[Baguio] ~ An Impulse Visit to City of Cold

Because I needed a breather from the heat, the city and everything else. – 05.31.15

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BAGUIO has a special place in my heart as it is where my parents had their honeymoon and to date, it still remains my mother’s favorite place that she likes spending her birthday every year in this so called City of Pines.

For this year though, an unexpected passenger crowd made me miss what could have been a weekend with the family.  I had too much trust then at the bus line after having watched this film called That Thing Called Tadhana in which lead characters impulsively went to Baguio which since then has been popularized as the place where broken hearts go.

Baguio

I indeed have a broken heart when I went there for this trip. Without going into detail (I shall keep that to my other virtual space :/), this trip was a temporary escape from the monotony I was feeling around that time and from some unwanted feelings after a bad fight. Craving some crazy, I went straight to the city after some beer at my favorite watering hole. With only the essentials (including a light sweater of course), I found myself on a window seat on a bus – all hopeful to  find my piece of peace, if only for a day.

I bought a 4AM ticket but fortunately, there were free seats on the 3AM trip that I saved an hour. I had some sleep on the bus and barely realizing it, I was at the busy Victory Liner terminal in my destination. To be on the safe side, I looked for which trip later that day I could take. I tried to book but unluckily, all trips were fully booked that I had no choice but be a chance passenger. I was on “oh well, let’s just see what happens” mode that day though that I did not let that be a bother.

I tried to walk my way to the main road but it seemed far that I opted to take a taxi to my first stop – CAFE BY THE RUINS. This was also made known to me as it was a location shoot of film I mentioned earlier. It was also their first stop so I thought I could attempt to retrace that. It turns out that there are two cafes and I chose the original one in Shuntug Road (other one in Upper Session Road). I ended up getting confused though which one served as location shoot for the film.

20150531_095114A spot in this corner

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20150531_095737View from where I was seated

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20150531_100942That menu with some Baguio feel

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20150531_101031Gazeboo

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20150531_101711Oh that is quite a long longganiza

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20150531_104153Hey there, photobomb

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20150531_104306Some “sari-sari store” 

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The original plan was to stay long at the cafe and read but for some reason, I only managed to flip through a few pages. I then decided to walk my way in search of the famous SESSION ROAD. It was supposed to be near but knowing my bad sense of direction, it took a while before I got there and when I was, I was not very sure even that I was at the right place until I found the street sign that said so.

20150531_105449This busy crossing

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20150531_105616Some build-up

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I just kept on walking with the crowd – an activity which oddly, I find relaxing. I walked and walked until I reached the end where SM is located. I then got reminded me of the way to CASA VALLEJO where our family stayed the previous year.  That place was a personal favorite because apart from its history, the hotel houses a charming bookshop and a mini-theater with independent film screenings – some even for free! (I actually have been meaning to go there for this trip – I just did not expect that finding it would be that easy).

20150531_111427We meet again! 

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Last year, it was a surprise how I came across MT CLOUD BOOKSHOP and it was love at first sight. Books are plenty but I particularly loved the small finds. My parents then immediately knew that I was enjoying as I could not seem to stop rummaging through the small stuff (in Filipino may be called “abubots”. I remember getting myself locally crafted comics, bookmark, a witty pin and some stickers. It was my happy place I kept on going back there even though I had no particular thing in mind that I wanted to buy.

20150531_111614Tita Witty invades this place huh

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20150531_111747As if no one was there

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20150531_111853Now I just love this place more!

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20150531_111931 Agam spotted

(A book by owners of my favorite place in Cubao)

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20150531_114143Those memo pads with witty lines made it here too!

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20150531_114350Oh colors.

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20150531_114726Took a photo so I could find on my spare time. Haven’t found it though until now

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20150531_114733Giant story book which we read aloud during a Diksyonaryo Atbp reading camp last year

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When done checking out “abubots” at Mt Cloud, I did more walking – past Cordillera University and I ended up in BURNHAM PARK – an iconic landmark and place-to-be in the city – for tourists and locals alike. As far as I know, this park has  been home to those swan boat rides and bicycle area. I did not ride the boat nor the bike but I loved watching people enjoyably doing such.

20150531_123244This classic scene

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20150531_123447Kids.

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20150531_124231A first to see this portion of the park

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20150531_124621Failed panorama

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After Burnham, I found myself back to Session Road then to the cathedral until it was time for that day’s free screening at Casa Vallejo’s mini film place called CINEMATHEQUE BAGUIO. 

20150531_124629That marker in the distance called Kilometer 0 which serves as point of reference for Baguio relative to other places in the Philippines

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20150531_125251This road on its lesser crowded part

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20150531_130017Busy on a Sunday

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20150531_130848This leading to newly opened restaurants Pamana and Hawaiian BBQ (Oh I just got reminded of that spam meal!)

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20150531_131035That hand gesture, As if scaring little children

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I was back at Casa Vallejo about 15 before the 1:30PM screening of an independent film. At first, I was hesitant to see the film because synopsis described it to be one about the war; and at that time, I least wanted to be  depressed. I was so sleepy on the first minutes but I ended up with no regret about my decision as it was actually a good one. Not heavy and quite a different take on wars.

20150531_131216The colors from this side

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20150531_131729And I am again back. 

###20150531_131906Cinematheque Baguio where I saw “War is a Tender Thing”

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It was raining softly after the screening so I started feeling the gloom. I still had one stop though which is this bar where they sell craft beer. The driver warned me that there would be heavy traffic getting there but I decided to go anyway. And he was being truthful that I almost felt like asking him to turn around. I did arrive at the brewery though and — it would not open until 5PM and I was there an hour earlier. Now that was a downer!

20150531_144328I was running from the drizzle then these cuddlies happened

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I thought it would be too late if I waited for it to open and I might miss my bus that I decided to call it a day. Weather also not very cooperative as it continued to rain. At the terminal, I was greeted by this long line of passengers which the officer at the terminal pointed to me as a matter of fact. No room for panic though and I tried my luck at the other terminal which I spotted earlier when I was doing my aimless walking. I fortunately scored a seat on one directly bound to Manila. The rain made it gloomy but at least that was a good way to end a trip! (Not to mention that Titanic was playing on the bus :D)

So I went there for my piece of peace and did I get it? I would not say that I did really as it was not easy to clear my mind. But I had my moments of peace and that was more than enough. 

HOW TO GET THERE

Take a Baguio-bound bus at Victory Liner terminal in Cubao. One-way fare at Php150. It said in the website that trips run every hour. Passengers are many (I think most of the time) that if you are following a strict schedule, I suggest to be there ahead of time.

From Baguio to Manila, the instinct is to take the same liner (as it is the biggest). What I did though was go to the terminal for the local buses and luckily got on one bound to Manila. Fare also at Php450.

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