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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

my Baguio experience 25 yrs after.

this is a late blog post, sorry for this much delayed post. this should have been
published last may 16. this will be a long blog. maybe the longest of all
I have done. full of pictures, with stories. so I know you will enjoy reading

last May 14-15, me and my long time friends decided to take a short vacation
and enjoy the weekend far North up the mountains, and so 6 hours and a few
stopovers later, we arrived in Baguio, the summer capital of the country, to
experience the chilly weather that everyone’s boasting over the holidays. Since
it’s been years since we last visited Baguio, we’ve decided to stick to the usual
tourists spots.

this is also the first time since 1986 since I last visited Baguio, much had changed,
the landscape, the people, the shops, business centers, the climate, and the prices
of commodities they have all changed.
before there were no teller machines, no shoemart, no fastfood chains, no bakeshops
only parks, lots of open spaces, english speaking igorots roaming around.

We arrived at past 12 o clock, before checking in, we went to BENCAB MUSEUM
located at Km. 6 Asin Road. just 15 mins away from the City.
upon entering, you would be amazed by the architecture, unique blending with the
landscape,  entrance fee is 100 per person. and selfie sticks are not allowed to prevent
unnecessary accidents inside.

the museum houses every sculptures you can think of, it shows Cordillera themed
displays, sculptures, paintings, erotica themed drawings and sketches.

At the back of the museum houses Cafe Sabel, cozy, romantic, perfect for l
overs! after you appreciate art? you can have lunch, then continue appreciating 
nature.all in one place! so.. we had late lunch there.

 the best thing about Cafe Isabel? the one you see at the back when you
look out the window. behold....

heres a video of whats inside the museum

A meal starts at 200. when you want to go trekking, you need  to pay  80.00

Afterwards  we checked into strawberry farm.. located 2kms from the City,
its just near Benguet State University. Before heading straight to the farm, one
must register first in the logbook for tracking purposes. The cost of strawberry
picking may be a bit expensive (@350 pesos), to the ordinary person. but its
twice the cost of  if you go to the markets.
for 350 per head you can experience wandering through the stretch of green
and red fields,  being able to pick the freshest crops, but tasting is prohibited.

The best time to go strawberry picking in La Trinidad is during the summer month
of March. and this activity  is best experienced with  with a group of friends for
bonding, just like what we did. after the strawberry picking I bought some souvenir
items, tshirts, to bring back home. then after our trip to the strawberry farm we
go straight to Leonard Wood Road.

Along Leonard Rd there is a strong presence, they say, the eerie grey, white
house located at #14 Laperal, it is just located besides the equally scarry

teacher's camp.

There have been many stories of hauntings, rumors of someone
standing on the third step of the staircase in front of the house or up in the glass
windows, being watched, and terrifying noises in the night.. and so they say....

The Laperal House is considered to be one of the most haunted houses in Baguio.
The house, if my memory serves me correctly, was built in the 1920s by the
Laperal couple.
Being a heritage fighter, and lover of old houses, I don't buy those ghost stories,
and am not scared of something that wont harm me. unless they are spiders.
The Laperal House is considered to be one of the most haunted houses in Baguio.
The house, if my memory serves me correctly, was built in the 1920s by the
Laperal couple. after the war, Mr. Laperal went back , he slip and died on the
stairs at the front

we have our dinner at Forest House Bistro and Cafe and they serve creative
dishes, great ambience also. 

 According to my friend, Forest House is always included in the list of must eat 

Pls come early because parking is limited and could be a nightmare if you came
a little late. actually parking is a problem in the whole City! The place is intimate
and nicely decorated in cottage-country home motif and lovely eye candy trinkets
all over. you can see a  small veranda outside but to compare, BenCab's

Café Sabel has by far a more superior view and I would choose Café Sabel on the
basis of view alone.(not including the museum) price is expensive and service is
slow, again, food is good but pricey, I hope my next experience would be
much better. (If I arrive in the afternoon for coffee).
after dinner, we all decided to go to another place recommended to us.

Chocolate de Batirol garden restaurant for a late night coffee
its a bit pricey but good food. with Nice ambiance but very slow
service. Don't come here with an empty stomach. please. and watch
out for the spiders!

After our dinner, we went straight to a carshow (the first carshow
in Baguio that I attended) I was surprised the night was not even cold
we went to Baguio convention center to watch the carshow 
I was told by my friend Jenny that we are going to stay in an affordable
hotel, little did I know that its a great place to stay for the night. I bring you
Newtown Plaza Hotel just across Botanical Garden.


then we checked in our hotel just across C.M. Recto, near SLU.
named Newtown Plaza Hotel  Its as tall as a pine tree at  6 floors with a
heated outdoor pool and a buffet restaurant.

The rooms are without A/C and with WIFI,  a ceiling fan, flat cable TV,
a study desk, a closet, free bathrobes, slip ons, and very comfortable bed,

hot and cold shower and, for a bonus, a bathroom mirror with a touchscreen
light switch. in the morning, the Magnificent sunrise and sunset can be watched
from the room, another bonus treat. just open the windows and let the cool
morning breeze in.

The rooms come with breakfast buffet coupons in the hotel’s own restaurant
called Elements. after our shower, and at around 2 am. we decided to call it a

I woke up early the next day, at 5 a.m. to prepare myself for jogging. so ill
continue with my story.

We had an early morning jog at PMA. Before proceeding to Club John Hay.
 When I last visited Baguio (1986) it was being operated by the Americans.
so I never got the chance to see whats inside, this is my first time.

Its the former rest & recreation facility for American soldiers in Asia with
its pine tree-lined roads, lovely landscaping, cottages and wide open spaces.
Camp John Hay is what makes Baguio,the city of Pines which make it a
popular tourist  destination. Recreational activities like Eco-Trail, mini golf , 
Picnic  Grounds, Pony Rentals , Paintball & Wall Climbing.

After Camp John Hay Manor and Forest Lodge, we went straight to
whats located across our hotel. after we checked out and bid goodbye.

then proceeded to Baguio Botanical Garden

 The Baguio Botanical Garden is located east of Baguio's downtown area. 
You will find it between Teacher's Camp and just across our hotel,
Its main entrance is along Leonard Wood Road. oh, be sure to preare 
80 pesos, if you want to have a photo ops with the old igorots.

It features native huts typical of the type of Igorot dwellings found in
the Cordilleras. thus its name-Igorot Village. because it captures the ethnic
spirit and cultural legacy of the Igorots and being quiet and peaceful,
a haven to those who wants to sit down and relax, take a stroll along its
narrow and winding pathways enjoy the landscape where you will find
numerous plants and trees.

After this, we had lunch at sizzling plate restaurant, and bought a cake
just in time for Anne's birthday celebration.

Baguio is a haven for nature lovers, for plant lovers like me.
I personally loved the sight of so many pine trees, There's definitely a
lot more to see here and an overnight stay is just not enough sad to say
we had to be in NLEX before sunset, so around 2PM, we made our way
through  Marcos Highway.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience with the company of long time college
friends,. The long trip was surely worth it because Anne, our birthday celebrant
was more than grateful to celebrate her birthday there with us.

I love the trip, we all enjoyed it! and I know we will be back! . '
Til we see you again Baguio!

this is your LOVERBOY Dennis signing out!

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