Traveling is the best way to spend a memorable moment with your family. A time to set aside problems and relax. It brings us to meet new people, unfamiliar environments, different street signs, varied cultural norms, new knowledge, new friends, different contexts and wider communities. Along the way, we might probably encounter unexpected inconveniences, difficulties and obstacles. It also gives us a lot of great memories we can always look back on.
Growing up, me and my family wants to travel. We all know that Baguio City is one of the well-known places here in the Philippines. Summer might be the best time to visit it because of its cooler climate and fresh air but whether it is summer or rainy season, Baguio is still an ideal place to chill and relax. It has always been popular because of its weather. Looking back, me and my family visited the Summer Capital of the Philippines. It is the most beautiful places that I’ve ever seen in pictures and when my parents told me that we will go to this place, I felt very excited. We went to Baguio last December 2016 to celebrate Christmas and we stayed for 3 days and 2 nights only but it was one of the best days I experienced in my life with my family.
Going to the province of Benguet, Philippines is seven hours travel by having our own car from Laguna. Starting from EDSA, crossing the NLEX, entering SCTEX, exiting the province of Tarlac then we have our stop over so we can stretch our bodies and freshen up then we continue our trip going through the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union and then exploring the zigzag road of the Kennon Road to the coldest place in the Philippines will be reached. Baguio is about 348.9 km from Laguna. While having a road trip with my family, my back and butt is enduring the pain of sitting long inside the van service that I am riding for this long road trip. After a long drive up to the north, we reached the place at 12 in the afternoon.
On our way to Baguio, we see a gigantic Lion’s Head that stands 40ft. tall on the side of the mountain road along Kennon Road and it is one of recognizable landmarks in Baguio. Our car stopped for a while to see and take photograph of it. We continue our travel until we reached our first destination which is Burnham Park that has a manmade, a grandstand for special events, gardens and a skating rink. We also tried to do boating that costs Php. 100.00/30 minutes. There are also bikes such as single bikes, tandem bikes, bikes for kids or even bike with side cars. Me and my cousins rent a bike having the fee of Php. 40.00 only and it is already unlimited. We enjoyed the ride around the park and because of the cold weather. We also saw Baguio’s Largest St. Bernard dog namely Doglas who was huge and cuddly and we took a photo with him. Me and my cousins also play around the park, took photos, ate foods that were famous in the place such as strawberry ice cream, and also enjoyed the place and cool weather. After a long tiring day, me and my family decided to eat our dinner then we stroll around the place again then we continue going to an apartment that we would be staying. The apartment that we stayed for 2 nights was big. We are three families in the that house. I remembered that we don’t use any aircon or electric fans because of the cold weather. Before we sleep, me and my cousins tell stories with each other and also ate foods. We rested because prepare ourselves for the second day our or journey.
The next day morning, we have hard time taking a bath because of the cold and we ate our breakfast in our apartment then we fix our things our next trip in Baguio. Our first destination was the Bell Church or the Quaint Buddhist temple. It was conveniently located a few steps from the boundary welcome arch of La Trinidad, Benguet. This place is very quiet that has colorful archways, a small lily pond and has a scenic hillside view. It was a nice place to appreciate Chinese culture embodied in intricately designed structures and landscaped gardens. After going in this temple, we immediately go to Strawberry farm in which it makes Baguio unique among most cities in the country because of the climate that is really good for planting and harvesting strawberries. When we got there, all we saw was strawberries. We also experience strawberry picking and it was well worth it. Even in the souvenirs they have like strawberry-themed socks, strawberry sling bags, and many more. We also buy “pasalubong” for our friends. It even shows to the kind of food you eat there in Baguio like Strawberry ice cream and strawberry taho. We also bought some vegetables in the place because it is not expensive. For our next destination, we proceed to the most popular botanical garden featuring a variety of plants & colorful flowers, along with native huts. Before we entered, we are welcomed by a relief sculpture made of cement and stone depicting the different rituals of the Cordillera tribes and we took photo with the real live Igorots that they will get you a small fee. We also go for a walk and continue in the Wright Park that has a long pool lined with full of pine trees, visitors who walks, jogs, and rent horses to ride. We also went The Mansion of Baguio because it is just in front of the place and we also took some pictures. It is the summer home of the President of the Philippines that features manicured lawns and gardens open to the public. The Mansion is one of the frequent sights to visit when in Baguio. Surrounding the Mansion were greenery landscapes of pine trees, vast grass field and blooming flowers of various types. Afterwards, we move along on the place to the place that has an overlooking view deck of the park where a breath-taking panoramic view of Benguet’s gold and copper mines which is Mines View Park and this view also shows the mountainous and verdant landscape surrounding Baguio and Benguet. It is best viewed while enjoying the cool weather of Baguio. I won’t forget the mountain slopes that has green color and the blue skies in this place. This place is very relaxing because of the view and I can see how nice the view actually is from there. Me and my cousins also rent and tried wearing an Igorot costumes and we took pictures. Afterwards, went to the Philippine Military Academy. The place was really nice, clean, and well-maintained. The place has so much history because of the stuffs we saw that were from World War II. It was very nice to walk and jog there because the place is very wide, clean, fresh air, and interesting. We saw big old tanks, cannons, an aircraft, and even military soldiers and we took photos with it. we roam around inside the place and we also ate foods and buy some clothes in this place. After going to this place, we return again to the Wright Park before eating our dinner. Me and my younger brother and cousins tried Horseback riding. This experience is the different experience for me. That time it’s my first to ride a horse and I was very nervous because I think that I would fall but as time went on, I relaxed while staying in tune with my horse, while remembering guide’s instructions. It last for only 30 minutes and it was truly worth it and enjoyed it. Lastly, for our day 2 journey, we decided to eat our dinner before going home. Me and my family reminisce on what happed with our days. After we eat, we come back to our place and fix our things. We are all tired and we all slept early.
Day 3, last day of our journey in Baguio and we all prepared our things and put it in our van. We ate our breakfast in our house and we first go travel going to a Catholic shrine & pilgrimage site that features a statue of the Virgin Mary which is Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto that was located on a hillside. It took us long going up because the place was high. We prayed there and again took photos. We also bought some strawberry taho. Our second stop would be in Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral, better known as Baguio Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral located at Cathedral Loop adjacent to Session Road in Baguio in which it was founded in 1936. We stayed and prayed for a while. We also saw a wedding ceremony in that day. Our next stop would be in Good Shepherd Convent. This convent has a store which was known for the different products made by the Good Shepherd nuns and workers for visitors of Baguio City. Among the most sought items are fruit preserves, strawberry and, ube jams, cashew and peanut brittle, and coco jam in which we also bought a lot of goods. It was late in the afternoon and my family decided to it in SM Baguio and we also bought a strawberry cake for us. After eating, we checked everything and go home. We also have a stopover when we go home to pee and again stretch ourselves and we ate our dinner once again. It was a long tiring day we I enjoyed travelling with my family.
When we are going home, I realized a lot that we can’t just walk around Baguio because it has mountainous city with a lot of valleys that the roads were built on top of. We experienced the coldness of the environment we had almost never experienced before. Because of the colder climate there, all of us really needed jackets, scarfs, and sweatshirts when we are travelling. There are souvenirs that can be everywhere in this place such as printed on t-shirts, hats, bags, bonnets, mugs, and many more.
One of the best things about travelling is it gives you time to reflect. Travelling helps me to learn and try something new and everything that we are doing, we would always learn new skills. Meeting new faces is always a good idea and makes us happy. There are places that we’ve been to and that place seems like a magnet to our soul that keeps us on coming back. I’ve got Baguio City a place in my heart and it was filled of happy memories.