Summer is almost over, there were times that rain started falling and yet, it doesn’t stop anyone to venture an escapade! Trying to fulfill anyone’s goal during last days of summer, my “Huling Hirit sa Tag-init” should be as exciting as informative as any other summer escapade 😉
I have joined others to try to visit Baguio City and see as much as we can on a single day. ILove Adventours organized a Baguio Day Tour, let’s see how many sites they can arrange to fit within say 10 hours of Baguio visit 😉
We all decided to meet up at Caltex Station in Buendia as majority of us lives within the vicinity. It’s around 1 AM on a Saturday, we’re trying to get to Baguio before 7 AM to have 10 hours of roaming around the city until 5 PM 😉
As we left the meet-up site, a lot of us try to have as much decent sleep as we can to gather enough energy to roam the summer capital of the Philippines.
Our first stop, the Lion’s head. The Lion's Head is a statue along Kennon Road, a major highway in Luzon, Philippines that leads to the city of Baguio. Located in Camp 6, the Lion's Head measures 40 ft. (12 m) in height. It was conceptualized by the Lions Club members of Baguio, during the term of Luis Lardizabal as mayor of Baguio from 1969 to 1970 and as the club's president, to become the club's symbol or imprint in the area. Prior to the artistic sculpting, the limestone was prepared by a group of engineers and miners, then the "actual artistic carving of the façade" was rendered by Anselmo Bayang Day-ag, an Ifugao and Isinay artist and woodcarver from the Cordillera Administrative Region. The construction project began in 1968 but was interrupted. The project was continued in 1971 by another Lions Club president, Robert Webber, and was unveiled in 1972.
After we took a lot of photos on the Lion’s head, we will go straight to the Wright Park. Wright Park is located at the eastern part of the city and fronting the main gate of the Mansion. Its main features are a shallow elongated rectangular body of water known as the "Pool of Pines" and the park circle which is on one end of the park. Moreover, your kids can enjoy riding a little Pony within the vicinity which the locals provide. It is just a stone’s throw away from The Mansion which we explored next.
The Mansion or The Mansion House is the official summer palace of the President of the Philippines. It was built in 1908 to serve as the official summer residence of U.S. Governors-General at the insistence of Governor-General William Cameron Forbes. The name is derived from the summer cottage in New England of Governor Forbes whose administration the original Mansion House was built under.
Next stop, Mine’s View and The Good Shepperd.
Mines View Park is an overlook park on the northeastern outskirts of Baguio. Located on a land promontory 4 km from downtown Baguio, the park overlooks the mining town of Itogon, particularly the abandoned gold and copper mines of the Benguet Corporation, and offers a glimpse of the Amburayan Valley.
You will find the Good Shepherd Convent in the Mines View Barangay. Its main entrance is along Gibraltar Road and it is within walking distance from the souvenir shops at Mines View Park. The store is popularly known for the different products made by the Good Shepherd nuns and visitors coming up to the city who are familiar with items sold in the store always make it a point buy something to take back home. Among the most sought items are fruit preserves, strawberry and ube jams, cashew and peanut brittle, and coco jam.
Next stop, The Botanical Garden. Also known as the Igorot Village, the Botanical Garden features native huts typical of the type of Igorot dwellings found in the Cordilleras. The village is said to capture the ethnic spirit and cultural legacy of the Igorots and being tranquil and quiet, it is a nice place to just sit down and relax, take a leisurely stroll along its narrow and winding pathways and also enjoy the landscape where you will find numerous plants and trees.
The Igorots native will welcome everyone and they're willing to take some memorable photos with you and your family with their traditional clothing.
We already have visited a lot of must-see places at the Baguio City and yet, it’s only around 11 AM, we then decided to have our early lunch. Two of the best places to spend our lunchtime are at The 50’s Diner or The Good Taste Restaurant.
50's Diner is an American retro diner filled with pop culture memorabilia such as posters of American icons, & neon lights. The whole vibe is reminiscent of diners with servers on skates. Their menu includes steaks, pastas, fish and chips - as well as some Pinoy comfort food favorites.
At the same manner, Good Taste Restaurant & Café in Baguio has become a time-honored local favorite when it comes to delicious, affordable food.
This 24/7 establishment leans heavily towards Chinese cuisine, but western pastries like cupcakes and assorted bread are also available.
As we have mentioned that we have two options, however, as “kids” in our group needs to eat more familiar food, we decided to head on at SM Mall 😉
After we had our heavy lunch, yes personally, I have endured 5 orders of rice, imagine that, we head on to our next destination, The BenCab Museum.
BenCab Museum is one of Baguio's frequently visited tourist spots. It is located at Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet. It's about 15-minute drive from Baguio City proper and is also accessible by public transportation. It is home to the art collections of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera popularly known as BenCab. He is considered as a master of contemporary Philippine art. A graduate of Fine Arts from the University of the Philippines, BenCab began carving a niche for himself in Manila's art circles shortly after completing his degree.
BenCab museum is composed of nine galleries and a coffee shop. The galleries include BenCab's collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures.
The village where the Museum is situated, is known to be as the Woodcarver’s village some years ago according to the locals who lived there for God knows how long. As times goes by, a lot of woodcarvers were migrated to the Mountain Province and the village became a series of woodcarvings stores.
After the BanCab museum, before heading to the Strawberry Farm, we will try to visit The Bell Church.
The Bell Church is located north of the downtown area of Baguio along the road leading to the town of La Trinidad, Benguet. Within its compound are intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons.
It has a pagoda, and beautifully landscapped gardens. There are some artifacts about Buddhism that you will find at the Bell Church as well as some literature about the history of China.
It is during the Spring Festival or what is more commonly known in the West as the Chinese New Year that local and foreign Chinese tourists flock to the Bell Church. Like all Chinese festivals, the date of the new year is determined by the lunar/solar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. The observance of the holiday falls on a different date each year and it usually varies from late January to the middle of February. This Chinese public holiday is usually observed for 3 days although the festival traditionally starts with the new moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade.
Needless to say, our final escapade is at The Strawberry Farm. Situated three kilometers from Baguio City proper is La Trinidad Valley whose main attraction is its vast strawberry farms, making it the strawberry capital of the Philippines. Our main reason why we have to visit the Farm besides to witness the Strawberry picking first hand is, we want to buy some 'pasalubong' to our loved ones back to Manila and we're all fortunate enough to buy what we wanted ;-) We have experienced to taste both the Strawberry flavored ice cream and taho ;-)
There you have it folks, our Baguio Day Tour care of ILove Adventours. Though the trip I should say is somewhat tiring, it was all worth it. Hope you can join us on our next escapade or try to suggest other places you have visited at Baguio City so we can experience the same ;-) Feel free to post your comment below ;-)