If CDO is my second home, Baguio is my second home, too, if that is even allowed.

In summary, this chilly mountain paradise customized me as a person. I became branded more than generic; unique more than common; thinking more than just conforming. I turned out to be a well-differentiated cell, I should say.

It has been a venue for my dry run to the real world as a prototype. The very freely open environment tested my make. There were no restrictions, essentially no rules, no guide. Boy did I see so much idiosyncrasies, some can really blow your mind! I embraced what I like, I worked on not being like those that I didn’t.

It definitely developed the creative and artistic in me, and the love for all things beautiful and sort of romantic.

A single blog post won’t do Baguio justice. I will definitely add and add more entries pertaining to Baguio because I will persistently revisit this 6-hour 4-hour (thanks TPLEX!) ride away home.

The Places

 

Since I’ve spent significant years living here, I have earned the experience to recommend my favorites in Baguio.

This is My Not-to-Miss-When-in-Baguio List

(In order of spontaneous recall of memories : ])

 Bencab Museum

This is my latest discovery so it’s first on my list. We try anything new that comes out in Baguio, and this is one of those experiments/ exploration. Must. Go. Here.

You won’t regret I promise!

 

 

This is a treasure I found in Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan,Tuba, Benguet. It is a 15-minute drive from Baguio City center and visitors may opt to ride a jeep to Asin from a jeepney terminal near Baguio market.

 

BenCab, or Benedicto Cabrera, a Philippine national artist curated this paradise. So far it has been my ultimate art experience– the artworks, the place, the mini details, the landscape, the weather–everything just breathes art, beauty, passion, greatness.

Bencab Museum's backyard. Awesome, I know!

Bencab Museum’s backyard. Awesome, I know!

With the national artist himself-- Benedicto Cabrera (Bencab)

With the national artist himself– Benedicto Cabrera (Bencab)

 

With Cafe Ysabel, the in-house cafe and restaurant, as our backdrop, I had the pleasure to have a photograph and signed souvenir from the great artist.

 

Bencab Museum
Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan,Tuba, Benguet
 

Tam-awan Village

It’s another artsy place (well that’s one thing I love about Baguio, people breathe anything artsy and beautiful). We love going to places where art is alive, the energy is contagious. The brilliance is contagious. It’s a “village” because it showcases the natives’ way of life–the huts, how they cook, where they sleep, how things are done.

 

It’s approximately 10-minute jeepney travel away.

 

Tam-awan Village
366-C Pinsao Proper 2600 Baguio City, Philippines
Telephone: 074) 446-2949

Good Shepherd

Do not leave Baguio without the Good Shepherd’s ube! Plus you get to enjoy scenic landscape and well-manicured garden inside.

 

Good Shepherd
5 Gibraltar Road, 2600 Baguio City
Telefax (074) 442 3865 – Center

Buddidarma Shawarma

Just beside the Victory Building in uptown Session is a little space of heavenly Arabic sandwich. I don’t know but this has got to be the best shawarma my mouth has tasted so far. It must be the garlic sauce!

 

Buddidarma Shawarma
Post Office Loop, Baguio City

KaffeeKlatsch

I know the spelling is as complicated as fuchsia! This is a local Starbucks of some sort. Cozy ambiance where you can play board games while seated on bean bags, with live acoustic music playing on the background. You can sing onstage to your heart’s delight!
Photo by ClicktheCity.com

Photo by ClicktheCity.com

Photo by Melai Cabauatan

Photo by Melai Cabauatan

 

Kaffeklatsch
Sagittarian Unique Bldg.39 City Camp Rd. Baguio, Benguet, Philippines (a minute walk from Caltex)
(+63 74) 442-5056, (+63 917) 528-5282

Cafe by the Ruins

This is another local Starbucks of some sort built on ruins of the tragic 1990 Baguio earthquake that almost erased Baguio on the map.One thing that’s great in Baguio is the ambiance, whenever, wherever. You can just seat and talk over a cup of hot batirol and the day is instantly perfect.

 

Cafe by the Ruins
Chuntug Street, Baguio City
Tel. No. 442 4010 info@cafebytheruins.com

Street Food in Mines View

Ahh, cob corn, grilled squid, squid balls. Life’s simple joys.

Binatog

I always crave for this white corn with milk, sugar, and shredded coconut flesh whenever in Baguio, walking down Session Road, chatting and laughing with friends. Cheap thrills.

Well, walking down Session Road

I never leave the place without doing so. It’s nostalgia. It’s peace of mind.

Goto Baden

Haha, I never thought I’d include this on my list I miss about Baguio, but yeah, this comfort food after simbang gabi in Baguio Cathedral every December has become a habit. It’s beside the old Victory Liner terminal near the souvenir/ pasalubong shops. It’s a happy memory.

Camp John Hay

It’s another place of peace for me. You can just walk around the lush green grounds and clear your mind.

Burnham Park, Burnham Lake specifically

This may sound cliche but other than a place to jog, Burnham Park has been a witness to a lot of chill out days with college friends over chips and soda/beer, life story sharing, poking fun with each other, and cheap happiness like mangoes, fishballs, and other things sold on street, even the thrill of tumbling down the boat.

Pizza Volante

The reason why I love Pesto now. It’s that mini feel-grand place along Session Road. The clear glass windows overlooking Session, the yellow warm light, the mini cozy ambiance together with classic comfort food pizza, waffle, pasta among others, make it the favorite chill out place among the young and the vibrant.

Oh My Gulay

The home of legendary artist Kidlat Tahimik along uptown Session, collaborating Baguio artists and creating a sanctuary of various forms of art. It is dine, music, art in one.

 

La Azotea Building, Session Road, Baguio City

Home Sweet Home

It’s that tiny chapel up in a slope across Ibay’s Silver Shop at the back of UP Baguio where early chilly morning mass becomes extraordinary. It’s a feel-good chapel being beautiful, tiny, and homy. I have a thing for anything ambient and cozy.

Sweet Home

Gov. Pack Road, P.O. 42, 2600, Baguio City

Pink Sisters Convent

In very close proximity to Brent International School and 50’s Diners, Pink Sisters is my refuge when I’m in desperate need of help and peace of mind. The deafening silence inside and the angelic voices of the nun (when you’re lucky) help me find my center back.

 

PS. Urban legend says never go there with your boyfriend/girlfriend. They said those who do end up breaking up. (So letting you in to a little secret, friends who want to break up with their partners just bring them there to attend mass and let the legend do its curse. : ] )

 

Pink Sisters Convent
Brent Road, Baguio City

50’s Diner

It used to be the rollerblading waiters 50’s diner to my mind. Now it has become the staple to-go to place when in Baguio for the giant meals, the milk shakes, the diner set up, among others.

 

It is a bonus to note that there’s a flea market on Sundays just outside the diner (see tents on photo below). It’s a mix of vintage finds from old Baguio residents, collectors’ items, imported goods, classic vinyls, accessories, and clothes. So while we wait to be seated, we feast on bargain deals.
50s Diners

Photo by Melai Cabauata

50s Diner
92 Upper General Luna Road, Corner Brent Road, Baguio City, Baguio City, Philippines
Phone: +63 916659555565230

Streamline cake/ Chona’s Delight

Found in an old Tea House along Session Road, the masa appeal of the packaging and non-fancy cake design can be deceiving. The cliche “don’t judge the book by it’s cover” aptly applies for this delectable dessert. It’s an addictive guilty pleasure, sometimes I think there’s dope in it! It is always part of the itinerary with take out and bring-to-Manila box already put aside.

It’s just a cake, but no, it’s not just any other cake!

Tea House Restaurant and Bakeshop
87 Session Road, Baguio City
SM Baguio, Upper Session Road, Baguio City

The famous Raisins bread 

Almost always identified with Baguio Country Club but it has been an old local family pastry recipe that people never leave Baguio without buying in bulk!

Country Club Road, Baguio City
Tel: (63-74) 619-2050 to 64 or 619-0427 or 619-6843 or 619-6844 or 619-6841
Email: info@bcc.com.ph

Session Road in Bloom during Panagbenga

The time of the year (Feb) when the famous stretch is closed for motorist and gets occupied by variety of stalls. Festive, food trip, shopping spree, free band concerts, new product discovery opportunities. Session Road in Bloom is fiesta!

Strawberries when at P20 a kilo

Several kilos of strawberries dipped in all-purpose cream with condensed milk in a cold weather (Dec-Feb), DVD-marathoning with friends.


These are a few of my favorite things in Baguio. Any place, no matter how beautiful, makes no memory without the people. I love the people who have become my second family in my second home. Choosing Baguio for college was one of the best un-thought of decisions I ever made.

 

Hey! Made new discoveries. Here are my Favorites in Baguio Part II