Me and my wife love to have spontaneous travel escapades especially road trips. We have been to Baguio once last 2015 but it was just really a short trip on a Sunday afternoon after visiting Manaoag Church. So we planned to go there once again to spend our weekend and enjoy its breezy climate this time.
Known for its cool weather, Baguio is one of the most favorite destinations all year round. From the month of December to February, people prefer to spend their holiday there to experience cold temperature that can go as low as 9 degrees Celsius and during summer to escape the extremely hot weather in the lowland areas of the Philippines.
Road Trip to Baguio
We left home from Cavite at 8:00am and expecting to arrive Baguio in 5.5 hours time according to my travel buddy, Waze. We took the fastest yet costly route as we crossed 5 different expressways. CAVITEX Cavite-Parañaque City for PHP 88, NLEX and SCTEX Quezon City to Tarlac for PHP 360, TPLEX Tarlac to Urdaneta City for PHP 216 and Kennon Road Rosario-Baguio for PHP 15. With 1 short wee stopover, we arrived Baguio at 2:00pm. (Update as of Feb 2018: With the opening of new TPLEX segments, you may now continue and exit in Pozorubbio to save another 30 minutes travel time for PHP 270)
We did not book for an expensive hotel since we only needed a place to sleep so we booked for a room in Dream Transient Rooms thru Agoda. The room for 4 costs us PHP 1,639. When we arrived there, we were informed that there is no room available for 4, so the owner offered us a room for 6 without an additional fee. The room has 3 double beds, LED TV with satellite cable, kitchen with large dining table and toilet and bathroom with water heater. Really a great deal for a very cheap price.
We just kept our things in the room and headed out to explore Baguio. Our hotel is near to the city proper and many of the attractions are very accessible by driving. We first went to Burnham Park, a huge urban park located at the heart of the Baguio popular to families for picnic and recreational activities like biking and boat riding. Since the Panagbenga Festival or Flower Festival season just got over, the place was pretty crowded on that day. People going to Baguio always take photos with the St. Bernard dog. For minimal fee of PHP 50, you can have 3 shots with the dog using your own cameras. We also did the boat riding for PHP 130 per hour and biking for PHP 50 per hour.
We spent the entire afternoon there and headed to the nearby SM Shopping Mall for dinner. SM Baguio’s atrium is using natural ventilation and does not use air conditioner in cold weather like when we were there with 16 degrees Celsius. After dinner we went back to our hotel to rest and get ready for a long adventure the following day.
As part of our regular Sunday, we started our day going to the Church. We visited the Pink Sisters Convent and Chapel to offer a prayer and we were lucky enough to see the Nuns in their pink habit.
Next stop is the Botanical Garden, where we had lots of photos. Our little one had a photo in their traditional costume that we rented for PHP 20. The garden is huge and requires someone to walk stiff steps to go around the area. It was a good exercise for me though as I carry my baby around while walking. At the entrance, you can also take photos with the locals ‘Igorot’ in their costumes. You need to pay PHP 10 each local for the photo ops.
Next stop is the Mines View Park, an overlook park with an observation deck to enjoy the view of Amburayan Valley. We took some photos with the view and had a photo with a colorful horse for PHP 50. We did some shopping here as well for some local delicacies like peanut brittle, strawberry jam, cookie crinkles and more ranging from PHP 25 to PHP 50 per pack.
We also had a short photo ops stop in The Mansion and Wright Park.
We had our lunch in Camp John Hay where there are many restaurants to choose from and we decided to have a boodle fight lunch in Seafood Island for PHP 750.
After lunch, we left Baguio City to visit the Strawberry Farm in the nearby town of La Trinidad, the capital of Benguet Province. All the while, I thought that the strawberry farm is situated in Baguio itself and I was wrong. It is actually not part of Baguio but around 30 minutes drive out of the city. It’s around 1:00pm when we arrived there at 21 degrees Celsius but the sun is too bright that I thought I was in Manila at 32 degrees.
We wanted our little one to experience picking strawberries by herself but we were shocked that to do the picking, you need to pay PHP 450 per kilo at the entrance. Regular strawberry price is only PHP 200. So we just decided to walk inside the farm for free then luckily, there were other people inside offering cheaper picking experience for only PHP 300 per kilo. Our little one enjoyed the picking so much and cried when it’s over. (Update as of Feb 2018: All the farms offer the same flat rate of PHP 450.)
There were not much people when we were there and they said that the farm can get so crowded during late afternoon when it is not hot anymore. Well that concluded our Baguio trip this year and I hope that we can stay there longer but our weekend is already over. Anyway, there will always be a next time and we will definitely be back to Baguio again.
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