Porkchops that is. 😀 Yes, my climbing motivations during my last climbs seemed to have boiled down to whether we would get to go to Tuding’s Original Porkchop in Calamba. And in honor of their newly opened/renovated restaurant, this post aims to solely dote on their famous chops and maybe dissect my constant and some might say, irrational, infatuation with them. 😀
I first had Tuding’s after a climbing buddy of mine, Lee Jay, got bored during the Halloween season about 2 years ago because he had no plans. I didn’t have any as well so as a result, he texted me up and invited me to a twinhike of Manabu Peak and Mt. Maculot – so nonchalantly that you’d think he was asking that we go to the mall. In any case, we ended up going through with that twinhike, just the two of us, which involved getting lost in Sto. Tomas, starting our second climb at 4 PM, getting chased by a police car because we didn’t pay the registration (I’m making it sound more daredevil-ish than it actually was :D) and him telling me about this offbeat restaurant/carinderia that they usually eat at whenever he and his officemates were assigned in Calamba. We decided to have dinner there before heading back to Manila and I guess that’s when the whole Tuding’s love affair started. 😀 Those were the first and only pork chops that I also ate the fat of because it was just so good. I’ve been there a couple of times since then and I’ve never sampled any of their other offers besides pork chop because I can’t really feel the desire to pass up on those amazing chops during those infrequent times that I got to go there.
I guess I talked about it too much that as a result, I got a lot of my climbmates excited about it too in the process. Madz, Fred, Ate and Tin were among those who ended up sharing the same liking although only Tin could probably match up to my level. I mean, every time we go there now, we always have two porkchops for ourselves. Yes, two. And that’s not mentioning all the extra rice that we always end up consuming. Looking back at it, our addiction to Tuding’s could actually be called a little too scary. 😀 Now, when we climb the Batangas or Laguna area, we always take into account if we could stop by Tuding’s afterwards. Sometimes, we even opt to go a little out of our way just to have the chance to chow down pork chops instead of taking the easiest or more convenient route home. Yes, that’s how worse it is.
1. Manabu Peak and Mt. Maculot with Lee Jay (October 2011)
2. Manabu Peak and Mt. Maculot again with Pampams (April 2012)
3. Mt. Makiling Traverse with Team Sagul (August 2012) – this was actually a failed attempt. We got lost (again…) climbing up Mt. Makiling that by the time we returned to Calamba, it was already 10 in the evening. We still passed by Tuding’s but it was already closed. You couldn’t imagine the disappointment…
4. Mt. Makiling Traverse (again) with HLGG (August 2012) – I was successful this time around (about a week later) and this was when ate and Fred first had their Tuding’s experience 😀
5. Mt. Makiling Traverse (again) with Tin and Fred (October 2012) – It was Tin’s first Tuding’s and even though she hadn’t been there before, she was the most excited out of the three of us. Probably because we burned her ears off about how good it was. 😀
6. Mt. Maculot with Tin and ate’s officemates (March 2013) – even though we were only commuting, we still suffered travelling to Calamba from Cuenca and endured three jeepney transfers just for pork chops. How’s that for dedication?
7. Mt. Makiling Traverse with HLGG, Sir Mayo and Inigo (March 2013) – exactly a week after we climbed Maculot. You really could say that we couldn’t get enough!
8. Mt. Gulugod Baboy (April 2013) – Our latest visit to Tuding’s was by far the most exciting one. During our last visit there after the Makiling climb, we offhandedly commented that given the restaurant’s pseudo underground popularity, it was a wonder that they did not renovate the original place. The ventilation wasn’t all that good and some of the amenities were broken which, in a way, gave it its offbeat look. Anyway after our Gulugod Baboy climb, we once more headed to Calamba which was made easier by the fact that Lee Jay brought a vehicle. But once we got to the site, we were appalled to find out that the original structure was literally broken down but there was no sign that it was up for renovation. It just looked like the place was abandoned and even the sign was taken down. We were so despondent and dismayed that we would never get to eat their pork chops until we saw a brand new building just to the left side of the original location (which we missed) and realized that the store had relocated. I want to say that we figuratively jumped for joy but I think we actually, I mean literally, did. Our enthusiasm was so over to the top at finding out that we could still have Tuding’s after all and if you couple that with the very satisfying Gulugod Baboy hike we had earlier that day, it was definitely a climb to remember. 😀
Now, Tuding’s Original Porkchop tops my motivation in climbing the nearby mountains in Manila. I’m no health buff nor a vegetarian so I really have no issues with it haha. If you could convince me that we would get the chance to drop by Tuding’s after a climb, then dear reader, I am sold. 😀