Wanderlust: Suddenly in Baguio City and Benguet

Posted: November 13, 2017 in Travel
Tags: , , , ,

City of Pines Philippines

And suddenly, I was embracing the cold weather of Baguio City in the Philippines. I thought I was dreaming, but I was not. I am in the City of Pines following an emergence of sudden and unplanned idea.

At 1015h our bus departed from the Victory Liner terminal in Pasay. It took us almost six hours to reach Baguio. Traffic in EDSA held us for two hours.

Pink Sisters Chapel

It’s 1615h when we got to Baguio, so we went to Pink Sisters’ Chapel and Convent in Brent Road. I wrote my prayers in a piece of paper and drop it in a box. The sisters will collect and read your prayers.

Hotels and Inns

Nowadays, Baguio is congested. Lots of residential and commercial establishments are emerging in the city. You can also feel traffic on rush hours. And people from Manila flock to the City of Pines on weekends and when the metro gives holidays.

Hotels and inns are everywhere, and those who go to Baguio on weekends take transient rooms for a night or two. When we arrived, almost all were fully booked. Thankfully we knew someone in Baguio. We stayed in our colleague’s house in Engineer’s Hill.

Session Road

With my friend, I took a stroll at the famous Session Road. The street was filled with restaurants, crafts and arts establishments, and cafés. Walking on the streets of Baguio at night gives you a ‘chilling’ vibe. It’s classic meet modern era. There’s old abandoned houses and newly opened modern- designed café or restaurant facing each other. Old style jeepneys and FX taxi unload and load passengers on the street, while modern styled cars roamed in between.

SM Baguio

Amongst the many SM malls in Philippilnes, SM Baguio has the unique design. It has a verandah in both sides where you can see City of Pines at the top. The mall also has cultural shops and pasalubong center. They’re located just beside Krispy Kreme.

Another fun fact I found in this mall was Sweetmates. They have an array of coffee blends and desserts. I tasted the best frapuccino there.

A side trip to Strawberry Farm

The very next day, we visited the famous Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet. It was a ten to fifteen minute jeepney ride from Baguio Public Market. Tourists, both local and foreign, passed the chilly City of Baguio and went to Benguet to experience strawberry farm.

When we arrived, farmers were busy planting and harvesting strawberries. At the strawberry farm’s parking area, kiosks selling strawberry, vegetables, wine and dry goods, were found. I soaked myself with buying scarves, wines, and refrigerator accessory magnet.

I was amazed when, in one of the kiosks, I found a bottle of snake wine. I asked the seller if he tasted snake wine, he said it was good and it’s just smell snake- y.

Burnham Park

A crowded Burnham Park greeted us when we came back to the City of Lines. It was a busy scene that you can’t decipher where are the amenities or the path ways. The famous lagoon was full of locals and tourists. Bikes and children race cars occupy the walk ways.

Baguio Public Market

We headed to Baguio City and went straight to public market after a 10 minute stay in Burnham Park. There were stalls which sell carved furniture and home accessories.

Public market also houses stalls which offer genuine silver jewelries. They’re recommended to us by our colleague.

Mines View

After our lunch at SM Baguio, we took a leap at Mines View Park. It was a ten minute taxi ride from SM.

Like the other tourist sites of Baguio, it was also packed with lots of sightseers. Old and young flocked together to get the mountain’s view. I was kinda disappointed because the city is highly commercialized. Houses covered the mountains. Buildings of different sizes and types stand tall in the mountain ranges. Nature and culture are slowly losing.

At 2030h, we left Baguio thru a Victory Liner bus. The tramsport provider offer a safe and comfortable journey to tourists and locals.

As I am going down to Manila, I realized my visit to Baguio was an eye- opener. What most talked as beautiful is not usually pretty. You have to get your leg cramps to exprience ‘real’ reality. You have to share what is real.

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