Baguio is a place close to my heart after living there for five years. I might have been to numerous special places but Baguio remained different. My social media feeds might have photos of adventures from many cities but Baguio’s still my happy pill. When I’m sad, it’s the place I regularly yearn to be in.
I recently accompanied my former officemates to a quick Baguio trip. My aim was to bring them to as many places as I could without making them feel rushed. We arrived early morning and went to Strawberry Farm to buy vegetables because they’re way cheaper there. We then proceeded to the nearby Bell Church and Tam-Awan Village.
Come afternoon, we went to Burnham Park where I met this Samoyed, Leia. The owner was delighted when I started massaging Leia’s ears. Why do you have to be so squishy, Leia? I want to take you home!
Dinner was at Oh My Gulay Artist Café, one of Baguio’s most blogged-about places. The restaurant is on the fifth floor of the La Azotea Building (in front of Zola Café) along Session Road. A seemingly endless staircase will lead you to the penthouse floor where Oh My Gulay will unveil all its artistic glory.
Oh My Gulay serves as Victor Oteyza’s permanent gallery. He was one of the country’s Modern Art pioneers. The artist space regularly holds events and other artists’ exhibits.
Bargain hunters shouldn’t miss out the city’s daily Night Market. Every 9 p.m., Harrison Road transforms into a lively avenue for vendors. Here you can buy clothes for as low as P10! If you can withstand crowds normally reserved for rock stars, this place is for you. There’s a selection of street food stalls to allay your hunger.
Our next day was allotted for Mines View Park and my favorite Camp John Hay. I like how its rustic atmosphere is different from other places in the city where commercial developments are unrelenting.
Baguio made me realize my love for walking, and when I was a student, I used to explore the camp’s winding route and just appreciate the place’s sheer beauty. There’s an abundance of coffee shops and restaurants inside. Apart from strawberries and peanut brittles, you can similarly bring home Manor Hotel’s famous raisin bread.
Enjoying Baguio sans the rushed feeling is entirely possible. You may steer clear from itineraries because everything in the city may be reached within half an hour. It will be helpful as well if you’ll park your vehicle somewhere and just walk to alleviate traffic congestion. Travelling by steps will allow you to relish the city’s chilly temperature too – a genuine scarcity in Manila.
Let’s take into consideration the locals of Baguio. I’m sure they want visitors to experience what Baguio has to offer, but at the same time, it pains them to see how some tourists disrespect the place. Wherever we go, it will certainly be lovelier if we will treat the place like our own homes. :)