The allure of Baguio’s Cafe Yagam

Cafe Yagam

Thanks to the digital world, we are now able to access something fast and easy, whenever, wherever. Like in the case of a crazy craving for authentic, traditional Ifugao etag (cured, smoked and aged pork), which brought us to Cafe Yagam, a homey cafe specializing in Cordilleran fare.


At Cafe Yagam, etag is used to boost an otherwise bland pinikpikan (smoked chicken soup), and best eaten with their tapuey-based dipping sauce. I’ve never really enjoyed the controversial pinikpikan this much. A diverse spread of flavors from the mountains of Cordillera went next.

We had Kalinga binungor, a spicy vegetable stew with agurong (or what we call birabid in Ilocos), and pinuneg, a Kankanaey blood sausage that went well with the default sweetish, spicy vinegar dip. Just to differentiate kini-ing from etag, we also ordered kini-ing pasta in yogurt sauce. Etag is more gamey as it undergoes fermentation.

Pinikpikan with EtagBinungor with AgurongYogurt Sauce Pasta with Kini-ingPinuneg (Cordilleran blood sausage)Kalinga coffee and sticky rice

Pressed ethically sourced mountain coffee is a specialty here, so we didn’t leave without a fill. I had it dark and it was really good with the sticky rice dessert that was served with the meals.

If we base good indigenous food on the decent-sized local crowd present enjoying tradition, then Cafe Yagam does it well.

Service was nice and prices were reasonable.

Never had mountain food this exotically tasteful.

Cafe Yagam menu

Café Yagam
#25 J. Felipe Street, Gibraltar, Baguio City
09464550364 / 09212565677 / (074)423-0839

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

Kamiseta Hotel | Vanilla Cupcake Bakery


Just got back from Baguio and I have fashionable news for you. The double K logo says it all. Ladies who grew up with Kamiseta, the homegrown clothing brand, will be delighted to know that the kamiseta (shirt) has grown full-blown into an artful patchwork of beautiful patterns, both literally and figuratively. The just opened Kamiseta Hotel is a boutique hotel with themed rooms. It houses the Vanilla Cupcake Bakery and of course a Kamiseta store.


We were billeted at the Baguio Country Club for an event (Thanks, Yek Yeu!), so I don’t have photos of any room, but you could check out the dreamy rooms here. (Oh, love the toile de jouy room!) And because Irwin of the fab Kitchen Lab in Laoag told the Laoag attendees to try the Vanilla Cupcake Bakery’s strawberry shortcake, we stopped by the cafe on our way home.

The menu is not limited to desserts only, but you know the sweet tooth in me, strawberry shortcake was the first thing I asked. The waiter said it wasn’t available, so I told him it was that cake that brought us to the place, and as luck would have it, he came back to say one cake was given the go-ahead for slicing. Yippee!

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery.jpgProcessed with VSCO with s2 presetIMG_5526-2.jpgIMG_5516.jpgimg_5520Processed with VSCO with s2 preset Processed with Snapseed.

The meticulous Irwin was right. I ordered an extra and actually wanted one more, ‘coz it was kinda light — perfectly spongy with a hint of cream, not too sweet, and layered with fresh Baguio strawberries and nice frosting. I think I love this strawberry shortcake more than the one I’ve blogged about in the past. Brandon says he likes it better, too, ‘coz the other one has gelatin.

Kamiseta Hotel for a vacation on steroids, why not?

Hope to see you again for my next post, a new discovery for authentic Cordilleran fare.


Kamiseta Hotel
20 Villamor St., Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City, Philippines
(074) 442-4613 / +639217612872 / +639153846987

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

New in Baguio: American Southern Cooking at Ozark Diner

Red Door

Southerner Chef Kevin Mize brought the regional American Southern cooking he grew up with to Baguio as he chose to live in the Philippines yet. Ozark is a city in Arkansas. What is notable about Southern food? It is labelled comfort food, also known as soul food. Southern cuisine comes from a mix of old world cooking (such as African American, English, Scottish, Irish, German, French, and Native American, Cajun, Creole, Caribbean). At Ozark, Chef Kevin puts his own twist to the classics.

The Ozark menu consists of pulled chicken or pork, meat loaf, pork chop, grilled rib eye steak, fried chicken with biscuits, and sidings that you can choose from among coleslaw, New Orleans dirty rice with liver, house made fries, mac and cheese, fried green tomatoes, etc.. Desserts are so interesting. I tried at least the durian cheesecake (something with a local twist), dark beer cheesecake and what I liked best, the New Orleans bread pudding – very dense with good bread and the right sweetness.

Ozark Diner, BaguioOzark

Ozark Diner is located in a residential area at the back of the St. Louis University in Pacdal. Ambiance is modern and quite low key for a diner.

Brining is one technique Chef Kevin uses for his chicken. Caught him preparing black eyed peas (the exact utong we have) and I was curious how it would taste like as the Ozark signature siding. He adds ham hock to his black eyed peas, which makes no resemblance at all to the local utong with bagnet because we put an exclamation point to the dish with a dash of fish paste..

I had pork chop. It was a little drier than I expected. I regret not trying the meatloaf coz I read rave reviews about it. I have a definite restaurant list whenever I travel to Baguio. Ozark now makes that list.

Bye for now, I have a trip to catch, I’m leaving for yet another FoodPrints shoot. Enjoy your weekend, dearies!

Ozark's Chef KevinBrined ChickenChef KevinBlack Eyed PeasPreparing Pulled ChickenFoodPrints Ozark Diner BTSFoodPrints Ozark Diner BTS.Party!Pulled ChickenOzark Diner Fried ChickenHamburgerPorkchopDesserts of the DayOzark Sweet TreatsOzark DinerOzark Chocolate Chip cookies

Ozark Diner 2 Bear’s Trail cor. Bareng Drive, Baguio, 2600 Benguet, Philippines

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015