Slippers Splurge

I can’t believe it was just in September that I visited my university in the province of Laguna. That was just the tip of the iceberg of that one weekday adventure when D and I drove around to check out old churches. I realized I haven’t yet written about our mini shopping spree at Liliw, Laguna, so I am sharing that with you today.

Liliw is also known as the tsinelas (slippers) capital of the Philippines. The first time I went here was back in 1994, when my university classmate brought me to their home to get some stuff. That was just, what, an hour of being in Liliw, and I was oblivious of the tsinelas stores back then. What I remembered most was the bell shaped pastry my friend made me try out – the pan bonete – which their family bakery made everyday. I loved it so much I’d ask her to bring me more of it whenever I see her in campus (or in subsequent reunions in the years that followed). I was ecstatic when a hole in the wall restaurant called Rural Kitchen of Liliw Laguna opened its doors near my city apartment a few years ago and they gave pan bonete as appetizers!

So back to our trip to Liliw last month. It was D’s first time, but he’s always heard about it and had always been curious. Without GoogleMaps we knew right away we already got to the town as we passed the beautiful old church. Nearby was also a giant slipper welcome signage.

We headed to the shops lined up at the main road of Liliw, and I quickly scanned for a former colleague’s family shop and found it: Badong Footwear. When D and I checked it out, I was pleasantly surprised to see my former colleague, so it was a reunion of some sort. The icing on the cake is when she brought over her cute cats to join in on us catching up.

As for the shoes – there were too many to choose from! D and I bought flip flops, and I had to remind myself not to get too much stuff (of different colors too) because I will only get to use them at home, being stuck in semi-lockdown after all. Definitely made a mental note to go back when this pandemic is over as I now found my go to place for sandals, and of course to bring home a stash of bonetes.

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