If you are looking for a place where you can experience good climate, then this is the best place for you. Baguio is the Summer Capital of the Philippines. We went up to Baguio last January 2011 to experience the 9 Degrees Celsius temperature and to escape the busy metro. You can only go to this province by land as there are no airports established yet. The travel time is roughly 5 hours from Manila where you will pass Tarlac, Pangasinan and La Union.
We left Manila at 6am and arrived pass 11 because we had many stop overs. The house we rented is situated near Camp John Hay (CJH) - called as 'Forest House'. From the outside, we thought the house wasn't good because we only saw an entrance door below a restaurant. When we got inside we were all wrong. The house interior is purely American Style and perfect for our preference! We felt like we were in Southern U.S. It has 2 floors, 5 Bedrooms (2 queen size beds each), 4 bathrooms, complete kitchen utensils for cooking, overlooking view from the sala and the best one of all - a working chimney. =) Initially, we wanted to book one CJH House but we ran out of reservation so their Marketing Spoc recommended this house to us. The house is Php12,700 per night.
After checking out the beautiful house, our first stop was Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad Benguet. It is 20-30 minutes away from the house. To get there you have to pass Session Road, make a right at Magsaysay Road then turn left at the first stop light and go straight until you see the Strawberry Farm sign from the left side of the road.
The first thing I looked for in the farm was the Strawberry Taho (beancurd pudding)! This is not the typical Taho you can buy in the morning because it's mixed with strawberry syrup and has fresh strawberry. It costs Php20.00 per cup which I find a bit pricey because the normal Taho is only Php8.00. Nonetheless, I enjoyed its unique flavor as I am a big fan of strawberries! :)
At the farm entrance, you can either buy a basket of strawberries or go for strawberry picking. The picking is Php300.00/kilo while the normal basket is Php100.00/kilo. We didn't mind the price that time because we wanted to pick strawberries. You may opt to buy the packed strawberries for your pasalubong. Aside from this, there's also Sagada Oranges being sold. I bought 1 kilo and I could attest that they are very juicy and sweet! I also suggest that you buy vegetables in this place because they are way cheaper compared in the town proper.
Next stop - Camp John Hay. We went there to eat snacks. There's nothing much to do here unless you are checked in at the Manor where you are authorized to use the facilities. There are restaurants around and outlet stores as well. For our merienda, we chose the street foods and ate in a picnic table under a pine tree.
We also strolled around to check out the CJH Houses...
After CJH, we went back to the house to cook and have dinner. Our menu was seafood and veggies - steamed shrimp, mussels, milk fish, salad and buttered mushrooms! YUM! =)
The dinner was very good. We went out to take a walk and buy some midnight snacks. The night is slowly getting cold and I landed in my bed pretty early but I set my alarm at 2am. Luckily, I was able to get up and went outside the house. It was really cold and I am freezing! I checked the temperature and it's 9 Degrees Celsius! The news was real! =))
Time for check-out. We headed to the Baguio Cathedral to hear mass. This church is near session road and SM Baguio. That time, the language was Tagalog but mass is also offered in Ilocano depending on the schedule.
We had our lunch near Burnham Park. There is an area where you can find a pool of canteens. The food they serve are mostly grilled.
After lunch, we headed to Mine's View Park to buy souvenirs. On the way you will pass by other tourist attractions like The Mansion and Wright Park. In Mine's View, the first thing we did was to have a picture with the St. Bernard (Php50.00 for 3 shots). This dog is HUGE but friendly. If you explore further, Igorot costumes are also rented for picture takings (Php20.00). Mine's View also offers a good over looking view of the mountain. Just be careful because the cliff is steep.
|Igorot on a D300s/ 24-70mm. Just kiddin', this is a tourist wearing an Igorot costume.|
|View from Mine's View Deck|
Our last stop was at Good Sheperd's Convent - just walking distance from Mine's View. This is the place where you can buy the best Ube (water yam) in town. A place that must be visited before going home!
Baguio Contacts: CJH Marketing (Cleng Briones) -+639162664648
Until the next destination,
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