Naga City in Camarines Sur is known as a rising destination for foodies. There are lots of hip restaurants in Naga City including Bigg’s, Geewan, Bob Marlin and Que Pasa, which are well-known by locals and tourists.
For those traveling South, looking for something less mainstream, you can find a few hidden gems especially in neighboring towns. One such spot is the newly opened BidiBidi Cafe in Barangay Sta. Teresita in the quiet town of Baao, roughly an hour away from Naga City.
Owned and managed by artist Bernadette de los Santos, more popularly known as BidiBidi, the cafe sits next to La Huerta, an agri-tourism destination and artists’ hangout in the Bicol region.
Although the cafe just had their soft opening on July 21, photos are already making the rounds on social media among Bicolanos because of the cafe’s Instagram-worthy interiors and interesting dishes. The cafe houses a collection of vintage books, art, and memorabilia, patchwork quilts, embroidered throw pillows, old bottles, teapots and bottles, making it visually interesting.
The cafe serves dishes that are sustainably-sourced, using ingredients from the farm. Many of the dishes have a local flavor, including Laing Pasta, Bicol Express Pasta and Camote Fries, which the owner says are a hit with millennials. Most meals range from PHP80 to 150 per dish. They also serve a few lunch value “lutong bahay” meals with drinks for just PHP90.
Their house specialties include Banana Blossom Spaghetti and Banana Blossom Burger with served with meatballs and patties made from banana blossom, for those looking for a healthier alternative to meat. For beverages, the cafe serves iced coffee, iced latte and iced tabrilya, using tablea made of cacao.
For merienda, there are cupcakes or cakes of the day sourced from a local bakeshop Bella Bella.
The artist and cafe owner hopes to revive and upgrade the art of embroidery, which the town of Baao was once known for. The cafe also displays products made by the owner’s F.A.R.M. (Fabulously and Absolutely Rural Made) Enterprises, a social enterprise that combines fashion with upcycling, while providing livelihood to local women and out-of-school youth in Baao.
Jewelry made from upcycled material and hand-embroidered products are the most popular souvenirs. For art enthusiasts or those looking for new destinations in Cam Sur beyond the usual haunts, this place may just inspire you.
How to get there: Ride a bus going to Baao (centro); Go to the front of LCC Market ride a “padyak” going to San Nicolas (three to five minutes travel time).
BidiBidi Cafe and La Huerta Farm. Sta. Teresita, Baao, Camarines Sur Philippines. The Cafe is open for lunch and dinner every day from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. For more information, visit them on Facebook or Instagram.