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Lakbay Norte Day 4 : Adventures in Bokod Benguet and Tour of Pangasinan Capitol

I only had exactly 4 hours of sleep, but I was fully recharged when I woke up. Thanks to Microtel for hosting us and providing the most comfortable bed ever:) Microtel is known for its specially designed chiropractic beds which give you a good night’s sleep.

Baguio City
One morning in Baguio City

We left the hotel at around 7am and went straight to the Baguio Country Club for the press briefing. Aside from Amboy Guevara Jr., Director Pura Molintas also welcomed us while having breakfast. To maintain the top spot on the tourism map, BCVB is now introducing a new way to experience Baguio by promoting outdoor activities.

Baguio Country Club
The Baguio Country Club

If you think Baguio is just a Summer destination because of its relatively cold temperature, well.. Think Again!! Baguio Convention and Visitors Bureau is introducing a whole new way to enjoy Baguio City and its suburbs. Imagine you and your barkada (friends) trekking, kayaking, river hiking, fishing, rappelling, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and more.

Bokod Benguet
ZigZag Road in Bokod Benguet

I admire BCVB for initiating and conceptualizing these activities. They are not just expanding the options that a Baguio tourist can enjoy; they are also providing job opportunities to the locals of Tublay, Tuba, Bokod, and Itogon.

Fishing in Ambuklao Dam
Fishing in Ambuklao Dam

I couldn’t believe that these types of activities were available in Baguio till I experienced them myself. It took us almost an hour to reach the first stop, a bridge in Tuba Benguet where one would go to rappel. The bridge is quite high, so if you are afraid of heights, this might be the perfect place to conquer your fear:)

Rappelling in Bokod Bridge
Rappelling in Bokod Bridge

We weren’t able to complete our adventure trip due to transportation problems. After staying in Ambuklao Dam for more than an hour, we finally headed to our next stop – lunch by the riverside. It took us forever to reach the riverside lunch venue, and traversing the dusty unpaved road is quite unforgiving but as they say, every hardship has a reward.

Ambuklao Dam
Ambuklao Dam

We crossed an untamed river by holding a rope, then walked on a river trail until we reached the most awaited pit stop – lunch by the riverside. I was already hungry, so I didn’t really care what they served; I thought to myself, I can eat anything edible so long as it’s clean and it’s cooked.. haha! But everything laid out before us exceeded my expectation. Imagine a beach umbrella with pretty waitresses and a Chef waiting for us; I just simply said, Wow! Baguio Country Club literally installed an extension of their Bar and Restaurant right beside the river, I think it’s an awesome idea.

Kayaking in Ambuklao Dam
Kayaking in Ambuklao Dam

After waiting for everyone to arrive, we started having probably the most exciting meal of our trip – a boodle fight beside the river with an unbeatable view. Picture a long table covered by a banana leaf with overflowing rice, steamed eggplant, salted egg, and the best chicken pork Adobo I’ve had in years. Everyone was full and satiated after the boodle fight, so what’s next? We flocked to the mini bar and ordered some booze to complete the experience.

Lunch @ the Riverside
Riverside Lunch

We returned to the Baguio Country Club to freshen up and prepare for our next trip – the Pangasinan Capitol. We were supposed to be in Lingayen at around 5:30pm for our courtesy call, but we arrived at the Pangasinan Capitol at around 8pm. It was my first time visiting Lingayen, and I was amazed to see such a beautiful Capitol with a neo-classical design which I assumed can only be found in Manila.

Boodle Fight
Boodle Fight

The Capitol’s design was considered the most beautiful building when it was built, according to historians, but it was heavily damaged during World War II, and the reconstruction was finished only in 1949.

Pangasinan Capitol Building
Pangasinan Capitol Building

After our short tour, we sampled local delicacies on the rooftop of the Capitol Building. Indeed, the Pangasinan Capitol is probably the most beautiful government building I’ve seen in the Northern Philippines. This is the same area where the annual “Pistay Dayat” is held, so I can only imagine how beautiful it is during the fiesta; I hope to come back here during the celebration to experience it firsthand.

Islandia Hotel
Islandia Hotel in Alaminos Pangasinan

We headed to Alaminos for our dinner at Lingayen and press briefing for our next day’s itinerary. I guess no one actively listened to the presentation after enjoying the fresh seafood, grilled pork, the sweetest mango, and, oh, how can I forget the cold SanMig light, haha.

Everyone realized that its already almost 11pm, so we decided to just bring the beer to the hotel till we fell asleep:)

Up Next : Lakbay Norte Day 5 : Tour of Hundred Islands, Masinloc and Subic in Zambales


Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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