Philippines, Baguio City. The summer capital of the country. What a good way to spend my special day but of course to get a weekend chill to the one I love most: the city of Pines, Baguio City.
Located at the northern part of the country, it will take a few hours to get there. Let’s celebrate my birthday with the coolest place in the Philippines.
How to get there
Since there’s no plane going to Baguio, the only option that you have is riding a bus. I’d recommend Victory Liner bus line due to its convenience booking a trip (just go to their website at http://www.victoryliner.com) plus the fact that they’ve been to the industry for decades so you know you’ll get a safe travel.
They have 2 types of bus to choose from. One is regular bus which costs Php. 445.00 with 6-7 hours travel time. For a more convenient travel, you can choose premiere bus that costs Php. 780.00 with free snacks and lets you travel non-stop for 4 hours. Good thing is that they’ve built a new road getting there which is TPLEx (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) that cuts the travel time into half compared to the old one that will go through neighboring provinces to get there. One thing that’s good for the premiere buses is that it has built-in restroom so no need for stopovers.
We choose the regular one since we want to see the cities and the actual route plus a nice way to get some delicacies of other provinces along the way. You might need to bear the long ride and movie fest in the bus but this one’s a sure thing if you want to see places aside from the normal highway.
Where to stay
Since transient houses are everywhere in Baguio, we don’t want to go for the hassle of roaming through streets to get the cheapest one possible. My friend, which is a native from Baguio, recommended Hotel 45 as a place to stay. You can book online (go to their website http://hotel45baguio.com) of you can do walk-in. For weekend stay, you can get a room for 2-4 persons for Php. 1,200.00 inclusive of breakfast. Their check-in time starts at 2pm and ends at noon the next day. You can ask for an air condition with additional of Php. 500.00 but why getting one when it’s cold anyway?
The receptionists are so courteous even the other staff in the hotel. When we ask for another towel the next day we extended the stay they provided us with a pair and another clean comforter. The best part is, it’s just 15-minute walk from the bus terminal and a road away to SM City Baguio, the only SM mall that don’t use air conditioner within the building. It is located along Session Road which is the busiest road in Baguio. Since we came almost past lunch, we just went straight to SM Baguio to grab some meal and buy slippers after we check in. Since we both work night shift, midnight cravings are still in.
Let your hunger be satisfied
Since fast foods are in down the Metro, we want to try something that is new to us. Session road have variety of food to choose from. Name it, they have it. Just by walking along the street, we found a restaurant that is open 24 hours. Welcome to 456 Hotel (Trivia: This is also owned by Hotel 45. Looks like no brainer.)
They offered Chinese cuisine with a kick of Filipino taste. we ordered Chinese fried rice, buttered chicken, beef noodles, and some drinks good for 3 persons and it just costs Php. 470.00. Most of the drinks there are Pepsi products so if you want to go for a coke or anything alike you can get one at the nearest convenience store. If you’re a throwback junkie, you might notice the old Mountain Dew bottle still being used in most of the establishments in Baguio. My beau got nostalgic even reminisce his childhood because of the bottle (the feels).
There are bars along the Session Road but since there’s a curfew of No Liquor Ban by 2am we don’t have a chance to get along with the locals. Beers and likes are also not allowed to sell to anyone around 2-6a.m. so if you want to booze yourself out, better buy it before the curfew and drink it to your room or go to the nearest bar before the time runs out.
Hotel 45 free breakfast are only served from 6a.m.-9a.m., so be sure that you’re in the lobby or else you won’t get your meal. You can choose from corned beef, Baguio longanisa (local sausage), tapa (cured beef), and ham with egg and rice. It’s not buffet so if you think you’re still not full, you can order from their menu at the receptionist’s desk or you can go with their mini store with ready-to-eat foods to choose from.
If you’re not a coffee drinker like me, they are offering hot chocolate in replacement for coffee. One good thing about it is it’s not the typical local drink that you can see from store. It’s a chocolate drink with some herbs that I can’t pronounce myself. I got addicted to it I even ordered two more cups for Php. 20.00 each. They will give you hot water and you’ll be the one to stir it. Coffee is the typical local 3-in-1 coffee so no complains.
Where to go
August is really a wet season in the Philippines, we haven’t got a chance to go through the tourists destinations along Baguio City since it’s raining every now and then from the time we get there until we left the place. Around lunch when we got an invite from beau’s aunt, so we took the invite and have a lunch in their place.
Aunt Nida is beau’s mom’s best friend since they started working in Qatar few years back. When they came back to the country and settle
down, they lost communication. Until they meet again using Facebook. It’s just nice to see them chatting like teenagers even on video calls.
Aunt Nida bought us food from Good Taste, the cheapest restaurant in Baguio located in front of Burnham Park at the end of the Session Road. The secret to their low cost food is they have their own livestock and farm so all of the ingredients are fresh. Any leftovers from the restaurant are being used as a fertilizer so there’s really no waste on this restaurant.
Baguio at night is really magical. From aunt’s house, you can see downtown Baguio and it looks like Christmas Village. We just came across the road without rain and the scene is so surreal. Just make sure that your place is really high so that you can see the place. Expect to chill having 10 degrees Celsius by night and maybe lower at midnight.
And it’s a WRAP
With a heavy heart we need to leave the place since we still have work to do in Manila. Although it’s my third time being here, it’s my beau’s first so it’s really a memorable thing for us. This also marks our first trip alone without our families so it’s really a good time staying there even for a weekend. It is really a weekend travel we’ll never forget. We promise to get back soon and we’ll do the 5K challenge. What a nice way to celebrate my birthday. Happy silver to me!