2015 Year-End Ramble: Baguio

Last touch for the year! Wooohooo! Sorry, couldn’t get over the excitement my short travel brought. Looking back, I have started this year with a travel – to Baguio – and eventually ended it in… Baguio.

Baguio has been that good serene place for me to explore but it is just recent that I got to explore lots of places there. Though I have not explored the place in its entirety still, I guess this has been a great start and a good spree to find the chance and the time to go back and traverse the place more next time.

My good friend and former housemate (parang PBB lang) Emily hosted me for the past 3 days and 2 nights of my stay. She religiously heading back to Baguio whenever there’s a long vacation because her relatives reside there. Lucky me that I got to stroll around the city with a local and a good friend, oh but of course.

I went to Victory Liner in Cubao, Quezon City on a Christmas day to buy tickets in advance for the next-week travel. I left the bus station around 6:00AM and set foot in Baguio around 2:00PM. The travel time was that looooong due to the volume of vehicles going up North for the holidays.

And so, the fun times have reigned:

Day 1
T-Bone Steak
Sizzling Plate, Baguio City


Travel time was kind of lengthy and I got two stopovers only. Since I wasn’t able to have my breakfast before the travel, the result of all these was inevitable: HUNGER
We went to Sizzling Plate – the one located in Carino Street, along the corner of Abanao Street and Kisad Road – and ordered some heavy late-lunch.
Oh My Gulay located at the Top Floor La Azotea Building along Session Road
Since my first day was still young, we explored some good places we could think of around the city. I must admit that the volume of tourist visiting the place this year-end was and still is tremendous. It was very unlikely during my 2015 New Year visit.

We couldn’t believe how this beautiful restaurant came out and set up at the top floor of a building. It was really commendable. The place was not crowded when we visited and everything seemed picture-perfect.

The place has a nice ark feature where people can enjoy a Baguio over-looking view and watch the sun as its set
Some goodies at the back of the Madame who was having her day-off
Baguio Sunset
Baguio’s temperature went all the way down to 16 degrees that night – though it was not the coldest being recorded but still it was really cold. We decided to break down some frozenness and looked a cozy place where we can have coffee. We wanted to make sure that it won’t be a usual coffee place we are used to go to in Quezon City.
Under The Tree Book Cafe
26 Baden Powell Inn, General Pack Road

We discovered a good (and warm) cafe with books! And post-it walls! And feelings! The messages we were able to read were really cute and mostly love-confessing. Umibig tayong lahat ng lubos! Push natin yan! 

Can you read some of the ‘Uwi ka na. Hindi na ako galit’ messages? Hahaha!
Awesome wall!
Promptly took a bite because I can’t resist

If you will get the chance to drop by Under The Tree Book Cafe and would like to know what to try, I suggest you taste this combination – Strawberry Cheesecake + Cafe Mocha – comes in a very affordable price. This might be the best coffee-cheesecake combination I’ve ever tasted. The best Strawberry Cheesecake and Cafe Mocha sa balat ng lahat ng coffee shop na napuntahan ko!

Day 2
I woke up to a very very cold (understatement) Baguio. Taking a bath was a serious struggle but I have managed to survive anyway. Whatta lifetime achievement! Chos! A loooong good day was sure to come next.
I planned (even long before) and eventually fulfill and have made it to Baguio because I want to visit the BenCab Museum. I’ve been in various museums ever since – and thus, became my favorite place to chill out because… ~Art~
With that being said, I promised myself that I will not leave Baguio City (and/or Benguet, for that matter) without visiting the museum.
BenCab Museum
Km. 6, Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet
Starting by January 2016, their Museum Entrace Fee will increase to, if I’m not mistaken, 20%
And please excuse my hand because it was thaaaaaaat cooooooold!
At the entrance


BenCab Museum View

Truth be told, I couldn’t get enough of that amazing view. And even I, can’t believe my own eyes. I’ve been with various places where nature was at its peak and its the ultimate star – and so, this could be one of those treasured places I will keep in my gazillion-size memory storage of a lifetime (and even beyond that).

Strawberry fields forever at the BenCab Museum
Some of my favorite artworks from the museum:
Screaming Bulol (2015) by Leonard Aguinaldo
in Rubber Print
Meditation on White and Yellow Against Black (2015) an oil on canvass work of Marina Cruz


Bahala na si Batman (2015) an oil in canvass work of Azor Pazcoguin
This one is really incredible! A work of Yao Sampana
Beautiful Decay (20150
Oil on Canvass
Cordillera Gallery
This gallery showcases tribal artifacts and indigenous crafts of the Northern Philippine highlands
Basic (2005)
Oil on Canvass by Ronald Ventura
Spin Doctors
2008, Oil on Canvass
Joel Welbart Bartolome


Mindscape: A Breeze of Expectancy II
2008, Oil on Canvass
by Justin Nuyda

Emily and I enjoyed a brunch at BenCab Museum’s Cafe Sabel after the tour.

Home-made Longganisa at Cafe Sabel

From Tuba, Benguet, we headed back to the main city and decided to go to the next stop at Camp John Hay: the Bell House Museum.

One PINE day at Camp John Hay. Once a troll, always a troll.
Emily and the Bell Amphitheater


Since 1903
And if you’re feeling a little negative, burn it and leave it in 2015. The Cemetery of Negativism might be a good suggestion.
The weather was working well and we decided to stroll more around Camp John Hay. We also headed to The Manor after.
The Manor


Day 3
The past 2 days were really a blast. My third and last day came and it was slowly sinking in. I wanted to stay a little longer but I also needed to be in time for the New Year’s celebration at home with my folks. So before I head back to Manila, we dined in at Cafe By The Ruins for a more Baguio vibes.
Cafe By The Ruins
located at 25 Shuntug Road, Baguio City
Morning coffee with that sugar


Tapa for breakfast
And before finally heading back to Manila. One last glimpse:
Burnham Park

2015 is coming to an end whether we like it or not. We don’t know how 2016 will work but hopes are high! And we must make the new year fun, happy, and in content. Yahoooooo!

Happy New Year, everyone! Manalig!

Author: shainnehostalero

Shainne Hostalero, MDC is a social entrepreneur (owner and founder of Happy Shift PH), a communication scholar, and a writer.

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