Am on a road trip to Lipa City to accompany my balikbayan auntie & her family. I don’t know if it was my dour mood brought about by the pressure of looking after my three hyperactive kids sans the nanny, but I found Lipa City unexciting. Until we went to dinner tonight and my jaded senses were suddenly awakened with a sampling of the best-tasting bulalo soup this side of Luzon, not to mention the yummiest grilled spareribs and freshest, most perfectly – roasted tilapia stuffed with generous amounts of onions, tomatoes and chilies.
If you notice I am talking in superlatives already but I just have to endorse Hapag Filipino which is perhaps one of the oldest restaurants in Lipa. Nothing compares to the experience of scouring our countryside for great foodie finds and Hapag Filipino is it. I heard it’s well-known for supplying the best maliputo hereabouts and if you’re can afford it, the owner Nene Caubalejo recommends trying their unforgettable sinigang na maliputo. She’s also proud of the fact that they use only pure beef shanks, not cara beef, for their bulalo. Hapag Filipino’s interiors look so 70’s and need a makeover but nothing can be complained of their specialties which can only be dished out with down-home cooking flair by a seasoned, masterful cook (actually the owner’s cousin). Our four-course meal in Hapag cost us only P1,400, inclusive of drinks. On the other hand, the euphoric effect brought about by experiencing this four-course meal was priceless. Definitely, death by bulalo!!!
We had our lunch at Jollibee Lipa which was in front of this great-looking mall called Big Ben (complete with a replica of the clock). My Chicago-raised niece and nephew Janelle and Justine had a blast eating in Jollibee for the first time. Their Americanized tastebuds considered it “awesome.”
This was our group picture taken just outside Robinson’s Mall in Lipa. Shown are my auntie Jinky, nieces, nephew and my three angels (To all our relatives in America….hellur 😛 !!!)
We were booked in this good hotel which had a nice pool, karaoke rooms and 24-hour internet. We stayed in a family room and the pastel walls were vedy nice, don’t you think?
Tomorrow: shooting the rapids in Pagsanjan:)