What summer wouldn’t be complete without spending sometime up North in the Summer Capital of the Philippines — Baguio City? Ever since I was little (about 4 years old, I think), I’ve been going with my mom to Baguio and up until this year, I’ve never visited during the summer. It’s so much different when you’re visiting during the -ber months! Nevertheless, no matter what time of the year you’re going to be visiting, here’s what I would suggest for you to do.
1. Ride a bike at Burnham Park. There are a lot of bike rentals sprawled throughout the park. There’s only a specific place for you to ride a bike around (i.e. you can’t really ride it around the park) but it still feels refreshing. The whole time I was pedaling, I was wishing I could do it in Manila without passing out from the heat or pollution (or being ran over by an overspeeding driver). I felt like I was in a koreanovela. LOL. And while you’re in Burnham Park, go on a boat ride too. There’s not much to see as you’ll only be going around a pond (or is it a lake?) but it’s still an experience.
2. Go horseback riding. Feel like a regal equestrienne or equestrian. This is something my sister always look forward to. I don’t think we have one in Manila, and if we do I don’t think she’ll get to enjoy it as much because of the heat.
3. Pick strawberries at La Trinidad. It’s technically not in Baguio but it’s near and you should totally try it. It feels awesome picking out your own strawberries and toting around the cute little basket to put it in. The place also looks great, it consists of a lot of farms carrying strawberries and even vegetables. Taste their strawberry icecream while you’re there, fresh and tasty!
4. Visit the Diplomat Hotel. It’s the abandoned hotel at Dominican Hill and it is believed to be haunted. It used to be a vacation house and seminary for the Dominicans but when the World War II broke out, it became a refuge house for those fleeing from the Japanese which then caused it to be bombed by the Japanese army. Many years after, it was converted to a hotel but stopped its operations when the manager died. It used to be closed to the public because of its state but I guess they re-opened it for visitors. You can read more about its history at the site as there are some facts and pictures posted on the wall. Eeriness aside, it has a beautiful view of the city and the hotel itself, although dilapidated still exudes the beauty it used to have. If you’re really up for haunted places, go visit Laperal White House too, it’s near Teachers Camp and 50’s Diner. It’s also believed to be haunted.
5. Have strawberry taho. No words needed to explain why. You simply just need to buy yourself a cup and enjoy it on a chilly morning.
6. Visit the Philippine Military Academy. We made it to a point to visit because my brother always wanted to be part of the army but my mom would never let him. So to appease him, we always go here. It’s cool to see the cadets doing their exercises as well as looking at old military tanks. My cousins and I climbed one and it felt really cool.
7. Run around the track field at Teachers Camp. I think you have to make prior reservations for it because when we tried to get in, they said it’s still closed. And while you’re at it, go around Teachers Camp itself. It’s a beautiful area with beautiful gardens to match. Afterwards check out 50’s Diner as I’m pretty sure you’ll also approve of its old diner vibe. Their milkshakes are also good!
8. Go to the Good Shepherd and buy ube jam. Believe me when I say that they make THE BEST ube jam. I’m not even exaggerating.
9. Drop by The Mansion. I know this is pretty touristy but I just like looking at its sprawling green grass. Elegant and refreshing. And for those who like to take OOTD shots, I’m sure it would make a good background.
10. Try out their street food. You can find stalls at Burnham Park or at Mines View Park that has their grilled squid, grilled corn, and various street food including a grilled one-day old chick! The latter I would never try (I have this fear of birds) but their grilled squid is something!
What do you do when you’re in the city of Pines? 🙂