Road Trip : Baguio 101
The Food Club went on a trip again and this time we went up up north to Baguio! It was actually a first for our kiddie companions namely Lauren, Kei and Ken and I truly had a great time playing tour guide not only to our three little travelers but to the rest of the group too.
Baguio is approximately 240km away from Manila. Thankfully, the road heading to Baguio is now better as we pass through the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan and La Union before the slow ascend up the zigzag road of Marcos Highway. While my mom and sister would always complain about the long drive up, I actually enjoy it every time we get the chance to visit Baguio...I guess it's just me and my love for geography.
We left Manila around 6AM and after a quick breakfast stop in Pampanga, we arrived at Baguio a little past 12 noon making it just in time for lunch. I will be sharing more stories about our food adventures in my succeeding entries but for now I'll give you a low-down on the places and things that you should NOT miss while in Baguio.
Baguio is a very small place. Our friend Richard couldn't believe that once upon a time, Paul and I would actually walk all day long to the various spots in Baguio. Of course, we'd take a cab from time to time but we actually do enjoy walking up and down Session Road for example.
1) Visit Mine's View Park
Every time we visit Baguio I promise myself never to include Mine's View Park again in my itinerary simply because I see and do exactly the same things over and over again. Still, I give in and continue to play tour guide to our new companions every single time. Mine's View Park is a really lively tourist spot for all Baguio visitors.
Here, you can have your picture taken with Douglas the St. Bernard or any of the fashionable-looking horses around.
No visit to Mine's View Park will ever be complete without enjoying the view. You go to Mine's View Park to have a good view of Baguio and here you can take a million photos with the mountains as your background.
Lastly, try the grilled corn and squid being sold here. Every year, more and more stalls are being put up selling gift items like Choco Flakes, Nuts, Candies even woven items. Personally, I prefer buying my pasalubongs in the market where I normally get a better deal.
Mine's View Park is also within walking distance to Good Shepherd where visitors would go buy their delicious Ube Jam, Strawberry Jam/Preserves, Choco Crinkles and a lot more. On the way to the Good Shepherd, watch out for the taho vendor selling Strawberry Taho (Php. 15-20). I have been raving about this and I'm glad that the group also enjoyed the taho very much!
In Good Shepherd, also try the Chicken Pie and the Calamansi Juice with Strawberry Syrup. I highly recommend that you go in the morning to make sure that they still have stocks available.
2) Get Touristy and Visit all the Spots!
While it may not be a lot, visit Camp John Hay where you can have lunch at Little John's as they serve really yummy ribs, play a game of mini golf, hang out at Starbucks Coffee, check out the Butterfly Sanctuary and drop by The Manor Hotel.
Otherwise, you can also head over to the Wright Park to go horseback riding and have a short photo op at The Mansion a.k.a. The Malacanang Palace in Baguio.
I also love walking around Session Road where there are a lot of hidden food finds there. While majority wouldn't even bother heading to SM Baguio as there are more than a dozen SM Malls here in Manila, I like visiting it once in a while as it's the only non-airconditioned SM Mall in the country.
3) Stroll along the Park
For visitors with kids in tow, set some time to head to Burnham Park. Not a very well-maintained park but kids can go boating around the man-made lagoon.
The active ones will surely enjoy biking around and around the path. Even adults like us had a great time "biking". Make a wild guess who among the Food Club members was actually biking in the photo above and who were just there to pose? :P
Baguio is a great place to relax and to spend more time with family and friends. Its cool climate makes it easy to roam around provided that it won't rain. Always be ready to bring a jacket and extra warm clothing whenever heading up to Baguio.