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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Falling in Love with Baguio


It is cold in Baguio all-year round but the best time to go to Baguio would be from November to January (with January as the coolest). Oh! When we went there, a shocking 7˚C cool pine-scented breeze embraced me for warm welcome??!
Just like my ritual everywhere I go, this trip starts with a prayer; thanking God for bringing me in this place and praying for a wonderful and safe trip ahead.
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HOW TO GET THERE:
Baguio is about 240 km from Manila. You can either enjoy the road trip via riding a private vehicle or via public transport.

1. PRIVATE VEHICLE? From Manila, you can take the NLEX up to Exit 85, to get to the SCTEX until the Tarlac City Exit. Drive about 10km more, following road signs until you reach MacArthur Highway +/- 120km total. Total toll fees from Balintawak(Bocaue Gate) to SCTEX(Dau Gate) is 180.00. You can turn right to McArthur Highway, you'll be passing Tarlac and Pangasinan until Rosario, La Union. Now you're gonna pass by the ZigZag. Turn right at the Rosario Junction to Kennon Road and turn right to the new entrance to Marcos Highway.

2. PUBLIC TRANSPORT? It's best for you to take Victory Liner. You can find one in Malibay along Edsa. They have trips to Baguio everyday and buses leaves every hour. The CR is definitely clean, a-pay-cr for 3.00. If ever you haven’t taken your lunch or dinner just to catch up a bus, no worries, there’s a lot of Carinderya there, but still much better to bring your own food (best-value for your money). And also, don’t panic if you see a sign at the cashier’s window that the ticket is 600+, the ticket is just 420.00
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WHERE TO STAY:
There’s a lot of places to stay there in Baguio. Hotels, dormitories, transients, private houses for rent, name it. Just make sure to reserve one before going up to Baguio to save time for fun.
You can search in Google, reserve online or reserve by texting/calling the contact person. One thing that you need to consider is the accessibility of the place to the spots that you want to visit.
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WHAT TO SEE:



Mines View
Named for its view of Benguet's mountain ranges where gold, silver and other ores were once quarried.















It has been a tourist attraction where people can enjoy the views of the mountains around Baguio.
For me, it is the BEST Place to catch the sunrise. Important! If ever that by chance you missed your breakfast just to catch the sunrise at 5:30am, don't worry, you can see this small sari-sari store on the way to Mines View, A heavy pancake meal is just for 10 bucks.
Strawberry Farm
Baguio has been known for its sweet and fresh strawberries. So why not pick some in La Trinidad. I won't be able to tell you the exact directions on how to go there, because we just looked for a jeepney that has a signboard 'La Trinidad/Strawberry Farm' and whoala! :) And.. hmm.. asking the drivers and some locals would not hurt. :)

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Since it's my first time to go there, I really don't have any idea how many hours the trip will be. Good thing, there's a lot of Jollibee signs like these. :) Gudjeb!!






You are allowed to walk and explore the strawberry fields where you can also see other vegetables like lettuce and those big tomatoes for salad.You can buy strawberries at 80 per kilo. Picking the strawberries is like double the rate of a kilo, it's 160 per kilo inclusive of the fun of picking.

For a budget traveler like me, I needed to haggle, thanks for the blessing of a strong convincing power, and the lady allowed me to pick some fresh strawberries at 60 for 1/4 kilo.




The 'Fruits of my Hardwork' :)








While you're there in La Trinidad, you can also pick some big lettuce which are only offered at 50.00 for 3 pcs.


They are really big and fresh. I really wanted to buy a lot of veggies and bring them to Manila.









You can also try their Special Strawberry Taho at P20-P25.00 each.

Burnham Park
Burnham Park is one of the most popular destinations in Baguio City. Unlike the parks here in Manila, there you can lazily just roll on the green grass, sleep under the shades of the trees, which I truly did. :)



It's more than a park. If you're vain and you want to keep your shoes shiny while strolling, there's a lot of shoe shiners there.

While you're also enjoying the fresh air, you can have some clean manicure and pedicure for P50.00.













One can also enjoy the colorful flowers scattered around the park.







Camp John Hay


Camp John Hay is a haven for nature lovers. It is located on the south eastern side of the City of Pines.










This place is famous of it's very neat landscape. The roads are so clean and lined with pine trees. They also say that this the coldest place in Baguio. :) Well, the scent of the pines adds in the wonderful cold breeze. :)

Nowadays, you can also have some adventures in in the newly-opened Paintball Republic. One can have an exciting ride in Zipline w/ Rapel for only 100.00 and kill some adrenaline in Paintball for 300.00.


WHERE TO EAT:


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Solibao
I've seen 2 Solibao restos in Baguio. One lies along Session Road (where I had my 1st Solibao experience), the other which is much much bigger is in Burnham Park.





Cafe by the Ruins
23 Chuntug Street, Baguio City, Philippines. Opens from 7am-9pm Mondays to Sundays. For more info, you can contact (+6374) 4424010.











Pizza Volante

This 24-hour pizza parlor is located at 82 Session Rd., Baguio City.

You can contact them for free home delivery too. :) Just call (074) 445-0777 and you'll get your freshly baked pizza within 30 minutes.

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