Rallie goes to Baguio: Day 2

Baby wanted to start our day early so we planned the night before on waking up at around 6am. But that didn’t happen.

It was 7am when we woke up and were trying to buy some time to still lie down and rest but our will to fully roam around Baguio won so while our eyes were still sleepy, we took a bath, ate the bland hotel complimentary breakfast and off we went to conquer Baguio.

We rode a jeep at the Rizal Park, which was only a few meters away from out hotel, to go to our first destination: Strawberry farm. Baby wasn’t that optimistic about it since the fruit wasn’t in season when we went there, but we still went just for the heck of it. He was right, there were barely any strawberries on the field. We didn’t even attempt to go in the fields, we just walked back to the highway to ride a jeep back to the city proper. While walking we bought strawberry ice cream. It wasn’t that good unfortunately.

Our next destination was Camp John Hay. Coming from the strawberry fields we just paid our rent and duties in Manila through Chinabank, which was located in our hotel. After doing so, we rode a taxi to Camp John Hay.

We first visited the site where the Bell house is located. By this time, I was not in a good mood and baby hoped that by visiting the Cemetery of Negativism, that the place would suck out all the bad vibes in me. Well he wasn’t that successful because it was only when we were at the Bell house that my mood became better.

My favorite of all the tombstones

I love the concept of the Cemetery. Each tombstone represents a negative aspect of a person that hinders him from being totally happy and successful. I would say that I could relate to some of the statements there.

A few walks from the Cemetery was the Bell house. It was just a typical old-fashioned house maintained and cleaned regularly for the visitors to be able to feel the old-time vibe and aura of the house. Baby was scared with the closed cabinets and doors, thinking that there might be ghosts waiting to scare us (just him, really). There was also a musuem and library in the house but we did not visit those.

We walked straight to the historical trail surrounding the house.

The vacationist in me refused to read all those sentences and long paragraphs but I’m guessing it’s about the American colonization (if I’m wrong, then I’m sorry). Baby and I were just busy taking pictures, trying our best to take great shots.

Along the historical trail was Our Secret Garden. There was nothing much to see except for the flower formations that formed the word “Welcome” and the sentence “God ❤ U.”

Baby busy being a photographer. Well I was, too. Only, he was my subject. 😛

The Historical Trail leads to the Belle House Ampitheater, which for me was the best part of that area. It was just so colorful because of all the flowers. Plus, I was able to see a bird that I’m pretty sure is not usually seen anywhere. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what breed it was.

After taking some photos of the ampitheater, we headed back to the Cemetery of Negativism because baby wanted to take a photo of all the tombstones.

There was also a totempole in the area
A replica of USA's Statue of Liberty

Baby wanted to visit the butterfly sanctuary so we walked from the Belle House area. Now, the butterfly sanctuary was how I imagined it to be: green and full of plants. What surprised me was the number of butterflies that they actually had that time. There were only three butterflies and one of them even had its wings chipped.

One of the caretakers said that it is really hard for them to breed and take care of butterflies because it is not used to the cold weather. So my question here, really, is why do they maintain a butterfly sanctuary if they know that butterflies wouldn’t live that long in the cold weather of Baguio? Anyway we had a mini photoshoot in the sanctuary. The caretaker put honey to some of the flowers to make the butterflies stay there and not fly away.

Baby took this photo. Galing!

It's a cocoon!

We also asked the caretaker if it’s possible for us to walk to Wright Part and Mines View Park from Camp John Hay. He said that it was possible if we exit to Gate to of the Camp.

Somewhere along the way, we decided to have lunch at Chocolate de Batirol in Camp John Hay, and somewhere along the way, we asked someone where it was located. Now I’m not sure if it was the caretaker who we asked directions.

So off we walked.

Just a note. It was here in Camp John Hay that baby first held my hand while we were walking. I didn’t take into account those times that either of us would intentionally hold the other’s hand especially when crossing the street (because baby knows how dumb I am when crossing the street).You see, he’s discreet and he’s not a fan of PDA (well, I’m not a fan as well, but you know I have my moments. LOL). Anyway, it was just too sweet. Well of course we did this when no one was passing the road. Again, it was too sweet and it defenitely was one of the best moments of the whole trip for me.

On our way to the Gate 2 exit, we passed by the Mile-Hi store area. There were lots of outlet shops of famous brands like Nike, Adidas…uhm, those were the only ones I remember. Sorry.

We stopped there and looked for a while. Baby was a bit sad because he wanted to buy some things but we didn’t have a budget for that. Don’t worry baby, we’ll do that someday. 🙂

Gate 2 exit was not, in any way, near the butterfly sanctuary!  I hate yung Kuya caretaker. Joke. But seriously, I sort of hated you that time.

It was past noon and we were still walking, under the blazing sun, without any umbrellas.

Finally after walking for what seemed like hours, we reached Chocolate de Batirol.

I liked the ambiance and the look of the place. The owners aura, not much. But it’s cool. I think we were the first customers that day. He gave us the Republika table.

We ordered bibingka, and suman. We both wanted cold drinks but the machine that was supposed to make them were broken so just ordered the traditional hot chocolate drink.

The drink was served in a pitcher like container, which is called the Batirol. It supposedly makes the drink tastes a lot better than a regular chocolate drink. The owner, who served us our meal, mixed the drink in the batirol before pouring in our mugs.

It’s the type of chocolate drink I want, bittersweet. The bibingka and suman were good as well.

After eating, we proceeded to walking to Wright Park. I believe we asked a guard if the park was in a walking distance from Camp John Hay, and again he said yes. So off we walked.

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked ( We were already at Baguio Country Club and yet no Wright Park)

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked

Still no Wright Park, so we walked

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked

Occasionally crossing the street because the sidewalk also shifting from one side to the other. So we walked

And we walked

And we walked

Until finally, we reached the rotanda that the guard told us as a landmark that we’re near Wright Park.

We walked some more.

At last, pink horses. Apparently, Wright Park is famous for unicorn-back riding. I refuse to call them horses because horses do not have pink hair.

No, I did not ride in any of them. We just passed by them and proceeded the steps that made me question if all the walking we did were not enough punishment for my legs and feet that we would be embarking on yet another set of walking, only this time it would be harder because of the elevation.

Every step was a strain for me. And baby couldn’t blame me either, after what we’ve been through. Reaching the top was a relief for me. We sat in a gazebo-like place and took some photos of the flowers before walking to The Mansion House where the president of the country resides every time he/she is in the area.

Blurry shot. That was how tired we were.

Baby was tired already.

After our obligatory photos, we again asked the guard if Mines View Park is walking distance from there. And he answered, you guessed it right, YES. So of we walked

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked

I mean don’t get me wrong, it was really tiring but it was fun at the same time because baby and I were just alking about thnigs and specualting as to how much farther did he we have to walk to reach our destination. So we walked

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked

And we walked

After almost half an hour of walking and with the sky starting to darken, we finally reached Mines View Park. Finally. Mines. View. Park. You couldn’t imagine the joy I felt when we finally got there. After all the walking. ALL THE WALKING.

What we did the minute we got there was to go to one of the CLEAN CRs that apparently is certified by the Department of Tourism. Because you know, while walking, aside from talking, all we did was drink to avoid dehydration. LOL

After doing our deed there. We then proceeded to, again you guessed it right, walking around Mines View Park. I bought a stick of grilled squid, because I saw the lead actor in one of the movies we watched eating it and it looked good so I tried. Well it was not exceptional but it was a good treat.

We walked through the stores selling stuff ranging from food, pasalubong, tshirts, carved things, etc. to go to the viewing deck. We also saw around three St. Bernard all made up and ready for a photoshoot. They, as we learned, were part of the tourist attraction of the park. Weird.

There were a number of people already sitting and taking photos when we reached the viewing deck. We waited for our turn to pose at the wooden railing of the viewing deck. Because you know, it’s the standard of turista shots.

After taking our obligatory shots, I approached two elderly women locals who lends native costumes for 10 pesos. Baby didn’t want to try them on because he’s afraid of all the diseases and bacteria that he might acquire from them. He’s shala (read: sosyal) like that. Joke. I love him so much. Anyway, I did quite a number of poses. I also asked the two elderly women to pose with me. They said they had talent fee and I politely obliged.

After doing our business at the viewing deck, we proceeded to the Good Shepherd convent(?) to buy our pasalubongs for our families. I thought it was smacked right in Mines View Park. But I was wrong. We still needed to walk almost half a kilometer to get there. I know it’s a short distance but after what we’ve been through to get there, could you blame me?

After buying the pasalubongs, we were supposed to head straight back to our hotel but the rain poured so we stayed first in front of one of the stores in Mines View Park and waited for the rain to stop. It was also during that time that I got to taste Baguio’s sort of famous strawberry taho. It was quite expensive at 15 pesos per small cup. It tastes…like strawberry. It was good. I liked it.

Strawberry taho. With the special appearance of Baby's hand

Finally the rain stopped. We again started walking from Mines View Park all the way to our hotel. It was already past nine in the evening when we got there.

Joke.

We rode a taxi back to our hotel. Dropped off the things we bought, rested for a while then off we went again to Teachers Camp and Botanical Garden.

It was already around 5pm that time. We decided to go there because we might not have enough time knowing that we would leave at noon the next day and we still have to visit a number of places.

We first went to Teachers Camp. Nothing much to see here except for a lot of houses and a lot of shirtless buff men playing football at the open field. Yup. That’s it.

And as if the we did not do any walking that day, we still walked from Teachers Camp to the Botanical Garden.

It was almost 6pm when we got there. It was cloudy and even raining that day but fortunately, there was still enough sunlight for us to take photos there.

The place was so saddening. For a botanical garden, it sure had very few species of flowers! It had its interesting parts though which we took our photos with.

It was past 6pm when we left the place disappointed because we had our high expectations of the place as baby explained the Baguio is known for its flora and fauna so we thought they’d take really good care of this garden. But oh well.

It was time for dinner and I really planned on eating at Oh My Gulay that night. Nobody could stop me/us.

From the Botanical Garden, we rode a taxi to Oh My Gulay.

The place was packed. We decided to sit at a table at the ~terrace overlooking the city.

The names of the food were cute and funny. We decided to order two pasta dishes, one vegetable dish, and one salad.

And true to its name, I almost said OMG (Oh My God/Gosh) because of their food. THEY WERE ALL DELICIOUS!

My pasta, pasta primadonna was great. It had tomato sauce (I guess) and a whole lot of vegetables. Yum!

Baby had their version of creamy pesto. It was also good, though it needed a little more taste.

The best dish we had was the Talong Parmigiana. I can’t even explain how good it was. It was just really goooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.

We also had their Oh My Gulay salad. It was okay. I am not really a salad guy.

For dessert, we ordered their peach crepe. Now this one I loved! One serving was enough for both of us.

We consumed all those in just half an hour. Pardon our hunger.

After eating dinner, went back to our hotel, rested for a while and then retired.

This day was definitely AWESOME.

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