This past weekend was 4 days long for us Manila folk. We took this time to relax, recharge, and free ourselves from the stresses of work.
My husband and I drove up north last Friday, and spent our long weekend in Baguio City. The city is known for its cooler climate, and has been dubbed the City of Pines and the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
Some tips for the Baguio-bound traveller:
- Leave early. Baguio is a 3-4 hour drive from Manila via the NLEX-SCTEX-TPLEX route. However, since it is a popular destination during summer, long weekends, and holidays, it is advisable to leave Metro Manila early in the morning to avoid traffic. Leaving early also ensures that you get to spend the big chunk of your first day in Baguio City enjoying the sights, the food, and the cool air.
- Book your preferred accommodations in advance. There are a lot of hotels and lodges within the city to fit each and every budget. Find one that suits your tastes and needs, and book early to avoid hassles. There are quite a number of listings on AirBnB, as well. My husband and I booked a small house thru AirBnB for our trip, and we couldn’t be happier.
- Plan your itinerary. The City of Pines has a lot of tourist spots! There’s Wright Park for horseback riding; Burnham Park for its numerous Strawberry Taho and Strawberry dirty ice cream vendors, rowboats, expansive gardens, and playgrounds; Camp John Hay for golf, picnics, food tripping, and other fun family activities; the BenCab museum for art appreciation. There’s so much more to do in Baguio that it pays to plan out your itinerary in advance in order to maximize your stay.
- Eat your heart out. Baguio is known for its fresh vegetables and fruits, and this is evident in the dishes they serve. There are a lot of restaurants around the city to cater to every palate. On our first day, we ate at the Ketchup Food Community, which is a compound containing 5 different restaurants (Rancho Norte, Canto, Happy Tummy, Green Pepper, and Rumah Sate). Each restaurant in the “community” serves different cuisine. The best part about this place is that you can sit at one restaurant, and then cross-order from any other restaurant in the compound. Our favorite was the sisig bagnet from Rancho Norte. Yum! Another restaurant worth trying is Cafe by the Ruins, which we believe serves the best longanisang Baguio in town! There are also a lot more restaurants along Session Road and in other parts of the city that we would love to try in the future.
- Relax and have fun! Our trip to Baguio was a welcome respite from the intense heat in Metro Manila, and also from the daily stresses of work. We found that we truly enjoyed ourselves on this trip because we let go, let loose, relaxed, and just savored each and every experience. Breathing in that cool, fresh air left us recharged for the week to come.