Sunday, June 9, 2013


Ever since Jef started with his art career, his digital camera has been very useful in gathering material for his studies. Just last year, Jef decided to part with his old camera and bought a Canon DSLR camera. Our professional photographer friends from Manila, Carlo Magno (also an artist) and Jomari Ayala visited Baguio last month and they offered to teach Jef more about photography so they planned a Cordillera-themed photoshoot as part of their itinerary.

In the sunny morning of May 18th, we arrived at the venue. It was at the Tinio’s residence at 888-A Ambuklao Road. Jomari Ayala who are good friends with Sir Gaby Tinio introduced us to the place. It’s funny because Jef passes by their place often whenever he takes long bicycle rides along Ambuklao Road but it took a friend from Manila to introduce us to the place. Coincidentally, Sir Carlo also knew Sir Gaby’s brother Martin “Sonny” Imperial Tinio Jr., a well-known author on Philippine culture.

At the front door, we were welcomed by the warm smiles of Sir Gaby and Sonny. After the short introductions, we proceeded to their living and dining room. The high ceiling and huge glass windows made the room look very spacious and grand. From across the room, you can immediately view their beautiful garden and on the left adjacent side, a panoramic view of the mountains of Bokod, Benguet leading to Ambuklao or Binga Dam and eventually to Nueva Vizcaya.

View of the glass house from the garden. Photo courtesy of Jomari Ayala, taken from his mobile phone.
The front portion of the garden

As the model was preparing for the photoshoot, I laid out the bead necklaces to be used by the model on one of the chairs. Sir Sonny took notice of the agate and carnelian bead necklace that Jef purchased from an elder in Bontoc a few years ago. He began to tell me stories about his travels to the Cordillera and told me of his authentic Cordillera bead collection. As he went up to his study to Iook for his collection, I noticed a few laid out books on one of the tables near the dining area. As he got back, he opened a portion the book he had written, with various Asian writers and many consider as his greatest work, entitled “Asian Culture”. I browsed for a bit but was distracted and enamored with the framed, authentic carnelian with silver beads necklace he was holding. Afterwards, he came back with another framed shell pectoral called “Pangalapang”, an Ifugao status necklace made of woven rattan and pearl shell. Too bad I wasn't able to take photos.

Here are some of behind-the-scenes photos Jef has taken during the Photoshoot:

Jomari Ayala giving instructions to the model.

Roanne taking a breather.

A view of the mountains of Bokod, Benguet in the background.

(Left to Right) Gaby Tinio, Roanne Gines, Carlo Magno, Jomari Ayala & Jef Cablog. Photo by Wrachelle Cablog.

When we wrapped up the photoshoot, they were very kind to invite us for lunch. Of course, we got an opportunity to get a taste of their sister Chef Vicky’s cooking. I loved her chicharon with Smoked Bangus pâté & Nachos with Chili con carne appetizers and the caramelized pudding for desert. Of course, we also loved the interesting stories of Sir Gabby and Sonny that went along with the sumptuous meal. This is truly one pleasant experience. 

Chef Vicky who is also known for serving the best of Baguio’s breads and appetizers, offers a by-reservation private dining in their home, a French inspired 8-course degustation meal. For those who are looking for a unique kind of dining and an authentic Baguio home ambiance, Mama’s Table is a place worth visiting.

(Above) with Sir Sonny Tinio in white shirt. Photo by Gaby Tinio

(Above) A group of guests in the background also made lunch reservations that day. Photo by Jomari Ayala.

For those interested, you can contact: 
Mama's Table Private Dining by Chef Vicky Tinio Clemente
888-A Ambuklao Road, Baguio City, Benguet (about 15-20 minutes from Session Road)
Telephone: +63 (74) 442-1794
Mobile: +63 915 643-8775
8-course Degustation Meal
Charge per Head: P1,500 +10% service charge
Strictly by reservation only with 2 days advance notice.