I’ve always loved Baguio and it’s own special charm. It evokes feelings of being carefree, relaxed and happy one can’t help but reminisce about childhood memories of doing activities the city is best known for: the horses, yummy American food from John Hay, biking and boating at Burnham Park and so much more. Throw in the cool, crisp mountain air and the smell of pine and for me, it’s a little piece of heaven.
This is why I chose this place for one of the most important events of my life. I feel so at ease and at home here–plus I’m hoping the cool climate will temper the stress! My fiancè and I went up recently to do some wedding prep and we were on a mission to check out new places to visit, eat and be merry to get our guests excited. We managed to find a new hotspot or two and visited some old school joints, just because. Here are some snaps of where we went, what we did, eat and got all nostalgic with. Do go up when you get a chance, it only takes about four hours now with the new highways. The drive is scenic, roads excellent and you’re sure to feel the excitement in your belly once you pass the lion’s head up Kennon road. Always gets me.
Home for a few days was The Forest Lodge inside Camp John Hay. This was one of our hotel choices for our guests so we wanted to try it out to give our recommendations. It didn’t disappoint. Room was clean and spacious, the breakfast reasonable and pretty good, and we were able to use the amenities in The Manor right next door. Turns out it’s run by the same management. I consider Forest Lodge to be the more down-to-earth, approachable sister, if you know what I mean.
First order of business was to check out the Baguio Craft Brewery along Marcos (Ben Palispis) Hi-way. It came highly recommended by friends and we couldn’t wait to try it. It was a winner! The beers were yummy, the tasting room was legit, inviting and the rooftop view caps the experience.
Lunch the following day was at Cafè by the Ruins Dua. I was excited to see the difference in the interiors and menu. It was beautifully done with natural materials, a lot of light coming in from huge windows, art scattered about without overwhelming and a gorgeous display of treats waiting to be devoured. We left happy campers after having their famous Bagnet. Yum!
This was my third time at BenCab museum joining Carlo who’s never been. It’s still as grand as I remember and once more made me wish I had my own huge mountain backyard.
I’ve never been to Ketchup Food Community in Romulo Drive so I suggested it for lunch on our third day. It was a bustling place filled with tourists and locals enjoying the different fares. We settled in a Thai place called Happy Tummy and we left, well, pretty happy. I went to check out the other establishments but most were full to the brim so I settled for photos instead. The place was very photogenic after all, and a good reference for future trips.
Ketchup was right in front of Wright Park so I suggested we scoot over. I haven’t set foot in this park for years after having a huge scare the last time I was on a horse at the Marlboro Country trail. Age has caught up and I’m no longer as fearless as I used to be. I was happy to see not much has changed, only the place and horses looked smaller than I remember. I was secretly praying the animals were treated well and their coats left to its natural colors. I just don’t get the hot pink fur! Thankfully, I didn’t see many of those this time.
My friend Fifi recommended a quaint bookstore/mini-museum along Ambuklao road, a few meters away from our reception venue. After church, we decided to check it out since it was nearby. A giant teapot greeted us in front of a seemingly unassuming small white gate of a house. It said to ring the doorbell to enter, so we did, and a pleasant local woman welcomed us in. I was surprised to see some students in the living area playing a game of “would you rather” rather loudly that it made me want to join in. The woman led us to the second floor that housed books of all kinds with a comfy floor set-up for those who prefer to linger while having espresso. It was the kind of place you can’t help but fall in love with. We settled back downstairs in their small balcony to enjoy the cool evening breeze while having delicious strawberry shakes. Perfect ending to a great day.