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The cover on this month’s issue features one incredible lady, Mrs. Lydia de Roca of Lydia’s Lechon. Lydia’s Lechon is celebrating their 50th year in the business and we feature the woman behind the iconic brand. Tita Lydia is one class act, a strongwilled woman who rose from the sidewalks of Baclaran to being the success that she is today. She is not just an amazing story of course. Her lechon with paella, the main reason for our feature, remains one of the most consistent and well-loved lechons in the country. Our month started on a fun note as our team, together with our publisher and his girlfriend, Britney, headed up to Baguio for some much needed R and R. And since that weekend was meant for rest and bonding, I haven’t written anything on our Baguio trip. Going on short breaks, especially with colleagues provides an opportunity to bond, enjoy and do nothing with people you normally just “work” with. To those who personally know the Cook team though, “work” means eating out, cooking and laughing most of the time with a little bit of writing on the side, so the need to rest and relax might not seem like a necessity. These Baguio haunts have been serving locals and tourists for ages and still dish up meals that are not only good, but nostalgic too. On the way down to Manila, we also dropped by Mila’s in Pampanga for our pork fix. Sisig, inihaw na tenga, inihaw na tocino and chicharon bulaklak were the perfect reward for our veggie-filled Baguio meals. Upon our return, I had a trip to Bohol the very next day so there was no time to rest. Bohol is as enchanting as ever, and as a first timer to Loboc River, I was smitten. The sun, sand and sea of Panglao was a world away from the cool calm of Baguio but both trips were great and with amazing company. Of course, as always, our columnists share their tried and tested recipes for all of you to enjoy. From sandwiches, to soups to pasta dishes, we’ve got a number of recipe ideas in store this month.

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