I remember going up to Baguio inside a full packed Ford Laser that belonged to my late grandfather way back when I was four or five years old. Nothing beats the thrill of the low, cold fog rapidly covering the mountain slopes and seemingly chasing after you on the paved zigzag roads of Kennon as you head up to the peak. We would turn off the airconditioning and roll down our windows so we could breathe in the woody, fresh scent of pine trees while our eyes were filled by the envigorating sight of sunflowers that randomly grew on the mountain slopes. If we were lucky, we’d even spot pockets of water flowing on the sides of the road. The ultimate treat happens when you finally reach the top. There were colorful flowers everywhere, and a strong breeze that made us all shiver will surely be there to give you a cold welcome greeting.
Baguio may be far from the fine state it once was but, it’s still Baguio, and it’s always worth the trip — which, by the way, now only takes about 4 hours to get there from Manila — thanks to SCTEX and TPLEX. Needless to mention, it’s that one place where you can put on your trench coat and zip up your boots without looking silly. Remember though that daytime this season can also be seering hot in this summer outing spot so don’t forget to bring your short and sheer summer outfits too.
Head down to Forest House for a filling lunch or dinner. If you’re low on the budget and willing to try Ilocano dishes that can sometimes be pretty out of the ordinary, head down to Slaughter House where Php 500.00 will be sufficient to happily fill the hungry tummies of a family of four.
Take a trip to the Crystal Caves where it’s the most ideal cool place to spend the hot afternoon. Find time to go to Mines View Park but, don’t buy your pasalubongs there just yet, as they can easily double the price of your peanut brittle and ube jam here compared to how cheap these are being sold at Baguio Market stalls.
Spend your late afternoon at Camp John Hay where you and the kids can go horseback riding. Feel cozy and classy at The Mansion where you can take your dinner or, simply spend the evening with a few glasses of wine and soft, live music in the background. If you’re looking for a cheaper dinner, head down to Session Road or, go straight to Burnham Park — that’s one spot in Baguio that has somehow seen better days. Paddle the night away after and don’t forget to take your photo by the fountain.
Before coming down the mountain the following day, pass by The Cathedral and then head down the market for goodies and, of course, fresh, cheap veggies that you can take home with you. The real fashionista in you will also love the local woven cloth, ‘ikat’, which can be sewn into wonderful and unique wardrobe staples.