Beautiful Baguio

Beautiful Baguio

KristineW travel blog

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Brief History

Baguio City, home of the white lilies and giant pines trees. Founded by the Americans in 1900 and was declared a chartered city on September 1, 1909 and the Summer Capital of the Philippines.



Prologue

Baguio City is one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines, and one of the most visited by tourists and travelers, due to its cool climate and wide variety of mixed culture and activities.

No wonder why people flock the City during peak season from November to May. Relaxation, different kinds of food, entertainment, and adventures - this City has it all.

10 Activities That You Can Do Here

1. Family Picnic, Boating, and Biking

        The City of Baguio has a lot of beautiful parks with cool, fresh air perfect for any picnic and gathering. The most popular is the Burnham Park, wherein it's widely open for anyone to enjoy their time with family and friends while watching the beautiful man made lake. You can also ride a boat and enjoy the lake which costs only P120 for an unlimited ride. They have many designs of the boats for you to choose from, with cartoon characters and swans as the head of each boat. Alongside Burnham, there is a wide space for people who want to ride a bike around the park. Again, it only costs P40-80 for an hour of riding any bike and you got a lot of bike designs to choose from.


Man-made lake in Burnham Park


Biking alongside the Burnham Park


Fountains were lit during the night for a more exciting stroll at the park.

2. Heritage Site Encounter

        Located just 10 minutes away from the city center, stands the Old Diplomat Hotel on top of a hill. Diplomat Retreat House, or currently known as the Diplomat Hotel, was built by the Dominican Friars in 1911, but was later bombed and destroyed by the Japanese Troops during world war II. Today, the remains of the building was kept untouched and still stands to where it was built. Tourists and locals visit the place for picture taking, to know its history, and to have a feeling of the past. Aside from that, Diplomat Hotel is known for its haunted nature due to its history where a lot of priests and nuns died there without proper burial during the war. People want to feel and experience the eerie air surrounding the building.


The Old Diplomat Hotel, built the the Dominican Friars as a retreat house in 1911.

3. Eco walk and Tree top Adventure

        For nature lovers, there is always the perfect place. Camp John Hay. The entire place was surrounded by giant pine trees, and a reserved nature. Anyone can go for an eco walk while enjoying the cool, aromatic breeze provided by the Pine Trees. You are guaranteed a 100% fresh air, away from the smoke of all the vehicles and establishments. You can also do tree top adventure, wherein the activity includes wall climbing and zip line which costs P500. Imagine the feeling being on top of the tall pine trees.


Meet the towering pine trees as you stroll along Camp John Hay's Eco Trail.


Into the woods

4. Horse Riding

        Wright Park and Mines View are the places which offer Horse Riding Activity. There, you can hire any horse you want and have a tour around the area without getting exhausted from walking. You don't know how to ride a horse alone? No worries. There's always a guide who's willing to control the horse for you. This activity costs only P200.


Horse Riding for P200

5. A Walk through the Garden

        Again, if you're someone who just love to stroll and appreciate nature, you can visit the Baguio Botanical Garden, just 10 minutes away from the city center. Beautiful wild flowers and parks lie inside the garden. You can have a romantic walk to remember with your partner, and you can also take unlimited pictures with family and friends. It's free!


Entrance to the Botanical Garden, greeted by elders wearing Cordilleran Cultural Attire.


Botanical Garden is a humble home for these tiny creatures.


Those tiny creatures which turn into this.


And this.


No picking of flowers please!

6. Military Encounter

        Another famous tourist spot is the Philippine Military Academy which is 25 minutes away from the city. Here, friendly and approachable men in uniform welcome you to see the tanks that were used by soldiers during the war. You can definitely touch them, go on top of it, and take pictures. Each tank has its name and history as well. The place is very quiet and peaceful, and you'll even meet marching soldiers with their complete military attire. You can even watch them do their drills (which is very entertaining) at the grand stand. PMA has a small museum and a canteen where you could buy food, drinks, and some souvenirs. A small cafe there also offers giant sized pizza that would surely make your tummy full.

7. Hiking and Trekking

        When you hear Baguio City, know that it's a place surrounded by the Cordillera Mountains. You'll see beautiful mountain ranges in every corner of the City. Just wear your hiking shoes, some comfy T-shirt and thick shorts/pants then you're good to go. Make sure to bring your water and first aid kit as well. Be that someone who conquer mountains and upon reaching the top, you'll be mesmerized by the view of the city and sea of clouds. Some famous mountains here are Mt. Kalungong, Mt. Yangbew, Mt. Ulap, and Mt. Pulag. Always remember, be responsible enough to not leave any of your litters in any part of the mountains and be very careful when bringing some flammable materials.


Mt. Kalugong and Mt. Yangbew face each other as seen from the Strawberry field of La Trinidad.


Silhouette of Mt. Cabuyao during Sunrise.

8. Shopping and Dining

        If you're more of a city person and loves to shop, the city has its malls complete with everything you need; branded clothings, shoes, bags, accessories, souvenirs, etc. SM and Porta Vaga Mall are the two perfect place. Baguio also has a lot of thrift shops where you could buy cheaper Class A items but still excellent quality. For all the foodies out there, I tell you, just like the mountains, food is also everywhere. Since Baguio City is a place of mixed culture, you can try almost every kind of food from different places. There are a lot of Chinese Restaurants, Japanese, Korean, and purely Filipino Restaurants in every corner of the city. You can even find Arabic Cuisines. And of course, Baguio has a restaurant which serves Native Cordilleran Dishes like the "pinikpikan" (chicken which is prepared by being beaten by a stick prior to cooking) and "etag" (smoked and salted pork), which are very tasty, exotic, and a must-try. Aside from that, Baguio City is also well known for having a lot of cafe's, since the climate there is always cold and a perfect brew would be your best morning buddy.

9. Museum and Cultural Exhibit

        You can find almost any type of entertainment and recreation in Baguio City. You can always visit the BenCab Museum, wherein you'll be amazed by the magnificent artworks by the local artists from wood carvings to metal works. Each masterpiece contains a story too. They also have this Erotic Gallery inside the museum, filled with art works which has something to do with the male/female reproductive system. They also have a beautiful garden outside the museum for some fresh air and relaxation. For some cultural exhibit, there is a small village called the Tam-awan Village, which they call garden in the sky. They show some cultural exhibit through performers of the Cordilleran Dance, which is called "kanyaw". It represents courtship and war.


'Bulol' or Rice God, BenCam Museum


The guy looks like as if it's staring at you. BenCab Museum.


Zuma. BenCab Museum


Female Reproductive Organ. Erotic Gallery, BenCab Museum.


Male Reproductive Organ. Erotic Gallery, BenCab Museum.

10. Festivals

        The most famous festival in Baguio City that is being watched by tourists from all over the country and even a lot from foreign countries is the Panagbenga Festival, which is a two day event held during the month of February. It is the month when all flowers bloom. During the first day, you'll be able to watch creative and colorful street dance competitions from different schools. Participants paint their bodies with bright colors and wear colorful costumes which represent the blooming of flowers. During the second day, which is the most awaited part, you'll be able to encounter huge, colorful floats filled with different kinds of flowers. Some floats even carry famous celebrities, which makes the crown go crazy and even more excited. You need to be patient enough to deal with the crowd and traffic though. And the fun doesn't end there. After the two day festival, the whole Session Road will be closed for the public to enjoy strolling along the street with lots of food stalls and accessory shops. This would last for one week, and during the last day, there will be a closing remark followed by the Grand Fireworks Display. Some small street parades held here are the Zombie Walk for the Halloween Season, Dragon Dance for the Chinese New Year, and Lantern Parade during 1st of December.


Grand Street Parade during the first day of Panagbenga Festival.


Lady in her floral costume during the Grand Street Parade.


Some famous celebrities in the Philippines ride one of the floats during the Grand Float Parade, second day of Panagbenga Festival.


Men wearing the cultural attire called 'bahag' while playing the gongs, creating rhythmic sounds.


Grand Fireworks Display lit up the sky of the City as the Panagbenga Festival ends.

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        So, how's Baguio City? Did it pass the title for "One of the perfect places in the Philippines to visit"? From its beautiful mountain silhouettes  during sunrise and sunset, to its wide range of activities. As a traveler, you'll always be that someone who's craving for adventure and always eager to try and experience one-of-a-kind culture. And I surely bet that visiting Baguio City deserves to have a good travel blog. I hope you enjoyed!

Bonus: If you want to experience Baguio City's coldest climate, I recommend you to visit during the Month of February, wherein the temperature mostly drops at 2°c and sometimes the vegetable fields experience some frost! Only in Baguio City!


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