Where: 2/F Porta Vaga Mall, Porta Vaga, Session Road, Baguio City, Benguet
Operating Hours: Open daily, 10AM to 7PM (mall hours)
Recommended Budget: approximately PhP250 for two people
Depending on how long you’re staying, choose from their beverage sizes, “Small Talk” or “Road Trip.”
Image: Bagong Bayan Facebook page
If you’re a fan of the quiet comfort that Filipino refreshments bring, then look up Bagong Bayani, a new fixture at Porta Vaga Mall that just opened last July. The place is unassuming, and their menu more so, which revolves around the quintessential palamig, or “refreshments” in Filipino.
Perhaps the most famous of them all, sago’t gulaman (tapioca pearls and jelly) is the store’s instant hit. They also have other childhood staples like the Every Night, a cup of hot Milo with fresh milk; Summer Day, or melon juice with pearls and milk; or the soon-to-be local favorite, Aunteas of Baguio, a cup of tea infused with honey, lemon grass, and ginger, just like how our aunts used to have it.
They also serve flatbreads, Filipino viands generously laid atop a thick ciabatta bread, and what they like to call “fusion pastas,” whose names and ingredients are based on major culinary regions, like the bistek tagalog (beef steak) of Manila, the chicken inasal (grilled chicken) of Bacolod, and the local Baguio longganisa (pork sausage).
How to get to Bagong Bayani in Porta Vaga Mall: via commute: ride the P2P bus from PITX to Baguio or buses in Cubao or Pasay bound for Baguio, get off at terminal across SM Baguio, and walk via Gov. Pack Road towards Session Road, Porta Vaga should be at your right (travel time is around 6-6.5 hours); via private car: Enter NLEX via Balintawak and exit via SCTEX/Clark Airport, take MacArthur Highway towards Kennon Road, continue to T.M. Kalaw Street at the roundabout, left onto Upper Session Road, continue towards North Drive, then left onto Post Office Loop towards Porta Vaga Mall (travel time is around 3-3.5 hours).
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