Memories of Mandarin Restaurant Baguio City
I came from a middle class family, we did not have any luxury in life growing up but life is still good living in one of the coolest places on earth. We seldom eat at a restaurant and if we were to dine out it would be either at what we call SM way back the 90’s there was no SM before in Baguio but we called the food court under the Maharlika livelihood center as SM or “Sirok Maharlika” (under Maharlika) or at any of the Fastfood chains, not in any dining place that you can really call a restaurant. So you would understand the delight in my eyes when my father told me that we were to dine at Mandarin Restaurant, i was in High School back then.
First Impressions At Mandarin Restaurant
The dining experience at the Mandarin Restaurant made a huge impact on me, otherwise i would not have recalled my first dining experience with them during the 90’s. I can still remember where we were seated, it was beside a huge hanging glass where the name of the person who donated it was inscribed. However my memory failed me when i tried to recall everything that we ordered, but what i remembered was we ordered a lot plus a plateful of Pancit which we were not able to eat as we were really stuffed and couldn’t eat anymore. So the pancit was untouched, and it would seem the nice lady behind the counter (i assume she is the owner) asked us if there is something wrong with the Pancit and we politely said “no we are really full and couldn’t eat anymore but we’ll take it home”. I believe that simple act by the owner/manager made a huge impact that made me remember that first dining experience at Mandarin Restaurant. I thought, that act would not happened if it were in a fastfood or food court, their real concern for their food makes it truly a classy restaurant (pardon me if you think otherwise but this is coming from a middle class citizen)
Mandarin Restaurant Revisit
I first heard the news that Mandarin restaurant was closing it’s doors from a friend who supplies ingredients to the restaurant. So i made it a point to visit and dine at Mandarin Restaurant, maybe for the last time, i brought my wife and my daughter with me one cold afternoon to that restaurant with a good view of Session road, another good spot to watch the Panagbenga Parade by the way. When we arrived, there were no indications that the restaurant is closing down, although there are few customers and that air wasn’t as festive as compared to the first time i visited the place. As soon as we were seated we ordered their Shrimp Sweet and Sour, Beef Brocolli and Tomatoes and their Shantung soup which is a Chinese-style soup with Bamboo Shoots and ham. As usual the meal was wonderful, except for the shrimps which i find to be a tad salty but i always think having been eating under seasoned food for several years now i find food in “normal” level of saltiness to be very salty. My daughter loves desserts and she ordered Halo-halo, what i find nice about this is you are given the can of evaporated milk and add as many milk to your halo-halo as you want, you do not see that Old School way of eating Halo-Halo in any of the Chinese fastfood chains. Since there were no indications that Mandarin Restaurant is closing anytime soon, i said we’ll definitely be back next to dine again and order my favorite Pancit and Mami (noodle soup), so we paid our bill and went out stuffed.
News Of Mandarin Restaurant Closing
It was just last week when i was walking down Session road that i noticed a sign at the Mandarin Restaurant windows saying that the restaurant will be Closing it’s doors on January 1, 2015, unfortunately i was not able to take a photo of it, as i felt sadness to see another Old Baguio restaurant to be closing it’s doors. In article i read the owner stated the problem that they are losing business to global chains. Unfortunately, i have to agree that these global chains are taking away business from our local entrepreneurs because the former has the money to conduct extensive marketing and advertising that lure clients in.
Helping Save Local Entrepreneurs In Our Own Little Way
It was always my advocacy to help local entrepreneurs especially in helping them transition from the traditional way of marketing to the new ways of marketing and that is online. To bring this closer to the local entrepreneurs in Baguio City i have formed a local chapter of an international business group know as the Google Business Group Baguio or GBG Baguio, in GBG we help entrepreneurs use the power of online marketing and Google technologies in order to help them equalize the playing fields with already established and popular brands. All our events for Google Business Group Baguio is for free and note we are not a “networking group” we are a community of local entrepreneurs that aims to connect, inform and inspire. Here are more details about GBG.
As an offshoot of this community, I also established the first co-working space in Baguio City, 5space, which aims to give freelancers and local entrepreneurs find an office for their business as they incubate and grow their projects.
Of course one would contend that to be able for an entrepreneurs to enter the online marketing scene one must have a website to boost their online presence, not necessarily, blogs and good reviews about their business is a start, and to help them further we have created a business directory for local businesses in Baguio City which will be promoted also via our social media channels. If there are any local businesses that would like to be added to the Baguio City directory please do not hesitate to contact us. I hope you guys do not mind if this sounds like advertising but this is one way for me to get the word out there that Lakbay Baguio is here to help entrepreneurs in Baguio City.
The Baguio Mandarin Restaurant is indeed a landmark the same as that of the Star Cafe, establishments that’s been doing business in Baguio even before I was born. I of course do not want to see this restaurant close down as it is already part of the history of Baguio and even part of my own history. Many events, parties and memorable moments were made at this restaurant and it is a shame to see it go. Maybe it’s time for us to wake up and support the local businesses in Baguio City, why not spend our hard earned money and support the local entrepreneurs at the same time? Instead of dining at popular global brands why not try true local delicacies? For tourists in Baguio City a piece of advice, i am a traveler myself, and when i travel to a place i make sure i eat at a local restaurant not at any global fastfood chain because i always tell myself we have that global fastfood in Baguio so i can try eating there anytime i want besides i did not visit this place to eat at this global fastfood otherwise it’s going to be a very expensive fastfood experience, counting the money you spend traveling to that place just to eat at a fastfood restaurant that you already have in your locality. In our own little way we can preserve what’s left in the Old Baguio and these im sure are worth preserving.