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A LETTER TO UNCLE G ABOUT GUDEG

 

Dearest Uncle G,

On our first day in Jogjakarta, Danang took us to an authentic Javanese restaurant called Yu Djum. Getting to Yu Djum reminds me of how I got to Alamo’s in Legaspi, Albay. That is - we drove through narrow alleys lined with small houses until we hit the end of a road, which opens up to a cluster of small houses, and in one of those houses, you will find Yu Djum.

We got to Yu Djum at 11:00 a.m. and were among the first customers there.

I instantly felt at ease in Yu Djum. It felt like one of those old restaurants in the province that remains unchanged by time. As we entered, four old men started playing Javanese musical instruments while an old lady sang. Inside, there are about six or seven rectangular wooden tables each with two benches. On each table there are a few glass jars filled with kerupuk (fish crackers).

Yu Djum

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THE BAGUIO I REMEMBER (continued)

To Market To Market to buy…


Mountain of Strawberries Gulay Mushrooms Flowers Enriquez Longganisa de recado Coffee

For many, a trip to Baguio would never be complete without a visit to the market.  Tourists flock to the market to buy local produce to take home with them.  I too feel that a trip to Baguio would never be complete without a visit to the market.  Unlike tourists, however, my purposes is no just to buy the local produce, but also, to visit old friends and be reminded of my childhood.

When I was a child, my grandmother and mother would take me with them to the Baguio market to buy meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and coffee from their vendor-friends.  When I got older, I would  go to the market on my own to buy things from the same vendor-friends.  Those friends have seen me become what I am today and  are  privy to my  many childhood antics.

Nowadays, when I see those vendor-friends, they would remind me of how I was as a child.  For example, as soon as the ladies at the fish and seafood section would see me, they would remind me that when I was a child, I would always pinch my nose upon entering that section of the market.  Some vegetable vendors would also remind me about  the time I got lost in the market and was later found in the police outpost.  Of course, my mother gets uneasy when she hears this because she was the one who lost me in the market.  Loosing me in the market was more traumatic for her that it was for me.  Then, there is Ray, the guy who owns a meat stall in the market where we get the yummy de recado longganisa (garlic sausages).  My mom updates him on the goings on in my life like when I graduated, when I moved to Manila and I suspect even about my love life.

The Police Outpost

Apart from visiting friends and being reminded of my childhood, I have always loved the Baguio market.  It has never ceased to stimulate my senses.     (more…)