One day in March of the current year, (that was more than a couple of months ago) me and my close friend cum kumare took a break from the daily grinds of a stay at home wife and mom. Right aboard the bus bound for Baguio, I felt de-stressing begun as we exchanged ideas while watching beautiful sceneries along the way.
It was a dazzling sunny mid morning when we reached our destination. With no prior hotel bookings made, we're not sure where we would land. We took a chance on City Light Hotel, just a stone throw away from the Baguio Cathedral. It's my 3rd time at this hotel, the reason maybe why I am quite at ease walking in at its well ventillated, high glass walled, spacious lobby towards the check-in counter.
We were lucky to have booked a room for two. Honestly, I like this place! The front desk staff are courteous. The rooms are clean and spacious enough. Room rates are affordable. Most of all, there's free wifi (even only at the lobby and in the resto). ..and not to forget the hearty Eat All You Can breakfast that goes with the room accomodation.
More than five hours of road travel and numerous stops over is no joke! So the cool surroundings was a refreshing respite that fuelled us for a good start of exploring the city anew.
First order of the day: To have a good lunch. My friend's son mentioned 50's Diner. I've been in Baguio every now and then but haven't tried this dining place ever. As its name implies, the resto's motiff are the framed photos of celebrities as well as mementos of the 50's era. Nice ambiance! Food is good in generous servings while prices are affordable. Will definitely come back next time around.
Mines View Park: The first tourist spot we dropped by. Nothing new since my last visit except for a remarkably large lettered "Welcome" signage and very small lettered "Mines View Park" beneath. A little landscape of colorful flowering plants can be seen on one corner, a considerably good background for photo ops. The actual Mines View Park has nothing new to offer except for unsightly growing numbers of houses seen from the view deck, as well as the mushrooming of souvenir stores surrounding the place. A far cry from the scenic view of pure tall pines hovered over by thick cold fog that existed many years back. Sadly, that calming scene is now gone! But don't fret, that huge St. Bernard dog, who's always available for photo op is still around.
The Mansion: The President's Summer House hasn't changed at all from my childhood years to the present. (Now, you could imagine how old the masion is. Lol!) Visitors can only enter the grandiose gate and take photos of the well manicured facade and the summer house. To add something new to the old mansion photo souvenir, I ran beside the guards and humbly requested for a photo op with them. Fortunately, the officers in uniform gamely agreed. That! ... makes the big difference from my previous visits of The Mansion. Haha..
Across the road is the Wright Park. A quiet promenade with pool lined up with towering pine trees. I would have wanted to walk some more til we reach the 100 steps going down the horses riding circle if only to show it to my friend who hasn't been to Baguio for a long time. But a market bound jeepney passed by and we decided to step aboard that rare public transpo and just proceed to Burnham Park right away. Truth of the matter is, I am not familiar with regards to public transpo in Baguio as we have always visited the place in a private vehicle. So I didn't wanna let go of that chance for an easy ride.
Burnham Park: We alighted at the market and walked our way to the Baguio tourists' favorite place, the Burnham Park. The sun had set and the air was getting a lot cooler. We rested on a bench not far from the boats port as our feet were sore from the long walk. I gazed around and seems like all the people there are worriless. Haha.. or maybe because that's how I feel at that moment... Feeling so relaxed and chilled!
SM Mall for dinner. We couldn't make up our minds where to eat. I saw Mann Hann and we got in. We each ordered our meal which turned out too big for the two of us. We only consumed a little and left behind the untouched. What a waste! As the price is commensurate to the generous servings.
Back to our hotel for a restful night. Our room has no aircon just like all the other rooms of the hotel. Yet, the room temp is more than cold. Mornings in Baguio is always like a feel good sunshiny day! That goes to say, that I haven't been here on the rainy days. Lol!
As I've mentioned earlier, one of the things I like in this hotel is their Eat all you can breakfast. Fried rice, cold cuts, crispy dried fish, omelets cooked the way you want, hot soup, hot or cold drinks, green salads, fresh fruits are just few of my fave amongst food they serve. Tummy filling to the fullest!
Baguio Market: Still the same old busy market since wayback when. The usual last place to go to before leaving for home. As much as we wanted to buy lots of fresh fruits (strawberries included) and veggies as well, we just couldn't do. We were content to what we could carry by hands. Good shepherd peanut brittles, strawberries, lengua de gato and few fresh veggies are just some of the common Baguio pasalubongs we brought home with us. I don't know why. But for me, it doesn't feel like you've been to Baguio when you don't bring home these goodies.
It was difficult to flag down a taxi going back to our hotel. Just got lucky we chanced upon a jeepney which passes through right beside our hotel. We were spared from hand carrying a heavy load of loots from the market.
Baguio Cathedral: The famous Cathedral is located along Session Road. Visiting the church is a sacrifice in itself for weak hearts and asthmatics like me. It would take extra effort to climb the way up to the church especially for an oldie like me. Nonetheless, as we've finished hearing mass, I somehow felt peace and contentment.
After taking an easy lunch in a nearby eatery, we were ready for home. Picked up our bags from the hotel's secured luggage corner then off to the bus terminal bound for Manila. Our swift Baguio escapade is over! Ironically, we were tired but certainly recharged and refreshed! Ready to face life's challenges once again!