For our 26th birthday, our significant human arranged a short vacation in Baguio. With a lot of work oddly coming in at the last quarter of the year, it was just about what we needed. Baguio is a good place to unwind. It gives you a break from the uncomfortable Manila heat but doesn’t put you in full vacation mode that renders you too lazy to go back to your nine to five. Why? Let’s admit it, there’s really not a lot of difference between Baguio and Manila. The magic lies there. Manila can also be a nice place if you don’t equate it to work stress. But we do. Baguio gives you a busy city where the weather is better and more importantly, you are not expected to work. With those two daily stressors gone, your mind becomes free and more than ready for an adventure in an urban jungle.
We didn’t really have a solid itinerary like in our other trips. We had an idea of nice spots to visit but we set nothing on stone. After we got off the bus, we had lunch at the hotel, checked in our luggage, rest awhile, and in the afternoon, we went for a stroll.
It would be a shame to be unable to take time to appreciate the weather so we sat for a while at Burnham park and watched kids play baseball. A baseball event was going on. It was not some sort of competition and we could hear the players laugh at their faults.
Afterwards, our feet brought us to Cafe by the Ruins. Dining there was okay. The place is quite open and the food easily gets cold so we don’t suggest starting the meal instagramming. We are glad to have settled with a photo of the menu instead of our food. We ordered tomato basil spaghetti and a cup of caffe americano. The latter was more like a shot of espresso though.
We quite got lost on our way back to the hotel; thanks to our significant human’s excellent sense of direction. After several minutes of walking she gave up and let us do our thing with maps. We got home just fine… and still into each other. (:
We rented a cab on our second day. We are sure glad we did. While traffic is bearable, a cab is hard to come by in certain places. During our trip, it was common to see tourists waiting for a ride. They would approach our cab hoping to get a ride only to get disappointed. We honestly felt a bit sorry for them.
For a start, we dropped by the Bell Church and watched kids do martial arts exercises in the courtyard. The place offers a nice view Benguet’s neighborhood. Afterwards, we headed to Tam-awan village and did an easy trek to its pine tree covered viewing deck. It can still get hot. We encourage dressing smartly.
We had lunch at the BenCab Museum. It is spacious and cool in every sense of the word. If you’re not that much into art, we guarantee that you would still enjoy the ambiance and of course, the food.
As mentioned earlier, we didn’t really have a solid itinerary. But if there was one thing we didn’t want to miss, that was the Diplomat Hotel. Why? We’re a sucker for ghost stories. We would’ve urged our significant human to sign up to a night tour of the place if there was one. Unfortunately, a bunch of noisy young tourists came in with us. That ruined the experience. Or maybe we were expecting a lot. Lastly, we did a quick stroll around Camp John Hay and went back to the hotel.
We didn’t plan anything on our third day. We knew we’d spend a long time in bed making up for the long walks of the previous day. We had just enough time to drop by the church, do shopping for pasalubong, and visit Mt. Cloud bookshop to buy comfort items a.k.a. books.
Here are our quick tips in case you’re visiting Baguio anytime soon.
- If you’re not driving to Baguio city (which we assume takes real determination) consider taking the first class trip. The comfort room although not absolutely comfortable to use is real good for your bladder. Also, less delay.
- It can be just us but be smart with the clothes you’re going to bring. You might end up constantly removing and then putting back pieces of clothing which although tolerable still affects the experience rather negatively.
- Rent a cab. It’s not that costly especially when shared with friends.
- You won’t know how long the food will stay hot. Eat it fast or spend the next few minutes writing a bad review of the restaurant.
- When lost, look for Session Road. Nearly every place can be easily traced from there. If you know how the MRT or EDSA works for lost commuters in Manila, you should get what we’re trying to say.
- You might want to ask a friend to keep your wallet; you might be tempted to shop a lot. Even though it entertains a lot of tourists, Baguio city is still your typical urban community which means items are still priced in a community-friendly manner.
- Lastly, relax. It’s not Manila. -aB