HOW TO MAKE THE MOST
OF YOUR CHRISTMAS BREAK
IN BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES
RELAX | UNWIND | TRAVEL | ZEN |
HOLIDAYS | CHRISTMAS | FESTIVE |
WELCOME TO BAGUIO CITY: CITY OF PINES
Escape to the Philippines version of a Winter Wonderland…
TUPIG: AN ILOCANO STICKY RICE DELICACY
Tupig is a native ilocano rice cake delicacy
with added coconuts, brown sugar, and sometimes peanuts.
It is shaped into a thin strip and wrapped in banana leaves.
It is finished on a special charcoal grill to toast it a bit
and to release the aroma of banana leaves.
You can buy tupig in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya.
The vendors usually frequent the Buko (Coconut) Pie stop overs
which also abound in the area.
The most famous among these shops is G&B
and you must try their famous Buko pie, Pineapple pie and now Ube pie.
KAYAPA ROAD LEADING TO BAGUIO
Kayapa Road is a shortcut you can take from Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya.
It’s a high & winding road but can take you to Baguio City in no time:
an average of 2 hours drive from Bambang town proper.
The road offers beautiful sceneries for nature lovers & bloggers alike.
The pine-scented breeze is also a beautiful feature of this road.
This road is quite narrow and landslides and roadcuts are a usual feature.
The road sides facing the cliff are usually not protected by a wall
so extra care is needed when driving along this route
as you don’t want to drive yourself into the ravine.
We suggest you only drive on along this route during fair weather
and during the day as there arent much established stopovers
or gas stations along the road
which you can take a safe break or ask for help.
Also, the roadcuts are a very dangerous occurence here,
and for first world trained driver,
you will quite often see that the health & safety feature
of the warnings are very poor
and appear quite late in the drive.
You will quite often see vehicles overheating along the way
as their small machines are overworked with the continuous ascent.
Some weakly powered vehicles are advised to have their windows opened
once in a while and to have the airconditioning switched off
so as to give the engine some respite.
As the views are what you really hope for in this route,
there isn’t much point travelling here at night,
unless youre a regular traveller along the route
who just need a quick trip to and from Baguio City and the valleys.
If the weather is nice, this road is really worth the drive.
Along the way keep an eye for a fork on the road
to the right because this is where the adventurers
and adventurers at heart take the road to Mount Pulag,
the highest peak along the route.
From the main road, Mount Pulag is about 7km away.
About halfway through this road is Ambuklao Dam,
which is a reservoir and a power station at the same time.
AMBUKLAO DAM VIEW DECK
THE COURTYARDS CONDOMINIUMS
BY GOSHENLAND CAPITAL, BAGUIO CITY
The development is a simple project,
not over the top but you will find that the units are well-thought out
in terms of economical use of space.
With their loft condo units, you will find that the floor space is not that big
but it does not feel crowded.
What you can really appreciate is the Igorot’s take on life,
simple and yet utilitarian,
no wonder they can be very successful
even with very little resources as compared to their lowland counterparts.
NEWTOWN PLAZA HOTEL,
At the time of writing, be ready to shell out around 950 PHP or about 15 GBP.
This is quite an affordable treat considering what you get for that price:
red wines, beers, vodka, fish, chicken & meat dishes,
pasta & rice, fruits, desserts, soup, and many more.
The ambiance is of a very good standard
and the waiting staff are all very friendly and helpful.
You can come to the restaurant as a walk-in customer
or you can reserve specially when its peak season.
If you come to dine here during the day,
you will find it a welcome fact that
Baguio Botanical Gardens is just across the road.
You can enjoy a stroll around the gardens
to burn off some few calories after a heavy meal.
If you’re not quite into walking,
we still believe soaking up a bit of nature is a good way
to let your experiences sink in to your being.
Its a good time to meditate how have you been blessed
no matter where you are in life.
It’s nice to contemplate that we don’t actually need as much material things in this world.
What makes life truly rich is how we process our life’s experiences
and how we embrace the lessons life has taught us so far.
In the hustle and bustle of the CITY,
some needed ZEN time is a must.
GINGERBREAD HOUSE CHRISTMAS TREE
GINGERBREAD HOUSE BAKERY,
NEWTOWN PLAZA HOTEL,
OUTSIDE HOUSING & LAND USE
REGULATORY BOARD (HLURB)
& NEDA REGIONAL OFFICE-
BAGUIO BOTANICAL GARDENS
WRIGHT PARK BAGUIO CITY
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AROUND BAGUIO CITY
OUTSIDE THE COURTYARD CONDOMINIUMS
BREAKFAST BUFFET AT LE MONET BAGUIO
If you wish to have a fusion of Western & Filipino breakfast,
then Le Monet can cater to your needs.
There is nothing very special with the buffet
but if you wish to have a peaceful and quiet breakfast,
Le Monet can be on your shortlist.
LE MONET GARDEN
SM CITY BAGUIO
BURNHAM PARK, BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES
IGOROT STAIRS, BAGUIO CITY
Dedicated to the people of the Philippine Cordillera
September 28, 1995
carved in the heart of the Cordillera mountains
by master carvers of Baguio and neighbouring mountain tribes
represents the heritage and legacy of traditions
symbolizing the highlanders proud and ancient culture.
Their spiritual and physical freedom
persisted for more than three centuries,
however western influence eventually prevailed.
This affected the lives and religion of these people.
HISTORY OF KAFAGWAY (BAGUIO)
Seven years after the Spaniards settled in Manila,
a Spaniard, Juan Salcedo went to the North into the mountains to search for gold.
He then stumbled into a land of fertile valleys,
virgin forests, and ore rich streams.
Gold was found and armies of soldiers, priests and fortune hunters came.
Numerous battles with fierce mountain tribes
resulted in loss of life and livelihood.
The Spaniards found the mountain people difficult to rule,
thus they parceled the commandancies into rancherias
that they placed in the hands of the landed gentry.
after Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States of America
for $20,000,000 in the year 1898,
the area was a rancheria of twenty houses owned by the Carino clan,
the wealthiest family in the Benguet province.
The Americans found the pine covered hills and the cool heights
ideal for summer retreat from the smelting heat of the lowlands.
The wide low valley of Kafagway was found in the year 1900.
Baguio was derived from the abundant moss like green plants
the aboriginal inhabitants called Bigyiw.
Also in the year 1900, the Americans established the first civil government in Benguet.
Kafagway which is now known as Baguio became the Capital.
a resolution was passed by the American colonial government
naming the town of Baguio the summer Capital of the Philippines.
They built the Kennon road and completed it in three years.
It became the first road to connect Manila to the Mountain Province.
but was destroyed by the repeated bombings during liberations
by the American air force who wanted to flesh out the dreaded Japanese
under General Yamashita.
From the ruins Baguio rose into a city
that grew into a commercial and educational center of the Cordilleras.
destroying many of its buildings and commercial establishments.
A year later after the killer quake, Baguio has risen,
a new city, proud of its rich heritage and legacy.
It is composed of the province of Abra, Benguet,
Ifugao (where the famous Banaue Rice Terraces are located),
Kalinga Apayao and the Mountain Province.
TSOKOLATERIA AT IGOROT STAIRS, BAGUIO CITY
and if you are not used very steep drives,
you might as well just park in SM City Baguio
because it is just a short walk to Tsokolateria.
Parking by the roadside is not advised as Baguio City
is very strict in terms of parking regulations,
you might find your vehicle towed or your registration plate removed
by traffic enforcers if you are not careful.
Enjoy Filipino homecooked dishes with a touch of chocolate–yum!!
Whether you are here for the food, the ambiance, or the gastronomic adventure,
all of these goals are generously satisfied.
We highly recommend Cebu Lechon Kawali,
Waffle, Drinking Chocolate, Mocha drink, and Beef Tapa.
Just a word of advice:
go easy on the chocolate drink or mocha
if you haven’t eaten your meal yet because these drinks
are very rich you will find yourself feeling full in no time.
LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET
Admission and parking is free of charge in Strawberry farm at the time of writing.
You will find several ice cream vendors
selling strawberry- flavoured (of course) ice cream (sorbetes in Filipino).
You’ll immediately notice millenial-targeted marketing messages
by the ice cream vendors which if you understand Taglish (fusion of Tagalog & English) ,
you’ll find the messages quite entertaining.
We were told that the strawberries are still very young for picking
so picking is not yet allowed.
Usually the strawberries are ready for picking around February
so it could be worth planning around that month-
perhaps a good outing for couples during Valentines Day (if you’re the cheesy type lol!).
If you couldn’t wait for that month,
you won’t get disappointed either because fresh strawberries
abound in the shops just beside the carpark.
Expect to pay around 150 Php for the small packs
to around 500 Php for the big ones.
You will find that the shops also sell different kinds of pasalubong
(goodies you give to your near & dear ones when you come back from your travels)
such as snacks, fruits, and jams & other preserves.
Breathtaking views offered by the road to La Trinidad, Benguet.