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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

baguio city - an advance birthday celebration

This will be a long long 3 part series blog that not only narrates my travel but also
tells my story of how exciting 2017 has been for me. I was treated by my pretty
photog and barkada for a rare 3 part birthday celebration no amount of money
can match. here is the first part. my trip to the north again, to Baguio and beyond.
our morning starts when we are to meet Allan at 1am. without Ann because she
is recovering from her carpal tunnel treatment. and so it began, a foggy traverse up
kennon road on board a stock innova on the way we experienced driving with
occasional rocks falling, on a cold foggy night my first time and it scared me more
than those crappy  baguio ghost stories. I read.

we arrived at 430am. a sip of coffee from your 711 convenience store is worth
more than 2 hot choco at starbucks that night.awwhhhhoh, we felt gooood. at
430am there was practically nowhere to go so we just waited  for the sun to

peep at 5am.. no awesome sunrise I thought, because of the foggy rainy weather
conditions. we finished our early breakfast at 530am. our first itenerary was to waze
our way up mount cabuyao, so we took a Military Cut-off Road going to the
Marcos Highway.  and were stopped besides the police outpost before going up.
we are then offered by a military escort who refused to have his picture taken, we
are then charged with a minimal amount and allowed us to board his service, to
my surprise, its a tamaraw fx!!! yes, those 90s taxis are retired and bought up here

where it demonstrates the power of its 2C engines. so we are taken up to the
Sto. Tomas Road that takes us to La Presa. a fictional magical land. created in
the teleserye FOREVER MORE. The real name of the Sitio is Sitio Pungayan in
Tuba, Benguet Province.


this trip is different from  the usual trips to La presa  featured on google. because
this one is peaceful, we are the only tourist at 630am. and since its a rainy morning.
we are the only tourist there to witness a foggy  15 degree morning.

It excites me much when the fog covered the surrounding and made it to zero
visibility. It is not every day that u got to experience this, so I took videos while
walking and  took pictures too even on my crappy cam. yeah you can tell, It was
so cold.

Am lost for words, here are some of the pictures, see for yourself and make your
own description.

 the signboard is not there anymore. when we arrived. I was the one who installed it.
 inside the house of Agnes

video inside the house:

since it was still early after our la presa trip, our second stop was going to
the orchidarium for some cactus shopping. then off to camp john hay for our
2nd sip of hot choco, at chocolat de batirol, for the first time, I experienced

walking on a cold foggy morning uphill, at club John hay, nobody plays golf
that day...with a 14 degs foggy rainy weather, who would? I was so delighted

when I finally sipped my first cup of hot choco! after staying for a while to
wait for a little drizzle to stop, we decided to go to our next destination.

so off to one of Pines city's secret garden, the maryknol Ecological Sanctuary.
its a serene environment where folks can go on a peaceful stroll, inside a

secret garden protected, one which offers peace and serenity in the middle of
Baguio City,  a quiet haven of greenery and a place where folks can enjoy nature,
a great place for your family picnic, peaceful get together, or your favorite team
building activity. here are some shots my pretty photog Jen took.

then we dropped by teachers camp, its not haunted in the morning. I dont know
10hours after. because we booked  near the botanical garden. as usual. newtown
plaza hotel. we have a little rest there because we all didnt have a good night sleep

the day before. we woke up at 10pm to have dinner at the forest house Bistro Cafe
near Camp John hay. its one of my list of a must eat place.

Now I understand why , to start with...The centerpiece of the house is the living
room with an actual fireplace to keep you warm on cold nights like the one we

experienced , am no food blogger so I will just skip on what to eat and why
one thing to remember is the food is great, and you will love the ambiance at night
especially on a cold rainy foggy weather. the food selection wont be hard

as you will observe its presentation always matches well with the ambiance for that
rainy cold breezy wonderland. oh did I mention that it had a hotel  that gives you
the warmth of a country home that also comes with class and style? yes, its

downstairs. its a cheap alternative to the Manor. the rooms are spacious and
comfortable   designed to give you that “homey” , cozy and relaxed feeling  you’ll
want to stay for another day. I promise you.

 here are some pics of the rooms below.

do you believe in ghost? my barkada does feel their presence and I was surprised
wazed behaved different that night, it made us drive in circles when in fact our
hotel was a few meters away. yes, I didnt actually see or encountered one. but
looking at my barkadas reaction gives me the creeps! really!

 the world is full of mysteries and it's too big to think we are the only ones occupying
this vast space. Diplomat hotel is so beautiful, yet chilly, the top portion where the
cross is? thats where weak people get possessed back then. specially when you
go up alone.

the next day we traveled to diplomat hotel. much have been said about this hotel
that its haunted, yes, kind of, it looks haunted, but I didnt feel or seen anything
Jen is clairvoyant, she feels, she cannot see, Allan however attracts them.
his camera shuts down all of the sudden when we were at the second floor.
I was told that one entity is following him.

a lil bit of history:

this is actually a church, built by the Dominican friars during the 1900's. It then got abandoned
 because of the war. In 1911, the Dominicans decided to convert it into a rest house for the 
terminally ill patients. Then came World War II and the place became a refugee camp. The 
Japanese bombed the place and a lot of priests and nuns were beheaded. this place got so
 popular because of the media.

After 1946, Dominican Hill was reconstructed and the property was bought by the Diplomat
 Hotel Inc. They turned it into a 33 bedroom hotel but it ceased operations 1987 when the hotel's
 manager -faith healer, Mr. Tony Agpaoa,  died. It was also said that guests couldn't stay in the
 hotel because of numerous paranormal activities happening, much like some of the hotels in 
Bangkok.  residents who live near the area often hear sounds coming from the old dominican 
After this we checked out at our hotel and bid goodbye to the City but promised
to come back again.with or without the ghost
on our way back we stopped by this restaurant in Dagupan called the

The place is a little bit far from the main road though it can be easily found by
following instructions from ur waze app, indeed an eye candy when you go there
for the first time, it showcases different statues, native carvings, designs you will

see a carved crocodile, unique design of turtles and varieties of fishes, carved
its Great for photo and IG snaps. food is flavorful the one we ordered  the soup with
shells? just add rice and u are full. we also ordered boneless bangus which is perfect

for my injured finger. nothing extraordinary, just dine, have fun, chitchat with family.
and watch the sunset.

If you stay in the main dining area, you can enjoy the music or the live band
playing while eating.

The free boat ride and fishing is another good experience in this restaurant. The
only downside we experienced was the delivery of the food. we didn't have
any reservations, so we waited for 40minutes. but everyone is nice!  even

volunteer to take your group shots. its really a great advance birthday experience!
thanks to Jenny for the treat.
then we went home before sundown.
this is truly a fun and happy experience, I was told that my advance birthday
celebration will be in 3 parts. this is the first part. stand by for the next 2.
thanks again to my pretty photog Jenny for treating me and allowing me
to experience once more, the beauty of the North.
this is your LOVERBOY Dennis signing out.  cu next wk.

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