Rumours got me

Rumours…a story of an uncertain or doubtful truth.


I was too dumb to notice, there was something about you
How are you suppose to see things, if only you knew…

~lyrics from the song Stuck, Darren Espanto


Maybe it’s just my story…my version where dreams or better yet, delusions are considered the truth.

Ironically, I was stepping down the stairs to reach the ‘upstairs’ when I found you and your flimsy umbrella. You were wearing that smile again. And without any second thoughts, the short journey along the Igorot Stairs became an ascent towards Session Road.

The day was an eternal dusk. The sky with its never-ending tears and the mountains with its freezing frenzy gave us more reasons to take our steps twice as much. Then there was Solibao and it’s Ilocos empanada fresh from the pan, soaking the brown bags holding them.  Just like your company on this sojourn, the empanadas were warm.  It quickly filled the hollowness inside. While the empanadas filled the emptiness of the heart, the Benguet brew washed away the remaining doubt that maybe there was something to hope for.

The clock ticked and the night quietly arrived. The sky never ceased to cry and my heart was filled with illusions that there could be something…

We sat comfortably in the cozy bar along Session Road sharing a bucket of beer over Sisig pizza. We talked about life and anything in between. Rumours was surrounded with wood. It gave the small place the right kind of warmth while the air was filled with some chill kind of music to go with the laid back feel. We watched people come and go. The moments of silence were for our hearts to finally have that conversation.  Funny that we kind of understand each other even in our silence.

sisig pizza rumours baguio session road
The pizza was like having sisig on bread. But it went really well with the beer.

You were kind, that’s for sure.  You gave my heart a bit of reprieve and maybe hope that I get to find someone more than willing to fix me and not just ease the pain of getting shattered. It was in the quiet moments when the bitter-sweet liquid soothe the throat that the heart finally understood what words cannot make sense of…

The bottles were upside-down in the bucket. The pan…err…plate cleared. We took a deep breath and stepped out in the rain under your flimsy umbro. It was a bit early in the night yet it felt like an eternity.


All the butterflies I felt inside never really mattered
Wishful thoughts and sudden smiles end up being shattered…

And that moment we stared that night, I thought I was right.
but maybe I was wrong all along…

I held onto something that never really mattered

I’m still silently, quietly hoping you’ll end up with me…


I closed my eyes, shut the thoughts out and succumb to the darkness of the night as the sky shed more tears…Silently, quietly…the heart still held that strand of hope that the morning light will clear the cobwebs in the empty space in my heart like how I hope for a bright, clear sky…

Rumours Bar
Session Road, Baguio City
Featured Image borrowed from http://iamtheredranger.tumblr.com/

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How I broke a relationship that never was

adobo solibao

How do you say goodbye to a stranger? 

On the fourth day the sky finally had its fill of empathy for this broken heart. The seemingly eternal downpour dissipated into a morning mist while the golden rays of Mr. Sun broke through the clouds. It was a promising Sunday after days of cold and dampness.

You and I stepped out from the ‘upstairs’   to celebrate the beautiful day. We strolled and found ourselves in the warmth of Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral. When mass has been offered, we joyfully traced the descending stairs I took alone trying to find myself in the rain the day before. Silence was a commodity we both enjoyed in this journey…lost in our own thoughts…

We reached the landing and you knew where we were going…I, on the other hand was still lost in my reverie…wondering if these moments will ever have to end. You dragged me in the reality and pulled me into the warmth and aroma of a treat called ‘breakfast’. We were inside Solibao Restaurant along Session Road where we had an authentic Ilocos empanada the day before.


We’ve been sharing meals since we met and clicked. We shared music and our thoughts on politics, Ant-Man and that birthday breakfast at Tsokolateria. In Solibao however, like an omen, we had our own separate meal. You had your Baguio longanisa and I had my chicken-pork adobo. 


 

adobo solibao

 

As loud as the omen of separate meals, we ate in silence. We were consumed by our thoughts. There was a quiet battle in the heart that threatens to explode and leave us broken. It felt like a time bomb…I took a deep breath, downed the bitter potion and smiled fighting that urge to detonate.

Back ‘upstairs‘ we gave ourselves that much needed space. I stayed in bed while you stepped out. I was at a blank, staring at your bunk, wondering the what-ifs. Then I was reminded that what we have will never bloom no matter how we nurture it with memories to smile at. A stranger who unknowingly tried to fix the broken…but could only ease the pain. A  stranger who could not mend this broken heart…but thank your for trying…


I came broken looking for some reprieve

In solitude I was hoping to fix my soul

Instead, I stumbled upon a heart,

a heart good enough to pick my broken pieces…

but not big enough to mend it


With a pang of sadness, I took a shower and packed my bag. I wasn’t ready to go. I still had a day left to stay. But I was a bomb waiting to explode. I didn’t want you to be a casualty of the mess that I was. Your words were hopeful but I can only give a hollow promise of return…before my eyes become glassy and betray me, I stepped out of the room, checked out and started the long journey to the bus station…

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Volante: a Pizza Party for One

salmon pizza by pizza Volante

After the sweet kind of breakfast from Tsokolateria, the rain did not stop this birthday boy (man) from wandering around Session Road. Armed with a flimsy umbro from Watson’s, a fleece jacket, hiking sandals and a mobile phone, I ventured into the ever busy street… I silently offered my heart’s eternal ache to the Lord and asked for His grace at the Baguio Cathedral. It wasn’t long and I felt like my small intestine was about to devour the larger kind (not that it can seriously happen but it felt that way!).

With a grumbling tummy, the descent from the Cathedral hill was agonizing yet grounding. Every step down the stairs was a moment of reflection (drama). That one last step opened the doors of heaven. When I looked up, the signage across the street was a welcome greeting! “Volante“…a word from one of my online searches the night before resurfaced from the subconscious! (visit OpenSnap to easily find a place to eat around Baguio CityVolante…Pizza VolanteI was in total joy stumbling on the talked/blogged about pizza place along Session Road I just have to try ’em! What better time but on my birthday!

I learned that this store is like Store #1…the place where it all started. It doesn’t look like it was engineered for dining though. The ground floor space looked small as the biggest part was consumed by a grand stairway. Pizza Volante along Session Road is a recycled cinema/movie house (that explained the stairway). Now on to the pressing matter – my angry tummy!…

Volante! (spoken like a true European…LOL) sounded and felt like a screaming Italian! It spells pizza, pasta and coffee!

I wished for a window seat(wish granted)… I liked seeing the rain pour over the busy street. I wanted to thank the sky for weeping…for sharing my heartache…

This day felt like an eternal loop of irony. After the Frozen Hot Tsoko, Coffee Volante was an irony on its own.  It was piping hot to ease the coldness of my heart. The dark elixir’s soothing warmth and distinct bitterness brings life to the gloomy sky and damp weather…it awakened my thoughts…rekindled my hope for love…

Against the darkness that was Coffee Volante was their Pasta Alfredo. The white sauce was nothing but creamy and savory. The pasta was cooked al dente while the sauce did not fall short of the expectation. Joining the merry-ness of the creamy sauce were other flavors that gave this pasta dish a festive mood. There was roasted chicken strips, button mushrooms, bacon bits and some generous dots of shrimps and herbs!

shrimp pasta alfredo at pizza volante

The pasta alone was filling but I could not let the opportunity to pass without trying at least one of their pizzas! (spell gluttony!) I asked for another round of dark elixir before I start with something bolder…

I said bolder because I went for the kind of pizza that has never crossed my mind nor my taste buds. I’ve seen anchovies on some pizzas (they were never my cup of tea) but smoked salmon? I said “this I got to try!“.

salmon pizza by pizza Volante

This 6-inch pan pizza was perfect! It’s a solo party for the broken-hearted birthday boy! (weh!). The rain kept pouring and the wind brought the chill to match the coldness radiating from my heart. The warm aromatic bread was comforting.  It has brought some reprieve like a chicken soup to the sick. The pizza has nothing but the mouth-watering slices of smoked salmon, onion rings and molten cheese. That distinct salmon taste cannot be missed in every bite! I say they were a generous host. A 6-inch pan costs only P 110! There was nothing to regret in this boldness…

And the last slice was gone!…the fun, the happiness and that short reprieve from the darkness of a sinking heart finally dissipated. The rain quickly washed away the smile as I stare at the window…again, wondering if this heart can still mend…

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Eating Session Road Series: Oh My Gulay

oh my gulay omelet pansit gulay

Your words are my food, your breath my wine.  You are everything to me. – Sarah Bernhardt

The monsoon affair was nourished by the eternal rain, shared umbrella, gastronomic adventures and a bucket of light beer along Session Road. This mini series took us down Session Road in search for food – the one that nourishes the flesh only because the heart was somewhat sated…

It started with that thoughtful offer to share lunch on an unfamiliar place with a stranger. We were thrilled by the thought of discovering something new, someplace we both have never been to. So there! Armed with a folding umbrella to keep us dry, jackets to keep us warm and flip-flops we head out on the rain to look for La Azotea where Oh My Gulay is supposed to be found. I have the faintest idea what’s in store for us.

oh my gulay

Oh My Gulay sits on the 5th level of La Azotea Building. Who would have thought that this place exists?! The place lived up to it’s name! Oh My Gulay (OMG) is some catchy phrase you’d definitely say when you reach the top of the stairs! By the way, La Azotea doesn’t have a lift, so it’s a hike to the 5th level…but the hike is definitely worth it!

Like the place’s name implies, they only serve veggies! Oh My Gulay is a vegetarian restaurant. We were quite aware of it so we asked for the menu to check what ‘veggies’ they offer.

vegetarian pansit

They offer pasta dishes, however, with the cold weather and the eternal downpour from the heaven up close, we felt that traditional pansit was more appropriate. And so we asked for their Pansit Gulay.  It is your traditional egg noodles, tofu (to replace any sort of meat), 10 assorted veggies that were in season, all tossed in their spicy pansit sauce. We were told that the serving was only good for one person. Surprisingly, the bowl priced at P 135 was good enough to two hungry adults.

 

omelet

Because we were not aware of the serving portions, we decided to have a go at their Sibuyas at Kabute Omelet also good for sharing. It was filled with caramelized onion rings and mushrooms and cheese! I just did not appreciate how the oil adorned the omelet’s surface (arte lang!). But overall, it was tasty and filling. Aside from my issue with the cooking oil, another let down was the “basil cheese toast”. My ever critical tastebuds hardly recognized the presence of basil or cheese on the barely toasted bread.

After the meal, we wandered around to see the art exhibit.  They’re celebrating the art pieces of Benjie Mallari, the Art Director of Insurance Manila. He was known through his powerful editorial cartoons and sketches for the newspaper Malaya during the Marcos dictatorship.

nervin_ohmygulay

Oh My Gulay, apart from serving vegetarian dishes is a VOCAS (Victor Oteyza Community Art Space). This explains the novelty of the place screaming A-R-T. I could consider the entire space as a work of art, from the stairwell going up leading to the unexpected warmth of the dining space. Every little piece says something…

ship-wreck-omg

A piece of a ship-wreck above the kitchen

omg_view2

The kitchen’s somewhere there!

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There’s the garden I so like.  It was raining cats and dogs for eternity and here we were, comfortably sitting on that ship-wreck sipping on bottomless cups of brewed coffee (for P 65).

I’ve read a few blogs mentioning their experiences at Oh My Gulay but everything came unexpected the moment we stepped in. I can easily find a comfortable nook and read a book. I already posted a sticky note reminding me to come back and enjoy a little piece of peace to renew my broken spirit.

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Oh My Gulay
5 Level, La Azotea Building
Upper Session Road, Baguio City