Baguio itinerary: How I spent a weekend in the city of pines

Day 1: 📍Cafe By The Ruins 📍BenCab Museum 📍Baguio Museum 📍Burnham Park
📍Visco's 📍Baguio Cathedral 📍Session Road 📍Night Market

Looking at it, my itinerary for the first day was packed—it feels like one wouldn’t be able to explore this much just in one day. But I did, and I daresay it was one of the eventful weekends of my life. Seasoned travellers would agree that the quality of your travel depends on so many factors, including transportation, the number of people you’re with, your occasional indecisiveness, and your time management skills—just to name a few. So allow me to tell you how I was able to do this much all in one day.

Joy Bus left Cubao at 5am. It was one of those executive couches that don’t do stopovers, have portable toilets on board, and take the shorter route to the north. I paid Php550 for my ticket, and before we took off, the conductor handed me a croissant (just the cheap one, nothing fancy) and a bottle of water. The entire trip was smooth, and it was 8:30 when the bus finally reached the destination.

9:15 - Café By The Ruins

The cool breeze started to brush my skin, but it wasn’t too cold to require me a jacket. Heck, I was even wearing a denim mini-jumper. First things first, food. With the croissant left untouched in my bag, I launched my Google Maps and searched for this famous café. But with or without a map, I sucked at directions and so was my companion so needless to say, we got lost and walked back and forth along Session Road. It felt low-key like I was in Quiapo, Manila at 7 in the morning. There weren’t many people, but the air wasn’t definitely anywhere Manila-like. It was cold and crisp and felt good to breathe in. In the end, we just gave up and hailed a cab, and had our most-awaited meal. I paid Php350 for this hefty breakfast.

Not a fan of brown rice, they're too bland for my taste but this one is good.

10:30ish - BenCab Museum

Right after breakfast, we hailed another cab to check out BenCab Museum. I’ve written a separate entry for my museum experience, you can read it here.

Right outside the museum, there’s a strawberry taho vendor. Of course, we tried it!

12:30 – Baguio Museum

Sadly, this museum is under renovation, so we only got to ogle at the Cordillera historical artifacts on the first floor. From their native clothing to their home items, people of the North have an undoubtedly rich and distinct culture.

If you only have work clothes and pajamas in your closet, what kind of life are you actually living?

12:45 – Burnham Park

Park strolls are fun, especially in the lazy afternoons but my Burnham Park experience happened during the mid-day heat when you would just want to lie down on an outdoor hammock with a good book and eventually fall asleep. It was still breezy though, but my backpack was getting heavier. Burnham Park is mostly… a park—there are flowers and benches and the grassy grounds under the shades of the trees are perfect for picnics with family and friends which is basically what the people were doing when we were there. There’s also a lake (if it’s natural or man-made is beyond me) but we didn’t try the boat ride.

1:00 – Vizco’s

Finally we decided that we were hungry, and went to Vizco’s located along Session Road. Their strawberry shortcake is to die for, and the Oreo cheesecake wasn’t too sweet I suspect could finish a whole while doing my Kdrama marathon. Both are perfect with my all-time go-to Americano.

03:00 – Back at the hotel

It was one of the OYO Bed and Breakfasts scattered in the city, which has a deck with chairs and a table where I suppose was a perfect place to catch up with some of my WIPs if I’m doing my one-person writing retreat, to fuck bae deep in the middle of the night, to be with bae in the morning having coffee, or just to hang out and chill.

5:30 – Baguio Cathedral, Our Lady of the Atonement

Refreshed and rested, we decided to attend the 6 pm mass. A lot of the scheduled masses were in Ilokano, but the one we attended was in English. I asked for the forgiveness of my sins and prayed for a safe trip, and world peace.

8:00 PM - The Sizzling Plate, Session Road

Walking along Session Road at night after the mass felt like Christmas, with its glorious street lights and energetic crowd. Finding a place for dinner proved to be a difficult task, as we wanted to eat in a place we cannot easily find in Manila. In the end, we gave in to Sizzling Plate. Just a reminder that we didn't have lunch and we were famished.

Find someone who looks at you the way I look at food. 

I'd wait forever to be your giiiirlll (sing it with me 90s kids!)

There's a shrine near Session Road where we killed the time and waited for the Night Market. It opens at 9 pm, and we bought socks and slippers (the hotel didn't provide one). It resembled the Taytay Tiangge on a Thursday, so it didn't peak my interest that much. After circling the market thrice or maybe four times, we finally went back to the hotel and called it a day.

Day 2: 📍La Trinidad 📍Errands 📍SM Baguio📍 Good Shepherd
📍Wright Park 📍Mt. Cloud Bookshop 📍Home

9:00 AM - Strawberry Farm, La Trinidad Benguet

Day 2 was more for buying pasalubongs and other stuff to bring home. After having breakfast, we went straight to La Trinidad via jeepney, a good 15-20 minutes from Baguio.

La Trinidad, located in Benguet (yes, not all bloggers think Strawberry Farm is in Baguio) is famous for its Strawberry Farm, an initiative of Benguet State University. The farm also has other crops like romaine lettuce, broccoli, cauliflowers, and other plants which are all organic. I paid extra so I could pick strawberries myself as one of the farmers was too persuasive in telling me it'll be a good experience, plus it'll make an impressive IG post.

I had nowhere to leave my backpack so it stayed with me. This little experience made me realise how it is to live as a farmer. It's. Not. Easy.

After this, we did some errands and went to SM Baguio. I wasn't able to take a picture from the mall but lemme say that place is super impressive as it doesn't use an air conditioning system. The cool mountain air was all and enough to ventilate the place. We had lunch in the food court, and a meal of fish and rice as there was a limited selection. We were also able to leave out things in the baggage area located on the basement floor, for which we were thankful because they were also starting to get heavier.

1:00 PM - Good Shepherd

Their snowballs and ube jam are both to die for, so I said I really had to go there. I also bought cashew brittle and lengua de gato, for the people at home and at the office.

My only picture take at Good Shepherd. I'm so tired.

2:00 PM - Mine's View Park

Mine's View Park is also one of the famous places to visit in Baguio, and I found out that this is where the people on colorful horses and those in native costumes along with the famed St. Bernard have taken their photos.

The blue skies are priceless.

I suppose we could also have gone to Camp John Hay but everybody's been there so we decided to just head back and go to, probably our last stop.

2:30 PM - Mt. Cloud Bookshop

This indie bookstore in Baguio I've only seen in Instagram has finally come to life, and I am awed. It's just your ordinary bookstore, packed with local books and post cards, but I should say it has a distinct charm akin to museums. This is also where I bought my copy of Dekada '70.

a smuggled photograph

3:30 PM - Back to SM Baguio

We went back to SM Baguio to collect our things and have coffee, and at 4:30 we went to the bus station and went home. I reached home at past twelve, something I was already expecting since we missed the Joy Bus scheduled at 6 pm (the tickets were sold out) and their next bus was leaving at 9.

Yes, that's how I spent a weekend in Baguio. As I write this, I realize it was tiring to be hopping from one place to the next. But looking back, maybe it was, but it was more fun.