13 December, 2014

Side Trip: Baguio in a Jiffy


5,000 feet above sea level + some 250-kilometers from Manila + there's me who stayed at my hotel for only 8 hours ... this trip to the City of Pines was tiring, but different ( at least for me ). I was finally able to appreciate the gorgeous mountainscapes and the breathtaking nature views unique to Baguio. I have always been a beach girl and this probably is the reason why it took me this long to appreciate nature in this form. If I had a choice, I would have taken a plane from Manila to Baguio like I used to. It would have been more convenient because the trip's just going to be an hour instead of almost half-a-day. Unfortunately, airlines stopped flying to Loakan Airport because of Baguio's erratic weather and afternoon fog made which made trips dangerous. [ Read: In new plan, Baguio airport likely to take off again ]

This recent long drive to Baguio though has to be one of the most beautiful I've had in months ... weaving through green foliage alongside mountainscapes, slipping past rice fields, being kissed by the cool breeze, and seeing clear blue skies. I'm kind of deprived of these because we don't really have much of 'em in the city.





6:00AM, Sunday morning view from my room at Hotel Elizabeth



Working Sunday
This trip was part of work and I had every intention to limit my travel to one day because the event that weekend was not so demanding of my time. Ha! That's if my original plan worked out. Anyway, this was the first event that I put together for our company's project in Baguio and for a while, I was nangangapa because my team and I had to work with a different set of suppliers. It wasn't our comfort zone, but hey, we gotta do what we had to do.Ö And, everything turned out okay in the end.




This was a productive Sunday at work with our Site Engineers, Contractors, and Sales Team.



It wasn't love at first sight, but I love Baguio.
I had one major boo-boo for this trip. I underestimated the occupancy rates of Baguio hotels, thinking that October wasn't peak season yet. Instead of booking a month before the event, I only started to look for a place to stay five days before I was set to go up — which in any case, is not good practice. Four days before the big event, I was already in panic mode. I called six hotels and all of them were fully-booked. Dang!

While hoteliers in Baguio are happy, I had a huge problem. But, it wasn't anything that I couldn't solve.Ü

I was close to going back to my original crazy plan of a one-time big-time travel + work thing, but I also considered taking chances by asking a friend if she could help me find accommodations. Albeit the 8-month stint that I had with DirectWithHotels, having worked in the hospitality industry taught me a lot of stuff that were very useful during this time of crisis. I'm not quite sure if I got distressed inventory, but what I know is that I was thankful to have been given two rooms where my team and I stayed.


Even with the little time that I had, I did want to go around. Well, it was only this year - after my Brunei Darussalam trip, that I started to appreciate a different vibe of nature. [ Read: Brunei Darussalam in 40-Something Hours, Part II ]

I was able to squeeze in going to Camp John Hay before heading home ... a Baguio trip is not complete without going to John Hay. I checked out the fashion rack designer outlets at Mile Hi ( one of the best shopping destinations in this side of the Philippines ), but wasn't able to get anything because there's just too many people in Baguio during that weekend.

While I was in career-woman mode, P, who's ever-supportive waited for me to finish work. And, while he was doing that, he got to go around. One of his discoveries was this charming Italian restaurant that's tucked away in John Hay. I've been to their branches in Makati + Burgos Circle and while the quality & taste of their dishes are the same, Cantinetta branch in Baguio is now my favorite.




Baguio took my breath away. I was telling my Mom that I can live here. I sure won't mind waking up to sweeping nature views and chilly mornings. I can see myself sipping wine in the evening whilst enjoying a permanent retreat in what I'd say is one of the most beautiful places in my country.




My friend, Vicky, has always been eager to handle sales operations for our Baguio project. I now see why she was okay to be assigned here and why she didn't mind traveling to and fro Manila-Baguio. I now understand why she wanted to settle and retire in The City of Pines. It's different ( in a good way ) from the city and it's something that one could easily get used to.

It no longer matters to me that the drive up is long because Baguio is simply spectacular. It's green and it's gorgeous and I am set to make time to explore one of the most beautiful mountain towns in the Philippines. ☮..Peace + _Love + Spreading Some Travel Vibes. RUSS.


45 comments:

(Terry) My Journey With Candida said...

Baguio is very beautiful, from what I can see. But then,.. I am totally a nature girl.

Soiree Design Studio said...

The scenery looks so peaceful. Glad you got some time to enjoy it.

Catherine Sargent said...

All the pictures are great. This looks like a beautiful place to visit.

Fiona said...

Baguio looks like such a lovely place to settle down. I can see why it's called The City Of Pines - so many trees! :)

Aisha Kristine Chong said...

I love Baguio - the place, the scenery, the nature - just everything! Good thing we have plans to go there this December and I can't wait!

Masshole Mommy said...

Wow, how lovely. That is a great project and I can totally see why you would want to live there.

Stephanie C. said...

Beautiful pictures! Looks like a stunning place to visit and/or live. I could see myself there. Glad you enjoyed.

Tanya Coffman said...

This looks like such a wonderful place to have a retreat.

Stacie said...

Beautiful pictures. It sounds like you had a nice visit after all. The scenery can be breathe taking!

Kendall Rayburn said...

Looks like a gorgeous place! Such beautiful scenery!

Jennifer said...

What beautiful pictures. I can see why you fell in love with this place.

Melissa Pezza said...

It's so beautiful there. Those pine trees are so majestic.

Kristen said...

WOW. I am super jealous of the warm weather you are having! Its been 20 degrees here in Iowa for over a month!

HilLesha O'Nan said...

I have heard of Baguio, but it looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Sar-Jayne said...

It looks gorgeous! We are always out in the forest with our boys, this looks like the perfect place to visit!

Bonnie Gowen said...

Baguio sounds like a very nice place to visit. Thanks for sharing pictures they came out great.

Elizabeth O. said...

Lovely photos! Baguio also has a special place in my heart!

Terri Ramsey Beavers said...

Oh how beautiful. I'd love to go to Baguio sometime. Thanks so much for sharing your trip.

CourtneyLynne said...

Omg this place sounds absolutely beautiful!!! Fabulous photos :)

Krystal Butherus said...

I would like to visit this place my self! It has nice scenery!

Katarina Kovcin said...

Great post! I really enjoyed the photos, wish I could visit it!

Fred Hawson said...

Baguio is always a good place to visit. If only the drive was easier and shorter, hehe. I hope the new highway gets finished all the way through already.

Yona Williams said...

It must be nice to be able to travel and visit places while in work mode...I think it provides a nice break in your usual routine. I think the City of Pines is a lovely name.

Louise Banta said...

I do envy those workers/employees who are sent for job somewhere else. Though it's still job related travel/trip, you still get to discover or see a new place. I dream to have that kind of career. Hehe.

Never been to Baguio and I'm a beach bum too so hopefully, next year, we would be able to go there and enjoy as much as you did. :)

Sin Yee said...

Love your photos. You make me want to go there too. =D

eLaNaKcL said...

It's amazingly beautiful. Glad u enjoyed your time there. Thanks for sharing such awesome place.

Tiffany Yong W.T. said...

The place look beautiful! So it's a work trip? Sometimes, people think taking the aeroplane is more convenient, but I realized that the boarding and alighting is sometimes more troublesome than going by land!

Franc said...

I spend a lot of time in the trails of Camp John Hay since it's really scenic. It's my home town and glad with SCTEX and TPLEX, the travel time is now much shorter.

Barbie's Beauty Bits said...

Looks and sounds amazing. What a great way view to wake up to in the morning. I love being surrounded by trees!

Sim @ SimsLife.co.uk said...

Absolutely stunning! Can totally understand why Vicky moved there! Ack, glad you got it all sorted - I need to plan everything months in advance, otherwise I start stressing! Amazing to see the pictures! Simone x

Yuh Jiun said...

omg this is so beautiful! I wish to stay here as well :(

Khushboo Motihar said...

Baguio looks stunning. I loved your photographs. Thank you for sharing your wonderful travel experiences :)

Raymond Vasquez said...

Ah!!! Baguio! I have always been a fan! I enjoyed my every trip to Baguio! And this has made me reminisce the memory and miss the place and the people I went there with. You're quite a person of work-life-balance eh? :D

Eliz Obih-Frank said...

I've read som many beautiful posts about Baguio and all that it has to offer. It's such a gorgeous place and I'd love to visit there some day.

Angelo The Explorer said...

I love Bagiuo! Everyday feels like you are on holiday! My favorite spot is definitely Camp john hay!

Cherri Megasko said...

I've never been to the Philippines, much less Baguio. But I love it when I get to explore new places and my employer picks up the tab!

Julianne Caparos said...

Breathtaking view. You should try going to Sagada as well. just a few more hours from Baguio :)

Chinky said...

Oh how I miss Baguio already. Every January, we have an annual conference to attend in Baguio. But beginning next year, the organizers have opted to just have it in Manila. Yes it's going to be less expensive to the participants and more people will be able to come but we'll surely miss the lovely Baguio weather!

Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen said...

We had plans to go to Baguio this December but it fell through. Hope we can go next year.

Gillian Ong said...

This place looks lovely! Hopefully I can visit someday !

Alyssa Tuangco said...

I'd love to go back to Baguio, this post made me miss it! :) you can try checking in at Casa Vallejo, the restaurant there is one of the best Hillstation :)

ROBERT LEE said...

Baguio will always be Baguio. Whether you are there for work, fun is always synonymous with Baguio before and it still is today, so naturally, you would get to go around. Shopping may not be my thing and for that, I cannot emphatize with you. But, seeing the greens, now that is something I truly enjoy. Where else can you see pine trees in the Philippines???

Zwitsy said...

I haven't been in Baguio but I am craving to go there. I have heard a lot about it and I am sure that when I'll be there, I have so much places to visit and to blog about!

Sriparna Susan said...

The pictures taken are lovely. The scenery is so calm and soothing! No wonder one would love and enjoy to be in this place. Great post and thanks for taking us through this in a jiffy :)

Veeyah | The Indy Miss said...

What a lovely experience! The last time I went to Baguio was a million years ago (hahaha) as a child, and I have fond memories of the place. You look really youthful! Probably an effect 24-year-old me will get if I spend a few days in Baguio haha.