Baguio – A City at the Top of Mountainous Region
For as long as I remember it was my fourth time that I went to Baguio City. First was a long time ago during my senior year in high school, next was during college, then with my deceased sister in year 2007 and the most recent and up to date was last May 2010 together with my mother and my youngest sister. It’s been more than 5 years that the trip happened and I wanted to remember everything as much as I can about the place and the photos that I still have really helped me a lot to write this post. Some part of the writings supported by photos and some were from the memories that I still remember. Some stories added influenced by reminiscing the visit during my high school and college year.
At that time, I was still working in Singapore and I rendered two weeks vacation back to my country. In those two weeks, we spent three days including our travel time to and from the Summer Capital of the Philippines which is Baguio City. I did not have a solid plan on what we were going to do in Baguio, what I only prepared was the hotel where we stayed during the visit.
We stayed for two nights in Hotel Veniz which located at the heart of its Central Business District near in Burhham Park. I preferred the hotel in CBD as we do not have our own car and I don’t even know how to drive, accommodation near in public transportation was the best option for us.
We left Manila at early morning and we slept inside the bus as I targeted that in the morning we were already in Baguio. As budget traveler, I wanted to maximize the hotel and the days that we were in the city. Around 7am or 8am in the morning we arrived at the Victory Liner Terminal in Baguio. We took a jeep to our hotel to leave our luggage before we started our self-guided adventure in the city.
Day 1 (Sunday)
Baguio Central Business District – Session Road
We left the hotel, though it’s been a while since my last visit in the city, I just followed the road from the hotel. The hotel location was at Shanum Street corner Harrison Road. We crossed Harrison Road and we reached Magsaysay Avenue where we started our stroll in the famous road in the city which is Session Road.
Shanum Street and corner of Harrison Road
As we walked in the same road I just reminisced the first time I saw the road. As I understand that time that the road represents the center location of the central business district of Baguio where commercial business can be found such as banks, restaurants, shops, boutiques and others. The part of the road started in Magsaysay Avenue is inclined road up to the part that it split into two. For me, the road is very appealing as it maintain its neat ambiance even though it is location of major businesses where most people comes and go.
After we reached the top of Session Road before it split into two, there is famous catholic church in the area called Cathedral Baguio. We stroll in the area and the three of us had some photos in one of the nipa hut displayed in the garden near the mentioned church.
While I was thinking out of nowhere which places that I can bring my mother and my youngest sister with consideration that it’s their first time visiting Baguio. I remembered all the places that I had been before. And then, we took a cab. I made a deal with the driver to rent his cab for the day for a minimal amount, the trip started around 10AM, we ended the trip in the afternoon before 4PM as we had appointment before evening of that day.
The Mansion is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines. At the time that we visited Baguio, we only able to see the residence outside the gate. For many visits that I did in the city, I haven’t got a chance to see what’s inside the President’s house.
Philippine Military Academy (PMA)
Camp John Hay
After visiting Philippine Military Academy, we went to Camp John Hay. The camp became United State military base station at the time that US started controlling the country from Spain around 1900. Since it is located in mountains with a cool and mild climate, it was chosen as their station. Aside from being US camp, it also became Japanese post when Japanese controlled the country and they forwarded up north while fighting with Filipino and American soldiers until their regime ended, few years after World War II.
The major part of Camp John Hay that we spent time were Cemetery of Negativism which is a unique garden that showcases different negative thoughts that we should not be thinking at all and the Bell House Museum which named after General Franklin Bell, a general during Spanish-American War. The general also managed the constructions of the amphitheater (photos not available) near the museum.
Bell House Museum
Inside Bell House Museum
One of the famous garden not only in Baguio but all over the country is Baguio Botanical Garden. This garden is near from Teachers Camp (the first accommodation I had during my high school trip). And because my mother loves flowers and gardens, she enjoyed our short visit in the place.
Mines View Park
I remembered that we visited Mines View Park too, another famous tourist destination in the city. At that time, my mother and my sister tried to ride a horse and post their selves for photos. The park is one of the best and most accessible lookout area at the mountainous region around or within Baguio. The lookout in observation deck was a great location for photos as it reveals scenic background. Because it’s popular, it is expected that a lot of people coming with the same reason to take photos with a picturesque background. We did enjoy the place as there are lots of local shops in the area to enjoy our eyes and to buy souvenirs too.
During college time, I remembered that Mines View Park was one of the places that we used to take photos with my college mates, the thoughts made me smile because everyone wanted to be in the photo under the Observation Deck of the lookout area.
Day 2 (Monday)
Baguio Central Business District – Burnham Park
It was our second and last day to spend for touring around the city, we concentrated enjoying Burnham Park in the morning. We walked in the gardens and played around in Burnham Lake.
Rizal Park (Baguio)
At Rizal Park Looking Towards Shanum Street and Rose Garden (Burnham Park)
At the park we started walking at Rose Garden and we went up to Rizal Park crossing Shanum Street. We took photos at the statue of Dr. Jose Rizal my country’s National Hero. Next we walked back to the Rose Garden until we reached Burhham Lake where people used to paddle duck boat with their feet. The three of us tried it as well and spent our time paddling around the lake. Because of this, I was able to take snapshots of the lake in many angles as much as I can.
Burnham Lake (Part 1)
Burnham Lake (Part 2)
Burnham Lake (Part 3)
Burnham Lake (Part 4)
Walking Area (around Burnham Park)
Burnham Biking Area
The open ground of Burnham Park reminded me that this was the place we used to play games during high school trip and I will never forget that this was the same place we had our team building during college.
Burnham Park (Open Ground)
Harrison Road (near Burnham Park)
Baguio City Public Market
The last place that we visited which is outside the city of Baguio was La Trinidad, a municipality which famous for its strawberry farm and vegetable plantation where you can pick strawberry and pay for it. We had a great time in the farm.
While writing this article, I just recently learned that the municipality earns the Guinness World Record for baking the Worlds Largest Strawberry Shortcake last 2004 (Wikipedia). That’s good to know.
For the places that no photos available, not sure if all of them were lost when my hard drives got failed. I will just update this if I still found available pictures related to this travel post.