Friday, February 7, 2014

5 Years Later: How we spent our weekend in Baguio

I've always wanted to go back to Baguio, but I just couldn't pencil it in my schedule. Then again, I also had other travel goals (i.e. aiming to visit other places that I haven't been to yet). But last October, I finally had the chance to journey up north again. And this time, with a purpose in mind.


I've been meaning to put up my own business. And I knew that I could source out some really great materials in Baguio. So when I've finally scheduled a trip there, I packed my bag and hopped on the regular Victory Liner bus with my brother Choy. The trip itself was a bit euphoric since I was journeying off with my brother. So I was completely reminiscent of the past when we arrived at our accommodations (near the Igorot Stairs) --- as it was the same location where my dad, brother and I had our first picture taken in Baguio. Our first photo-op in the City of Pines was with our late father. So I suddenly started missing him (I will never forget that first trip with them). So I made sure that my brother and I would experience the grandest time that weekend.


NEVADA SQUARE

Choy and I already started our morning in Baguio with some Mcdonald's breakfast, and a trip to Easter Weaving. We also found ourselves doing on an all-day food trip: lunch at Cafe by the Ruins, ice cream for merienda (snacks) and dinner at Jim's Retro Diner by Session Road. And come night time, Rubel finally arrived in Baguio. He came that evening to accompany us. So it was all the more a joyous night. 

So to cap the night off, I suggested to go for some drinks at Nevada Square. We got really disappointed upon seeing that our favorite Beach House was no longer in sight, and was instead replaced by a bar. That's why we ended up at Knight's Keep. It was a cozy looking bar. But we really didn't get to talk much since the speakers were on full blast. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the cool breeze, the chilled beers and the tasty sausages that evening. 


MINES VIEW & CORDILLERA SITE

We no longer visited the usual attractions on our 2nd day in the city. We just opted to visit Mines View instead. My brother requested to go here because he really wanted a picture with the celebrity dogs. And since we were already in the area, we took it upon ourselves to explore the Cordillera site as well --- where several Igorot paraphernalia were displayed and sold for a price. Of course, we couldn't pass up the chance to take a snapshot with the real-deal Igorot. 


GOOD SHEPHERD CONVENT

I also wanted Choy to taste Baguio's famous hot Strawberry Taho, so Rubel bought him his own cup. But after our quick snack, we walked down towards another well-known establishment in the City of Pines --- Good Shepherd Convent. We actually got to buy several jars of Ube Jam for take-home (pasalubong). And since we were going around Session Road that afternoon, we decided to go back to our inn to drop off our purchases.


EBAI'S CAFE & PASTRY

The three of us also decided to eat at a cafe near the JAM Bus terminal (near Victory Liner and Microtel Baguio), before exploring Session Road. So after booking our seats for tomorrow morning's trip, we immediately found a place for us to have lunch in --- Ebai's Cafe & Pastry. After being seated, we soon ordered a big bowl of Pork Sinigang, and a platter of Sizzling Sisig with egg, which were both drool-worthy meals. Anyhow, Rubel also ordered a slice of cake (I forgot what kind!). 


MAHARLIKA MARKET

Maharlika Market (also referred to as the Maharlika Livelihood Complex) is Baguio's famous marketplace. It's where both wet and dry goods can be found. So if you're into freshly-picked flowers and strawberries, then you'll definitely find these and more. 

It wasn't Strawberry season last October, so the ones that we bought at the market were very expensive. So we opted to buy just a few small boxes (shoe box size) since we really wanted to take some back to Manila. Anyway, we were also able to purchase several bottles of Strawberry Jam for a very good price. 

NOTE: Since the marketplace is known for having a whole stretch of stalls that sell pasalubong, we made sure to scout and buy from the cheapest store. So if you walk further at the back, you'll definitely find the best prices there.


SESSION ROAD

Session Road still had the same old vibe from when I last saw it. Of course, we couldn't pass up the chance to check out the Ukay-Ukay goods by Skyworld. We probably spent the whole afternoon just looking around for shoes, bags, pants, and shorts. But when we grew tired from all the walking, we immediately looked for a place to dine in. We initially wanted to eat at OMG! (Oh My Gulay!) but got lost along the way. We were able to find the Azotea building after some time, but arrived too late --- as the famous restaurant was already closed. So we opted to eat close by, and eventually found Zola Cafe. 


A DISAPPOINTING ZOLA CAFE EXPERIENCE

Zola Cafe had a really nice and chic interior arrangement. But those were the only good things about them. I mean, the place wasn't that packed that night. But for some reason, not one waiter was around to ask for our orders (even after raising our hands several times to call their attention). It was even awkward because their security guard was the one who took our orders (who I commend by the way!). Anyhow, their service was very slow too. 


Disappointed and hungry as we were already, our food looked dry and not so tasty. Even the Fish & Chips that Rubel ordered tasted uncooked. It even took a long time for them to replace it. I mean, Choy and I were already done eating, yet Rubel's dish hasn't been replaced yet. It was a good thing though that we raised our disappointment. Zola didn't charge us for Rubel's order anymore. If they still did, I would've gotten furious about it. 

 

WE SHALL RETURN!

We ended our last night in the city by visiting the Baguio Cathedral, and by having some coffee and cakes at Starbucks SM that night. We also said our goodbye's the next morning, and immediately left via JAM Transit.

Anyhow, here's our Travel Expense Sheet! I hope it helps you in one of your future trips in the Summer Capital of the Philippines!

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

Read more of my recent Baguio explorations here:
Easter Weaving Center
Cafe by the Ruins
Upstairs Bed & Bath

3 comments:

  1. iba talaga ang baguio. it has something that i will never get tired of going back. im excited for your business mai ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Eh yung now ko lang toh nabasa?! Toinks! Thanks Jherson! Both excited and nervous ako for the biz. :)

    ReplyDelete

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