without the ubiquitous shawarma stalls? Or  Japan without the curb-side ramen and soba places? What if Hong Kong’s popular Mong Kok area lost all the dimsum and Peking duck food-booths? And what if esoteric isaw, quec-quec, betamax, helmet, tokneneng and adidas could no longer be found in the streets of Manila? Most definitely, a  bland world for someone who wants to have a taste of  the culture of a particular country or region he, or she, gets to visit.

There are fish ball vendors roaming the streets of  Laoag — the capital city of the northernmost province in the Philippines. But there is also Tayamen’s, which started as a makeshift  food stand in front of the owners’ home. In 1997, the owners receptively opened their home to  their regular habitués, who have become accustomed to calling them “tiyong” and “tiyang”, uncle and auntie in the vernacular.

No risky business when it comes to common Filipino street food — that is what Tayamen’s is all about. Freshness and safety is their foremost concern. Plus, its homey feel makes the place a magnet for school kids and young professionals, who want to let loose and enjoy  their food.

Fish Balls, fish nuggets, kikiam, chicken feet, isaw and  barbecue are the bestsellers of Taya, short for Tayamen’s, and a term popularized by their regular patrons. They also make the best take-out Ilocos longaniza which is sold by the kilo.

Isaw (pig intestines)

Fish nuggets and kikiam with sweet dipping sauce and the ever-present suka ken sili (vinegar and chili)

Once in a while, drinking ice-cold soda, especially after having fried food, won’t hurt *burps*

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Tayamen’s Don E. Ruiz St. Laoag Ilocos Norte Philippines

Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The photos may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without written permission from the owner.