Friday, August 2, 2013

Bucket List | Baguio City, Philippines

Photo Source: The Travelling Dork

Because Strawberries aren't forever, make no more excuses. Pack up your bag and go!

Baguio City

Popularly known as the summer capital of the Philippines. This city considered to be the center of business and commerce in Northern Luzon is 1,610 meters above sea level and is widely covered by tropical pine forests, mossy plants and orchids. Well, atleast then. Today, the greens have lessened as it has turned into a highly urbanized mountain-top city that's highly-concretized and highly congested. In spite of these, I think it still hasn't lost the charm that once attracted Americans during the pre-world wars era, and still by foreign and local tourists who are in search for spontaneous weekend getaways or of jump-off points to other lovely destinations farther north. 

Though I've been here many times, either with family or friends, I'm sure I haven't seen the last of this place as like in any given place, there are more to it than what you think you have exhausted exploring in the first and succeeding trips you've taken when you're most eager. Also, the convenience of traveling to this mildly cool city, an escape from the treacherous heat of Manila, makes it a no-brainer default pick for weekend vacationers. 

Of all the things you could see & do, here are some picks that I've read and experienced to be worth your travel - some personal want-to-dos included.

1. Bike around the City 

Bicycle of choice: Tern Link C7 folding bike. I'll just prop it in the trunk for the 5 hour drive to Baguio or in the luggage cabin of a commuter bus. Biking around a given place does reap some perks: you avoid getting stuck in traffic, get a full view of your surroundings, be in full control of where you want to go, stop and go when you want to, and you can park your bike just about anywhere (well, almost anywhere.) With a type of weather a lot cooler than most places in the Philippines, the bike-around won't be as hot and irritable. 

2. The Manor at Camp John Hay þ

Photo Source: Interaksyon

3. The Camp John Hay Trail 

Photo Source: Three Stars and A Sun

4. Strawberry Picking at the Strawberry Farm 

Photo Source: Cromz

5. BenCab Museum þ

6. Panagbenga Festival 

Photo Source:  Lakbay Baguio

Photo Source: Kristn

7. Ukay-Ukay (thrift-shopping) þ

Photo Source: Lakad Pilipinas

Ukay-ukay which really means to "dig up" or "sift through" emphasizes what people will need to do to get the best finds in these kinds of shops. You literally will have to sift through a large pile of dust-infested second-hand imports for items to take in as your own. The incentives provided are the amazingly cheap prices you can get them for, and the excitement to find items that are uncommon, or even in some cases, luxe branded. The best ukay-ukay shops can be found in Maharlika at the end of Session Road. 

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