CHRISTMAS BREAK IN BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES | British & Far East Traders Lifestyle & Shopping Blog
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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. 

    

   

Tupig is a native ilocano delicacy

 

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. 

   

 

Wild Sunflowers along the road to Baguio City
Tall Pine Trees by the mountainside and roadside render Zen to the weary traveller. There is a sense of peace and calm around here.

 

AMBUKLAO DAM VIEW DECK

 From this view deck, you can see Ambuklao Dam’s spill way. During rainy season, the dam’s spillway is quite a spectacular sight. The river below the dam is like a swollen green ribbon when the spillway is in full throttle. When this photo was taken, the river was quite at a low level so there wasn’t much to see. 
   
   
 
Take time to have a short break here. The engines are probably worked up from the climb. Give the engines some rest while you enjoy the views offered by the expansive Ambuklao Dam.
  
  
  
  
 

 

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. 

  

Learn more…

 

 

 
  
  
  
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 

 

 

ELEMENTS BUFFET, 

NEWTOWN PLAZA HOTEL, 

BAGUIO CITY

    

Address30 C.M. Recto St, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

   

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 not 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 BAKERY, 

NEWTOWN PLAZA HOTEL, 

BAGUIO CITY

 
 
 

 

OUTSIDE HOUSING & LAND USE 

REGULATORY BOARD (HLURB) 

& NEDA REGIONAL OFFICE- 

BAGUIO CITY

Pine trees abound in Baguio City, thus its also known as Pines City or City of Pines.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

BAGUIO BOTANICAL GARDENS

 

 

 WRIGHT PARK BAGUIO CITY

 

     

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AROUND BAGUIO CITY

Christmas lights abound in Session Road, Burnham Park, and Camp John Hay.  
 
 
  
 
 
 
 

 

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. 

 

Learn more…

 

LE MONET GARDEN

 

 

SM CITY BAGUIO

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

BURNHAM PARK, BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES

 

 

IGOROT STAIRS, BAGUIO CITY

    

IGOROT STAIRS

Dedicated to the people of the Philippine Cordillera

September 28, 1995

The sculptured giant wooden status 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)

         
In the late 16th century the Spaniards colonized the Philippines. 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. 
When the Americans came into the Cordilleras 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. 
On June 1 1903, 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. 
  
   
The city prospered in the year before World War II 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. 
   
   
On July 16, 1990, a great earthquake devastated the city, 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.  
Today, Baguio City is a self governing member of the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR). It is composed of the province of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao (where the famous Banaue Rice Terraces are located), Kalinga Apayao and the Mountain Province. 
The IGOROT STAIRS was conceptualized by Rod Ongpauco, Restaurateur and Nationalist. 
   
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 

 

TSOKOLATERIA AT IGOROT STAIRS, BAGUIO CITY

    
Parking in Tsokolateria is accessed via a very steep driveway 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.
  
Tsokolateria is famous for all things Cacao or Cocoa. 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. Enjoy!
 
 

 

STRAWBERRY FARM, 

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.