Finally, I managed to visit this cool, laid back place.
Its like a dream come true for me as I’ve been wanting to visit Baguio since my enthusiasm in travelling started.
Originally my plan was to travel alone & be adventurous. But two days prior to my leaving Manila, one of my closest friend Cam, texted me to ask what I’m up to over the (All Soul’s) weekend. I told her that I’m going to Baguio, and she said “let’s go together”, and so I thought “why not?!”. So I just put aside the whole plan of travelling alone and being adventurous – philosophically, this shows that in the end, it’s already decided for us.
So Cam booked the accommodation, and we agreed to meet at the Victory Liner bus terminal here in Pasay at midnight.
I got to the bus terminal before her, so we agreed that I should go ahead and get us tickets, which I did but the next bus trip that was available is not until half past two, so without any fuss, I bought the tickets and Cam arrived shortly. The ticket from Pasay to Baguio cost us 460 pesos each, by the way.
So while were waiting for our bus to arrive, we sat in the cafe in the terminal, and kill time over a can of cold Red Horse beer, and Cam & I chat away.
It’s past 3am when the bus left the terminal, and we’re off. Bus trip to Baguio could take up to 5-6 hours travel time normally, but the bus were on took nearly 8 hours!
Cam said normally, it would only stop twice – but the one were on stop thrice. So there..
We arrived nearly lunch time, so we checked-in at the hotel that Cam booked, Hotel Paladin. It was a reasonable twin sharing room that cost us 900 pesos a night. The room we got don’t have a window, but who cares – we didn’t plan to stay inside anyway. So after settling our stuff, we head off to have a bite at Cafe by the Ruins, which apparently is a “must place to eat” when you’re in Baguio. So we ordered, Cam had Pasta Carbonara, and I had the Meatballs Spaghetti – it was good as I expected. We also tried the special Kamote bread, delicious!
After feeding our hunger, we walked slowly to the direction of Burnham Park, which is another thing to do, to really experience the place.
It’s Saturday noon, and a lot of people are out and about in this park. Lovers holding hands, kids running around, and some family gathers in one corner picnicking.
It’s refreshing to see kids enjoying the outdoors, instead of sitting inside their houses glued on watching television and/or playing video games. Do I sound like a mother? lol
After awhile we head off to Tam Awan Village, which is a small village that showcase local art, dance, etc. It was happening – some people were watching this Ifugao dance, some are being sketched by a local artist, and some are cruising the village to look at the actual habitation of the old Ifugaos.
After roaming around the village, and watching the dance & checking out the art gallery, we crossed the road to Arko ni Apo, which is an Art cafe.
And while inside, I saw this familiar girl and blow me down, it’s Tenten. So we gave each other kisses and all, and apparently she have company, Milos & his crew (Ace & Raul). Milos was shooting a documentary about this artist who’s name escaped me.
So while at Arko, we agreed to have a coffee, Cam had the Soya coffee and I opted for the more appropriate, Baguio coffee. Yes, I do love caffeine!
After our lovely time, we bid goodbye to Tenten & Milos, and agreed to possibly meet up at Nevada Square for drinks.
As we head back to town, we decided to have a early dinner. And so I suggested to Cam, that we eat at Volante’s Pizza. This was a recommendation by Armi, but as it turned out it’s also on Cam’s list of places to eat. So perfect! I ordered some salad, and the Armi recommended pizza, Chilli-con-Carne. It was good but Cam is not an onion fan especially fresh one, so when she bit the pizza, she shrieked, lol. Anyway, the food is excellent and if you’re going to Baguio, dont forget to include it on your list.
After awhile, I was exchanging text messages back and forth with another friend who also happened to be in Baguio, his name is Eon. We agreed to meet up later in Nevada Square for drinks, so it looked like it’s going to be a crowd. Surprisingly, while we are in the middle of dinner, Eon & his lovely guy Jayce, popped in to say “Hello”! I thought that was sweet of them.
After dinner, we walked our way back to the hotel, to recuperate and get ready for our night outing! Along the way, I purchased this Rasta-colored knitted sweater from a sidewalk vendor, which I thought was a perfect fit for me. Then Cam, took me inside of shopping stalls better known as Ukays. I got entertained looking at all these clothes, shoes, etc. That’s when my desire of getting a pair of leather boots popped out, but after looking around no such luck for me. Cam ended buying some cool looking socks.
8pm and we’re back in the room, Cam & I agreed to have a nap. Two hours later, were up and starting to get into the mood of going out, and because it’s Halloween, Cam & I put on our own show, with the help of black lipstick and fake stitches. See pics here.
Of course we didn’t go out looking like that. We dressed up and we took a cab to Nevada Square. Surprisingly there was an entrance fee of 50 pesos to get in, apparently thy do this to keep the troublemakers out, mmm.
So there it was, music blasting from different directions. And there they are, on a sloping chairs & table. Tenten, Milos, Raul and Ace conversing animatedly.
We joined them and we chatted until we decided to check out “Friday’s” – which by the way is NOT related to the food chain. They went to an R&B club, as Ace wanted to shake his groove thing, and we decided to be with Eon & Jayce. This would be y second time spending time with Eon’s company and I must say it’s getting better. I met Eon at the 2006 Gay Pride and the rest is well, history.
So Eon and Jayce are an item, and this is quite obvious to me and Cam. I got a bit jealous looking at them cos they look so romantic together and all, but then again I’m not really the “romantic type”, well at least not in public. Haha.
Meeting Eon for Cam is like going into a ball of strings, he’s my acquaintance, he’s a blog-mate of Martin (Cam’s colleague/friend), and he’s a schoolmate in college.
Talked about six degrees of separation!
Past 2am when we left Nevada Square, and we talked our way to Session Road, where we decided to have a bite, and as much as I know it’s an unhealthy thing to do before sleeping, I put aside the “health conscious me” and just be in it. That was delightful, sharing laughs, talking about music and all with the three of them.
Sunday morning, our last day in Baguio. Lunch with Eon & Jayce was penned at 12nn at Little John’s in Camp John Hay, which due to the growing population of Koreans in Baguio has been appropriately renamed Kim Jung Hei. We got there pretty much on time and waited a while for the couple, and waited to be seated, but to Cam & Eon’s disappointment, the must try “baby back ribs” is no more, so we opted for the all-day breakfast menu!
After lunch, we strolled our way to the Manor, looked around at its grandness and took some pics with my analog camera, yes the one with the roll of film!
Then we decided to sit down and talk awhile over a cup of coffee, and cakes. What a life indeed!
I’m so privileged to be with people who don’t feel guilty that they needed to getaway, just to feel that they’re alive. And I think this is very healthy.
So my heartfelt thanks to Cam for being a delightful company, to Eon & Jayce for reminding me that “it’s good to be in love”. 🙂
And to you.. for patiently reading this. 😉