So the long weekend trip was kind of unplanned. A friend called in wanting to do a post birthday celebration at Baguio City. It has been since 2012’s Panagbenga Festival since I visited the city and I wanted to do a different approach, so I agreed. What to do in Baguio apart from the usual? We wanted to revisit the city in a different spin; not the usual sites seen. So on our itinerary would be food tripping, relaxation and an overall artsy trip to remember. My type of shit, I say.
Food trip it is, after a good breakfast at the hotel, we decided to spend lunch elsewhere. My friend, who we call the “gay-gel map”, recommended our first stop - The Good Taste Restaurant. Located at the corner of Carino and Otek Street near Burnham Park, it was not so hard to find. Soon as you see people flocking at an area, that’s where it is. First impression is a confirmation. As I believe, food must be good if people flock in. We were quite surprised when our orders arrived; it was a huge serving. The price is cheap for the amount of the food they serve. It is highly recommended for a budget trip.
As much as we don’t want to visit the usual, given that we have someone who’s a first timer in Baguio, we had to go to a few. After a heavy lunch, we went to see the Botanical garden. Nothing fancy so we decided to entertain ourselves by shopping at the “Pasalubong” stores inside the park. We got ourselves some cardigans and a little more wood works, we’d probably not use anyway. Still, it was a mini shopping experience.
Next stop was the famous Mines View Park. Although it can be considered a cliché, I realized I haven’t been there for ages. We then decided to shop as the first timer enjoys taking pictures all over.
What I enjoyed and missed most is the street food sold inside the park. I missed eating grilled corn with butter and salt; the famous grilled dried squid dipped in spicy vinegar; and of course, the ever so favorite “sundot kulangot”.
A lot has changed since ten years that I’ve been there - the St. Bernard star dogs, more gimmicks and more food. We left and decided it is my time for the trip. We passed by the famous Baguio Haunted Laperal White House and realized they have opened it to the public. I said, there is no way we can miss it. It has been my dream since childhood to go inside the famous mansion and explore.
Now it is converted into a Bamboo Art Museum. An entrance fee of PhP50.00 may not be so bad, considering you can enter one of Baguio’s iconic houses. So I went and explored the first floor alone; I wanted to go upstairs so I had to ask a friend to join me. The house is clean and renovated, I guess. I was disappointed not to see creepy dolls, cobwebs and scary furniture when we went upstairs till the third floor. I opened all the cabinets and doors I can possibly peek into hoping to get a glimpse of what used to be the scariest haunted house in the city. I guess my ghost haunting came to disappoint; but nevertheless, it was an experience.
After that afternoon, we got hungry and decided to go elsewhere new to us. We got curious to try the chocolate café inside Camp John Hay. So we searched over blogs and the internet until we found it. Choco-late de Batirol did not disappoint! I can highly speak of their excellent Strawberry Baguio Blend; which gives a unique experience for the guests. The ambiance and interior gives it the extra ‘umph’ that makes you want to hang out till forever and just talk about anything with friends or whoever you are with. The suman, bibingka and turon are of the essence when you visit the place; but I got crazy in love with their palabok served for two. I’m not sure if I was just hungry or their palabok is just one of the best I have had so far. Unfortunately, we only ordered a plate; and when we decided to get two more, they are already out of stock. Even so, it can be considered one of the best places we’ve visited during the trip.
The day is not over yet; and did I say one of our main goal is food tripping? So right after a delightful mirienda, at Choco-late de Batirol, we decided to have our lovely dinner at 50’s Diner located at the corner of Upper General Luna and Brent Roads. It may not be my first time here, but it sure feels like it every time. The nostalgic throw back vibe gives me a feeling of pigging out, American style. Christina Aguilera's Candyman realness is what it serves. While food serving is, as always, humongous given the price; and the taste never disappoints. I am a big fan of Marilyn Monroe and it is always a pleasure to see posters and photos of her while we dine in and enjoy the big serving. I highly recommend their strawberry milk shake, by the way, that surely brings all the boys to the yard, if you know what I mean.
After the vomit-inducing overload, we decided to take a good rest back in our hotel room before partying the night away. We wanted to experience Nevada Square so off we went. The PhP50.00 entrance fee only lead us going out and trying the VIP Access at a nearby bar, Purple. It may have been a young night when we entered but just about when we were all warmed up and done with a bottle of tequila, the crowd started packing the house. It was a good VIP experience I must say. Surely, Baguio people know how to party. As we danced and dropped our pelvic bones to the floor, it was a sure day of revisiting and exploring Baguio packed in a day.