TaDi Snap Shots

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Yo Baguio -- The Bloggies' Baguio Getaway (part 1)


I can't recall how many times I've been to Baguio, which is dubbed as the Summer Capital of the Philippines by the Americans in the early part of 20th Century.  But going to this wonderful place never bored me.  Thinking of its distinct characteristics -- the scenery, the weather, the people, the goods just continue to amaze and magnetize me. 

Baguio, formerly known as Kafagway, is 1,500 meters above sea level and is located at the Cordillera Administrative Rregion (North Luzon Island) of the Philippines.  A highly urbanized city, Baguio was declared the Summer Capital of the Philippines because of its cold weather brought about by its altitude.
A few years back, I got the interest to go to Baguio during its Panagbenga Festival (Flower Festival) because of a scene I saw in the romantic comedy movie of Aga Muhlach and Regine Velasquez :).  I was amazed with what I saw and I told myself, how come I've never been to Baguio during this time!  Oh well, there's never too late for TaDi's Bayanihan Republic.  So here's the adventure!

At the start of the year, I and the rest of my bloggies (Barbie Ruth, Lolo Myke, Jejeman and Italian Rod) started to plan for our trip to Baguio to cover the Panagbenga Festival!  We divided the tasks, I was in charge f the itinerary, Jeman for accommodation, Ruth for food, Rod for transportation and Mike for navigation.  And after a few weeks, after I came back from Japan and Rod from Cebu and Bohol, we were ready to carry out our plans!  :)

We went to Baguio on the dawn of Feb. 25.  Right after the press screening of My Weekend with Marilyn in Greenbelt's My Cinema, we dropped by at my office to get my things, and then proceeded to Victory Liner in Cubao, Quezon City.  The ticket we got, which is priced at PhP 450 each, is scheduled at 2 am.  We arrived at the station at about 12:00mn so we decided to have late dinner first and bought some snacks at 7-11.  We went inside the station at around 1:30 am and we saw a huge crowd who are all going to Baguio for the Panagbenga!  We were not alarmed because we already have the tickets.  But what surprised us is the delay on trips!  At 1:30 am, the 12 midnight trips were just being deployed.  And then there was 12:05, 12:10 and so and so forth.  But the Bloggies were not disheartened by this.  With Rod's charm, Ruth's determination and Jeman's fast act, we were able to get into a bus earlier (end enjoy each moment haha).  Our bus left at around 2:40 am. 

In photo are (from left): the controversial Jeman of Orange Magazine TV, Ruth Floresca of The Original Mommy Writes Since 2003, the Rod Magaru of The Rod Magaru Show and foydi of Tatak Digitista and TaDi's Bayanihan Republic!  :)

There were two bus stops, in San Rafael, Tarlac and in Sison, Pangasinan.  We took turns in going to the CR to guard our belongings.  Better safe than sorry right?   And we arrived in Baguio at around 11 am.  It was a long ride because the traffic in Tarlac, even at the early part of the morning, is terrible!  

Anyway, when I woke up and saw pine trees from our bus window, I knew we were already in Baguio!  :)  As soon as we arrived at the bus station, we already bought our tickets back to Manila.  And we got the 6 am trip on Feb. 28!  Good thing we did this because we heard that many got stranded in Baguio because there were no more tickets back to Manila right after the Panagbenga celebration.

What I also love about Baguio is their taxi cab.  There's no need to aircon because Baguio's weather is enough to cool the vehicle.  :)  Prior to riding the cab, we bought corn which the vendor from Pangasinan said came all the way from Isabela.  That's how important Baguio is, especially to Northern Luzon.  It's not just a resort city but a center for trade and commerce as well as for education and government.  After enjoying the corn snack, we then hit the road to go to the Bloggies' first residence in Baguio. 

That's it for now.  I will detail the rest of our trip on my next posts.  But basically, to give you a snapshot, we went to Burnham Park, Session Road, Panagbenga Grand Float Parade, Hotel Elizabeth (the Bloggies' official residence in Baguio), La Trinidad Strawberry Farm, Tam-awan Igorot Village, Camp John Hay, The Mansion, Wright Park, Mines View Park, Mines View Park Hotel, Baguio Cathedral and Good Shepherd.

Hotel Elizabeth, the official residence of the the Bloggies in Baguio

There are more to see in Baguio but we have a very limited time.  But well, going to Baguio needs no VISA and we can always come back to this lovely place anytime.  

Bye for now but please do watch out for my next Yo Baguio posts!  :)

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