- Page 1 – Late Dinner & Upstairs Bed and Bath
- Page 2 – Beyond the City Tour (Tuba, La Trinidad)
- Page 3 – Roam the City (Our Itinerary and Budget Expenses)
Day 1 – February 2, 2017, 0700H – Baguio Cathedral
Recuperated from yesterday’s humdrum, we woke up early at around 0600H and prepared ourselves for the adventures of the day. Our friend, Angela, created our itinerary for this spontaneous trip.
From our accommodation, we walked along Leonard Wood Road going to Baguio Cathedral. The sunlight was painting the whole city this time and the weather was better than yesterday. No trace of rain, no clouds to shroud, only the beauty of the morning that dominates the day. Having a trip in Baguio needs a lot of walking and we loved it. The wind was still freezing cold and I think our two-layer clothing is not enough to warm our bodies.
We went first to Baguio Cathedral and started our journey with a prayer. It was my first time visiting this cathedral. Some people believed that you must make a wish on every new church you visited. In my case, I didn’t make one. I just expressed my gratitude for our safe trip going to the city and I think that’s enough.
From Baguio Cathedral, we sauntered our way to Baguio City Hall. Along the way, I had a glimpse of the morning routine of the people in Baguio. There were students bolting to their schools, professionals busy navigating their smartphones, sellers preparing their stores and elders dancing in Burnham park with full grace and motion. I adore their simplistic lifestyle which is comparable to the people living in Manila.
Our next destination is the La Trinidad Strawberry Farm. La Trinidad is the capital of Benguet and it is located a few kilometers away from the city. There are a lot of jeeps parked along Baguio City Hall and we took a jeepney ride going to the strawberry farm.
February 2, 2017, 0800H – La Trinidad Strawberry Farm
We arrived at La Trinidad Strawberry Farm around 0800H. It was a weekday when we visited the place hence there were only a few travelers visiting the place. The farmers were really friendly and accommodating in Benguet. Their welcoming nature is as sweet as their strawberries freshly picked in the morning. We didn’t attempt to pick some strawberries because we didn’t have any proper storage in our dorm room and the strawberries might spoil. Instead, we tried and tasted their luscious strawberries on spot. For more details about our experience in La Trinidad Strawberry Farm, click here.
There were also sorberteros (ice cream vendors) present outside the farm. We tried their famous strawberry ice cream and it was heavenly. This is the best strawberry ice cream I ever tasted. Without any exaggerations, their ice cream is truly flavorful. The strawberries in the ice cream kept on saturating my palates with explosions of both sweet and sour. We spent PHP 30.00 (USD 0.65) per cone and it was all worth it.
We also bought some cool bonnets and head gears on a nearby store from the strawberry farm. Souvenirs here in Benguet were cheap but with high quality. Click here to check our travel guide to La Trinidad Strawberry Farm.
February 2, 2017, 1000H – Brunch at Calajo Restaurant
After almost two hours of exploring the farm and tasting their strawberries, we went to Calajo Restaurant for our brunch. The restaurant is famous for their locally inspired Cordillera dish and common Filipino cuisine. Calajo is located only a few meters away from the strawberry farm. A short walk from the farm will get you to this popular restaurant in La Trinidad.
We tried their chopseuy and chicken pinikpikan. With the lessons learned from Good Taste Restaurant last night, we pruned our servings from 5-6 to 3-4. This time, we got everything right. Click here to read more about experience in Calajo Restaurant.
February 2, 2017, 1120H – Valley of Colors
After brunch, we took a jeep from Calajo Restaurant going to the Stobosa Mural also known as the “Valley of Colors”. This was an ordinary place converted into a beautiful scenery. Spearheaded by the local government and with the help from the community of Stobosa (Stonehill, Botiwtiw and Sadjap), they created a such marvelous work of art. Click here to know more about the meaning of Stobosa Mural.
The community is located across the Balili River with a hanging bridge connecting the community to Halsema Highway. One local told me that these colorful houses represents a gargantuan flower which symbolizes the famous Panagbenga Flower Festival celebrated annually in February. We didn’t appreciate the overall image of the mural since we were viewing the community at a low angle. Eager to see the “flower” image, we asked some locals in the area for a higher spot available in viewing the Stobosa Mural. The locals then directed us to an unexpected place.
February 2, 2017, 1200H – Discovering Sitio Cogcoga
In front of the glorious Stobosa Mural is the community of Cogcoga. The community is positioned on a mountain parallel to the Stobosa Mural and it can only be accessed by a steep cemented stairway.
The climb was a little bit difficult for us because of its steepness, yet the view is rewarding when we reached the community. The people living in the area were surprised by us since their place was rarely visited by travelers. Still, we weren’t able to view the “flower” in the mural but we were able to converse with the locals living in the area. I admire their community, even though it is positioned on a mountain edge, the view is simply exhilarating.
In Manila, we have gray skyscrapers, extreme traffic, polluted air and a brownish sky. Here, you are one with nature. The air they breathe is clean and plantations and vegetation are abundant making the people of Benguet healthy and fit.
Visiting Sitio Cogcoga was not part of our itinerary and I considered it an unexpected discovery.
February 2, 2017, 1330H – BenCab Museum
We went back in the city and from there, we took a jeep going to BenCab Museum. The museum is located in Tuba, Benguet and it is one of the most beautiful museums I ever visited. Located on a promontory surrounded with tropical forests, the museum is perfectly blended with nature. The fog was shrouding the whole location when we arrived and I think it’s magical. Click here to see more about BenCab Museum.
We paid for the entrance fee in the lobby of the museum, then we entered to a place filled great treasures. We learned a lot about the culture and heritage of the Cordilleras expressed from paintings to sculptures displayed all over the museum.
There’s a café located at the ground floor and it overlooks the green garden of BenCab Museum. The café is great for chilling out while enjoying your tasty, nutritious meal which is made from fresh ingredients in their own organic farm. We also spent our afternoon in the garden sharing good stories and enjoying the beautiful scenery. The relaxing ambiance melted our tiredness from the unexpected climb in Sitio Cogcoga. Click here to know more about Café Sabel.
February 2, 2017, 1630H – Siesta Time
We went back to our accommodation around 1630H and it’s been a tiring day. We had our siesta for the meantime to restore energy needed for the rest of the night.
February 2, 2017, 2000H – Dinner at 50s Diner
As the night gets deeper, the temperature gets colder. We woke up around 1900H, prepped and took a cab going to 50s Diner for our dinner. I felt so refreshed after that short siesta. My energies were even more rejuvenated after delighting ourselves from the sumptuous Gansta Gangsta of 50s Diner. Click here to know more about our experience in 50s Diner.
February 2, 2017, 2100H – Baguio Night Market
From 50s Diner, we headed our way to the Night Market in Harrison Road. There were so many people in the market that night. Most finds in the market were jackets, scarves, bonnets, selfie-sticks, mountaineering items and a whole lot more. The prices were really cheap and I bought a beautiful woven scarf for my mother. There were a lot of backpacks in the market and I was tempted to buy one, yet I resisted.
This Baguio Night Market opens at around 2100H to 0200H. Street foods were also present in the area in case you get hungry while exploring different stores.
February 2, 2017, 2230H – Baguio Craft Brewery
Wrapping up the night, we took a cab and went to Baguio Craft Brewery. Many friends of mine suggested that we should visit this place. They offer great tasting draft beers and it’s brewed on site.
We stayed at the rooftop of the building and enjoyed our drink while savoring the scenic view of the city at night. Generally, their beers taste bitter since it is brewed from ale. Nevertheless, we still had a fun experience. Click here to know more about Baguio Craft Brewery.
February 3, 2017, 0000H
From Baguio Craft Brewery, we went back again to our accommodation and dozed for the rest of the night.