Everybody loves long weekend. Aside from not being able to work with your irritating boss and officemates, this is the perfect time to do short trips away from the Metro!
I was supposed to leave Manila last Friday night going to the City of Pines. Unfortunately, typhoon Ineng was devastating the northern part of the country that day which actually lasted over the weekend. I postponed my trip to Sunday morning with the hope that the storm would cease by then.
Maraming nasira ang ang long weekend dahil kay Ineng. Wrong timing daw ang dating niya. Oo ng naman. Yung long weekend sa Baguio naging short tuloy. Haa!
I took the first trip of Victory Liner In Caloocan. Sunday. 7 AM. Since maulan at hindi naman peak season, we were just like 15 passengers in the bus. Cool.
Bakit nga ba ako nagpunta ng Baguio? Well, first of all, I went there to meet our Resource Person from the University of Cordilleras, Ms. Maria. Second to this, I went there to have some alone time under the shade of enormous pine trees while enjoying the cold, soothing wind of Baguio.
I arrived in Baguio on Sunday afternoon, around 2 PM. I enjoyed the 7 hour trip; I thought it was scary but it’s actually fun! I just put my earphones on, listened to worship songs, and enjoyed the view while we’re on the road! At the back of my mind, I felt like I am so free. Independent. Uncaged. Unchained.
By the way, the regular aircon Victory bus to Baguio is Php 450.00. And it’s quality service at that!
Since it was my first time in Baguio, Ms. Maria fetched me at the terminal and we headed to Volante, a local restaurant there. The branch where we had lunch was in Ayala Hub in Camp John Hay.
Volante is a good place. Why? Well, first, it wouldn’t cost you much. All dishes are desirable and they come in very affordable prices! (PS. Do not forget to get a cup of hot cocoa). It’s for Php 28.00 and it really doesn’t disappoint.
After having lunch, we toured around the city. Yung mga lugar na nakikita ko lang sa textbooks, nakita ko ng personal, malapitan at totohanan! Haha. So great!
At the lobby of the hotel is an exhibit of majestic paintings from distinguished local artists of Baguio City.
Here are some of the places that I visited on my first day in Baguio:
Mines View Park is one of the most popular and most visited parks in the city. From the observation deck of the park is a breathtaking panoramic view of Benguet’s gold and copper mines and the surrounding mountains.
The Mansion is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines.
Wright Park is located at the eastern part of the city and fronting the main gate of the Mansion.
The Baguio Botanical Garden is located east of Baguio’s downtown area. You will find it between Teacher’s Camp and the Pacdal Circle. Its main entrance is along Leonard Wood Road and just across the street from Gilberto’s Hotel and Baguio Vacation Hotel. It is quite a large park and about the same size as Burnham Park.
Since it was a Sunday, I went to Our Lady of Atonement Church or popularly known as Baguio Cathedral.
I went back to the hostel at 5 PM. It started to rain very hard and the fog has come down again. Suddenly, I remembered the fatal fog in The Hunger Games. Haha! I thank God that I was able to find my house amidst the blinding fog along Session Road.
Though it’s cheap, I did not take a cab. What I wanted is pure adventure, so I just walked. Happy is he who walks!
August 24, Monday. I woke up at 5 AM. I was so excited to roam around the city again. That day the weather was good, and I praise God for that!
I checked out of the hostel at 6 AM after I had my breakfast.
As you notice, I am still wearing the same jacket. Haha! I did not take a bath. Aside from an under shirt, I did not bring extra clothes. It’s part of the adventure, I guess. Haha! Sorry if I grossed you out.
Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral, better known as Baguio Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral located at Cathedral Loop adjacent to Session Road in Baguio City.
I was craving for hot chocolate since I set my feet in Baguio; so for the second time around, I visited Volante again (the one in Session Road).
Pizza Volante is located in Session Theater Building. They have branches in CJH and Technohub. If you are in baguio and wanting to taste their bestsellers, you may call them at 422-2316. (Unpaid advertisement).
It was 8 AM when I reached Burnham Park. Again, I just walked from my residence. It took me 25 minutes to get there. It was fun. While I was treading the streets of the city, I felt like I am just among the locals of Baguio.
Yung mga nakakasalubong at nakakasabay ko, either papunta sila ng school, office, o sa palengke. Masaya ako kasi parang taga-doon din ako. Chill lang ng mga tao dun. Ang masaya pa, hindi uso ang EDSA doon. Haha.
I think they missed Zumba when typhoon Ineng was doing her own zumba over the weekend.
While watching them dance, I was sipping my strawberry taho. Man, it was expensive. A cup is worth P40.00. The taho vendor reasoned out that it’s because strawberries are expensive too. Okay, the law of supply versus demand. It’s pretty understandable.
Though I have been to Camp John Hay on my first day in Baguio with Ms. Maria, I decided to go back there all by myself. I want to spend time with myself, with nature, and with God.
So from Burnham Park, I rode a Baguio Plaza – Kias Jeepney going to Camp John Hay. The fare is P8.00 only.
Your word is a lamp unto my feet; and the light unto my path – Psalms 119-105
It was one of the best moments of my life – listening to worship songs and spending time with my Lord. I was the only one up in there so I was in real solitude. So peaceful. I was saturated by His presence. Hashtag life goals.
There was a time na naisip ko na baka lumabas na lang bigla yung nakakatakot na villain sa Wrong Turn movies. Haaa!
Since I was just alone, my photographer is one of those trees in the Camp.
Maya-maya umulan na naman ng malakas! So sumilong muna ako sa isang clothe shop. Ang ganda ng tindahan! Old style yung structure! I really have fascination over old houses. I am just an old soul, trapped in a youthful body I guess. Haa!
It seems that is an abandoned building. Whatever it was in the past, or whatever it is in present time, I want to say that I love this place. A creepy wooden house on top of a hill. That’s ridiculous. Haha.
The following photos make me become so grateful for the gift of technology: self-timed captures! Haaa!
It was past 10 in the morning when the fog started to come down again. It’s majestic. The fact that I saw it come down from the upper part of the hill is something that makes me be in total awe!
It is located Igorot Park, Scout Hill in Camp John Hay.
I am still full when I went there. Now I regret that I did not even try a cup of their hot choco! There’s always next time anyway! I will make this my reason why I must go back there!
For more information about Choco-Late de Batirol, you may visit their website http://www.chocolatedebatirol.com. I highly encourage you to visit Batirol, okay!
So from Camp John Hay, I decided to go back down town to have lunch and prepare for my trip to MLA. I actually did not want to go back but I have to.
Back in the city proper, be sure to visit Baguio City’s public market. There are great finds there! You may also opt to visit thrift shops / ukay-ukay; there’s a lot of them in town.
Maharlika Livelihood Complex is a popular place in Baguio where one can buy knitted goods, traditional clothing, popular souvenirs of Baguio and other dry goods.
A bottle of Strawberry Buo costs P50. Some items are 3 for a hundred. You can haggle. You must have the skill. But as much as possible, I do not haggle prices with vendors. I mean, these jams are hard to produce. They must be paid correctly.
Speaking of kindness, I would suggest to buy goods from Good Shepherd Convent at Mountain Main Training Center located in Gibraltar Road. In every item you buy, you can help send young people to school.
The next place that I visited is the famous Mt. Cloud Bookshop located in Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road.
It is near SM Baguio so it’s just easy to find. Or if you can’t really find it, ask people and they’ll tell you where it is! Or better yet, ask where Casa Vallejo is.
So what’s inside? Let me show you.
Mt Cloud Bookshop is celebrating it’s 5th year anniversary this weekend. For more information about Mt Cloud, you may visit their website at mtcloudbookshop.com.
I made new friends while in the shop:
They are UP Baguio students who dropped by at Mt. Cloud Bookshop as well. The bookshop personnel at the back looks hilarious! Haha!
So when in Baguio and if you are a book addict, do not forget to visit Mt Cloud Bookshop! Buy Filipino books. Make friends. And be intelligent.
Where I stayed
Since I was staying overnight, Ms. Maria helped me find an inn where I can sleep and take a bath the next day (but I didn’t so hahahaa!)
It’s a good thing that we found this simple hostel along Leonard Wood Road.
For just Php 320.00, you can stay there overnight. Double decks are placed in a huge room. You just need to be mindful of your stuff since the room is not exclusively yours. If you wish to have your own room, then it’s more expensive. Remember that you went to Baguio not to sleep and stay indoors, but to go out and explore and have fun.
Overall, it was a great experience! I am so satisfied but I still have a plan of going back so soon!
Thank you for reading. Enjoy your travels!