Known as The Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City is still a joy and wonder to go to even on a wet season. Friendly taxi drivers, foggy roads, blooming flowers, and strawberry scents will definitely welcome you still in case you do decide to visit one of the country’s mountain cities. That’s what I did though one September day.
From Manila, it’s more reliable to take the bus liner that you trust the most. In my case, it’s Victory Liner. They have by the hour trips to Baguio until midnight. You can even choose to take the standard air-con (Php445) or the deluxe trips (Php715).
I took the five o’clock in the morning trip today and it was the best idea I’ve ever come up so far. Not only that the bus terminal wasn’t crowded at all, I get to choose my favourite window seat, and along the way, the glorious morning sun have applauded my day. With special mention to my soulful Sitti playlist hovering in the background.
And this made me recall the first time I went to Baguio City. Just last May (this year), my mom, my sister, and I went an all-out vacation trip and testified the Summer Capital. The moment we went down the bus, I immediately noticed that as if there was no difference in temperature—inside the bus (with air-con) and outside (Baguio natural air). So, it was THAT cold.
After we settled down, we went to Burnham Park right away. The boat ride session (rent at Php120 per hour) was awesome! Though it’ll make your arms sore during the night.
To top it off, don’t miss the biking session (rent at Php50 per hour) too! My mom sure did enjoy her moment. It would make you remember foolish things about your childhood and your playmates. It was as if people there were allowed to be carefree. Grandfathers, grandmothers, mothers, fathers, ates, kuyas, bunso, sweethearts, and honeypies—they were biking everywhere! It was such a fun site to see. Not to mention the varity of bicycle that were available, depending on what mood you’re in.
Us being with my Auntie Sister (a nun), of course we shouldn’t miss visiting the Baguio City Cathedral. Located at the heart of the city and near SM Baguio, this enormous structure made me remember our cathedral back home.
I was amazed by the only best transportation you can take to go around the city—taxi. And we were able to reach Camp John Hay just by taking a taxi (though I wonder if there’s still some other way). Great pine trees that embraced almost the whole place welcomed us. Made me recall some scenes in the Marvin-Jolina chick flick, Labs kita, Okay ka lang? My sister was definitely awed by the site. Us surrounded by pine trees. Imagining us being in Seattle wasn’t that impossible anymore.
And then we had to visit my aunt’s convent in Nalseb which was a three-hour trip to Benguet (jeep fare at Php45). There’s only one trip though, 5AM going to Baguio and 1PM going back to Nalseb. And believe me when I say that the trip was awfully breathtaking! We were literally traversing along a cliff and the view below seems like we were in the rooftop of a 100-storey building. You can actually see the whole world below with matching puffy clouds and cold sun rays!
The stay in the convent was pretty freaky (don’t ask) and at the same very calming. If you want to be one with the nature that is. The wintry feel of the surroundings, the gigantic pine trees, and that foggy-like air that comes out when you speak made me imagine that as if we were really in the States. So if you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned anything about accommodations, hopefully this will shed you some light. Not to mention that healthy meals we had during our stay, awesomeness.
Going back to the now, well, I am back. Though alone this time. I still encountered friendly taxi drivers, foggy roads, blooming flowers, and that distinct strawberry scent. I went to Nalseb to visit my aunt. And when I came back to the city, I immediately dropped by Maharlika to grab some pasalubong. You can seize some strawberry jams (cheapest: Php25 per bottle), cashew nuts (small bottle: Php90, big bottle: Php120), key chains (cheapest: Php10). You just have to know where and how to discover these cheap finds!