Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A time we can call ours ( David and Queen in Baguio)

My first Baguio trip was about 20 years ago. I just graduated from elementary and was asked to join a Girl Scout Summer Jamboree . I guess it was also a way of the school authorities to deviate my attention from the death of my dad to boundless opportunities that may come along my way as I age. It was indeed a rewarding experience.
In a green dress uniform, we boarded a non-airconditioned bus which picked us up at the GSP office in Nagtahan. I was asked to sit down with 5 other girls at the backmost portion of the bus. No biggie. I'm a cowgirl. It never mattered before(now it does hahahaha). The ride was usual. Until we reached the zigzag portion. While 30 other girls started throwing up, there I was giving first aid, standing and walking atop several luggages. ( Go firgure) Early climb I guess. I wonder why I never got dizzy in the first place. Maybe the excitement of going to Baguio was a bit too overwhelming and I never wanted to suck in the first place. And now thanks to dizitab, taking it an hour before travel would prevent nausea.

Nevertheless, the trip was very memorable. Soon as i set foot on the venue, I knew it's going to be one of my favorite places.

My first Baguio step was in Camp John Hay.

20 years and nth time after, it still feels like the first time.

OK, enough of the reminiscing. Let's get to my real story.

After 6 long months, finally a free weekend!!!!! David and I decided to have short getaway to any place to rest. We considered Boracay but he does not seem so interested since he said we wanted to rest and going there would require us to explore the area. We decided on Baguio since he knew that I'm a heights person than a beach one and February is one of the better months to go. Climate is better, flowers are vibrant and atmosphere is festive.

For those commuting their way up, Victory Liner offers an airconditoned ride at Php 390 one way. They also have a deluxe line ( 20 seats, no stopovers) @ Php600. But it leaves at some specified odd times. We left Manila at 4 am, only to get a ride at 6am since that's the next slot available. I found the travel a little odd ( seems longer that previous ones).

This is the best thing to do while travelling :)

This Bus Stop in Pangasinan will make you eat hotdogs like you did in Kindergarten. :)

After 6 and half hours, we arrived at the zigzag road. Unfortunately, we had an overheated bus and conductor asked us to transfer. We rode the 2nd bus that arrived. Only that its not airconditioned ( ok lang baguio air na :) )

We went straight ahead at the Camp John Hay Manor. The place seems a bit busier than the usual. So happened that Couples for Christ had their grand Joy weekend at the CAP convention center inside John Hay. It's nice to see families gather around the picninc tables under the pine trees


I was about to book at the Ridgewood Residences ( a new place in Baguio with good reviews) but they said they're fully booked for the weekend. Most of the families may have booked there. I ended up choosing Manor again and as always, ulitimate enjoyment :)

Here are some reasons why I would stay at the Manor even f its more expensive than the others:
1. PINE TREES - as the city becomes more urbanized, Camp John Hay maintained its Baguio look. Tall pine trees, ( smells like christmas )

2. Ambiance - the hotel looks far better than any other place in Baguio. Peace and quiet and open air ( as borowed from a song )

The Manor Facade

Inner Garden

At the Lobby

Can't get enough of the great interior design at the lift lobby

Lamps of intricate geometry.

An interesting painting at the lounge area

seems like a huge native clock to me

The Manor at night

3. Comfort - fluffy pillows, spring beds, log cabin style room, hot and cold shower, fireplace, lounge area, spa area, what more can you ask for?

The hotel was running on high, we never got a Queen/ King bed. Their usual twin beds are bigger than the normal ones. We fit comfortably on one. Their beds are good for those with back problems. We ultimately felt the change on the first night. We never even used the ceiling fan since with open windows, it is really cool anytime of the day.

It has a small kitchenette without the stove. :) My favorite part of the room would still be the walk in closet, near the bathroom.

For five hundred pesos more, you can have a room with a balcony. We never got one but huge windows are enough for any guest to see a great view.

Breakfast buffets come at a separate rate ( around Pho504 each) but it is worth having. Starting the day having breakfast overlooking the friendship garden will truly make your day.

4. Food Choices - ok I have to admit, the city offers more. But CJH has my favorite restaurant outlet Little John's.

One of the best baby back ribs we've ever tasted. Paired with clam chowder, your partner will have to remind you of your name. This quaint resto offers great food at affordable prices.

Guest may dabble their thoughts or artistic skills while waiting for the food to be served. Sometimes, the owners will put the drawing in a frame and have it designed on the wall. Does the owner of this frame sounds familiar? Hahaha. I wonder who among the five members drew this.

Another choice would be the food stop at the fuel station. Mostly yummy junk food ( burger, pizza, ice cream parlor )

5. Entertainment - during our first night, we were serenaded by four voices at the lobby during the lounge night.

Ang galing!!!! More of liike a 92 AD group. Guess they are named On Call. They played broadway music and standards pretty well.

Mood Swing performed on the second night, still good but I love the first one a lot better.

Coffee and fruit platter solved na!!!!

6. Wide roads, clean fresh air.

20 years ago, along this stretch very near this phone booth, there was a chocolate vendo machine.

They still segregate waste into categories.

5. Hmmm, I must admit. I'm a bit too picky with accommodation during travel. ( I can see the look on David's face again ). I would search a lot of average looking and average priced vanues only to settle with somewhere I've already been to. I would normally suggest that when one travels ( esp a couple), try to stay in a nice place at least on the last day. It makes your travel more relaxing. If youw ish to go to Baguio on a honeymoon, try going there between Jun-Sept. A little rainy but still comfortable if you wont roam in the city. The Manor offers a two night for the price of one deal on those months. Manor is very picturesque. You may even ask any of their staff to take your photo. They seem to be relaxed doing so.

The whole stay was more of rest than travel. Just the thing that we wanted. Time to bond, to communicate more, live our lives like any normal couple.

On the last day, we decided to still visit Mines View Park.

Kids usually pick up coin that tourists throw as they wish. But i guess it's not allowed anymore.

a view from the top

Looking around, it feels very Baguio with these souvenir items

Exploring the city would still require strength. ( Talk about slopes ) David and I went there to buy the usual pasalubong. After an hour, we went back to the hotel. Much of our time in Baguio was really spent on either sleeping or lounging.

Explore Ukay ukay, I was never a fan but David requested so he may have this shot. :)

Even Koreans go there to buy stuff. Some are new ones though.

We also visited SM Baguio. I was wondering bout a long line in this stall. I told David " may libreng kwento pa kasi habang naggugupit kaya matagal " :)

A Sunday trip would never be complete without hearing mass at the BAguio Cathedral.

Are we coming back? :)

And here's my photo of the week.
The Manor fireplace. :)


Nona said...

Hi Queen! (no hi for David since si Son lng ang naaalala nyang batiin hmmph!) Kakainggit naman ang honeymoon nyo. Are you sure you went to Baguio to relax it seems like you guys were practicing your photography skills. Ganda ng shots! Pang prenup and pang print ad.
Thanks again for all the help Queen. Paki sabi narin kay David thank you =) Please send our warm regards to the rest of your team.

grace said...

Hi Queen and David! Finally, your well-deserved getaway!!! Inggit naman ako, parang I want to kidnap Sam and ravish him sa Manor! Heeheehee! Mwah!