We had our (1st) wedding anniversary celebration in Baguio. It was the perfect time of the year to have a romantic getaway there. The cold weather stood as a perfect backdrop.
We booked a flight from Cebu-Clark and since it was a promo fare (translation: flights at ungodly hours), we had to stay one night in Clark. We decided to stay at Hotel V, booked through Agoda.
|I love the play of colors and the geometric lines.|
|Sights of Baguio from SM Baguio view deck|
|It's official-- my husband has become a full-fledged camwhore. Haha.|
Cafe by the Ruins to have dinner. It was quite a long walk but cool breeze made it an easy one. The moment we reached SESSION ROAD, we were greeted by Christmas carols playing loudly throughout the whole stretch of Baguio's commercial area.
PNKY. Actually, it was getting really cold that we just wanted to snuggle-cuddle the night away. Lol.
We woke up early the following day to have a fresh morning start at LA TRINIDAD STRAWBERRY FARM in Benguet. We took a jeepney from Baguio's City Hall. It was a 30-minute ride to the farm.
TAM-AWAN VILLAGE. This time we took a cab as there are very few--close to none, jeepneys that go there. It is situated about 5km from the city proper. The fog was starting to build up when we reached the place.
A visit to Tam-awan would give you a glimpse on the life and culture of the Ifugaos. There are authentic Ifugao huts, paintings of local artists in their art gallery and a coffee shop.
A visit to Baguio will not be complete without going to the famous MINES VIEW PARK.
Boy, it has changed a lot through the years! The number of commercial stalls and all sorts of money-generating gimmicks have increased tremendously, like this souvenir shop for example. For a small donation, you can your pictures taken inside the shop, complete with costume and props.
We headed down to get a better view of the abandoned mines of the Ibaloi community and we saw this cute canine fellow near the entrance.
|Where have all the tourists gone? Haha.|
We purposely visited Mines View Park first as the other tourists spots are situated closely with each other. We only need to travel by foot. So our next stop was THE MANSION. It was built in 1908 and now serves as the official (summer) residence of the President of the Philippines.
The main gate of the mansion is said to be a replica of the gate of the Buckingham Palace in London. Bongga. Most tourists will have their pictures taken here as they can't do the same in other areas of the mansion grounds. The mansion is, sad to say, not open to the public.
Right across the Mansion is WRIGHT PARK-- another popular landmark and tourist spot in Baguio.
At the foot of the park, one can go horse-back riding. This attraction has become so commercialized that the rates have remarkably increased. We paid a total of Php 600 for a 30-minute ride-- Php 200/horse and Php 200 for the guide.
I didn't exactly enjoy my ride since we traversed on the road rather than on the horse track inside the park. Every time a vehicle would pass by, my horse would attempt to gallop causing me to hold on to dear life. I was careful not to pull the ropes so tight as it might strangle my horse. When I alighted from the horse, my legs were literally shaking. That was the longest 30-mins of my life. Haha. Hence, no picture of me on the horse. My husband on the other hand was lucky to have a very well-behaved horse. He enjoyed it so much.
Located a few blocks from Wright Park is the BAGUIO BOTANICAL GARDEN. At the main entrance of the garden, you will find a group of Igorots donned in their native attire who are more than willing and eager to have their picture taken with you. Of course, the eagerness comes for a fee.
To be candid, they caught me by surprise. I did not intend to have my picture taken with them. I only wanted to have a picture with the Botanical Garden engravings behind me. Next thing I knew, faster than the shutter speed of our camera, they were already beside me and doing the Korean pose at that! I had no choice but to oblige. I likewise had no choice but to shell out 100 bucks for their fee. Oh well... my husband and I decided to call it day and took a good rest in the garden. We stayed there until it was nearing dusk.
We were already hungry by 6PM after all our adventure, so we decided to have dinner at 50s Diner. We spent the night just walking around the city and we saw these interesting life-size statues.
During the holidays, the whole stretch of HARRISON ROAD was closed and converted into a night market area where imported goods were sold at very very low prices. Happy happy me!!! Haha.
What to do on a very cold night? Drink a cup of hot coffee or have a few bottles of beer and share stories with friends that warm the heart--that is exactly what we did on our last night in Baguio. We went to Cafe Will, where they have cute sayings and quotes on their ceilings. I love the chill and relaxed vibe of the place.
Our trip to Baguio was made even more memorable because of our dear friend, Stephen. Manong, salamat kaayo. I particularly enjoyed our language and linguistics lessons. Haha.