Vacation in Baguio | 3 Days and 2 Nights at the City of Pines

I’ve finally been able to travel to Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines. Together with the whole gang, we spent three days and two nights in this mountaintop city.

We woke up at 1:00 AM to prepare, and our friend picked us up at about 2:30. My son got a little irritated after getting disturbed from his sleep, so I carried him immediately and went to the car. He’s always happy when it comes to going outside so he quickly calmed down when he realized that. After picking up the others, we went on our way.

Day 1

We arrived at 7:30. Way too early for 2:00 PM check-in time at our rented house, so we started taking a walk at our first destination, the Burnham Park.

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Burnham park has a lot of beautiful sceneries, making it an easy go-to place for both locals and tourists. The park looks so alive with a lot of people engaged in different morning activities such as running, Zumba dancing, and even some people doing push-ups at random places. The park also offers leisure activities such as biking, and boat riding at the Burnham Lake.

Breakfast at McDonald’s

Funny, right? We came all the way here for McDonald’s.

After taking a walk for a few minutes at the park, we started looking for Cafe by the Ruins, a well-known cafe in Baguio. I don’t know what happened, but the moment we reached the place, they suddenly changed their minds and said we’ll just have breakfast at McDonald’s just across the street. Obviously, we were on a budget so we’d wanna go with a more budget-friendly option.

Buying Groceries

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At around 9:00 AM, we informed the homeowners that we were already in the area and asked if it’s okay to check-in early, which fortunately it was. Two of us went ahead and the rest of us stayed so we can buy groceries. We took a taxi going to  SM Baguio where we bought our groceries.

Baguio Taxi Drivers

First off, this is my own opinion based on experience. Maybe it’s too early to judge since we only took two taxis for the entire vacation. But to me, the vibe was just so different, especially the one that took us from SM Baguio to our rented home.

Even if we got lost on our way and had to go back and forth a few times, the driver was so polite and patient, same with the first one who took us to SM. The location was a bit difficult to find I think because the actual address was different from what we were given. If it was in Manila, I’m sure the driver would’ve already bombarded us with complaints and asked for additional payments.

Manila drivers are just the exact opposite of these guys. (Not guilty for saying that.)

Anyway, our first day was mostly spent just relaxing. We didn’t quite get enough sleep so it was the only time we could do that. In the evening, we had another couple who arrived just on time for dinner, which was followed by a drinking session and a game of In-between. I was the first one to fall asleep since I couldn’t really stay up any longer.

Day 2

Mines View Park

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We had a list of places that we wanted to visit in Baguio for our second day. The first one was the Mines View Park. Here, you can buy different types of souvenirs- From foods such as Peanut Brittles, Choco Flakes, Crinkles, to keychains and fridge magnets, as well as plants that you can use for home decoration, and many more. You can also rent and wear the traditional Igorot costumes, and take photos with horses and their famous St. Bernard dogs.

This tourist spot is also famous for its observation deck where you can enjoy a great view of the mountains. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to experience it that much and take a lot of pictures because the place was already too overcrowded when we arrived.

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My friends bought these wooden beads bracelets for all the boys. Wearing them while doing the two-fingers is said to signify friendship among men… Nah, we just made that up.

After Mines View Park, we went to the Good Shepherd Convent. Not much to do there except to buy Ube Jam, which they are famous for, and other food souvenirs.

The Mansion

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Our last stop was at The Mansion, known as the summer palace of the President of the Philippines. You can click here to know more about this place. We didn’t do much here since you really can’t get inside the mansion itself, obviously.  You can also see the good scenery outside and take a few pictures like we did.

After hanging out for a few minutes, we all went back to the car and left for lunch. We had planned to have lunch at Good Taste Restaurant which is very famous in Baguio for its delicious and affordable food. Unfortunately, since it is “very” famous, and it was a weekend, it was already jampacked just by looking at the line of people waiting outside. We were already too hungry from our activities so we didn’t have that much patience to wait in line. We ended up having lunch at a fast food restaurant in Session Road. 

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Final night

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We went back to the house after having lunch. We talked about going out again in the afternoon, but we were already exhausted from our activities so we just spent the rest of the day relaxing. Plus, there was also Wi-Fi so all of us boys had fun playing Ragnarok Mobile instead. šŸ˜œ

This was also our second and last night of vacation. Just like the previous night, we had a great dinner together that was later followed by a drinking session and another game of In-between. We had a little chat after the game before everyone went to sleep.

Day 3

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Delicious Tocino, courtesy of Ronnel and Joan a.k.a #TeamPCSO. Prepared with fried rice by our Master Chef, Renan Riteza.

After having breakfast, we just spent the remainder of our stay packing up and getting ready to leave. We had another tour before going straight home.

Old Diplomat Hotel

The Old Diplomat Hotel was originally built as a retreat house which also sheltered Dominican Priests and families during the Japanese occupation. Before the second world war ended, the Japanese used this as their home base, making it a target of the Americans and was bombed in 1945.

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After taking this photo, we were called out by the guard. We didn’t know people were not allowed to go inside the rooms. Please don’t be like us. šŸ˜…
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The building features some arts and histories inside. I didn’t go to the roof deck since it was too hot when we visited. I hope I did, though, because you could see a nice 360 view of the whole Baguio City from there. Oh, and the “spooky” stories that it was famous for? Nope, no encounters. There were a lot of people inside so maybe the ghosts didn’t find that moment to be exciting to scare us off.

The outside also had a lot of beautiful spots where we took some pictures before leaving.

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Source: Cherrie Pagtalunan
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Source: IG- @don.mykel
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Source: Cherrie Pagtalunan
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We actually had about 10 places on our list, but I guess a couple of days is just not enough to do that. Or maybe we could ditch the online gaming while on vacation and be more YOLO next time.

Anyway, that’s about all the activities we had in our 3 days and 2 nights in Baguio. A well-spent vacation, indeed. šŸ˜‰

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