Trip to Baguio (Baguio! Baguio too!)
|Something is stuck in my nose.|
To celebrate Cindy’s birthday, me and her sister went on a trip to Baguio. I was a kid when I first visited the place and it was more than five years ago since my last visit.
For two days and one night, this was our itinerary.
In preparation for the trip... I did this.
|Research is something I think I'm good at.|
Jackets are extremely helpful in surviving this trip. If you think jackets will make your bag bulky, wait ‘til you wake up at around 4am feeling sorry for yourself!
Anyway, we met at the Victory Liner bus terminal at around 6:00am. Going to Baguio on a Sunday morning, the bus is not that full. The bus fare from Cubao to Baguio is 445 pesos. If you hate stop over food because they cost more and taste less, it’s time for you to horde all the fat-infested yet delightfully edible fast food grub near the liner.
|Bad hair day.|
It will be a six-hour trip with two stop overs. When we got to Baguio, the first thing we did was do away with the people offering for a place to rest. If you value security, check in on a hotel. If you like cheap housing, then renting transients is the key. You’ll do your commute via taxis and jeeps. It’s best to ride cabs when you haven’t been to Baguio but since the place is so small, in no time you’ll be riding the jeep.
I also bought a map. It costs 80 pesos. It barely helped because most of the drivers know everything there is to know about Baguio.
The first thing we did was find an authentic Baguio resto.
We ate at... Yellow Cab.
We checked in at the Prince Plaza Hotel at Legarda Street. The room rates for a superior suite are around 1,600 pesos and you need to pay an additional 200 pesos for the extra person. The room is nice and spacious. He rested for a couple of minutes before we went to commence our Baguio trip.
|TAYSHAUN MY PET PLANT!!!|
August 14 – 3:30pm
I want to provide photos but this was the part where my digicam’s battery was acting up. Mines View is shallow in terms of entertainment value and unless you’re giddy to waste ten or twenty bucks a shot of yourself riding a horse, petting a St. Bernard, or posing with a bunch of Igorots then you’ll rather visit something else. What’s cool in Mines View is the tiangge where you can check out Baguio-made apparel and accessories, plants, and food. I bought a plant that I named Tayshaun in these parts. My “must-do” in this place though was to ride that awesome pink horse. The horse is kind of young which makes me think that the horse I saw a while back must be dead.
August 14 – 4:15pm
Even if the place is famous for its top-notch peanut brittle and ube jam, you still need to admire the garden. There is also a shop here where you can buy food and drink coffee that was blended from the large intestines and pooped out of a civet.
August 14 – 4:45pm
Burnham Park is basically their version of Quezon City Memorial Circle. There is a green-watered pool where you can boat. There is a carnival where you can enjoy. There is a football field and circling it, there are bikes and sidecars stationed. It’s been a while since I rode a boat and I first I didn’t want to pedal (because I don’t want to look like a twerp if and when I can’t navigate the boat properly) but merely sitting there and circling the pond kind of bored me. The last time I pedalled was when I was still young so it was fun yet very excruciating.
August 14 – 6:00pm
Because of all our peddling, Cindy’s shoe tired out. We went to SM Baguio to look for a shoe that’s pretty and inexpensive. She saw a shoe that fits the bill. SM Baguio’s department store houses a bunch of local and international food outlets. Just like any other Baguio establishment, SM Baguio doesn’t need aircon.
Oh My Gulay!
August 14 – 6:45pm
For dinner we went to Oh My Gulay. We didn’t know that the resto closes around 7:00pm (in any given day that’s not a Sunday their closing time is 8pm) but it great that they didn’t refuse us. The place is a vegan’s paradise and it’s shocking to find this kind of restaurant at the middle of the Session Road district. All of a sudden my camera magically worked so I got to shoot photos. I’m going to do a food review later!
108 Session Road
August 14 – 7:45pm
In the building where Oh My Gulay is in, there is a watering hole where acoustic singers flourished. We ordered a bucket of San Mig Light and a platter of nuts and I ended up finishing four of the six bottles in the bucket. It’s barely 9:30 and I’m pretty wasted.
August 15 – 10:15am
From Legarda to PMA, a taxi ride costs around 135 pesos. Yes, it was that far! But come to think of it, the place reminds me of Corregidor – because of the tanks, aircrafts, and soldiers. It may just be me but if I’m a PMA cadet, I will hate the tourists. I mean we gleefully checked out the wonderful surroundings while they lined up and await orders from their higher ups. I felt a scary feeling when we went there because transportation was scarce and while Manny Pacquiao and the Philippine Azkals trained in that area, I don’t want to walk my way back to the PMA gate. I would have wanted to jog the path had not for us chasing a timetable. Luckily we saw a jeep. The thing is, from PMA to Burnham Park, the jeep ride is barely 12 pesos – at least 100 pesos cheaper than the taxi ride.
Camp John Hay
August 15 – 11:00am
From Burnham Park, we went to Camp John Hay. At first we hated the place because turning right from the entrance, the only thing we saw is Convergys, Yellow Cab, Starbucks, and Army Navy. We felt that he could just look for a cab and go elsewhere. However, we decided to walk the left side of the entrance gate and found that there are better things to check out in CJH. The best part of this trip was the butterfly place. It was the first time I’ve been inside of a butterfly sanctuary and I enjoyed it even if the butterflies are weak during this time of the year. I would have enjoyed the eco-trail and perhaps the other amenities CJH had to offer but again we have a timetable.
Glenn’s 50’s Diner
August 15 – 1:00pm
This was another place a bunch of friends highly recommend. At this point we were extremely hungry and running out of time. Because it was lunch, we ate their rice meals. More on this food trip experience on another article. Afterwards we headed back to the hotel to pack our things and return to Manila.
August 15 – 2:45pm
In our last stop en route to Victory Liner, we went to the market. I bought all sorts of usual stuffs like broccoli, cauliflower, red and green peppers, and longganiza. I also bought a bag made of sack because the things I was carrying are extremely heavy.
|Next time I'm going to bring a car.|
We started to return to Manila at around 3:30pm. Looking back, a full two days may not be enough for a nice Baguio experience. I never had the chance to go to the Grotto, go to the haunted house, visit the Baguio nightlife, and hell... watch an I-Max movie in SM Baguio (someone told me that their I-Max is under 300 pesos). I wanted to try golf even if I smell a vicious financial crash trying it on a world-class Camp John Hay Golf Course.
By the way, they have this awesome bread loaf exclusively made inside the premises of the Baguio Country Club but apparently you need an authorization letter to buy that bread.
Like I said, there are a lot of things left undone during our trip to Baguio.
In the near future, I’ll probably lean towards a return trip to Baguio. Maybe I’ll time it on a festival or something. Cindy has this idea of us going to Sagada and that could also be a good idea.
I’m saving up as we speak though.