Monday, June 16, 2014

A city of big hearts

There were no second thoughts about where we would spend Fathers' Day yesterday--in the company of other fathers, mothers, their children and, in our case, our grandchild. Kai was the most visibly excited to renew acquaintances with the penned rabbits at Mother's Garden Cafe and Restaurant on upper Fairview Road, Quezon Hill, Baguio. The place is no longer hard to find although the road going up is quite steep and full of hairpin turns, but Baguio cabbies know where it is and expertly get us there.

Today is JJ's birthday. He's the 44-year-old son of Therese Jison, the chef patron of Mother's Garden. JJ and I first me for art lessons with Norman Chow at Toottee Chanco-Pacis's Happy Homes greenhouse, also in Baguio. Well, our city is that way; it has streets and subdivisions with lovely names: Fairview, Happy Homes, Green Valley.

Therese and her staff prepared a spread fit for a prince which is what JJ is to me. A noble one. After the guests had their slices of triple-layered, moist chocolate cake (with thick caramel in between layers) with cherries and chocolates on top and a dollop each of homemade vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries, JJ continued cutting his birthday cake so he could serve the staff. He's that kind of man with fine manners, a big-hearted person. I hope my apo will become that way, too.

The view from the terrace of the garden restaurant

Huggable JJ with his Tita Auring Bautista

There was seafood pasta with squid rings, chunks of halibut, salmon and scallops...

...boneless chicken teriyaki...

...lechon, also roasted in the garden's all-brick oven...

...the pretty-pink roast beef...

For dessert, vanilla ice cream churned from the restaurant's own ice cream maker, the strawberries plucked from the garden...

...and JJ's chocolate cake where everything could be eaten and savored, except for the candles. There were pieces of dairy chocolates spread atop the cake, all made by Le Chef's Billy King and staff of Camp John Hay's The Manor.

Of course, a grownup party like this is one isn't one unless the guests and co-host, Heiner Maulbecker, talk more about their dreams for the city, mainly re-greening it further. In the picture are Herr, Leonie and Des Bautista.

And then the fog rolled in, and it was time to go...

...to say farewell to these lovely ladies in deep pink that look like ballerinas en pointe.


Photos by Babeth Lolarga


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