Liz and I, with Belle (Liz' twin sister) and her 3yo daughter Keisha went up to Baguio last March to spend a few days relaxing in the cool weather.
Baguio is a Road Trip
It was kind of a spur of the moment decision: Liz and I wanted to go out of town for our 6th anniversary as a couple and we also wanted to celebrate my birthday. And since there was an available staff house in Baguio (only P1000 per night!), we decided to drive up and stay for 3 days at the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
I was a bit worried, it would be my first time driving up to Baguio so getting lost in the wilderness of the Cordilleras was a huge concern (just kidding). I studied the map like the board exams and off we went. I found this website that gave pretty good directions of how to get there, and we also brought the EZ Map Luzon Road Atlas 2nd Edition which also served us well during our Pagudpud adventure.
We left Manila at around 6:30AM and arrived in Baguio at around 12:30PM, just in time for lunch! We went to the staff house first to unload the car then went to the city proper to look for a place to eat. We had a hard time looking for a place to park so we ended up eating where we found parking. It wasn't bad though, we enjoyed our bbq lunch at Solibao, inside Burnham Park.
After that we strolled around Burnham Park and took a boat ride on the man-made lake (I even paddled for a bit!). We also tried the strawberry taho which was actually quite a delectable summer treat. We wanted to visit the Baguio Cathedral and at first decided we would walk there (because of the parking and the crazy roads) but soon realized it was too far. So we drove around like crazy, taking wrong turns and going round and round in circles (then saw Cafe by the Ruins and decided that's where we'd have dinner) until we just gave up and headed home.
Care for some Cat poop Coffee?
We went back out after a short nap and a shower for dinner at the Cafe by the Ruins. We enjoyed the relaxing ambiance of the place, the interesting lights, the slightly creepy feel of the ruins, and the simple but good food. I also tried their Civet cat coffee (poop!) and found it was of mild to medium strength, quite interesting taste, and add the novelty of it coming from animal poop. Haha.
Lost then Found
The next day, we were up early and was going for Minesview Park but saw Baguio Cathedral (it was there all along!). Can you believe they have pay parking at this church? Anyway, after some prayers and some photos, we went straight to Minesview Park, which we found quite easily (thanks to the map!), and spent the whole morning there. We had bulalo lunch at Cora's Eatery and passed by Good Shepherd Convent to buy some "pasalubong" before we left. We then went to the Botanical Gardens where we had some artists from the Baguio Arts Guild sketch us (erm... ours didn't look like us at all!), took jumping photos at the Mansion House, and ate oranges at Wright Park.
We went to the Baguio market (after AGAIN going round and round in circles looking for parking) and bought more "pasalubong", then went to University of the Philippines Baguio campus, just to see what it looks like. It was much smaller than we expected, even smaller than one UP Diliman college. :p After taking photos of Oble's butt, we went to (tada!) SM Baguio for dinner and Starbucks. Hehe. It was amusing to see Keisha go from "tired from all the walking around" to "running around sugar high Starbucks princess" after a few sips of her strawberry frappuccino.
Follow the Fog
On our last morning in Baguio, we decided to relax at Camp John Hay and have a quick lunch there before heading down to Manila. We had earlier planned to go to the PMA graduation, which we later learned was moved to a different date! Good thing we didn't go! Camp John Hay was more laid back, we toured around the Bell House (or Belle's House, hehe) which was nicely kept (in a creepy kind of Bates Motel way, heheh) and the Bell Ampitheater where the acoustics was quite good. I mean, there was good reverb at the center, and I can imagine them having concerts there without any microphones but it would still sound okay.
We took Palispis (Marcos Highway) on the way down, a good thing, because just before we left, the fog came down and made visibility really poor. Kennon road would have been so much more difficult to handle in that.
There were so many other places we were not able to visit: Lourdes grotto, Crystal Cave, Tam-awan village, and we didn't go strawberry picking or visit any of the Baguio bars, so there's definitely going to be another trip up to Baguio soon!
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