My 2nd Birthday Destination: Baguio and its Welcomed Coldness

1:30 AM

This will be my third trip to the City of Pines and I skipped the usual routes: Mines View Park, Burnham Park, Wright Park, The Mansion, Botanical Gardens and the likes. Not because these places are no worthy of a revisit but I wanted to see the other parts of the city; food hubs, most specifically. 

My itinerary was only for 15 hours. I took the 11 PM trip of Victory Liner last Saturday, January 27. I arrived in Baguio 5 AM of Sunday and I planned to go back to Manila on the same day. That sounds tiring to some but I had always considered being on the road as a therapy. Aside from being required to come to work on Monday and saving by missing out hotel expenses, it is while on the road that you can update yourself with the latest in music, think of what you have been doing in your life lately (without going too melodramatic), and think of creative advertising handles for work. Well, not too much really about the last one. 

I took photos with me and I will share to you what happened on my 15- hour Baguio visit: 

My bus arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule. If my co-passenger was accurate on her measurements,  Baguio greeted me in 12 degrees centigrade and I thought I was ready for it. That's what I went there for, anyway. Thanks to the 24-hour Pizza Volante. Their original homemade Hot Choco and the mouthwatering Mozzarella Cheese Pizza you see below helped me through that very cold dawn. 

Pizza Volante l Session Road
Offers pizza, breakfast delis, burgers, cheese pies and even hard liquors 
Must try: Mama Lou's Apple Pie for only PhP50

After a very heavy breakfast and after the sun lighted up Baguio, I rode the very first cab to the Strawberry farms in the neighboring town and Benguet's provincial capital, La Trinidad. This is something I have not tried during my first two visits in the Summer capital. I was advised by friends to take the jeepney but for first time visitors, the taxi rates in Baguio does not hurt.
 I paid only PhP95 for a 30 -minute ride. 

It was 6:30AM when I arrived in the Strawberry fields. The entrance to the farm is free but picking of strawberries is priced at PhP400 per kilo. I was not sure of the sweetness of the strawberries so I bargained to pick only a quarter of a kilo. To my surprise, the fruits I gathered tasted great! 

 Another Baguio destination that I visited for the first time is Tam-awan Village. 
They call it the "garden in the sky" but to most artists, it is a haven for indigenous aesthetics and exquisite Cordilleran craftsmanship. Here you will see paintings from renowned Baguio artists, will have the chance to go inside actual Cordilleran huts: the Luccong and Bugnay, and can pay PhP100 for a portrait sketched by an artist. The entrance to the village is PhP50 only. 

Tam-awan Village l 366-C Pinsao Proper
A taxi ride from downtown Baguio to the village will only cost you PhP120.

Here's one Baguio food item you should not miss- the Strawberry taho! 
You can enjoy one taho cup for only PhP15. 

After I meet some friends at Tam-awan Village. We were supposed to visit one of Baguio's famous restaurants, O My Gulay. However, for reasons we don't know until today, the restaurant was closed that Sunday. We walked a little bit to Casa Vallejo instead and had lunch at Hill Station

Hill Station l Upper Session Road

Saigon Steak Sandwich with Caramelized Onions
(marinated beef, onions and cilantro on a Saigon baguette)

Cambodian Coriander and Garlic Chicken
(marinated overnight and charbroiled served with rice)

Lemon Meringue Bars

Me and my friends at Hill Station

Just a door away from Hill Station is the Mt. Cloud Bookshop. 
Here you'll see books about Benguet literary and heritage. 

Mt. Cloud Bookshop l Casa Vallejo l Upper Session Road

After me and my friends have to part ways due to conflicting itineraries, I have to visit a Baguio-based blogger friend. After some chitchat, we went to Vizco's and got a taste of their popular Strawberry shortcake. A shortcake by description is a crumbly bread that has been leavened with baking powder or baking soda. While that description suggests crunchiness, Vizco's strawberry shortcake was soft and mellow in texture. You can taste a slice of this cake for only PhP80! And I don't want to forget, it tasted divine! Indeed, it was a perfect ending to my short Baguio sojourn. 

Vizco's Restaurant and Cake Shop l Puso ng Baguio Building l Session Road 

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