Maya: When we stumbled off the bus in Baguio, Bethany had been waiting for us at the depot for nearly two hours—an overturned truck in the middle of the highway had exponentially added to our travel time. Needless to say, we were all in need of a beer (or two) upon arrival; Bethany took us out to her local, a place on Session Road called Rumours, where we got acquainted with a few items that would become familiar territory during the coming weeks. One drink stretched to two-and-a-half, plus a snack, and the combination of warm food and cold beer must have unlocked my jet lag: Not ten minutes after we’d cleaned our plates, I was ready to sleep. That tiny taste of Pinoy food and culture proved to be the perfect amuse bouche, though. We woke the next morning, appetites whetted to begin the serious business of eating our way through the Philippines.
Jill: That afternoon, we once again found ourselves on Session Road, choosing between two restaurants for our first official meal out. (I’m not counting the loads of snacks we ate on the bus, the bar food or breakfast at Bethany’s because none of those experiences included rice, which, according to Bethany, distinguishes a snack from a meal in the Philippines.) Maya’s tried and true theory of selecting the more populated restaurant brought us to the Tea House, which we hoped would provide us with an introduction to authentic Filipino food.