When Food Is Life: The Tabligan Kambingan Story

When Food Is Life: The Tabligan Kambingan Story
Manang Diane***

With tears in her eyes, Manang Diane Tabligan recounted her life in her family’s kambingan eatery at Scout Barrio, Baguio City, famous for its goat meat adobo with olive oil and all things goat meat with varied preparations of home style, creative combinations of vegetables for her dinengdeng daily.

When Food Is Life: The Tabligan Kambingan Story
Kambing kilawen.***

It was a family venture till unexpected events overtook the family’s direction, leaving Manang Diane alone to raise and send her kids to school and continue serving their loyal customers who come to dine at their Kambingan as if it is an extension of their own homes’ patio. Alone, she ventures into the public market everyday at 4:00 in the morning to find the freshest ingredients for her customers to eat at the eatery. This had been her routine daily till her kids finished school and had their own jobs and stand on their own feet.

When Food Is Life: The Tabligan Kambingan Story
Kambing caldereta .***

Her Tabligan eatery dishes were silent witnesses to her own cries of pain and laughters of joy, as she serves her customers with her home cooked dishes. Goat meat or kambing adobo, papaitan, kilawen, sinampalukan and calderetang kambing are what her customers come back for every now and then. Her eatery has the appeal of eating in one’s own home for it is indeed located in her home’s covered patio.

Active in her barangay duties as a resident of Scout Barrio, manang Diane makes for the perfect host as she makes everyone who comes to her eatery feel welcome and therefore enjoy her home cooked goat meat dishes. “We provide quality service, clean and delicious food,” she said. “That’s what makes us different from other kambingan eateries,” she added.

When Food Is Life: The Tabligan Kambingan Story
Kambing adobo with olive oil.***

Aside from the distinct taste of her goat meat dishes which could only be experienced in Tabligan’s Kambingan, the unmistakable Cordilleran taste of the free, unlimited coffee she serves her clients perfectly compliments Manang Diane’s goat meat offerings.

The Tabligan family is like an institution at Scout barrio, always accommodating to the needs of others, including strangers. One stormy day when the eatery was closed, a taxi driver who shivered from the cold knocked on their door even if he knows the eatery is closed. The Tabligans gladly served him a cup of hot coffee before he left. No wonder, the Tabligan Kambingan is blessed with loyal customers who drive to Scout Barrio even if they come all the way from Manila.*** Joverlyn Espejo/JD

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