Baguio is My Happy Place

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baguio morning

I grab every chance I get to go to Baguio City. It’s my happy place. I remember many summers past spent with the family, visiting familiar landmarks. There were also some solo trips when I was simply happy to be wandering around, going nowhere in particular, just observing people and looking out for new places to explore.

I was happy to be back in Baguio this weekend to accompany friends for a much-needed work break. It was a short 2-day stay. It felt even shorter because I wasn’t feeling too well, with a nasty cough that didn’t want to be left in Manila.

It was one friend’s first time to be in Baguio, and it felt good to introduce her to the Baguio we commonly see and hear about.

pma baguio

This was as far as we can get to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). The guards wouldn’t let us go farther because, as the guard showed us a list of rules on paper, those who are wearing slippers can’t go past the gates. We argued that we didn’t know anything about the slippers rule, but of course, ignorance excuses no one. Having gone there several times in the past, I didn’t know they had that rule. I didn’t have the energy to argue further and press for an explanation.

I wish the PMA administration would post their visiting rules in a small billboard by the gate. That way, drivers and locals would remember to warn tourists to wear shoes when going to the PMA. 🙂

Our taxi driver was apologetic for forgetting to tell us about the slippers rule. Not his fault, really. But he made up for this memory lapse by driving through inside Camp John Hay on our way to Mines View Park, passing by the Manor Hotel, and the restaurant row.

mines view park baguio

What’s to see at Mines View Park? Nothing on the mines, but a lot of locally made products are sold here- food, plants, souvenir items, clothes and household items. Plus photo-op stops like the one above, along with the big dog and the miniature horse where you pay a fee to pose with the animals. The Good Shepherd Convent store is nearby, where we bought ube jam for pasalubong.

burnham park baguio

Boating at the man-made lake at Burnham Park is part of every first-timer to Baguio’s must-do activities list.

ukay ukay at harrison baguio

Something to do at night. Ukay-ukay in the dark starts at 9pm till about 1am, if I remember correctly what one seller told me. It’s along Harrison Road along the stretch of Burnham Park. Many wares are sold here- clothes, bags, shoes, perfumes, toys- all at rock-bottom prices. Although I’d much prefer to go to the permanent ukay-ukay stalls in the daytime to better inspect the quality of the items.

strawberry farm la trinidad

La Trinidad’s Strawberry Farm is not much to look at this season. But it’s still a good place for a first time tourist to see the strawberry fields and other vegetable farms nearby.

The taxi driver who took us to La Trinidad didn’t go through the usual route, which was via congested Magsaysay Ave. Instead, from Asin Road where we flagged the taxi, he used a long, winding road passing through Pinsao Proper. I wasn’t familiar with this road where we also passed the entrance to Tam-awan Village. But the road gave us a great view on the uphill of the lush mountains with beautiful pine trees, and on the downhill a spectacular view of the La Trinidad landscape. Little things that we take for granted, like avoiding traffic, sometimes give us a new perspective and better appreciation of what’s around us.

baguio at dusk

The first and last pictures on this post are my dawn and dusk view from the bedroom window. I find comfort in looking out the window seeing this view.

I love Baguio’s cool air. So refreshing from the lowland’s high temperatures. I love that there are so many things to do and see here. I love that it’s easy to travel around the city using public transportation. I hate the heavy traffic, though, and the new buildings that obstruct the view of the mountains.

So many places to see, but so little time. I’ll be back soon.


3 thoughts on “Baguio is My Happy Place

    1. mas Post author

      Yeah, I read somewhere about the Strawberry Festival. but I won’t be in Baguio during that time. Maybe in mid-April.


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