Baguio: The Other Itinerary

Baguio is one of the places I go to whenever nostalgia comes into play – very That Thing Called Tadhana eh? But long before the movie hype, I always felt the connection to this place and the feels this highly Koreanized (urbanized) city brought to my table. Definitely my cup of tea for hugot emotions and chick flick scenes. If you want to get lost – see this city and find yourself in the midst of Baguio’s comfy arms.

Speaking of hype, the recently concluded Forevermore (Pinoy TV series) shot most of its scenes here in the now famous attraction – Sitio La Presa (below). We were very fortunate to witness this location before the teleserye production even begins!

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Having been to the city a couple of times, my friends slash colleagues decided to shy away to some parts from the usual Baguio itineraries found online.

Want to spend just a weekend here and not exhaust your precious vacation leaves? We did it just over the weekend! Allow me to show you my quick trip up north…

We arrived in a chilly morning (perfect for snuggling under the sheets) after an overnight commute. As tempting as the bed weather was, we wasted no time savoring the city.

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C’mon, look at the view from our balcony. Who wouldn’t right? The city’s ambiance is goddamn inviting!

After settling in to our transient house, our group headed to Café By The Ruins- just the right place for carbo-loading. Breakfast set ranges from 200 to 400 php, kinda pricey but it’s worth a try. I had bacon, egg and brown rice; who doesn’t love bacon?

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Okay after the heavy breakfast (and its hefty price), I think we’re more than ready to brave this jam packed day. Next up, Kennon Road viewpoint leading to the ever welcoming Lion’s head. These terrains displayed how rich our lands are – it is our responsibility to preserve these.

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Yeah, I know. The lion looked weird from this angle. Maybe time for another repainting? (a very apt positioning Davies paint).

We continued our tour in Philippine Military Academy where I didn’t witness any cadets on training (just doing their rounds) – perhaps cos it’s a weekend. So we just strike a pose and roamed around.

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The climb to Mt. Sto. Tomas, Tuba, Benguet was really good for the lungs, no pun. Having to witness this view, my lungs getting a little cardio was a fair game.

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Here’s one exhausted runner from The North Face 100. I’d be too if I ran 100 km…the dedication and discipline these runners put to the sport is inspiring. I have never wholeheartedly attended any running event in my life (well there’s one back in college but I was forced to join for my organization). I guess I need to find the ‘fun’ in fun run.

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Below is the beautiful Sitio Pungayan in Mt. Kabuyao, Tuba, Benguet. Now they adopted the name Sitio La Presa. I wonder why.

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As we head back, we noticed a few shops (circa 2014) selling strawberry jams and wines. Please try to buy some – I tell you those are really good finds! Now thanks to LizQuen, retail industry there is absolutely booming. I do hope the quality of the product is retained.

We had lunch at Good Taste Restaurant where the food is great and its prices cheap. Win win! Then we visited Bell Church temple, the strawberry farm, Tam-awan village (photos below), and Lourdes grotto. That summed up our hectic afternoon.

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After a long day, we recuperated and freshened up at the transient house then headed back again to the city for dinner. I love traversing Session Road – you can wear three layers of clothing without sweating profusely as you take down the city’s sidewalks.

Our 2nd-slash-last day in Baguio started late with having lunch at Camp John Hay. We really took the time to lazily stroll and just enjoyed nature.

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Photos above will attest to that. Special mention to top left photo – that’s Bagras aka Rainbow tree (zoom in to its trunk) situated near Good Shepherd which is only open til 5:00 pm. Make sure to visit early for pasalubongs.

The Other Office capped off our Baguio experience – actually the alcohol game “Never Have I Ever” did. So let’s just leave the details out (not blog friendly! laughs). Its main courses range from 150-300 php per pax. I liked their concept of shying away to using office as work environment but an avenue to dine, enjoy the live band and have casual drinks.

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So friends, let’s do this again sometime! We can do our business meeting while we travel!

To the one reading this, sumama ka! 

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Here’s the itinerary for our quick escape to Baguio:

Day 1

12:00 mn             Travel to the north via Victory Liner

6:30 am               Arrival at Baguio x Check in at transient house

7:30 am               Breakfast at Café By The Ruins

9:00 am               Kennon Road Viewpoint picturesque scenes

9:30 am               Lion’s Head on point

10:00 am             Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Tour

11:00 am             Travel to Sto. Tomas, Baguio (where La Presa lays)

12:00 noon          Enjoying stops along the way

12:30 pm             Visit PicMar Heritage Lodge in Sto. Tomas x Have 5 Php Coffee

1:30 pm               On the way back, don’t forget to buy Strawberry Jam from sari sari store in Sto.Tomas (this is the bomb!)

2:00 PM               Lunch at Good Taste Restaurant

3:00 PM               Bell Church (Chinese Temple)

3:30 PM               Strawberry Farm, La Trinidad, Benguet

4:30 PM               Tam-Awan Village

6:00 PM               Lourdes Grotto while sipping Strawberry Taho

7:00 PM               Rest for city exploration at night

9:30 PM               Ukay Ukay Night Market beside Burnham Park

10:30 PM             Dinner at  50’s Diner

Day 2

9:00 AM               Breakfast at home (to balance out what we spent yesterday)

12:00 nn              Lunch at Pizza Volante, Camp John Hay (and then another round of spending)

1:00 PM               Nature Tripping at Camp John Hay (option to do Tree Top Adventure)

3:00 PM                Mile Hi Center (shopping at outlets x eat bibingka x puto bumbong)

4:00 PM               Good Shepherd Convent (option to try civet coffee though not worth it :P)

4:30 PM               Mines View (shopping, buy pasalubong)

6:30 PM               Dinner at The Other Office near Country Club (they offer cocktails with live band)

9:30 PM               At Victory Liner Terminal waiting for trip home

10:00 PM             Bus Trip Home

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