The City of Pines ~ Baguio City

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Going there



a. Commute

Victory Liner Bus: click here

b. Private Vehicle

click here

Route:

Manila to North Luzon Express Way (NLEX) – take Exit 85 – leads to SCTEX

From SCTEX – to Tarlac City Exit ( turning left to this road)

Follow road signs then turn right to MacArthur Highway ( passing the provinces of Tarlac and Pangasinan)

Turn right at the Rosario junction to get to Kennon Road 

or

Go straight about 500 meters to get to Marcos Highway road instead of turning right at the Rosario junction

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We started traveling at 5: 30 am via NLEX. Grab breakfast and coffee on the go along the highway and was planning to take the Marcos Highway but unfortunately turned right too soon because of the un-updated offline map, so we ended up taking the Kennon road instead.

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Arrived at Baguio: 11: 00 am 

Toll Fees Total: Php 500.00 – Php 600.00



Recommendation



The Manor Camp John Hay

Website

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More photos click here

Our room: Superior room, located at the second floor of the hotel. It had 2 queen size beds, flat screen TV, huge windows overlooking the garden, big mirrors with table and chairs, a small kitchen area with coffee maker and a refrigerator, 2 complimentary water every day, free tea and coffee. Dresser with hair dryer, small closet with iron and hangers. The bathroom was clean, free toiletries and H/C shower. Fan room and not AC room.

Positive points: The room was big and carpeted. It was very clean and everything looked perfect. Upon our arrival, they gave us 2 free strawberry foot massage coupons which we could avail until 10:00 pm that day. They had this beautiful big garden, patios, and verandas where you can have a coffee, relax, eat or just listen to a live band every night. They will leave you a weather forecast for your activities the next day inside your room with free chocolate kisses. Valet parking is free, security was good and everybody working there were accommodating and friendly

Negative: The toilet seat cover was broken. So we informed them and they immediately fixed it. There was seriously wrong with the hot and cold shower because after using it for 15 minutes, it turns cold. They tried to fix it twice but it was still the same.

Tip: Choose a room that has an adjacent patio. Buffet breakfast and dinner at Le Chef ( the restaurant inside Manor) is for Php 800.00 to a thousandIf you are on a tight budget, there are other restaurants inside Camp John Hay or outside that vicinity that offer cheaper meals but what I’ve heard, food at Le Chef is amazing especially the steak.

Other hotels click here

Some hotels offer big discounts during rainy seasons ( May to October). 

Festivals in Baguio click here



 Things to see



Note: If yo do not have a private vehicle, you can reach these places by public transportation. Please see:

Commuting click here

Directions click here


Burnham Park

Address: Legarda-Burnham-Kisad, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

Entrance: Free

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More photos click here

A park in the heart of the city. It had bikes and boats for rent. You can only bike around 2 specific areas, but it was fun looking at UA’s biking improvement compared 3 years ago when we were in Cambodia. This park has nothing much to see, though. It was surrounded by plants, flowers, benches, and areas where you could sit down or have a picnic. We saw a couple of visitors biking and locals selling some souvenirs and food around the area of the lake. The surroundings were clean yet the lake looked filthy.

Bike rentals (mountain bike, BMX, dual tandem bike, bike with sidecar) – Php 50.00 – Php 100.00 / hour

Boat rentalsPhp 200.00 / hour

Strawberry tahoPhp 25.00

Ordinary tahoPhp 15.00

Ice cream in a bun Php 20.00

Tip: There is a tourism office near the entrance of the park 


Baguio Museum

Website

Address: Dot-PTA Complex, Governor Pack Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

Entrance Fee:

  • Php 40.00 –  Adult
  • Php 30.00 – Senior
  • Php 20.00 – College
  • Php 10.00 –  Elementary

Unfortunately, when we got there, it was close but we saw one local artist that had a small stall just beside the museum. We had a nice chat with him about his experience and his passion for carvings.

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We thought that somebody ordered a chess board with detailed carvings on it but he told us nobody did, he just wanted to challenge himself making one.

More photos click here

Bought an old pipe from Sir Ernesto that looked like a Longchamp French tobacco pipe. At first, he told us he doesn’t know how much he will charge it for because it was only given to him 20 years ago. We asked him if we could buy it for Php 200.00 because we didn’t have enough money with us. He was hesitant yet too shy to say no.

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Botanical Garden

Website

Address: Leonard Wood Rd, Baguio, Benguet

Entrance Fee: Free

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More photos click here

This park is surrounded with plants, trees, shines of different countries ( Japan, China etc.) and souvenir shops. It’s a small park but relaxing because it was not crowded. You can try wearing an Igorot costume for a fee or take a picture with a group of Igorot women.

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Php 20.00 – wearing of Igorot costume with unlimited shots

Php 10.00 / person – rate of the Igorot woman who will take a picture with you

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The funny thing was when I approached one Igorot woman outside the park and told her that I just need 2 of them to take pictures with but she called the rest of her gang and I ended up paying Php 130.00 for all of them


Mines View Park

( park walking distance from Good Shepherd Convent)

Address: Baguio, Benguet

Entrance Fee: Free

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Outside this park was a lot of souvenir shops, food stalls, and restaurants. I wish I could write nicer things about this park but there is nothing to write about because it was small and crowded with visitors and locals that were making money out of everything. Why? Here are the reasons:

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Php 50. 00 / 3 hots with these dogs
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The overlooking view deck was nice but people were offering Php 10.00 / use of telescope
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Overpriced plants and flowers sold everywhere

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  • Horseback riding – Php 100.00
  • Taking picture with the horse – Php 10.00 / shot
  • Wearing of an Igorot Costume – Php 20.00
  • Food sold everywhere inside the park

Spent less than 20 minutes inside. Rain started pouring like cats and dogs, decided to try sweet corn ( Php 10.00 / cup) with cheese powder sold outside the gate then check out the souvenir shops.

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Good Shepherd Convent

Website

Address: Gibraltar Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

Opening hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily

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Jams, biscuits, cookies and more
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Fresh harvested Ube

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Ube jam ( Php 150.00 ) , angel cookies ( Php 90.00) and oatmeal cookies ( Php 70.00)


Night Market

Address: Harrison Rd, Baguio, Benguet

9:00 pm to 12:00 AM every day

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Filipino Street food
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” Ukay-ukay” – secondhand goods  ( clothing, shoes, bags, furniture, etc.) being sold at cheap prices

More photos click here

All things for sale ranges from Php 10.00Php 900. 00, I was able to purchase only one knitted jacket because I got overwhelmed.

Food ranges from Php 5.00Php 25.00

Tip: Thoroughly inspect the item you want to buy here, the street is not well lit. 


Eastern Weaving Room Inc.

Website

Address: No. 2 Easter Road Guisad, Baguio City, 2600 Benguet Benguet CAR, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

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More photos click here

On our way to Tam-awan Village, we stopped at this shop for souvenir items and got a glimpse of the weaving process. It is forbidden to take pictures of the products of this store but you can take as many pictures as you want in the weaving room. They were selling weaved shoes, clothes, neckties, beanies, bags and native costumes. Bought two beanie caps ( Php 50.00 each) and a knitted necktie for my dad ( Php 250.00). I was planning to buy shoes too but they had limited size


Tam-awan Village

Website

Address: Long Long Benguet Rd, Baguio, Benguet

Entrance Fee: Php 50.00

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More photos click here

We were greeted by 3 on the job trainees at the ticket booth and one of them offered to give us a tour. She also informed us that there is a cultural dance show at 2:00 pm every Saturday, which we missed. A lot of climbing on slippery stones happened here but the place was beautiful. It also had a restaurant and souvenir shop near a small art room for local artists.

Souvenir items ranges from Php 25.00 – Php 500.00


BenCab Museum

Website

Address: Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet

Entrance Fee: Php 100.00

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More photos click here

We asked a couple of locals for direction because the offline map pointed us to another place. On our way to the museum, the fog was thick and was hard to see the road even with the headlights was on. The museum had a small parking area and we were lucky to get one.

This museum not only had artwork in the 3-floor building but also had a restaurant overlooking their garden. It also had a small souvenir shop but most of the items were expensive

Souvenir items: Php 80.00 and above


Other places to see click here

There is a secluded waterfall along Kennon Road called Bridal Veil Falls. It is not marked on the road, but according to some blogs, it’s hidden behind some buildings as you drive along this route



 Food



O’ Mai Khan’s, Mongolian Grill And Hot Pot

Menu

Address: ( new location) Upper Session Road, walking distance from Narda’s Cafe and Pastry

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Taste of Asia ~ Php 250.00 (pork)
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Make your own Mongolian Barbecue
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Sauces for Mongolian Barbecue

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Result of UA’s experimental bowl ~ Php 250.00 ( unlimited)

The restaurant along the road and had a small parking area. The design of their restaurant was nice, cozy and comfortable. The waitresses were attentive and so was the hundred of flies all over the restaurant. The food was delicious and cheap but you need to cover your dish because the flies are ready to join you for a meal.

Food: Php 200.00 and above

Drinks: Php 50.00 and above

After we had lunch here, we walked a few meters towards another place called Narda’s Cafe. They had a restaurant and souvenir shops.  It had 2 floors and most of the items there were knitted, made in fiber and gems. The second floor had a lot of traditional women’s clothes.

Prices of items range from Php 50.00 and above

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Arca’s Yard

Website

Address: Ambuklao Road, Baguio ( if you will see Kingstown Village, you are on the right track)

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Arca’s Cloud tea ~ Php 60.00 / Cacao hot choco ~ Php 75.00
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Arca’s sweet potato ala mode ~ Php 95.00

More photos click here

This coffee shop is hard to find because it is out of the way.  It is far from the center city and on the mountain area. If you see the Baguio Tiptop Vacation Homes, you are on the right road. Just follow that road and you would see the coffee shop on your right.

This coffee shop is a mini bookstore and museum. People sat on the floor with pillows around. We wanted to sit on the first floor but it was already occupied so we went up to the second floor and enjoyed a light snack while we played sungka.

The place was nice and relaxing because it was not crowded at that time and they have a small veranda where you can a see the sea of clouds and the sunset. The kamote pie was really good ( contrary to some blogs), the hot chocolate was not as good as their tea.

Drinks: Php 25.00 – Php 100.00

Food: Php 95.00 above


Point and Grill Restaurant

Address: Session Rd, Baguio, Benguet

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Pork bbq ~ Php 99.00

We were looking around the session road when we saw a lot of locals eating at this place , so we decided to try it as well. This place is more like a canteen than a restaurant. Food ranges from Php 70.00 and above. They have a combo meal which would only cost Php 99. 00 with a free juice ( that tasted like powdered juice).

My pork barbecue was in big serving. It was soft and cooked very well. The separate meat dish with a special sauce that UA ordered which cost around Php 200.00 looked really sad. The meat lacked flavor, the sauce tasted good though the serving was small for the price.

Tip: If you decide to eat here, order the combo meals, it tastes good and has a variety of choices.


Chocolate de batirol

Website

Address: Igorot Park, Camp John Hay, Baguio, 2600

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Longanizang Vigan ~ Php 160.00
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Tocinong Kalabaw ~ Php 160.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Traditional Blend ~ Php 70.00 and Baguio Blend (strawberry) ~ Php 90.00

I was very excited to eat breakfast here because according to some online reviews their food were amazing. Let me start with the good part. . .

  1. The ambiance was good because there were tables and chairs outside the small garden which was surrounded by trees and flowers.
  2. Accessible for people staying inside the Camp John Hay.
  3. Fresh air, a couple of butterflies here and there.
  4. Spiders. . . HUGE spiders here and there too ( I am not allowed to put this in the bad part because after all, what do you expect in a restaurant surrounded with trees)

The bad part…

  1. Waitress looked tired with a “i-woke-up-in-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed” facial expression
  2. Traditional Blend Chocolate drink – tasted like it was diluted too much
  3. Baguio Blend ~ nothing special about it. It seems like the strawberry flavor they used was a processed syrup that it did not blend well with the taste of the very diluted chocolate
  4. Dishes serving were small
  5. TOCINONG KALABAW ~ very sour and bitter. It smelled stale and the smell that it was going bad, then you cook it… that kind of smell. It was so mushy that you will have no trouble cutting it with your spoon and fork, or with fingers for that matter. We called the waiter and told them that it tasted too bitter so he offered to cook it again. The same waiter gave me the same plate with the newly half burnt meat but the taste did not even change.

We left the restaurant without finishing our hot drink nor our food. Maybe we ordered the wrong food? Maybe that tocinong kalabaw should really taste and smell that way? Maybe this…. maybe that… but one thing’s for sure, we will definitely NOT RECOMMEND this place to our friends nor come back ever again.


Solibao Restaurant

Website

Address: Door 1, Puso ng Baguio Building, Session Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

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Puto Bumbong ~ Php 45. 00

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After the cashier at Bread Talk in SM Baguio told us that we should try Solibao at the Session Road, we went there not to eat dinner but to try their puto bumbong. We found out that Solibao restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in this city that’s why a lot of locals know this place. Looked inside the restaurant which was small, well lit and clean. We then decided to eat on an adjacent kiosk called Ganza. Their Puto Bumbong was very delicious and it was served fresh and hot.

There are a lot of beggars roaming around session road. If they ask for money, offer them food


Oh My Gulay Restaurant

Website

Address: 5/F La Azotea Building, Session Rd

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Anak ng Putanesca ~ Php 120.00
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Talong Parmigiana ~ Php 120.00

aa2After a sad breakfast at Chocolate de Batirol, I was very hesitant to eat here because I wanted meat for our late lunch. This restaurant is known for its vegetarian dishes, at the 5th floor of La Azotea Building. When we arrived at the top, I was surprised how artsy the place was. The restaurant was very creative. Different paintings and art of work were hang on the walls. We took the table near the veranda overlooking the Session Road. We ordered coffee and tea while waiting for our food. It took at least 30 minutes to serve the dishes. Both of the dishes we ordered were absolutely delicious and did not feel nor taste like we were eating vegetables. I ordered extra butter fried bread ( more than 5 pieces). Everything was nice, except the small and uncomfortable comfort room.


 Amare La Cucina

Website

Address: Ignacio Villamor St, Baguio, Benguet ( Inside Albergo hotel 1/F)

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Sausage Pepperoni Mushroom ~ Php 420. 00

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This restaurant was hard to find because it was located in a hotel. After relying on the offline map that took us to Wright Park, we finally asked a local that gave us the right direction. The restaurant was clean and small. The pizza was delicious and was cooked in a wood fire brick oven. They also have pasta, juices, beer, soda and salads on their menu.

Pizza: less than Php 420.00

Salad: less than Php 280.00

Pasta:  less than Php 350.00

Drinks: less than Php 100.00


 Cafe Sabel

Address: Ground Level, BenCab Museum, Km 6. Asin Road, Baguio, 2603 Benguet

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Grilled pork chop with rosemary ~ Php 220.00 / Brewed Coffee ~ Php 80.00
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Cucumber cooler with mint leaves ~ Php 90.00 / Baby back ribs ~ Php 350.00

More photos click here

You have a choice sitting inside the restaurant or on their veranda. Outside tables were overlooking their small garden and the mountain. The scenery was beautiful and relaxing. The food was very good and flavorful. Smoothies were also good, coffee was not that strong. The serving was not that much, just enough to quench our hunger.


Other places to eat click here



Going Home



From Province of La Union

For Kennon road ~ via Rosario

For Marcos Highway ~ via Agoo

click here

The receptionist of BenCab museum gave us direction and a small map on how to get to Marcos highway. Marcos Highway is better than Kenon Road. It is wider and safer for travelers


 

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