Flipping Around Baguio City

Written and photographed
  • by
  • Vhincci Subia
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    A jaunt after the board exam…

    Out of Focus: This daisy graces the side roads of Coldillera while it embellishes occasions and parties in Ilocos.

    Sauntering in a pine-dappled city other than ambling along the hometown of windmills in Asia is entrancing! Pilfering one or two blossoms in highland parks other than playing with the immaculate to ivory white sands of northern beaches is uplifting! Indulging the scrumptiousness of salad vegetables and fruit spreads other than relishing the goodness of homemade sausages and home-style meals is overwhelming! And turning the cold streets into loud runways other than making the year-round hot weather the best days of our lives is outstanding!

    Baguio City is all about the fogs, the pine trees, the strawberries, the flowers, the trails – in a large frame hanging at the living room – beckoning you back time and time again whereas Ilocos Norte is all about the sun, the waters, the tasty foods and the actions – in a one photo album at the end table – taking you back to the old days. Indeed, Baguio and Ilocos conjure up the scenes of the past which doesn’t help you get over, rather keep you fall in love of these places endlessly.

    While Ilocos Norte myself is a treasure to hold and not a chance to grab, I am plumping for an adventure – taking my happy feet from seaboard to cordillera; an amazement – proffering my particular eyes from typical to extraordinary; and an experience – realizing my unrelenting dream from home to vacation. That is, after the board exam – now ready – to flip around the city of inspiration, Baguio!

    1. A Taste of Baguio

    My heart was pounding. My breath was running.

    Five Layer: The streak of the residences, the greenery, the mountain, the clouds and the sky.

    I slackened my grasp and then dropped my handbag. I swabbed the spill of sedulousness and enthusiasm in my face and inhaled unreservedly, then exhaled. I stood up as erect as the pine trees around and witnessed an inspiring 1800 picture.

    At last, I arrived at Baguio after a dramatic prelude – a San Fernando tricycle back ride, our 1 hour wait time at the bus station, my 1-kilometer standing stint in Partas, the direction-finding dilemma to Pinsao, and a rock-climbing experience to reach our free transient house!

    We then ate our lunch. Though the mung bean soup served to us was already cold, I was surprised when I savored it hot. Spicy sardines were added to complement our expectations of a soup. I am not a food expert but a food addict and I actually commend humble recipes like this.

    After our talks of the recent board exam, we decided to avail a Mines-View-to-Botanical-Garden-via-Mansion-House itinerary.

    Mines View: The classic view of house-strewn mountain in Baguio City.

    We alighted to Mines View – very eager – for our first sojourn. Souvenir shops, craft shops, garden shops and potential pet shops (suggested by paid photos with highbred dogs and horses) largely filled the supposedly nature sight.

    Clockwise from Top Left: The view deck in Mines View. Spree at the souvenir shops. The traditional Igorot costume - with Ashel, Tine, Jona, Kenneth, Eden and Jamie.

    Laugh trips came en route to the Mansion House. We did countless jump shots. We wandered the whole foliage. We passed by derelict houses. We glimpsed rare floras. Eco-walking… such a pleasure, isn’t it?

    Clockwise from Top Left: The mansion house. The gate. The view of the mansion house from the rear end of Wright Park.

    We didn’t go to the Botanical Garden anymore. Instead, we chose to invade SM Baguio. We dined early at their food court then attended to our shopping cravings. Lastly, we took a look at Baguio City’s market – got lettuces for tomorrow.

    The day was just a pinch – but it wasn’t salty – it was sweet.

    2. Downpour, Downfall

    Everything is falling away…

    My bedcover, my blanket, my pillows, my phone – all slipped and plunged into the floor. And now, my rightward foot went along with my things. Is this a sign? Of what? I don’t know but my body was seemingly excited to get up for a new day in Baguio.

    The surrounds gave me feelings of – (1.) Yes! (2.) No! This isn’t Heaven! – as fogs overwhelmed my eyes. Later on, I noticed something dark. Oh! It was my friend – I’m so sorry for the word. Well, I must not really reared Heaven after all, and only experienced heav·en [hévvən] noun blissful happiness.

    Don't Disturb: It isn't an ordinary traditional hut but a humble sex den among lovers.

    Following a deep slumber, we started out at about eleven. We visited the neighboring vista – Tam-awan Village: Garden in the Sky. The place was just a small compound of tribal huts yet offers a lavish display – nature, culture, arts.


    From Top Left Downwards: Entrance. Sample huts. The amazing rock arts where it promotes commensalism. Wood arts. Beautiful ranib. Long bamboo stems. Eye catching red plants. Rock stairs. More arts and views of Tam-awan Village. Fossil. The awesome tree. Paintings. Logo and banner.

    Drizzles caressed us after we departed the hamlet. From trickles, they turned to prickles that killed our intended Camp John Hay excursion. This deluge was too awful. But our auto-digesting stomach needed more of an immediate intervention.

    We headed on a Korean Restaurant. We’ve been yearning for this – since yesterday? 

    Shabu-shabu: The mixture of seafoods, pork, salad vegetables, fish cakes, fishballs, mushroom balls and dumplings.

    Clockwise from Top Left: The phenomenal kimchi - of two kinds - the cabbages and onion. Lettuces. The Korean rice.

    Very comforting, mostly spicy and really yummy as other Oriental ones – these were the reasons why I love Korean foods. We ordered two dishes, cooked them on our own and splurged Php. 1,400.00.

    From Top Left Downwards: The restaurant owner taught us how to cook the Shabu-shabu. The ingredients. The dish starting to boil. Chopstick 101. The owner assisting us in cooking. Sankypsal with Tine frying.

    My eyeballs bowled in enticement; my hands flirted with the hangers; my feet enfeebled eventually as we conquered the House of Economy Fashion: Ukay-Ukay. But my nose – itching – didn’t resist the reek strewing the shopping precinct!

    Determinedly, I alluded for relocation. We then transferred to SM Baguio. I parted from the group and went on a spree alone – shopped at my favorite boutiques – Penshoppe and Oxygen.

    We went home after the sky went dusky and the rain poured remorselessly.

    3. Toing and Froing

    We asked for the sun and he came.

    Higher than the Sky: The breathtaking view of the mountain from our canopy ride.

    Smiles pervaded the morning panorama in celebration of the early sunlight. We were very happy to get out and meet Baguio’s sunup – we took the opportunity then when we sent off four friends after they opted to end their Baguio trip in two days.

    Three of the group remained – now – a quieter adventure. But this didn’t encumber our Camp John Hay escapade (Tree Top Adventure).

    From Top Left Downwards: The Villa. Miniature Liberty. Bell's house. Canopy ride. Trekking. The rainforest. The baby pine tree. Deforestation.

    We missed touring the wide-ranging golf course, the eco-trail, and the whole of Camp John Hay because of that recurring rainfall. I just don’t get why things in the past keep on coming back (irritated).

    We expended the rest of the day in window-shopping (cannot recover).

    My good morning didn’t end in a good evening!

    4. Separation Anxiety

    I don’t feel like doing anything.

    It’s a lazy Thursday! I don’t want to rise from bed. I don’t want to go home. But I have to because I don’t have any relatives in Baguio to stay at and I don’t have my friends to stay with – they are all going home (sad).

    Now that my legs were used to climb the steep rocky pathway and my body have adjusted to the ice-cold bathing water?! Oh mama! I don’t want to go home yet!

    Silence came. I have contemplated – something good will happen today. Then smiles kicked off my day.

    First stop – Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto!

    Clockwise from Top Left: Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto. The white blossom that ensembles a rose. The candle.

    While taking the flight of stairs, mizzle bothered me. Are we really going to revel in this day? Despite the setback, we advanced to Burnham Park – the heart of Baguio City (as they say).

    The Jeepney Show:  A view of the busy streets of Baguio in a rainy afternoon, introducing the King of the Road - Jeepney, at a carinderia.

    We spent more or less 2 hours in boat riding. We also took a glance at the Orchidarium but the rain intensified so we left straightaway.

    From Top Downwards: The white swans; the yellow ducks at Burnham Park.

    We proceeded to SM Baguio. Shortly, we moved out to visit Tam-awan’s Rock Garden.

    Clockwise from Top Left: The entrance. The huge rock containing 35 artworks. Portrait sketching at 100 pesos.

    After this, we walked off to our place. We packed our things and we departed Baguio by 8 p.m.

    5.  Home Sweet Home


    Robert Cascayan said...

    The daisy on the top stood out!
    The woods and the zipline is one-of-a-kind!

    I never had the chance to at least stroll baguio's most admired places, but heck...it will...soon! Haha.

    I was hoping I could see more of flowers. Anyways, perfect post! As always been. Hehe.

    Robert Cascayan said...

    And wait, did you really cooked that korean dish?

    Nice. I love korean dishes especially salads. My sis-in-law worked at a korean restaurant in Hawaii. :)) Kaya most of the time, dun kami kumakain ng lunch. Hehe

    rachelle anne zuniga bonifacio said...

    the look wait is over :) nice one vhincci :)

    keep it up :)

    Vhincci Subia said...

    Rob | The daisy doesn't really look great but it manages to stand out because of how it was shot. Anyway, I don't have enough time capturing flowers because of the rainy weather and other reasons. The woods and the tree top adventure was indeed fun! We should have a Baguio trip too with Tine. Yes, we cooked those dishes. I so love Korean foods... :)

    Ashel | Yes, finally... Thanks! =)

    Kim, USA said...

    This place is awesome been there once and loving it. The food is definitely great though haven't tried Korean food yet. Thanks for the visit Vhince, welcome back!

    Shooters Choice

    LV said...

    No wonder I have not heard or seen much from you lately. You have been traveling the world over. Such interesting and lovely sights you shared. Really enjoyed visiting them through your lens. I am sure I missed it, but did you pass the exam? You had better as you certainly have a way with words. Take care.

    Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

    Hanep naman pagkasulat! Pure poetry!

    Vhincci Subia said...

    Kim | Hmmm... You should try Korean foods. Definitely, they are great... :)

    LV | The result wasn't yet released by the board... I think, it will come out later this month... I hope and pray I will pass the exam... Thank you for the words! =)

    Christian | Thanks! :D

    Michael said...

    Longgg post but I totally enjoyed the pictures and the write up Vince. Keep it up.

    Show Me Your Look Today

    Vhincci Subia said...

    Michael | Thanks man! :))

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