Eat to your heart's content.
Oh yes, let's start this post with food... because food is that fuel that allows us to enjoy many things. As one chocolate brand says, "you're not you when you're hungry." Anyway, with so many food establishments scattered around Baguio City, one recommended place to eat home-cooked meal is the Balajadia Restaurant, located at the city's Slaughter House. Here, you and your family and friends can feast on different meat dishes. Chilly gloomy weather you say? Enjoy a bowl of Bulalo then. Yumminess to the max! (More about this restaurant on a separate post, including a very interesting dish called B and B).
Learn more about the Cordillera's culture.
Sure, one can learn more about the rich Cordilleran culture anywhere you go in Baguio and the nearby province of Benguet, but if you want to learn, have fun, and satisfy the tummy, you can head to Tam-Awan Village. The place is best to visit when the sun is up as the eco-trail might be slippery during the rainy season, but you can still roam around - check different traditional Ifugao / Igorot houses, and if the rain is too much to bear, you can just stay near the cafe where you can watch different traditional dances.
In this area is where you can also have your portrait sketched. Prices depends on the artist you choose, but each sketch won't really take too much of your time, a perfect activity to do while waiting for the rain to pass.
If the chilly weather is giving you goosebumps, the cafe serves hot drinks - coffee, chocolate, and tea - as well as pastries and snacks.
Not the romantic kind of inspiration, but something that would boost the morale. In this group getaway, we were blessed to have entered the Tartland Baguio Pasarabo factory. Known for their buttery Lenguas de Gato, Tartland's story is very inspirational. They are a testament that good things start from small beginnings, and by staying true to their passion, they were able to make Lenguas de Gato a Baguio City pasalubong staple.
At the moment, I am not sure if they allow tourists to drop by and see how the Lenguas de Gato are made because they are currently doing some expansions, but if you find ways to visit their factory, please do. Their story will definitely inspire you.
Test your strength and courage.
Baguio may be a small city, but it definitely has a very rich and deep history. While some of those are about triumphs, the city also has a very dark history, making the city known for its haunted places. Part of our getaway was to visit these haunted places - starting with the Baguio Cathedral, then to Teacher's Camp, followed by the Laperal White House. I am definitely a scaredy cat, but I still gave it a go, because the Fright Tour is not just for frights, I got to learn so many things as well. Unfortunately, we weren't able to visit two more places in the tour - the site of the Hyatt Hotel and the Loakan Road, but the things I experienced was okay enough to scare the living daylights out of me. I actually went home sleeping with the lights on because I still couldn't get over the tour.
Help sustain the local industry.
There are so many places to buy souvenirs and Baguio-made food products to take home, but if the weather is unfavorable, I suggest you do your shopping at the Baguio City Market. Here you can buy everything you need under one roof! Haggling is welcome, but don't haggle too much, because their goods are definitely lower than those you can buy at the malls and other commercial places.
Be awed by nature.
I do agree, Baguio is very urbanized now, but you have to agree, the city still boasts a very beautiful nature range. Enjoy taking pictures just about anywhere (I once stopped by a residential area to take pictures of wild dandelions), and even if it rains, it sometimes bring the fog that adds more drama to the surroundings. Rain or shine, the nature will surely feed your cameras with different subjects to take pictures of.
My three-day after summer group getaway with fellow bloggers was a success, thanks to Azalea Residences Baguio. I may have traveled to Baguio at least once a year since 2009, but I was still able to experience so many first on this getaway. My heartfelt thanks to the whole Azalea team for making this getaway one for the books.
Regardless of the season, Baguio City is a wonderful destination. Please don't think you can only enjoy the city during summer. Actually, I find it a little better to travel after summer as the roads are less congested and places aren't peppered with tourists. I fell in love with Baguio City more, and as early as now, I'm itching to travel back and enjoy these again and more.
*** Jenn ***