Closing of Café by the Ruins
“Baguio’s most beloved restaurant.” That is the tag for Cafe by the Ruins in the Lonely Planet Guide book on the Philippine. Toted around by world travelers, the guidebook and now, app, introduced to the café many tourists, some of whom became loyal customers and friends.
Sadly, Café By the Ruins will no longer be. In this site.
Since the fire last April consumed the iconic cogon roof, the partner-owners of the café and its original creators have decided to move on to another location. As this chapter in the history of the Ruins closes, we look forward to new doors opening.
Café by the Ruins was an experiment instigated by 9 soul-siblings in a rag-tag family of artists: Baboo Mondoñedo, Christine Arvisu, Dave Baradas, Roberto Villanueva, Ben Cabrera, Boy Yuchengco, Su O’Donnell, Louie Llamado and Laida Lim. With irony, they registered a company with the Securities and Exchange Commission as Ruins, Inc.
Today, the enterprise is directed and managed by soul-cousins -- children raised in the restaurant’s milieu: Tootsy Angara, Celestina Arvisu, Jasmine Cabrera, Taña Villanueva, Andre Sebor, Miguel Santos, Lia Llamado and Feliz Perez.
This site was originally Baguio’s first Garden Theater dating from the first quarter of last century. When that business floundered, Phelps Whitmarsh – a business man and, for a short time, civil governor of Baguio – remodeled the building into his residence. American carpet bombers destroyed the once-cosy house and reduced it to the four reinforced concrete arches that remain.
For the past 29 years, these historic ruins served as the focal point of an artful café with a “wide-reaching menu” (Lonely Planet Guide). The café fostered the Baguio Arts Guild, sponsored the Fiber Web Festivals, published cookbooks and encouraged poetry readings on rainy nights. It offered pinikpikan, bagnet and that “wonderful treat”,
suman at tsokolate. Fresh Lumpia of mountain-fresh vegetables was always on it menu from day one. Kamote bread was its all-time best-seller that was often copied but seldom equaled.
Today, this chapter in the ledger of Café by the Ruins closes. The company will open its next enterprise in another environment. Please hit the “”Follow” button.
At this moment, we would like to thank the ancestors for their protection as we grew up in this place. We thank our friends who have become customers and the customers who are now our friends. We are grateful for the good times and appreciate the trials placed on our path. Thank you – all -- for the blessings that have made Café by the Ruins what
it is – a most beloved restaurant.