Monday, May 13, 2013

Baguio Itinerary (3D/2N)

We have always wanted to do a road trip to Northern Luzon with the kiddos. 

The plan was a 3D/2N stay in Baguio as an entry point to our 3D/2N stay in Vigan. 

We could pushed further North, but the traffic exodus out of Manila on a Holy Week was just unbearable.

The first phase of our trip up North is Baguio City. The summer capital of the Philippines.  I was seven (7) months pregnant with my second son, when we last visited Baguio and my second son is now 4 years old.  It has been that long and I was quite excited to go back.

As this was just a 3D/2N trip and with kids, we had to plan in advance on where to stay and what to do, to make the most of our Baguio visit. We also had to skip some of the usuals in our agenda for a more child friendly itinerary.

Day 1 (Holy Tuesday)
  • 5am   - left for Baguio (the plan was to reach Isdaan in Gerona Tarlac for breakfast)
  • 10am - Isdaan sa Gerona Tarlac - arrived an hour later than expected. We were tempted to grab a quick fastfood bite in NLEX.  It was a good thing we have emergency baon (ham and cheese sandwiches and boiled eggs).  Isdaan was so worth the wait and a must stopover if you are heading North.
  • 1pm   - reached Baguio City, but took another 30minutes to locate Azalea Residences our accommodation for Baguio Day 1.  We rested a while and headed to the first item in our agenda.  We decided to leave our car in Azalea and took a taxi. 
  • 3pm - Baguio Cathedral - Our Lady of Atonement (It is Holy Week after all)
  • 4pm - Burnham Park (this is a must in your itinerary if you have kids).  Suggested activities: (1) Burnham Park Lagoon boat ride (I remember riding one of these boats with my siblings as a child, those were happy memories and I hope my kids remember this day also as special); (2) Biking (although the bike seats were quite hard and there were so many people, it was near impossible not to bump against other tourists); (3) Burnham Park Playground (entrance is free but my kids enjoined this activity the most). 
  • 6pm - Good Taste for take out dinner.  Our boatman recommended the place and says its delicious and price reasonable.  
  • Back to base :P  (Tomorrow is another busy day)! 
Day 2 (Holy Wednesday)
  • 8am - Hotel Breakfast
  • 9am - Mines View Park, while there we stopped by Good Shepherd (best buys: ube and jam) and Ibay's Silver Shop (best buys: jewelries cheaper than in Manila although styles/choices quite limited).  Other good buys in Baguio are the native brooms (lasts longer than the ones sold in Manila) and farm produce (however, since we are still heading to Vigan - I can't buy any :( ). 
  • 10am - Back to Azalea Residences for early check out (our Day 2 accommodation is at Camp John Hay Manor)
  • 11am - Ben-Cab Museum Tour and Lunch at Cafe Sabel.
  • 2pm - Check in at Camp John Hay Manor (CJHM).  Freshened a bit and then roamed around CJHM's grounds. For the Holy Week, CJHM, had stationed a play ground, a butterfly sanctuary, mini zoo and an artist corner for kids to enjoy.
  • 6pm - Cafe Batirol for dinner
  • 7pm - Back to base
Day 3 (Maundy Thursday)
  • 8am - Breakfast at Little John's then Fruits in Ice Cream (FIC) for dessert (we were nuts and ordered ice cream - I nearly froze finishing my ice cream).
  • 9am -  Roamed CJHM grounds once more
  • 10am - Early check out (Head off to Vigan)

Places we missed in last Baguio Itinerary:

(1) Tam-Awan Village - it was a choice between Tam-Awan and Ben-Cab, since we have been to Tam-Awan before Ben-Cab museum was the winner by default.
(2) Oh-My-Gulay - The ambience and art works that adorned this restaurant is a must for first timers in Baguio.  We should have just gone here instead of Good Taste!  Oh-My-Gulay is a complete experience!
(3) Cafe by the Ruins
(4) A leisure walk along Session Road (not a good idea if you are vacationing with kids)

See also Part 2 of our North Luzon road trip - Vigan Itinerary (3D/2N).

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