Tuesday, June 14, 2016

BACKPACK SQUAD: QUICK BAGUIO ESCAPADE



With the cool weather, scenic views, and impressive flora collection, Baguio City is still the unidisputed summer destination of the Filipinos.




The BACKPACK SQUAD had a quick Baguio 3-day getaway in 2012.  Good thing I was able to disappear for a while in the office  (hey!  don't judge me. I have an open sked at that time, and according to the written schedule for the week, I wasn't assigned to any work, so why not?  Am just seizing the moment hahaha!)  But on my 2nd night in Baguio, I was being asked to report for a shift, simply because one story editor can't make it to his sked. Bleh!!!  How am I supposed to make it to work, when I am 5-6 hours away from Manila.  I just said, "sorry, I am in Baguio right now.  Can you just find another pinch hitter?"  Oh well, that was my life 6 years ago... and I am glad, that chapter in my hectic life was over. Now I can just hop on a bus, book a ticket, and bring the entire BACKPACK SQUAD to anywhere!  Exciting eh?   :)

Back to my Baguio story.....  

We had to schedule this quick vacation, because a cousin, Ate Levy from Sydney was staying with us. And Baguio seems to be the most "workable" getaway, for some bonding time.


DAY 1

Left Quezon City at around 5am.  Blessed to have reached Pampanga to see the majestic sunrise at  Mt. Arayat.  



4 hours after, we were so happy to reach the Lion's head along Kennon Road. Too funny that I can't get a decent shot of the kids without other people popping into my frame   :)



FINALLY, NO PHOTOBOMBERS!

Reached Baguio around 10am so we decided to explore the City of Pines right away.



NAMASTE at PORTA VAGA BLDG SESSION ROAD

After having late lunch at Pizza Volante, off we go to explore more of session Road.  

BAGUIO CATHEDRAL


We visited in February, so the weather was extremely cold.  At 4pm, our knees were shaking (the kids were in shorts), so we decided to call it a day.


DAY 2

We started the day early as we head off to La Trinidad, Benguet for strawberry picking.  The kids were so excited to see a strawberry farm for the first time. But personally, more than the strawberries, it was the oranges being sold by a local vendor that caught my fancy.  It was the sweetest I have tasted so far.  So sweet, we forgot to take picture, we were just so busy eating the fruit :)   (mental note:  buy oranges the next time we visit La Trinidad, repeat 10x)





Next stop... Wright Park and Mines View Park!






FIERCE!  :)



COLD BUT EATING ICE CREAM  :)

Finally, lunch at "Oh My Gulay" located at the top most floor of the La Azotea building in the heart of session road.  Be ready to climb the stairs, no elevators in the building.  But upon reaching the fifth floor you will be surprised.  It is a garden restaurant filled with artworks.  The centerpiece of the restaurant is the pond right smacked in the center.  








Those who like vegetables will be satisfied here.  Awesome veggie delights like Bulaklak Tempura, Lumpia Salad, Talong Parmigiana and Sibuyas Kabute Omelet will surely tease your palate.  Oh My Gulay is owned by Baguio artist and film maker, Kidlat Tahimik.

PANSIT GULAY

TALONG PARMIGIANA
LUMPIA SALAD
SIBUYAS KABUTE OMELETTE
After lunch, the Baguio tour resumed...

THE MANSION
MINI GOLF AT CAMP JOHN HAY 
MERYENDA AT CHOCO-LATE DE BATIROL



PINK SISTERS


And last dinner at Cafe by the Ruins.  It was super cold that our sinigang na baboy lost its "hotness" after 30 seconds it was placed on the table :)




WE JUST HAD TO ORDER TAPUEY  (IFUGAO RICE WINE)
MY FIRST TASTE OF WATERCRESS AND THERE'S NO TURNING BACK AFTER THIS

LOVED THIS SHOT. PARANG WALA SA PINAS  :)
SUPER COLD!!!

DAY 3

Our last day... we found out that there was an Ifugao house replica just outside the inn...


Explored Easter Weaving Room...





Tam-Awan Village, Garden in the Sky.  Where we had to climb a steep trail of soil and stones to reach to reach the view deck to see the spectacular view of the South China Sea








SUN ART,  THAT USES MAGNIFYING GLASS TO BURN THE WOOD TO CREATE THE IMAGES

You can spend the night here, sleep in an authentic Kalinga house or visit and eat at their cafe  :)





And before we go back to Manila, we passed by U.P. Baguio



It was a fun 3-day Baguio escapade.  Sadly, I didn't get to visit Bencab Museum.  But the good news is...... four years after, I get to explore the museum, meet the artist-owner, in an all expense paid trip.  Oh well.... that's another story....  read it here    :)

throwback Baguio experience 2012