I am not a travel expert, but I guess experience establishes your credibility more than your title. A good friend of mine reached out to me in creating a simple, short, not-too-expensive, one-day trip for another friend who has been very busy at work. They have been friends for a long time and true friends look out for each other, so I understood him. I, of course, loved the idea. I also want to kick off my travel journal for the year.
I prepared a very simple itinerary. I did not research too much. I just made sure that we know, at least, the addresses of the places we will visit. The problem about reading too much about a travel destination before going is losing the elements of surprise and adventure. Research just enough and wait to be surprised. Test your travel instincts and learn from it.
Straight from the evening shift at work, we left the office at 1030AM.
First Stop – Kusina ni Atching Lillian Borromeo
Lillian Lising Borromeo is known as the Guardian of Kapampangan Kitchen. She is famous for cooking native dishes of Pampanga using the traditional ways she learned from her ancestors. She has guested in a lot of TV programs showcasing her cooking prowess. She has also been awarded for her efforts to keep her culinary genius and the culture of the Kapampangans alive.
We did not waste time. We feasted on the delectable dishes served before us.
Let me feed your eyes.
Aside from the mouthwatering food, Atching Lillian also offers a baking demo of the San Nicolas cookie (and more) for her guests. She shared stories after stories of how her ancestors prepare food. She injected bits of her sweet sense of humor every now and then, which made her very charming. She also showed us some of the traditional wooden cooking implements such as the very old rolling pin and the huge egg beater.
She invited some of her guests to try the cookie molding part and gave free samplings to all.
After the demo, you can look around her little museum where she placed every piece that speaks of her tireless effort to preserve her local color and humbly show her achievements. Another proof of this is the ongoing ABS-CBN program shoot while we were there. See photo below.
Atching Lillian is a very warm person. When I made a reservation, she immediately accommodated us and politely informed me that there are other guests scheduled the same day and made sure we are fine with it. She has been known to attending to her guests personally – talking to them, hugging and kissing them as they enter her home. She has even called me three times to ensure I know where to find her place.
We were asked to write on her Guest Book and we did. We thought it was our only way to appreciate what she does for Pampanga and our country.
Needless to say, food was great! The pandan juice was a first for me. It was refreshing.
More than the food, I liked the experience it gave me – that homey, motherly, and warm ambiance while eating is probably something you will rarely get these days. Her gracious ways and very calm way of communicating remind you of your own mother. When you look around, eat and smell the food, you know you are in the right place. You are home.
Here’s a photo of Atching Lillian’s home.
Her house is located in Mexico, Pampanga.
This was originally posted on my other blog – http://www.foxllante.com