Sunday, April 5

Our Baguio Travelogue (Day 1)

We’ve been planning to go to Baguio City during our 1st year anniversary but had the last minute change of plan for January seems to be so cold that time, and I don’t have comfortable jacket to wear. We decided to have the trip on my birthday, April, which will serve as his birthday gift na rin. c”,)

I’ve been to Baguio several times already but this one is obviously different (I’ll have zeby for the rest of the 3-day trip, alone! Harhar!) :D The pre-week was spent on internet searching for nice hotel were we’ll be staying for 2 nights along with bathtub, in a nice location and which will fit in to our budget. We listed on our choices-at least we have something to choose from when we got there. I also prepared our 3-day itinerary and printed maps as well.

The most awaited event was scheduled April 4-6, 2009 since it fell on a long weekend. We went off 12mn of April 04 and headed on Victory Liner terminal in Cubao. It was to our dismay to see long piles of passengers waiting for their turn (the waiting area were full, some were sleeping already) that we cannot see the end line anymore. Gil wanted to go home already but I insisted on inquiring at the ticketing of seats availability. It was only past 1am, and we were scheduled 4:30am. How was that? Luckily, we did able to chat with a co-passenger that we can have the Chance passengers’ slots; only we need to pay additional amount for accommodation. Thank God, we’re able to leave the terminal at around 2am. We’re so sleepy and excited at the same time. It was Gil’s first time. So, Baguio…here we come!!!

DAY 1 - Getting there

It was 8am when we arrived at Victory Liner terminal-Bagu
io City. Since we’re not hungry yet (thanks to our baons!), we looked for a taxi and headed on to Philippine Military Academy. We rode on a taxi ‘al fresco’ (all Baguio taxis don’t have aircon) charging only P25.00 minimum fare as compare to Manila’s P30.00+add-ons. It was indeed a great morning that welcomed us: No traffic, pines tress, scenic views, cool air breeze against our face and the cheap taxi rates were all in all, amazing! c”,)

Gil was more than excited to visit PMA, inspired by the Kapamilya teleserye ‘Tayong dalawa’ where leading men Dave and Jay-R spent their college days. He even repeatedly exclaimed (Read: Paulit-ulit) “Bok, walang talo-talo!” (lol!) And as nature lover as he is, he really loves the colorful flowers alongside the Melchor Hall as well as all the beautiful flowers within the area. After more than an hour of strolling and picture taking, we went on the academy’s canteen where we had hot La Paz Batchoy and Squid Ball in sweet-spicy sauce. The hot soup blended well with the cool environment. After that, we washed up, surveyed the commissary for available souvenirs and looked for possible means of transportation. We were both thinking of riding taxi again (terminal to PMA costs us only P87.50-of which the driver courteously handed us exact change) until we saw a passenger jeep (we took the front seat and pay only P14.25 each if I’m not mistaken) going SM City. The more than 2 hours of visit to PMA was indeed a good start!

SM City Baguio was not the typical SM Mall we used to hang out to. I already knew over the Internet that it is the only SM Mall that’s not using air condition but I never visualized enough the outcome. It is not just a mall for shopping but also a best spot to dwell with what Baguio could offer- with the verandas overlooking the whole city (From the top, you’ll have a peek at Burnham Lake, The Cordillera University is just in front, the city hall, the Baguio Church, among others). It doesn’t even use much electricity for the accessible stores were roofed with translucent white fiber enabling sunlight to illuminate the inside.

We spent about 2 hours lazing around, savoring the cool air and the luscious scenery, washed up and all before we went off looking for hotel to stay. We hardly knew which one to choose from our list, so we headed on our first choice- The Golden Pine Hotel. We asked for the taxi driver to bring us to the said hotel, along Legarda road (Thanks to our maps though!) We’re about to choose Superior Room but decided to choose Deluxe instead since peak rates were imposed that time (Our budget was based on the off-peak rate…too bad! Anyway, the deluxe rate is P2,300.00/night, a total of P4,600.00 for the entire 3days, 2 nights stay). Nevertheless, we were surprised to have a clean, nice and comfy room with two single bed (safe! lol!), air-condition, cable TV, 24 hour running hot & cold water, built-in hair dryer and a tempting bath tub among all the freebies a hotel could offer.

After our pictorial session (lol!), I’d handed Gil a firm massage and we
were off to a deep sleep till 7:30pm, not even bothered with our alarm (at 4:00pm). If only we didn’t remembered we haven’t taken lunch and dinner yet, we will be off snoring the whole night (Kumusta nmn ang itinerary namin? lol!)

It’s passed 8pm when we went out for dinner (and to stroll as well!) From the hotel, we turned left. We passed on several food houses, but we’re thinking of going back to SM for some oozing coffee after the dinner, just to savor our first night. On the contrary, we’re not into riding taxi this time but of strolling and familiarization of streets and places. Upon reaching the last street, which seems to be the dead end (and looking up at SM signs, thinking of the best way up there), we turned left and saw ‘Andoks’ sign. It’s a restaurant though, not bad! We decided we’d have this for tonight (Funny because there’s also Andoks restaurant in San Joaquin Pasig which we passed to everyday- yet to discover the difference between Andoks Pasig and Andoks Baguio! lol!) for our tummies were already growling for food. We ordered Lechong Kawali- I love the crunchy skin with the gravy and chili-toyomansi sauces, chopsuey (though I was a bit disappointed for I was expecting for a fresher Baguio vegetables-this one seems not!), plain rice and brewed coffees. The whole thing is fine, only a little overpriced for a not so satisfying meal. We’re full though, and our tummies feel good.

We walked ahead, hand-in-hand, and realized we’re heading to RIZAL PARK (right in front of Burnham Park), located at Otek Street. It features a commemorative obelisk of Dr. Jose Rizal, with a bas-relief of his head and inscriptions on it. The park is quite small with a number of garden beds with flowers and shrubs but is quite safe compared with the parks in Manila. We’d spent few minutes taking pictures and headed on walking alongside Burnham Park (the lake area seems to be so dark). It’s so cold I’m beginning to chill thus I have to wear Gil’s jacket on top of mine (Really cold!)
I don’t remember the streets anymore but as we’re walking, we saw Mc Donald’s, overpass, different establishments and Hotel Veniz, which means we’re already in the city proper. Curious of the cheap rates in Hotel Veniz, we went inside to inquire, but since it has piles of inquiring customers ahead of us, the receptionist just gave us flyers. Anyway, we decided to stay at Golden Pine Hotel for the rest of our vacation for it seems to be more quiet and accommodating.

We took the overpass, still curious. But since our legs were beginning to cramp already, we went back but tried the other road adjacent to Hotel Veniz. On our way, we thought of f
inding the right path going to SM Mall. We ended up on a street crowded with people walking and mingling around (yet to discover that it is already the famous SESSION ROAD!) We thought of SM being just around the corner so we headed on. But seems our legs were not in the mood already so we stopped and went back. We dropped by 7-11 first to buy noodles and instant coffees and went on. Glad to find the same Andoks Restaurant we’ve been to, but we used the other road going back to our hotel instead.

Since it’s almost midnight and few were around, we had the chance to have a bit of a pictorial session at the hotel’s lobby. The hotel’s lovelier during the night. It has an Internet café on the right side and a restaurant just across the elevator. On the lobby was a bon-fire like structure (I even sat on the floor so it looked like a real one! lol!) The reception area, the elevator, the 2nd floor stairs, signage and the room itself were not an exception to our Canon Ixy 910IS digital cam.

I was so cold again so I made myself a coffee while Gil was fixing the bathtub for a hot and relaxing bath tonight. Anyway, we’re glad we could ask for hot and cold drinking water 24-7. Few more pictures done, coffee and all and we’re off soaking in the tub. The hot water really relaxes the muscles that we were off sleepy before we knew it. We’ve had a lot of walking today; we’re so tired yet still excited! We’re looking forward for another adventure tomorrow!!

1 comment:

Angeli said...

i grew up in Baguio. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay in our city. :)


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