Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Weekend Getaway: Baguio City

Team Dalida's @ Pine City
Nov. 26 - 28, 2010

by lakwatserong tatay

This is another trip for me to Baguio. But this will be really different, this will be a leisure trip for me...hehehehe...together with my previous team in our work. Actually earlier this year i've already visited Baguio because of our climb to Mt. Pulag. But this time it will be a team building that was scheduled few months ago. But of course, even though we had prepared so much for this trip. There will be always some scenarios and emergencies that can be encountered. So doing such trips like this, it is really expected to be happened. But all in all, the trip went well and smooth.
The day we've most awaited come....Thursday, we have to report to our work in exchange of free day due to a US Holiday...hehehe...8 in the evening is our out from the office and we have to be in Victory Liner Pasay for our bus trip to Baguio City scheduled to depart by 10pm, spend their for almost 3 days, and few of us will also go to Miraculous Church of Manaoag, Pangasinan. Most of us were excited because this will be their first time in the coldest part & place in our country...hehehehe...
MRT Taft Station
All of us where excited to board our bus, were sitted right next to the bus driver and conductor. Our first stop over was Gran Prix in Tarlac. Most of the passengers went down and go to the restrooms, because of the long trip. After few minutes of staying we proceed. The next stop over was in Pangasinan, but only few went down because most of the passengers were sleeping, including yours truly....

Group photo opps @ Gran Prix
At last, after almost 6 hours of trip from Pasay, Manila to Baguio City, Victory Liner we arrived around 4am in the morning. The breeze of air really welcomes us...as you will see below....hehehehe....We just hired 2 taxi's to bring us to our rented transient house. The Lyn's Transient Homes located at 79-B City Camp Alley, Baguio City. Check our my separate entry for our transient house. The house that we rented was few meters away in the heart of the Baguio, with a few minutes of walk, you will reach first the famous Rizal Park & Burnham Park and all of the sites in the City of Pines.

Group photo opps @ Victory Liner Baguio
Lyn's Transient Homes
On our first day, the sun greeted us very well, because it realy shines, but of course your in Baguio, we do not even feel the hot condition that day. The night before that, we had already informed Ate Lyn that we will be renting the van of his brother. So our first start at Baguio, our group eat breakfast in a nearby carinderia out of a grocery on our rented place. Were the van will be gonna pick up us. We had already prepared for our itinerary but due to some request, the plans were changed but it is really worth it. We had the change to visit most of the tourist spots you can see around Baguio.

Our view from our transient house
Group Breakfast @ Street around in Baguio
The group 1st stop, The Baguio Cathedral Church, all of us requested this 1st to be on our itinerary for us to stay for a few minutes ask for some guidedance and to have a joyful and safety trip around Baguio. And of course, photo opps will not be missed out...hehehehehe....

Baguio Cathedral Church
Our next destination, this is placed is located actually few kilometers outside the City of Baguio. The Philippine Military Academy. It almost 30 minutes ride from the city, you could go to this place, via rented car or a rented taxi. What you could see in PMA, of course the cadette that are studying for almost 5 years, after that they will have a choice on what section of our Military Forces they could join. You can see on this Fort Gregorio H. Del Pilar is the PMA Musuem, some of the galleries like tanks, aircrafts and ammunitions, Monumental parks, and of course PMA souvenir shops. And the most important is the individual and group photo opportunities....hehehehe....

Our road trip to PMA
The sun was really up when we reach the center of this academy. There where a formation of the cadettes that is happening that time in front of Melchor Hall. We visited all of the possible spots inside this academy like photo opps in some of the aircrafts, even a military personnel, some of the cadettes that having formation and also we visited the PMA musuem and souvenir shop. As you will see below some of our photo opps. Watch our for some of my separate entries and stories around this academy.
Group Photo opps @ PMA
Melchor Hall @ PMA
The Cadette formation infront of Melchor Hall
PMA Museum
For the next destination, it Camp John Hay, this place is supposed to be the main event of our trip, but sad to say, when we visited this place the Tree Top Adventure that time is still closed and scheduled to open on the 30th of November...huhuhuhuhu. So because of that most of our co trippers contented to take some pictures around the picnic area and cemetery of negativism. We decided not enter its musuem, the musuem entrance costing P50 per head. Below are some of our photo opps around Camp John Hay.

The Tree Top Adventure teaser......grrr....
This former rest & recreation facility for American soldiers in Asia is a tourist destination in itself.  Our government has retained a portion of the property and maintains the Historical Core featuring a museum at the Commander's Cottage, Bell Ampitheater, a Butterfly Sanctuary. and the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) runs Igorot Lodge.

But still Camp John Hay's charm remains the same with its pine tree-lined roads, beautiful landscaping, quaint cottages and wide open spaces. The place remains a "must visit" for tourists.

Cemetery of Negativism
Located on the south eastern side of the Summer Capital of the Philippines, its Main Gate is now located on Loakan Road, a 5-minute drive from its old location at the Upper Session Road-Loakan Road-South Drive Rotonda.

Camp John Hay has a second entrance accessible via the Baguio Country Club road, which is closer to the other major tourist attractions of the City of Pines.

The Lost Cemetery

The Row of Pine Trees around Camp John Hay

The Picnic Area of Camp John Hay
Our major stop, lunch time, hehehehe.......Mines View, i've been here in this place if im not mistaken for almost 8 times because i've visited Baguio for 11 times...wahahahahaha....We had our group lunch in one of the available restaurant around Mines View. After having lunch on this place. Some of us proceed to souvenir shops to buy some souvenir items that can we buy. Also we did some photo opps on the actual mines view site. After our visit at Mines View we proceed to good sheperd place to buy some of their original product that is much lesser that the items you could find outside their shop.

Mines View
The Minew View deck
Our next stop is supposed to be The Mansion but due to P-NOY's visit that time on that place, all of the visitors were prohibited to have photo opps around the place and ask for some hours to vacant the place and ask the visitors like us to be back after 2pm that day. But we don't have the time to get back on that place. So i just contented to take some photo while inside the van, but i insist just once to get a photo opps of The Mansion's History Marker....hehehehe...

Here is some information about The Mansion:

The Mansion is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines. It is located on the eastern part of the city along C.P. Romulo Drive (formerly a part of Leonard Wood Road) and right across from Wright Park. The Mansion is older than the city itself, and easily one of the most visited and photographed landmarks of the City of Pines.

Here is a brief history of The Mansion:

Formerly called the Mansion House, this stately building was built in 1908 as summer homes for U.S. Governor-generals who were the American administrators for the Philippines and was destroyed in 1945 during the battle for the liberation of the Philippines. The Philippine government later rebuilt and improved the structure in 1947 and since then it has been used by various Philippine presidents whenever they come up to Baguio City for their official visits and engagements.

The Mansion once served as the seat of the Second Session of Economic Commission of Asia and the Far East in 1947. It has also been the site of first meeting of the South East Asia Union which was popularly known as the Baguio Conference of 1950, conceived and convened by Philippine President Elpidio Quirino.

The elaborate main gate of the Mansion is said to be a replica of that at Buckingham Palace in London, England. Vehicles entering the compound pass through a great circular driveway and it is usually open only when the Mansion is used for an official function or activity. With its beautiful gardens and a well-manicured lawn, it is a favorite site for sightseeing and picture taking.

The Mansion
Best Times to Visit:

Any time of the year is good, and during clear days, the Mansion is postcard perfect for photos. Most, times, especially when the President of the Philippines is not in residence, tourists are allowed to enter a little past the gates.

One, of course, should explore Wright Park which is right across The Mansion, and which is probably one of the most romantic spots in the whole country.

If you get lucky, the guards will let you in to take a good photo past the gates, which are said to be replica of Buckingham Palace.

The Mansion's History Marker
How to Get to There:

By car -- pass through Leonard Wood Road past Teachers Camp and Botanical Garden. When you reach Pacdal Circle, go towards the road which gently climbs uphill that is to the right of the Wright Park Riding Circle. You may park your vehicle at Wright Park Drive, which is directly across the Mansion.

By taxi cab -- just tell the cabbie to take you to The Mansion or even "Mansion House," about Php50.00 from Session Road.

By jeepney -- take the Plaza-Mines View jeepney from the Central Business District, about Php8.00/person.

View of Wright Park Drive from The Mansion. Visitors usually go to both places, which are directly across from each other.

Wright Park Drive
Our next stop was Baguio Botanical Garden, our group just passed by this place. I was the only person insist to have a photo opps of this place.

Here is some information about Baguio's Botanical Garden:

Also known as Igorot Village, Imelda Park & Centennial Park. This Botanical Garden is one of the green parks of the City of Pines "where nothing much happens" - and this is precisely what is so great about it!

A huge piece of land that is owned by the Philippine government, Botanical Garden, like Burnham Park is one of those prime pieces of real estate that provides priceless peace and tranquility to a city that is in danger of becoming an urban jungle.

Said to have been at one time a zoo and actually named the Botanical & Zoological Garden, the Baguio Botanical Garden has been known, officially and unofficially by many names -- Igorot Village (for the different Cordillera huts and statues that decorated the park, Imelda Park (who was for a long time the First Lady of the country) and, most recently, Centennial Park in celebration of 100 years of the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
Baguio Botanical Garden
Botanical Garden's Gates
How to Get There:


The main entrance to the Baguio Botanical Garden is along Leonard Wood Road, between Teachers Camp and Wright Park.

By private transport:

From Session Road, head toward Leonard Wood Road. Past Teachers Camp, to your right, is the main entrance to Botanical Garden, where parking is available along the roadside.

By public transport:

There are many, many jeepney lines that pass Leonard Wood Road, all emanating from the Central Business District (Plaza) so ride one that indicates Plaza to the following places: Mines View, Pacdal, Beckel, Country Club, Navy Base, Tuding, Itogon. There are also many taxi cabs that you may take to and from Botanical Garden.

Business hours:

Open daily, daylight hours (they recently installed gates).

Entrance fees:

Botanical Garden is FREE for everyone's enjoyment; picture-taking with the natives would cost about Php20.00/person/photo.

Next stop for the group is an outmost part of Baguio, towards La Trinidad, Benguet. The Bell Church.....But this time when we arrived on this place it was raining, but even if it raining, the photo opps is still one of our opportunity and the most important thing what we have done. But the very most important is always respect the place that you are visiting, specially like this place.
Lakwatserong Tatay @ Bell Church
Our 2nd to last destination: The Strawberry Farm

A unique experience for the whole family, you get to pick fresh strawberries, right alongside the Ibaloi farmers, to bring home or consume while on vacation in the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

Located just 30 minutes from Baguio City, Strawberry Farm "opens it doors" for the activity from November to May every year.

The rates for strawberry picking vary. In general, it costs twice the market price to pick your own strawberries, which folks find strange, especially those who have tried apple or orange picking in orchards in other countries thinking they provide "free labor."

The difference here is that strawberries are a very delicate fruit compared to apples and oranges and a lot are actually ruined or wasted when harvested by 'amateurs.' So half the cost is for the strawberries, and the other half is for the activity itself.

There's no minimum amount per person, by the way, they just weigh how much you all have picked together and you're charged for it.

All in all, strawberry picking "Baguio style" is an experience well worth it as it is the stuff that warm childhood memories are made of -- priceless even!
Strawberry Fields Forever.....
How to Get to Strawberry Farm:

Location: Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad Valley, Benguet, less than 10km from the center of Baguio City. View our new interactive map to find its location.

By car: From Session Road, turn right to Magsaysay Road and turn left at the stop light (to your right will be Baguio Center Mall). The road you will be on is still Magsaysay Road and this connects Baguio City to La Trinidad. Just keep going straight, passing a vehicle flyover at one point, until you see the Welcome Arch of La Trinidad.

Keep going a few more kilometers until you see the sign that directs folks to turn left to Strawberry Farm. It is not a very prominent sign, and it should be to your left so just keep looking out for it.

After making a left turn, keep going straight ahead for a few hundred meters more (there are no available turns anyway) until you see many souvenir stalls to your left and the strawberry and flower farms to your right.

By jeepney: If going by public transportation, jeepneys to La Trinidad wait for passengers in the Gen. Luna area near the University of Baguio. Tell the driver you will be getting off at the Strawberry Farm, cross the road and walk the rest of the way as it's not that far from the main road.

The Strawberry Farm
Our last destination for our 1st day of our weekend getaway, is the Lourdes Grotto. A Catholic Shrine and place of meditation in Baguio. Of course, we will not miss this chance to visit as a pilgrimage of this shrine, to give thanks, for safe journey that day.

Lourdes Grotto
That night, we just chillax on our rented place. We both some liquours, just for the night...ika pampatulog.....hehehehe..
Actually that night when i went on the terrace of the transient house. I got this shots....

The 2nd day of our group in Baguio, some of our group will gonna depart by noontime, so by sunday they could rest on their houses. Because by monday its back to work mode again. So what in store for us...A walk tour around the Baguio City. Our first stop is Baguio City Market. Where we buy most of our pasalubongs....hehehehe...

Photo opps @ Baguio City Market
After buying pasalubong, our group had a brief stop over for photo opps around Burnham Park. As you will see below.....

Last group photo opps @ Burnham Park
After lunch time, there are only 5 trippers left on Baguio, and will stay for the last one night. So yours truly tour the remaining trippers. A walk around SM Baguio to Victory Liner (new and old branches). We also go at Ukay-ukay stores at Session Road and to end our walk tour that day. A boat ride at Burnham Park......
The remaining tripper @ SM Baguio

Views that you can @ SM Baguio view deck
To sum up our trip to Baguio. All of the trippers had a nice and good memories of Baguio City. And all of them want to come back again had a trip around to Baguio but they want to go to the other places that they did not see when they stayed for few days at the City of Pines.

And yours truly add again another adventure for himself this year 2010. Including a backpack trip also at Our Lady of Manaoag, Pangasinan.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Looking for Accomodation