Nomad Managing / Wi-fi Hunting in Baguio feat. Hill Station Part 2
This entry could also very well be entitled:
THE DARKEST CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM EVER
As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, my wi-fi hunt led me to the charming country doors of Hill Station. As a stingy but tired, perspired, time-pressed telecommuter, I reluctantly (because of anticipated cost, but definitely not because of comfort) decided I would spend my afternoon in Hill Station, regardless of how expensive my stay might wind up to be.
First order of business: find a spot near a working electrical outlet. Check.
Next, wi-fi. Check.
Now, I could order.
Menu with vegetarian-friendly options. Check.
Looking at the menu, you’ll notice the prices. Egad. But yeah, man up, Jen. You’ve rejoiced upon entry and settled in. Own it. So own it I did. I could have opted to go for more economical entree options, but then again, I didn’t come to Hill Station to order something I could order at Starbucks or something I felt I could replicate at home.
Unfortunately, the Spinach & Mushroom Ravioli was not available, so I went with the Linguini with Sundried Tomatoes & Pecorino (P280+), which sadly, fell below my expectations. The portion was small, and I had imagined the sundried tomatoes to be similar to ones Cyma uses on their epic Roca Salata, but no, it wasn’t.
Having remembered reading about the desserts at Hill Station, I decided to order their Croissant Bread & Butter Pudding with Caramel Rum Sauce (P95+). Again, this wasn’t as epic as I had imagined it to be. I didn’t anticipate the raisins, which I would have preferred to do without. And I just felt that a vanilla custard sauce, which most traditional bread puddings come with, versus a sparingly drizzled caramel rum sauce, might have made me happier about it. I couldn’t tell the difference between the use of a croissant versus regular bread either, but maybe I’m just not discerning enough.
Some 2-3 hours into my solitary stay, Karlo, Maria and Kitty came to join me, and we decided we ought to try their Ice Cream Palette (P150+), which was a charmingly plated sampler of 5 of their homemade ice cream flavors including: Dark Chocolate with Cayenne, Benguet Coffee with Chocolate Chips, Vanilla Cinnamon, Mango Rum, and Dulce de Leche. This order more than made up for my underwhelming orders earlier. The Benguet Coffee is rich in flavor and a must for coffee lovers. But the real winner was the Dark Chocolate. It was truly the darkest chocolate ice cream I have ever seen and tasted. A must-have on any trip to Baguio.
So while I wasn’t blown away by their other offerings, I would definitely come back for the ice cream. And I won’t be getting the sampler next time. Dark Chocolate all the way. Definitely one of my favorite Baguio discoveries during my stay. :)
Let me know what you think when you get to try it!
Loco for cocoa,
Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Rd.
2600 Baguio City, Philippines
Monday - Sunday; 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
NM Veg Rating
Value for money
MUST ORDER: Dark Chocolate with Cayenne Ice Cream
Nomad Managing / Wi-fi Hunting in Baguio feat. Hill Station Part 1
While I got a lot of rave reviews from my temporary Baguio Satellite Office when I blogged about it and posted pictures on Facebook, my dreamy office did have its setbacks. Difficult wi-fi. And so, began the search for wi-fi in Baguio City.
I’m a bit stubborn about favoring homegrown cafes or restos (especially when I’m travelling outside Manila) vs. Starbucks (which apparently, in Baguio, provides free wi-fi to patrons - unlike in Manila), even if this means going out of my way or walking / commuting a little more.
On that fateful Friday morning, my journey began at the top of session road. It was around 8:30 a.m., so I decided to go to Zola Cafe first (which I read was open 24 hours). I remembered seeing it when we were driving around town the day before, so I was convinced I could easily spot it.
So I walked the whole stretch of Session Road and when I reached the bottom, was perplexed that I hadn’t seen it. I had gone back up, mid-Session Road, saw the building housing Oh My Gulay, went in to find it closed, asked the neighboring shop what time they opened, was told they opened at 10:00 a.m., decided to go back there for lunch (because I love the place) but work at Zola Cafe first.
So again I sojourned out to Session Road, this time asked for directions to Zola Cafe and found out it was situated practically where I got off at the top of Session Road. Nice one, Jen. And this was my workstation there:
Zola Cafe seems like an all-day drinking place, probably catering to people working at call centers, which I assume are present in all major cities in the Philippines. Zola Cafe provides free wi-fi and an ample number of outlets (very freelancer-friendly), which was especially necessary to me because I bring around not a laptop, but a portable desktop, ever since my 2nd laptop battery died on me over a month ago (?), and I did not get a replacement for it because I’m holding out for a new laptop.
I stayed there until just before 10:00 a.m. (I just found it a tad too noisy and cigarette smoke-y — so yeah, it’s a smoker-friendly lace), got my bill, and left for my much anticipated working day at Oh My Gulay!
When I get to Oh My Gulay! a little past 10:00 a.m., I find that the door leading to the resto was just open a crack, hinting that the place was not yet open. But I stealthily made my way in, like a ninja! Not. But anyway, yeah, I went in, and asked the staff if they were open already. Staff tells me they open at 11:00 a.m. Meh. Fail, neighbor!
But anyway, I asked the staff if it would be okay for me to take pictures and hang around while waiting for them to open (so I didn’t have to look for another place to stay), and he said that would be fine. YES! *fistpumps* So I take a million pictures, then after selecting a spot from all of the wonderful seating options, I finally settle in here:
*Fistpuuuuuump!* I was so excited by the prospect of working there til mid-afternoon. Not soon after I had turned on my laptop, one of the waiters comes up to me, and I think, yay! They can take my order now. Instead he goes, “Ma’am, sorry bawal po magsaksak (Ma’am, sorry, but you can’t plug in your electronics)”. Given that I had no working battery, it would be impossible for me to work without an outlet.
So again, began my journey. I whipped out my handy dandy Kindle Keyboard 3G, which serves me more as a map / guide rather than a reading device (shame on me, I know), and checked what else might be available in the area. I remember Karlo’s sister Maria telling me there was wi-fi available at Hill Station, so I headed over there.
After the walk up Session Road, I get there and the first thing I ask is: “May wi-fi ba kayo (Do you have wi-fi)?”, followed by an immediate, very moocher-sounding “Meron ba kayong outlet (Do you have an outlet)?”
When I got an affirmative on both questions, I rejoiced in the knowledge that I finally found a place to stay and park my heavy-ish bag. Huzzah!
Granted, I went through further lengths than would be recommended for looking for internet (because there were internet cafes and Starbucks)…buuuut yeah. Let’s just say it wasn’t the ideal scenario, but I discovered more! (Like which places I could NOT work) LOL.
From Baguio to Boracay,