Ketchup Food Community: The End of the (delicious) Era
Baguio is known to be a hub not just for tourists who want to experience cool climate all year round; it is also a place for people to eat and experience local restaurants that aren’t usually found in busy lowlands. One of the established food hubs in Baguio is the Ketchup Food Community – a community that was gone too soon.
Ketchup Food Community: The “one-stop” shop
Even before the birth of food parks especially in Manila, Ketchup Food Community was the must-go destination for food lovers. The ingenuity of food items served cannot be found anywhere else in the city. The community was composed of:
One of the most loved restaurants in the community, Canto is well known for their Lomo Ribs.
With Kiniing (a traditional Cordilleran dish made of smoked and fermented meat for months) as their specialty.
Specializing in Thai cuisine, Happy Tummy also features Filipino dishes such as Pandan Chicken (my personal favorite!)
Where they usually serve exotic Filipino food such as Horse meat (where I got to taste here first!)
Boasting their Indo-Malay servings, this restaurant serves Sate and Nasi Goreng.
How I miss Horse Dishes from Rancho Norte, the Lomo Ribs from Canto, and Pandan Chicken from Happy Tummy. Home-grown dishes are the community’s selling point. The quaint setup easily captured food lovers’ hearts because it is relatively small yet big things come to each plate.
The Ketchup Food Community is a one-stop shop where you get to taste almost every flavor in one place. Be it Asian fusion, European, or Filipino, you name it, they probably have it. Its appeal to tourists and locals was unparalleled, unlike big food brands that sprawl in the City.
Baguio’s Original Food Park
When Food Parks became a fad in the lowlands, Ketchup Food Community was also a home to many firsts. As far as I know, it is one of the first food parks in Baguio. Even before the concept of a “food park” was created, Ketchup has become an icon on its own. Five awesome food hubs with devilishly delicious and unique servings are Ketchup’s trademark.
Ketchup Food Community is a place where people not only dine but also is a place where everyone celebrates Cordilleran culture. It redefines the concept of how a food park should be — simple yet attractive. As a gastronomic venture, Ketchup is an icon on its own; a name people will surely miss.
The end of the delicious era
Just this 2017, I was surprised that when I was about to bring friends from Manila over to the Ketchup Food Community, its gates were closed. Weird as it seemed, there were no people around and the whole community was dark. Just so I knew, it was the end of the delicious era of Ketchup. Of course, as a Baguio local, I was saddened by this abrupt news. Come on, it is one of the most delicious hubs in the City! No one imagined it would end in the hands of a big pizza company. Rumor has it that the leasing contract of the community has expired thus the evacuation of the food hubs. Also, former employees say the community will be transferring to a new home somewhere near its original location in the near future.
It is true that good things (really) come to an end. Baguio’s food scene will never be the same again without The Ketchup Food Community. Slowly, some of what made Baguio what it is now, especially in terms of local cuisine, is going out too soon. I just hope that more local and homegrown restaurants would flourish and remain as it became a reputation of Baguio.
Have you gone to the Ketchup Food Community? What are your fondest memories here? Share your moments in the comments section!
See also: The Other Bloggers’ Baguio Food Crawl