A WANDERING SOUL IN BAGUIO

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.

First Day

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.

Pizza Volante, Ayala Hub in Camp John Hay

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!

Beside me is my new friend Ms. Maria at The Forest Lounge, annex of the Hotel Manor in Camp John Hay.
Interior of the The Forest Lounge in CJH.

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. Simply breathtaking!
Mines View Park.

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

The Mansion is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines.

Wright Park

Wright Park is located at the eastern part of the city and fronting the main gate of the Mansion.

Baguio Botanical Garden
Baguio Botanical Garden

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.

I actually own the park. Haha!

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!

Session Road at 5 PM.
Session Road at 5 PM on August 23, 2015.

Second Day

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!

Sunrise
Sunrise at around 5 AM.

I checked out of the hostel at 6 AM after I had my breakfast.

A photo with a sleepy security guard
A photo with a sleepy security guard
With my teacher in grade school! Haha!
With my teacher in grade school! Haha!

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.

Session Road
Session Road
Going down town.
Going down town.
Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral

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.

Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral
Morning mass at Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral
Just walking around the town
Just walking around the town
Beautiful facade along Session Road
Beautiful facade along Session Road

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 in Session Road
Pizza Volante 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).

Burnham Park, Harrison Road
Burnham Park, Harrison Road
Burnham Park is centered around a man-made lake located at the heart of the city. It was named after the city's planner, Daniel Burnham.
Burnham Park is centered around a man-made lake located at the heart of the city. It was named after the city’s planner, Daniel Burnham.

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 I saw this scene in one of our textbooks in grade school. Haha. Hello, duck boats!
I think I saw this scene in one of our textbooks in grade school. Haha. Hello, duck boats!
I met Tree #292. I fell in love with her. Sana dumami pa ang puno, tapos makaabot sila dito sa Maynila.
I met Tree #272. I fell in love with her. Sana dumami pa ang mga puno, tapos makaabot sila dito sa Maynila. Masaya yun!
Zumba!
Zumba!

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.

The Perfect Street. Haha!

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.

Had a good time reading the Word under the trees; surrounded by fog that seems so ethereal.
Had a good time reading the Word under the trees; surrounded by fog that seems so ethereal. I had a super quality time with Jesus.

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.

10 AM and the fog is overwhelming.
10 AM and the fog is overwhelming.

There was a time na naisip ko na baka lumabas na lang bigla yung nakakatakot na villain sa Wrong Turn movies. Haaa!

The Manor Hotel
The Manor Hotel at Camp John Hay

Souvenir Lane down CJH

A souvenir lane is installed near The Manor. You can find great stuff here; Baguio products, Cordillera traditional attires, delicacies, wooden figurines, etc.

Where to go?
One with the trees.
I am one with the trees.

Since I was just alone, my photographer is one of those trees in the Camp.

Don't cut the trees! They can take pictures!
Don’t cut the trees! They can take pictures!
Just so beautiful.

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!

Closed clothe shop.
Closed clothe shop. I think they’ll open the doors at 11 AM pa.

Naglakad-lakad pa ako hanggang sa marating ko ang isa na namang old house. This is near the Scout Hill Grounds.

Looks so creepy.
Looks so creepy.

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 façade.
The façade.

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!

Jump!
They're here again.
They’re here again.
*insert quote*
*insert quote*

Zero-visibility in Igorot Park

After spending some moments there, I decided to go down and look for Choco-Late de Batirol. My friend told me that it’s one of those must-visits when in Baguio.

It is located Igorot Park, Scout Hill in Camp John Hay.

Welcome to Choco-Late de Batirol!
Welcome to Choco-Late de Batirol!

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!

A humble place for the Gods!
A humble place for the Gods!

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.

The vampires are coming.
The vampires are coming. (Sorry for the nonsensical caption)

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.

Ukay-ukay!
Ukay-ukay!
Maharlika
Maharlika Livelihood Complex. Somewhere around the vicinity is the Public Market.

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.

Down the town.
Down the town.
On my way to the market.
Lovely sidewalk.
A scene in the market.
A scene in the market.
Can I bring all of these to Manila? Haha.
Can I bring all of these to Manila? Haha.

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.

Souvenir Shop
Souvenir Shop

The next place that I visited is the famous Mt. Cloud Bookshop located in Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road.

Mt Cloud Bookshop
Mt Cloud Bookshop
A safe haven for book lovers!
A safe haven for book lovers!

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.

Entrance to heaven.
Entrance to heaven.

So what’s inside? Let me show you.

Ah, cloud nine!
Ah, cloud nine!
Upper floor.
Upper floor.
Climb up until you reach it!
Climb up until you reach it!

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:

Sorry for the low quality photo.
Sorry for the low quality photo.

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.

An inn perfect for travelers!
An inn perfect for travelers!

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.

Barrio Fiesta Restaurant
Barrio Fiesta Restaurant
Upstairs Bed and Bath
Upstairs Bed and Bath

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!

Happy!
Happy!
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