Nostalgic Drive to the City of Pines
The sun sets as I ascent the city on top of the Cordillera highlands on board the Victory Liner. I think of the word nostalgia. This is the third time I’ve been to the city of Pines, first in high school for a student congress and second for an industrial tour in college. Now I am with my family, a first.
City of Pines indeed
A lot of memories in this place
The freezing cold memory of that first early morning bath I had at Teachers Camp still haunts me and the fact that it is, well, haunted. I remembered goofing around with the barkada at night ghost hunting and also re-enacting the scene from the sinking Titanic, our warm breaths turning to mist while doing the Jack and Rose dialogue. We even dared a friend of ours to go outside with only his brief on with which he did. As cruel as it sounds, we actually locked him out of the building for ten minutes. He was lucky no one was around. Those were picture-perfect memories I can’t forget.
Not much has changed in the summer capital of the Philippines since coming here way back in 2007. Probably a little bit more crowded due to the new developments in the area, hence the traffic. I also noticed that the temperature is a bit warmer, not to discourage the first-timers from visiting.
College barkada at The Mansion
Of course, the Baguio experience won’t be complete without setting foot on these iconic landmarks: Session Road, Lion’s Head, Philippine Military Academy, The Mansion and many others.
Light em up at PMA
To see the skyline view of Baguio, go and hail the country’s cheapest intercooler taxis with natural air-conditioning systems or might as well ride the jeepney to SM Baguio, a mall designed with sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind.
The view from SM Baguio
Boating at Burnham Park
As for us, we were lucky to have our own vehicle to roam around the eskinitas of Baguio. Thanks to Tito Tadz, we also had a tour guide. Our first stop was at Burham park. For a hundred pesos, five people can go boating for thirty minutes. The rowing part was definitely exhausting. Also, something should be done with the murky and a bit smelly stagnant water.
Landmark inside Botanical Garden
Next stop was at Botanical Garden which I believe still has a big room for improvement. Some statues and landmarks have cracks and needs a little fixing. There were also mendicants that should be given alternative means of livelihood rather than bother tourists all day.
The obligatory Ifugao cosplay at Minesview Park
Next was Minesview Park where we had the obligatory Ifugao cosplay. This place had a picturesque view of the mountainside.
Minesview Park entrance wall
Houses on a cliff
Experience Panagbenga Festival once a year
Keychains and souvenirs
Doing the Harry Potter jump shot at Minesview Park made me hungry. So Tito brought us to his favorite restaurant for lunch.
The Harry Potter jumpshot
I thought that we were heading to the classic American-style 50’s Diner. Instead, we headed to the modern and sophisticated Ketchup Food Community. Thankfully we arrived early and were the first ones to be served amongst the growing queue. On Tito’s guarantee, we tried the best-selling baby back ribs of the first restaurant on the right. One serving was good for two, which was equivalent to my appetite. It was truly satisfying!
Ketchup Food Community for lunch
After the mouth-watering meal, we then went right across to Wright Park to burn calories riding horses. The pink-haired ponies were very popular with the little girls.
The horses at Wright Park
Too bad, all the pink ones were taken. There were also a variety of rare plants and flowers for sale in the area since the temperature in Baguio is very conducive to these types of flora.
Strawberry-picking at La Trinidad
On the way to La Trinidad, we dropped by the strawberry farm. Before entering, we needed to have a taste of both strawberry taho and strawberry dirty ice cream. It was delightful. Once inside the field, you need to walk a few meters to find the strawberries.
The famous strawberry Taho
There were also rows of lush vegetation naming Benguet the Salad Bowl of the Philippines. We also checked out some souvenir shops in the area as pasalubong to our loved ones in Cebu.
The Salad Bowl of the Philippines
To avoid the rush-hour traffic, we decided to head back home at Alapang Junction where we were staying. For an afternoon snack, I had a slice of Town’s Cassava. It was the best I had in my entire twenty-five years of existence that I ate the remaining seven slices. Another box!
Mouth-watering cassava cake
The view from the Victory Liner on ascent to Benguet
It was a nostalgic and food-gasmic kind of day indeed! Talk to you soon strangers! For more of my adventures, check out kingofsinulog.wordpress.com. Cheers!