Sunday, September 28, 2014

Baguio Day 3: Wright Park, The Mansion, Geney's Ramyeon House, Book Cafe Under the Tree

We thought that we were to go home after checking out of our hotel but we extended until the afternoon so we had the time check out other places of interest in Baguio. 
Horses at Wright Park
The long weekend was Saturday to Monday but we were there Friday to Sunday.
Sunday came and it was very very congested in Baguio. It's also noticeable that the traffic near the tourists spots was heavy so it's a good thing that we have gone to Mines View Park earlier that day.

The taxi driver asked us if we were going to the Wright Park Riding Circle or just the Wright Park. Clueless we answered, "Kahit saan po 'yung malapit." Hahaha. So he brought us to the Wright Park Circle where there are a lot of horses you can ride for P 300.00/ hour. Horses can be brought out the park for a fee should you want to. The smell of the place can be a little hard to withstand because it's not just one but a lot of horses that you're dealing with so if you're sensitive to smell, you might want to skip the Riding Circle. Not that it's unbearable but I know some who's really sensitive to smelly places eh. 
We saw this stairs and decided to take climb it to see what's upstairs.
Effortlessly climbed the steep stairs because we're healthy like that.

'Yung may mga kabayo, Wright Park Riding Circle.
'Yung nasa taas, Wright Park. 
Weird Looking Tree
Find this beautiful tree in Wright Park.

There is an elongated body of water which, in my opinion, is unkempt. I looked up Wright Park's history in the internet and found out that place is called "Pool of Pines" and the body of water used to be lined with flowering plants. So sad that there are a lot of unkempt park in the City of Pines. :( I kind of understand that these parks don't require tourists to pay for entrance fees but Baguio has been getting a lot of revenues/taxes from tourists so it makes sense that they maintain the beauty of the parks... 
Wright Park Sign
Across Wright Park is the Mansion.

For Instagrammers, you might want to geotag a photo taken there with the correct spelling as in Wright with a W and not Right Park. I saw "Right Park" as one of the location suggestions. Anyhow...

The Mansion was built in 1945 for the U.S governor-generals and this is currently used by the Philippine presidents whenever they go up Baguio for official visits.

And it started raining once again so we hired a cab to take us to Geney's Ramyeon House instead of Botanical Garden which is also found in the area.

"Kuya, Victory Liner po. 'Yung malapit sa SM." - 'Yan sasabihin niyo pag gusto niyo pumunta sa Geney's. 
We saw this place on our first night in Baguio. Hindi talaga namin tinigilan hangga't hindi namin nakakainan. hahaha. 
Skewered Tteokbokki: P 10.00
Geney A Ramyeon

You'll actually find a lot of Korean Restaurants in Baguio since there a lot of Korean nationals living and studying there. I even saw an unlimited Samgyeopsal restaurant near The Mansion.
Second floor of the Session Building is this cafe called Under the Tree Book Cafe which has a very interesting interior.
Aside from a shelf filled with books which you can read while you're there, there are a lot of post it notes from customers on their wall. My Amnesia Girl lang ang peg? haha.

There I am looking for a post that I can relate with and I found one that said, "Anything worth having is worth waiting for." Haaaay. Lord. Give me the courage and wisdom to know if I must continue to wait. Hahaha.

Looking for a Korean Cafe in Manila? Try SHP Bibimbap and Korean Cafe in Taft Area.
My order was Matcha Latte. Isn't it surprising?

I forgot the price but this is good not because the location is far from home but because it's not too diluted and not too creamy for a matcha latte.

 Aside from the ambiance and the taste, you got to love their affordable price plus their free wi-fi connection.

I walked to the counter and before I even opened my mouth, the guy was like:

"Wi-Fi Password?"
"Ay hindi, pahingi ng number mo. Kailangan ko ng textmate." HAHAHAHA.

Ayan. Should you find yourself in Baguio on a rainy day or even on a clear day when you just want to sit and chat with your friends and/or loved one over a cup of any drink with a slice of cake or cream puff, this is the place to be. Woo. Nakahinga rin. Ang haba ng sentence.

Do you know other cafe places in Baguio? Feel free to tell me so we can visit them too. Dami namin anda pang Baguio eh. :))

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Baguio Day 3: Veniz Hotel, Mines View Park, Good Shepherd Convent


The picture below was taken at around 6:30 AM from the 6th floor corridor of  Hotel Veniz. 
Our last day for this trip! Huhu.
Since we don't have a view of the outside from our room, I was surprised when I saw how foggy that morning was. Sige na nga, akala ko nung una e ulan 'yan kaya medyo nalungkot ako pero fog naman pala.
These are only some of the options from their breakfast buffet. Eat-all-you-can kung eat-all-you-can, diba. :))
Then we went to Mines View Park for souvenir hunting. You'll find a lot of souvenir shops in the area. Remember that the cheapest pasalubong you can get isn't always the best even if it seem like a bargain. Product quality oftentimes comes with the price.

At first we thought that the park was closed because of the ongoing renovation but a portion from the side was open. Turns out that they are constructing a better flooring so it would be easy to descend the observation deck.
A picture with the famous Saint Bernard of Mines View Park.
Ang lala lang ng P 50.00 isang shot pero dahil turista, patulan na 'yan! 
Ifugao traditional clothing is also available for rent for P 10.00 at dahil nga turista kami, patulan na 'yan din. 
This is the view from the Mines View Park. The reason why this is called Mines View Park is because it overlooks an abandoned mine which I wasn't able to locate. Never mind that, I'm curious as to how this valley would look like a decade or more from now. I saw a picture of this place taken when it's valley was untouched by developers (not a lot of houses) and when there were still a lot of pine tress. Hmm. Punong-puno na kaya 'yan lalo ng bahay several years from today? Looking at the houses now, it seems to me that Baguio has also started to become congested and who knows how congested it is going to be if the government doesn't intervene with the booming construction. Not saying that I'm 100% against the development but when you look at it, there's a huge possibility na darating 'yung point in the future na itong lugar na 'to, hindi na siya Mines View Park kundi Houses View Park. Sustainable development is something that they should focus on especially when Tourism is one of the major sources of income for Baguio City.  
We then walked towards Good Shepherd Convent kasi kabilin-bilinan nung mga taong naiwan namin sa Manila na bumili ng ube jam galing dito. Ganyan maka-pose dahil wala na kong anda ulit. hahaha. Tawa na lang. A jar of ube costs P 160.00 each but then they only sell two bottles for each customer. 

It should be easy to locate this convent when you're in the area and make sure to go here early because a lot of tourists buy their souvenirs here.
Lines. Lines. I love lines. 
I heard that the lines in Good Shepherd becomes insanely long in the afternoon so be sure to arrive here early especially on a weekend. They accept credit card pala. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Baguio Day 2: Hotel Veniz, The Manor, Night Market (Ukay-ukay)

Pagkatapos ng bagyo, Baguio ulit. 

We went to Hotel Veniz, our home for days 2 and 3.
Look at the fog.
 I suddenly want to experience living in Baguio. Hehehe
Punta na kayo sa Baguio ng rainy season and experience this too. Medyo mahirap lang that you'll have to cancel some plans because of the rain but this view and the feeling of being "one" with the fog is an attraction itself that isn't usually found at other places in our country.

 I don't know the exact reason but even if this looks gloomy and creepy at times, seeing fog floating around me makes me happy.
This was our bed in Hotel Veniz
It's a good budget hotel. For P 600.00/person/night, you get a decent room. Wala nga lang view but it's okay.

Kung mas mataas ang budget, pwede naman mag-hotel na lang kesa transient house. Syempre, iba pa rin 'yung ammenities na meron kung talagang hotel mag s-stay.
LCD TV and aircon

I found it hard to bathe or use their water heater kasi extremes lang 'yung temperature na pino-produce.

Pag ginilid mo 'yung pag-open, unti-unting iinit 'yung water pero darating sa point na 'yung init ng tubig e pwede ng makapagpa-kulo ng egg. Umuusok na nga sa init eh. So ang gagawin mo e igigilid mo ulit para mabawasan 'yung init, tas maya-maya,bigla na naman mawawala 'yung init hanggang sa parang ice cold water na 'yung lumalabas sa shower head. Oh wells, baka 'yung kwarto lang namin may problema nyan.
Free Nescafe classic sticks and chocolate chip cookies.

Hotel Veniz is near Burnham Park and Abanao Square. Its location is very strategic since almost all jeepney routes pass by the area. They have complimentary coffee, toiletries, towels and a free breakfast buffet in the morning. Sulit na ang bayad. However, there is no wi-fi connection in the room so you'd have to stay in the common area to connect.
We went back to Camp John Hay and stayed here at the Manor Hotel for around 3 hours.
The initial plan was to go around Camp John Hay again but it started raining hard when we were about to leave The Manor so obviously, na-scrap 'yun. 

Medyo nagkagulo pa kami after The Manor kaya nakarating kami ng Mines View Park at Good Shepherd Convent nung gabi pero ayoko na i-detalye 'yung nangyari. Ang point, kahit papano kailangan talaga mag-plano para hindi paikot-ikot. Plan pag maganda weather at plan pag hindi maganda para ma-utilize lahat ng oras. 
When we went back to Hotel Veniz to eat dinner, the night market has already been set-up so went down to look around the stalls. Ang tempting bumili ng mga jackets ganyan kasi ang gaganda ng mga ukay dun pero hindi ako nakabili. Huhu. Sana pala bumili na lang ako.

Hotel Veniz or The Manor?

Book your hotel in Baguio. Click here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Everything is a struggle. Being content is good but...

Last Saturday, we waited a long time before finding a jeep to ride. The guy in front shouted, "3 pa. 3 pa." We rode only to find myself squatting in the aisle because the space was too narrow for me to sit in. I got mad at first because that person who called us in was so inconsiderate. Gusto ko na talaga manapak nun. Seryoso. Mas madali pang sumabit sa labas. We stayed nonetheless because we were desperate and we have no other means. Even if my legs were sore after squatting, it was still better than not having a jeepney to ride. I felt contented somehow.

Just before I turned on my laptop tonight, our place had a water supply interruption and we had no stocked water or anything. I went in the kitchen only to find out that we don't have drinking water too. I opened the fridge and inside was a container with water which is, I think, less than 1000 ml. This may not be a big deal because a lot of people don't even have water supply in their house. But for someone who's used to wash her face and body and/or brush her teeth with running water, using 1000ml for everything is a challenge. But 1000ml water is 1000ml. I adjusted. I felt contented. I felt lucky. 

Then I started questioning myself, okay lang kasi nakaraos naman pero kung sa ibang bagay ba na pwede akong mamili? "Am I just going let myself live settling for an okay everytime? Can't I make myself feel that I deserve having/being treated more than what's okay?" 

Sabi kasi nila, "Kapag maiksi ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot." Kaya okay na ko umupo sa gitna ng jeep kahit nagbayad ako ng P 8.50 na kagaya naman ng mga binayaran ng may upuan. Kaya okay na rin ako magtipid ng tubig kahit na meron naman kaming tubig sa labas at pwede kong kunin 'yun kung gusto ko ng 3000ml na tubig. 

Kapag ba gustong gusto kong kumain ng beef tapos binigyan ako ng beef soup na walang laman, okay lang kasi at least meron?

Kapag ba naghanap ako ng jowa tas nandun sa taong 'yun ang ugaling pinaka-ayaw ko e okay na lang kasi at least meron?

Kapag ba may nakita akong lugar na gusto kong puntahan pero wala naman akong pera na pwedeng gastusin e okay lang na wag na kong mangarap makapunta dun?

Kasi dapat maging masaya na ko sa buhay na meron ako... ganun ba?

Hay, pwede naman siguro pagkasyahin ang sarili sa maiksing kumot pero pag tumatagal na hindi ba pwedeng, "Kung maiksi ang kumot edi bumili ng bago." "Kung maiksi ang kumot edi magtahi ng pandugtong." Mga ganyang kasabihan para lang maiba. Wala namang masama sa pagiging kontento pero hindi rin masama magmatapang at mangarap ng iba. Magkaiba kasi 'yung contentment at walang ginagawa.

Yes, being contented with our lives is a good thing but the situation is different when you want to change something yet do nothing about it. Wala lang, gusto ko parati ipaalala sa sarili ko na kahit gusto kong maging grateful at maging kontento sa buhay, hindi masamang gustuhin na mas mapabuti pa ang sitwasyon ko dahil deserve ko naman 'yung the best at keri ko naman maghirap para makuha kung anuman 'yun. Why settle, diba, when I have the ability to transform my situation? Why settle when I know I deserve more? It's difficult to unlearn the mindset of being fine as long as we are able to get by and it's scary to risk for something unknown but it has to be done. But what's worst? Staying because we feel okay with not facing our fear/pain because it is "safer and familiar" to stay than try to walk away and face the "new and better". 

Are we really content or are we just settling because we believe that we have no choice? Remember that there's always a room for improvement.

 Life is what we make it. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Baguio Day 2: Cafe by the Ruins, La Trinidad Strawberry Field

We checked out at Tuvera Pension House and transferred to a hotel near Burnham Park, Veniz Hotel. 
We ate our brunch here at Cafe by The Ruins.

We were asked if we were okay to wait for 30 minutes before they gave our seats because the restaurant was packed. We were more than willing to fall in line even if we were really hungry just so we could find out why this restaurant is one of the famous ones in Baguio. 
Andun ako sa M. HAHAHA SOMEDAY. Dahil dyan, categorized muna ko under optimists and foodies. 
If you're wondering why the place's name is Cafe by the Ruins, then you'll be shocked behind the reason why it was named that way.

Kasi, nasa ruins siya. Diba, nakakagulat? Pati ako, hindi ko iisipin na ganito 'yun eh. Hahaha. It's a ruins of a house which was destroyed during the World War II.

I wasn't able to take a picture of the whole place but it is beautifully designed and very cozy. 
But as for the service and the food, I honestly don't get why this place keeps on getting the raves.

Sobrang na turn-off lang siguro talaga ko sa waiter nung sinabi niyang, "Alam niyo naman po siguro kung bakit matagal 'yung service, madami po kasing tao." Okay, not the exact words he said but 'yan 'yung naging dating sa'kin and I really think that shouldn't even be said to a customer. Nakisabay din 'yung service water nila sa pagiging rustic vibe kasi lasang rust. huhubells. 
P 330.00/order

Anyhow, this was my order. Okay naman siya but it didn't make me happy. I mean, I paid more than P 300.00 for a meal so nag-expect na ko na mas may satisfaction pa pero waley, busog lang ata. Walang "Ahhh, kaya pala nila gusto dito." factor. Ang hirap pati kainin nung meat kasi hindi kasya sa bibig ko 'yung shreds kung anuman tawag dun.

But then as I looked at other diners, it seemed that they were okay with everything. Ang reklamadora ko lang ba? Hmm... idk.

Cafe by the Ruins, para sa'kin, ay maikukumapara sa isang crush ng bayan na hindi ko makita kung san banda o kung pano siya nagustuhan ng maraming tao. Nakapunta ka na ba dun? Ano kaya 'yung meron siya na hindi ko nakita? 
After eating, we rode a taxi to La Trinidad's Strawberry Field. Medyo malayo siya sa Baguio kasi nga La Trinidad area na nga. If you don't like to ride a taxi, you can opt to ride a jeep (via Halsema Hi-way. Di ko alam kung anong route). 

Our taxi driver took the mountainous route to La Trinidad. Hindi rin siya nagkulang sa pagiging tour guide and we learned a lot of things from him kasama na 'yung pagre-recruit niyang bumili na rin kami ng bahay sa Benguet. He also pointed to us the casualties of the Typhoon Sendong last 2011 and until the moment we were to alight his taxi, he taught us where to ride the jeepney back to Baguio City.

My friend and I weren't looking at the taxi meter 'cause we were busy sightseeing and we both got surprised that our fare only amounted to P 130.00. E 'yung pamasahe na 'yan mula lang sa bahay pa-SM North pag traffic eh. Ang laki nung tulong ng P 30.00 na flag down rate at P 2.50 na added payment for additional meters. Haaay, kelan kaya Manila? Ni hindi nga nagpadagdag si Kuya kahit malayo. To think that the distance from Cafe by the Ruins to the Strawberry field is maybe even farther than the distance of our home in Tandang Sora, Quezon City to Mall of Asia in Pasay City. 
Tadaah! My much awaited strawberry field which is currently a lettuce field.

Strawberry harvest season in La Trinidad is from December to May. No wonder we didn't see fresh strawberries being sold anywhere when we went there. Excited pa naman ako kasi nahihilig ako sa strawberries recently. A reason to be back! hahaha. Ngayon pa ba Baguio na madali ka lang pala puntahan?? Bwahaha. 
Saan galing ang lettuce mo? 

It started drizzling so we left the field.

Tapos si Kuya na nagbebenta ng taho na nadaanan namin papuntang field,
"Ayan Mam ah. Hinintay namin kayo talaga kasi sinabi niyo bibili kayo pagbalik niyo."

So we ordered two taho (P 40.00 each) tapos dalawa sila Kuya na nagtitinda at tig-isa sila na nagbigay sa'min para parehong may benta. Hinahati talaga nila 'yung customers. Bakit ako nata-touch sa mga ganung bagay? Pinabait ata talaga ko ng Baguio. hehehehehehe. 
Nakakatawa rin ng marketing strategy nila Kuya na nagbebenta ng strawberry taho saka strawberry ice cream kasi ang main selling point nila ay may libreng Wi-Fi para ma-Instagram daw 'yung products nila na ginawa ko naman kahit napeke ako dahil walang Wi-Fi. hahahaha. Okay, obvious naman walang wi-fi pero "nagpaloko" pa rin kame kasi ginusto rin. Haha! Make sure to buy strawberry taho when you're in Baguio not only for a delicious experience but also to help the locals with their livelihood. You may also upload photos in your social media sites to spread the word na ang taho at ice cream sa Baguio, hinaluan na ng Wi-fi connection para hindi hassle sa mahilig mag-IG at para mas hi-tech.

We rode a taxi back to Baguio City only this time the driver passed through the Halsema Hiway route which is also okay and was a bit faster. Pero I think dependent 'yun sa traffic kasi mas maraming kotse sa area na 'yun. I suggest that when you go there, you also take the routes we took just so you can see more places.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Baguio Day 2: Camp John Hay (Historical Core and Treetop Adventure)

After Panagbenga park, we took a taxi to Camp John Hay. We arrived there at around 7:30 AM and were too early - sarado pa lahat. We asked our driver to drop us off at Treetop Adventure but he didn't know where it was so we alighted the taxi near the gate thinking Camp John Hay is not that big but we were wrong, so wrong. 

Trade and Cultural Baguio
Facing this sign, we walked rightwards and we reached a call center building and restaurant complex, similar to that of Ayala Triangle Gardens or Technohub. It was obviously the wrong side of Camp John Hay so we asked the guard and he told us to continue walking (pa-leftwards pala dapat) until we reach Le Monet Hotel and turn right. We misheard him and we were looking for Lemerick Hotel. haha
Pine Trees Road
Although it's something that we're spending a beautiful morning walking in Baguio, it was still hard to walk in Camp John Hay since the landscape is mostly uphill and even harder when we see fast cars passing by us. Yan, morning exercise pala ah. 

Even if the guard told us that Treetop Adventure is on the right side, we got fooled upon seeing Paintball Republic which is on the left side. Siya pa mali sa isip namin tapos inakala namin 'yun na 'yun kasi may zipline din kaya tinigil na namin maghanap ng adventure. We continued walking to look for the Cemetery of Negativism para naman may mapala kami...
And we saw the sign. We saw the sign!! :))
This time following the guard's instruction, we walked rightwards reaching a mini-golf course (thinking that was the cemetery of Negativism) and Arabica Coffee Company/Plantation. Hindi namin alam kung ano na so we just went straight ahead hoping that we were near our destination only to find out that we have entered an "exclusive village" in Camp John Hay called Scout Hill. Houses in this area are American styled or what they call Forest Cabin Houses. Ang sossy!
After touring the entire Scout Hill, we finally reached the place that we've been looking for! Pagkatapos ng maraming pagod at maraming lakad. 
I was ecstatic upon seeing this view from Liberty Loop. Huhu. Nasa katapat lang namin 'yung ulap eh. I took a picture with a replica of the statue of liberty again and as far as I know, whenever I take pictures with a replica, napupunta ko dun sa lugar na 'yun pagkatapos ng ilang taon. Yan, yan. I don't know how and I don't know when but I'm claiming it. Someday, New York!! 
We arrived there around 45 minutes early before the opening time so the guard asked us to tour around the "free taste" of the Cemetery of Negativism first.

It wouldn't hurt to know the opening time of the attractions you're visiting kaya pumunta kayo rito ng 9 AM. hehehe.
We went back at the gate of Historical Core and even before the opening time, the guard (naawa siguro) told us to buy our tickets so we can enter already. I wasn't able to put watermarks in the pictures taken inside the cemetery so they're just for you to find out. Pero 'yung nakasulat sa tomb na 'to na message galing dun sa nakaisip, "- as you leave this hill remember that the rest of your life, be more positive." Sana natuto ako mula kina, Can't Be Done, Why Diden't I saka kay Won't Be Used!! Huhuhuhuhu. Ayoko maging kagaya nila at dahil dyan, positive nga ako na hindi ako magiging kagaya nilaaaaa. Ang galing lang nung nakaisip gawin 'to. Totoo naman na ang most limiting factor nating mga tao ay tuwing nagiging negative na tayo, diba? 
Uyyy, nagpaparamdam talaga sa'kin ang Panagbenga Festival 2015. I'll see you next year, Baguio!! 
This Library Museum was under renovation...
Already more than a hundred years old, this Bell House is named after General Franklin Bell and this served as the official vacation residence of the then Commanding General.

Nakakaloka si Kuya Guard nung nagpaalam kaming pumasok dito.

"Kuya, pwede po ba mag-picture?"
"Opo, wag niyo lang kukunan 'yung mga kasama naming multo."

Outside was this beautiful garden/amphitheater. This is still part of the Historical Core and you can rent this place for a Baguio Garden Wedding. Sige, sa 25th wedding anniversary ko, dito na lang. Sa 50th na lang 'yung sa Manila Cathedral. hahahaha. The garden, same with the bell house, is well-maintained and clean. 
We tried walking and learning from this history trail but it was too tiring. If this trail contains more than 100 year history of Baguio/ Camp John Hay, nakakahiya man pero sumuko na kami pagkatapos ng 20 years. Hahahaha. We learned a bit though and it's so amazing how the place transformed to the Baguio we now know - a home to many families, a place where you can commune with nature, and a place to learn history. ANO RAW!? Naguluhan din ako sa sinabi ko. Pero 'yang picture sa taas used to be the Kennon Road before the road was constructed. Hahahaha. K. K. Ang hirap ah. 
After learning from the historical core we checked if Treetop Adventure was already open and it was. :)))
Here is the current price list of the Treetop Adventure. We availed Package A which consists of Canopy, Funicular, Trekking and Skywalk. Pag bumalik kami rito, magbabaon na ko ng P 1,000.00 so I can try all the activities they have. 
Ito 'yung canopy. Para lang siyang combination ng duyan saka cable car na iba't ibang stages. Availing package A shall take you 30 minutes to an hour.
Treetop Adventure in Baguio
While riding the canopy, this is one of the views you can see. Kitang kita ang clouds saka 'yung Cordillera Central Mountain Range. Breathtaking, diba? Literally and figuratively. Saka san ka pa makakahanap ng lugar na maaapakan mo na 'yung pinaka-taas ng pine trees? Waley! Pag nakasakay ka lang sa canopy mo magagawa 'yon.
This is the skywalk. Medyo mataas 'yung location niyan.
And here's your view upon reaching the end of the skywalk. 
Pabalik na kami sa taas and we rode this Funicular. Minera feels. 
'Yung mga Kuya na umaalalay sa mga guests ng Treetop Adventure ay friendly lahat. Kailangan 'yun para dun sa mga natatakot.
This marks the end of our Historical Core Walking Tour and Tree Top Adventure.

There are more attractions in Camp John Hay aside from the ones that I have here 'cause we weren't able to explore the whole place. Madami naman iba't ibang klaseng restaurants na makakainan, maraming pwedeng gawin at malawak ang pwedeng lakaran at tamabayan so if ever you're going here, you may allot a whole day of touring and you still won't run out of things to do.
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