Although this restaurant is not located in Baguio City, it’s still worth to visit. Calajo Restaurant is located just a few walks from the famous La Trinidad Strawberry Farms.
Calajo is a popular restaurant in La Trinidad. It’s a family business ran by Danny and Eunice Wong and its origins started since the 1980s from a small eatery into a establishment known for its delicious Filipino food and indigenous Cordillera dishes.
The place feels homey and embellished with native Cordillera designs. Calajo is also known for its baked goodies and delicacies indigenous in the region.
Learning from our experience in Good Taste Restaurant, we ordered their chopseuy (a Chinese cuisine made up of mixed vegetables and various meats such as chicken, pork or beef) for 3-4 persons and the serving size is just right for us. You will never be wrong in trying their vegetables here in Benguet because they are all fresh and luscious.
Trying Pinikpikan – a Native Cordillera Dish
We also tried an indigenous Cordillera dish known as chicken pinikpikan. Pinikpikan is a traditional form of cooking by the native Igorots. It is done by beating the chicken continuously with a stick until its meat is bruised with blood. The blood infused within the meat provides a distinctive flavor. The broth is also mixed with tamarind and fresh vegetables and the taste is quite similar to sinampalukang manok (a soup-based chicken with tamarind). The chicken tastes a little bit bitter because of the cooked blood in some corners.
The process of Pinikpikan may sound a bit disturbing, but this method is a form of ritual to our natives in the Cordillera region. They perform pinikpikan in certain local occasions and it has a lot of symbolic meaning. It serves as a prayer to their ancestral gods for guidance before the start of planting season. It is also performed to drive away pests in the farm. This method is sacred and only the people of the Cordilleras can do this.
Overall, we spend less than PHP 400 (USD 8.00) in Calajo Restaurant and we were all satisfied. After a great tour in the strawberry farms, try visiting Calajo and have a taste of great Cordillera dishes.
Hours: 9AM to 7PM
Address: Km4, Halsema Highway, La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines
Contact: (074) 422 1219