Cariño: Baguio Connections 92

Baguio Stories

LAST week, Feng Shui tips to make 2020 work for you.

Last Monday, January 27, a grand Chinese New Year celebration was held in Baguio to usher in the Year of the Rat 2020.

The celebration activities included Media Fellowship Night on January 18, “Barangay Gift Sharing” on January 21, benefiting some residents of San Luis and Asin Road barangays, “Run-for-a-Cause” on January 25, benefiting the Baguio General Hospital pediatric patients, and a grand dragon parade on January 27 that wound through the Baguio City center. To cap celebratory activities, the evening of the 27th also had a Cocktail Fellowship at 6:00 p.m. and an Awards Dinner at 7:00 p.m.

It seems only logical to connect from there to the Chinese families in Baguio.

There are the del Rosarios, present elders being Sonny, Mike, June E, and Kenneth. Yes they are now the young once of the family that own Sunshine, which is proudly “laking Baguio,” as the ad goes.

Mike is also my neighbor columnist every SunStar weekend, and heads up the Veniz Hotels, of which there is the original one beside Sunshine, a newer one on Session Road, and an apartel version on Legarda. He is married to Angie, nee Novales, and their children are now visibly helping run the businesses.

Sonny is Sunshine’s boss, headquartered on its second floor. He is also the leader of a volunteer fire brigade that is composed of himself and volunteers from Sunshine. I asked him once why he had such a gig going, and he said that he just likes to serve the city that way, service to Baguio being important to him of the sometimes fireman persona.

June Ellen’s nook is the Kodak shop across and to the side of Sonny’s office, Kenneth has the pizza line downstairs named after him. Dennis Anthony’s Pharmacy, across and to the side of June’s Kodak, is named after their late brother.

My mother Ruby, half-Chinese herself, tells me that their mother Betty was a Taimong, and that it was said that she and her sisters were famously beautiful ladies all. If you are my age or older, you surely ate at Taimong Restaurant when it was still open; the food was good there. It was also a favorite wedding party venue, at which a number of cousins chose to toast their unions.

The old Mandarin restaurant on Session Road was owned and run by Auntie Lita, whom my mother says was the sister of aforementioned Betty del Rosario, after whom Betty’s restaurant in Sunshine is named. Their sister Auntie Elsie, is of the old Teahouse fame. Another Taimong lady, my mother continues, is Mrs. Gochu, married into the Gochu family whose shop boasts of all manner of construction hardware available.

There are a couple more or so sisters, adds la Ruby, and maybe Mike can confirm the above and fill us in.


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