I was very excited to go to Baguio when we went there recently. My husband and I have been planning on going there for about two years prior but our schedule and more so, our budget, did not allow it. Thus, we considered it a big blessing when we were finally able to go this time around for free =D. Junmark’s mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles came from the United States for almost a month-long vacation here. They asked our help to plan and manage their leisure trips. So that’s how we ended up traveling around these past weeks.
We initially did not propose Baguio because it was quite far and most of our companions are senior citizens (above 60). However, to our pleasant surprise, travel time has been decreased ever since the completion of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) as shared by my best friend. We immediately presented this possibility to them and it was readily welcomed.
We stayed in Baguio for two nights and two days and checked in at Mountainside Lodging House. I highly recommend this place to families or friends looking for a cheap accommodation. They only charged us Php300 per head per night. They have hot and cold showers and a kitchen with the basic cooking necessities, including a refrigerator. It doesn’t hurt also that they have a very nice veranda with a beautiful view.
We arrived there Monday night after the Holy Week expecting less traffic but sadly, it was still quite heavy. Baguio has increasingly been congested through the years as more people come to settle there due to its cooler climate. Rightly so, it was so cold when we arrived. What a contrast from the heat we escaped from!
For our first day, we went to visit the Strawberry Fields in La Trinidad, Benguet. I had high hopes for this place but it did not measure up to our expectations. We signed up for strawberry picking even if the price for a kilo of the strawberries we’d gather was ridiculously expensive at Php450. Unfortunately, no one could direct us where exactly we could pick those strawberries. We were pointed here and there. So disorganized! How can tourism fluorish in this country? The Philippines is undeniably beautiful but it takes more than just beauty to attract tourists and keep them coming. In the end, our companions just bought strawberries near the entry to the farm for Php150 a kilo. My only consolation were the delightful strawberry dirty ice cream I had and the sight of my favorite flowers, the Alstroemeria or Peruvian Lily. So gorgeous!
On the second day, we ventured to La Presa as popularized by the hit TV drama, Forevermore. That is its screen name but it’s real name is Sitio Pungayan located in Tuba, Benguet. We were uncertain if we could get in as this has been closed to tourists for some time now. Why? Because Filipinos lack enough self-discipline to take their trash with them =(. This issue really irks me. How can one stomach littering in such a breathtaking place? It is so majestic and sacred. How? Why?!?We were also able to dine at the Cafe in the Sky and there can be no better name to describe that place. You can see clouds envelop and pass by the place. We were literally in the sky! We even got stranded because the clouds got so thick when we were about to go and there was zero visibility on the road. I sure welcomed that delay! =pWait, wait, wait! So how about the food? Oh it was good! Sadly, I was not able to take pictures of the delicious food we ate while in Baguio, so sorry =(. It was also very affordable! One time, our bill was only about Php1500! We were 12 in the group. My husband and I also managed to breakaway for a couple of hours and sampled some of the desserts Baguio has to offer along Session Road. Yum! Time, as always, was not enough to taste and see everything. We would definitely come back and I’ll make a proper food blog post then, hehe.