How to get to Baguio
It’s a 5-hour drive from Manila and about 6-7 hours on a commuter bus, there’s an airport located at the general area of Benguet province but it’s not open to commercial flights.
There are travel agencies that offers tour packages, it includes van rental with driver, itinerary and hotel or lodging accommodation, and since we prefer to sleep during the 5-hour long drive, we contacted a local agency to arrange the 3-day summer vacation.
Where we stayed
Baden Powell Inn
Located at a high-point part of the city, which makes the view breath-taking, across the terrace we can see houses at the top hills, connecting roads and pine trees. It’s also near the public market, and other commodity shops.
Check out their facebook page.
Getting around Baguio City
When getting an accommodation, make sure you’re at a center of the city so you could go around easily, if you don’t have a rented car then you can take the cab, taxi fare is way too cheap compare to Metro Manila, they can even charge you on a fixed basis if you will be touring around the city.
We arrived before lunch time and most tourists are in the city looking for a place to eat, also, it’s Panagbenga Festival (Flower Festival), a whole week celebration of city-wide events are being prepared so heavy traffic is expected.
First timers are encouraged to arrange their travel to Baguio City with a certified travel agency so you wouldn’t waste too much time thinking about itinerary and you can just sit at the back of your rented van enjoying the views. I would also suggest to look for a travel agency that has a local office in Baguio because they’re the ones who knows the city very well and would come-up with a better schedule and places to visit.
Since we have an arrangement with a local travel agency, they have provided us with the lists of places to visit, to dine and to chill.
The Mansion House
Why go there?
The structure in Baguio is more than a century old and was built to house U.S Generals helping the Philippines during world war II, then after the war, it was turned over to the Philippine Government. It’s now being used as the President’s residence during summer.
Inside the Mansion House is a museum that houses memorabilia and art works collected during the occupancy of former presidents.
After few pictures taken we move to our next destination.
Mines View Park
The are a lot of activities you can do around the park, you can go horseback riding, take pictures while wearing rented ethnic clothes, plus, the view is breath-taking, from top of the park you can see the gold and silver mine. And since it’s near the mine, silver jewelries are way too cheap.
There are also some native stores where you can buy gifts and souvenirs. Delicacy stores are also around the place.
Why go there?
As someone who lives in the Metro Manila for a long time, I’m a sucker for strawberries, the fresh ones, like the ones picked from a farm. Luckily, there’s this pick-your-own strawberry farm in Baguio. You can get your basket from the caretakers inside a makeshift huts, the small ones cost Php180 and the big ones cost Php250. Once paid, they’ll give the basket and you can go on a strawberry shopping spree, pick any strawberries you want, pick the big ones or the cutest strawberry you can find. It’s fun, really!
Outside the farm, there are stores where you can buy delicacies, wines, ice cream, in which are all strawberry flavors, and if you’re not into picking strawberries, they also have ready-made baskets of strawberries which they sell per kilo.
Why go there?
Lantern Festival is celebrated in Baguio during the 15th day of Chinese New Year, and during this time, a night parade is arranged and the Bell Church is the center of the celebration, it’s one of the most awaited events during Panagbenga Festival whether you’re a local or a tourist. Lights are floating in the darkness and it is so magical. You can barely see everyone, all you see are the lights and lanterns floating in the air. It’s probably much exciting if you are watching it on a rooftop, but either way you don’t want to miss it.
Saint Joseph the Worker Parish
Baguio Overall Expenses = PHP8,000/person
- Travel agency city tour with accommodation.
- Local foods + night life.
- Budget souvenirs is at Php1,000.
Baguio city gets really crowded during peak season, but definitely worth the time. We enjoyed every places we visited and every food we ate. I personally love the temperature in the morning, when the fogs met the roads while you’re on your way to the market. Outside the city is where things get more calm and peaceful looking.
The city proper has the same face as metro manila, it’s just colder, but the streets, the side-walk vendors, the fences, the foot bridges or overpasses are pretty much the same as metro manila. If you’ve been to Divisoria or Quiapo, they have the same infrastructure, only colder.
All in all, Baguio is truly a great place to spend summer vacations with your family and friends, and definitely worth a comeback.