Baguio June 22-25, 2012 [Day 2]

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– We woke up early to take a walk around. We finally hied ourselves out of the hotel at around 6:30am and by then, the sun was already out. Still, it was cool and it was wonderful to be able to walk around even if it was so early. Walking around Camp John Hay can be quite exhausting, though. I guess it comes with the fact that most of the time, you’re walking up and not on a flat road like I’m used to. The scenery was worth it, however. It was green everywhere and the trees were really, really tall. I couldn’t help the Twilight flashbacks because of the scenery, but that was okay. It made it much more memorable, also funny in a way.

– We were finally able to find Mile High, which is just a stone’s throw away from The Manor. Mile High is the place to go within Camp John Hay to go shopping. The shops weren’t open yet, but you’d probably be impressed at the selection of shops. A lot of brand names are there, including Mango, which probably says something. The only shops open were this souvenir store where we got Noel’s requested pasalubong of a necklace and this restaurant called …Everything Nice.

– Going back to the hotel meant it was time for breakfast. I love a hotel that has a “free” breakfast buffet. Le Monet has a good breakfast buffet and my favorite part of it was the biscuits with mushroom gravy. I don’t think I’ve had biscuits and gravy anywhere else, so I think that’s really a highlight and a plus of this hotel. If possible, I’d love to come back and stay here again.

– We ended up stuffing ourselves so much we had to take a while to rest. It was probably a bad idea to rest too long as I really felt lazy about going out again. I got over it eventually though and we headed down to the city proper to have mass at the Baguio Cathedral. I was so disappointed about the look of the Cathedral. It’s… Pink. I just don’t like the look of it. I like seeing the churches in places I visit and Baguio Cathedral is a letdown.

– The stairs leading down from the Cathedral was so high, I was really scared of slipping. Eventually, there weren’t any accidents and I managed to get down safely. Getting down from the stairs revealed Session Road, the place to be when you’re looking for places to eat or buy all sorts of things. Walking down Session Road with the crowd reminded me of Hong Kong, especially given the cool temperature. I kept expecting to hear people speak Chinese and was surprised every time when they spoke Filipino, haha. We passed by Star Rice, a classic Chinese restaurant that was very well known for its authentic Chinese offerings. Too bad we were still full, so we didn’t stop to eat. We did stop by a stall where they were selling DVDs, though. PFFFT.

– It’s really polluted in the city proper and so it didn’t take long for Mama to hail a taxi so we could go back to Camp John Hay. She found out that there was a way to see Wright Park and The Mansion while going back to the hotel. On the way, we were also able to see a bit of the Teacher’s Camp. I mentioned before that in the hotel, an AC isn’t used. It’s the same thing in taxis. A window was open as we were being driven around and it was enough to keep us cool through the whole scenic ride. Wright Park reminded me of Intramuros, with the long manmade “river”in the middle. The Mansion was the Baguio residence of the President, so obviously it was grand and stately. We were also fortunate that we got to pass the exclusive Baguio Country Club, the first ever country club in the Philippines. As we rode the taxi home through these sites, we were also able to see old American Colonial-style houses. When the Philippines was colonized by the United States, the Americans discovered Baguio and fell in love with it, probably because of the weather and the environment. A lot of them built houses there and so their legacy remained in the old Colonial houses seen most everywhere in Baguio.

 (Unfortunately, we didn’t get to take pictures along Session Road, Wright Park, The Mansion and the Baguio Country Club. Session Road had too many people walking around and we only passed by everything else very quickly. Our picture of Mile High didn’t really appeal to me. It had my face right smack on the side, lol. Too bad, really.)

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