The first hotel and restaurant in Bangued was the Bayquen Hotel & Restaurant, located west of the plaza in a building which is now the Abra Valley College.
This hotel and restaurant was frequented by out-of-town visitors whose terminal point of arrival was at the bus station near the plaza in front of the church.
One day there was a famous musician who came to town to play his famous trumpet in the Municipal building.
I shined his shoes near the church and he gave me fifty centavos (₱0.50) instead of a nickel (₱0.05) after shining his shoes. My joy was so great that I wanted to celebrate my good luck!
I went to the new restaurant and ordered PANCIT. When the food was served, I sat at a table where there were bottles of pepper and soy sauce and patis. Those ingredients were very rare, except patis, which we sometimes had at home when our “beyong” was over-fermented and we scooped the fluid on top as “patis.”
I was so excited and hungry. The first thing I did was to place as much pepper as I could pour, followed by so much soy sauce it flooded my plate.
After mixing the whole thing, I started eating, and I was surprised to find out that the food was so HOT and so SALTY!
Nevertheless, I ate the whole serving, until my tears were flowing from my eyes and mucus was rolling from my nose! Praise the Lord!
After Mother died, Father used to give me ten centavos to buy pancit, which we ate with our rice, or “chop suey,” for lunch. That was the BEST meal we had then before I left Bangued.