I recently went to Baguio with my family. It was unplanned, it was my mom-in-law and her friends who was supposed to go there. Then I thought of joining, then suddenly the whole family was in the car. The more,
the messier? I mean, merrier?
So, there we were 4am in the morning, packed for Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines. Of course, since it was unplanned, we were not able to register.
We arrived around 7am and waited at the Baguio entry point for almost three hours. Yep, 3 dreadful hours if you have kids in the car. One threw up on the zigzag road.
“Why is it taking so long?”
“I wish we never went here.”
“Can we go home now?”
“I don’t want to come back here again!”
And the rant list goes on.
I was torn, I want to rant with them, but the view was so beautiful and the weather was cool that I just want to continue the trip to the center of the city so the kids could experience the rest of Baguio.
Entering Baguio City, 2022
In order to enter Baguio, as of March 2022, one must register online www.visita.baguio.com.ph before going there, which we were not able to do because someone told us it was not necessary anymore (don’t believe it). You’ll have to upload a valid ID and vaccination card. You also need to do this for each kid. (Oh, the dragging motion of doing this while in the car would make you want to go back home.)
You’ll then have to wait for the approval. We got ours just minutes after registration. Off to go to the TRIAGE in Baguio Convention Center. This is where you’ll be presenting the registration and other necessary check-ups. Don’t worry, no tests done there anymore. I think it was done for formality and for contact tracing. After this, you can explore Baguio, yey! But then again, we didn’t because it was almost 11am and everyone was hungry so we ate first before the adventure. Off to eat!
Eating in Baguio City
Someone suggested the buffet in Prince Plaza Hotel in Baguio. It is a korean samgyup style of meal. The kids are free. Yey! They served seafoods, meat, veggies, soup, drinks, rice. There’s also a fruit sald for dessert after. We were all so full.
While eating, we showed the kids that there’s no aircon in Baguio establishments. All the windows were open and everyone enjoyed the cool breeze while having a hot soup. Slowly, the rants about being in Baguio were lessening. They were enjoying the experience little by little.
Riding horses in Baguio City
Wright Park, Baguio is where the kids and adults can try to ride horses. No need to worry if it is your first time. Someone will walk with you to make sure the horse won’t run.
Mine’s View, Baguio
Next stop, Mine’s View. If love plants, you’ll enjoy this spot. I wanted to bring home most of them because they are way cheaper than those bought outside Baguio. Prices range from 50 per plant. Outside Baguio, same plants cost 150-250. I did not get them anymore because they might die on the way and the change in climate might affect the plant’s growth.
At the entrance of Mine’s View is an ice cream shop and if you are planning to buy, just buy one because it is a big serving and it’s hard to finish because it is already cold.
Go Kart renting in Burnham Park is what made the kids fell in love with Baguio. This is what made them want to keep on coming back.
While there, I wished there’s one in Tarlac City. There’s one in KCT Tarlac, but I think it is engine powered and kids below seven can’t ride.
Even adults tried it, but not for a long time because all the pedaling were tiring us. We were fine sitting down and looking at the kids.
Boat Rental in Baguio
Last stop was still in Burnham Park, but the lake area. We rented a boat for nine to eleven people. We checked this off the list because it was already getting late in the afternoon and it was getting dark.
Renting a Transient House in Bagiuo
We rented a 2-bedroom apartment to stay for the night. We all decided to stay for the night because we started exploring Baguio around lunch and the ones driving were too tired to drive. It was the best decision that time because driving at night away from Baguio is not advisable.
We did not rent a hotel because we needed a place where we could cook because the adults who were with us were ready with cooking utensils and ingredients and so we all helped prepare tinapa, fried rice, ensalada, meat loaf, corned beef…oh, the meal felt so good while enjoying the cold breeze of the city. Felt like camping, but inside a transient house.
The apartment includes a bedroom with double decked beds, a total of 7 beds. The apartment has a smal living room with TV and internet, a small kitchen where we you can cook, and a toilet and bathroom. It was perfect for us. 5 adults, 4 kids.
The Night Market
When we went there, we had no idea we were two days early for the famous yearly Panagbenga Flower Festival in Baguio. It is usually held in February, but this year they decided to do it March.
My husband volunteered to stay with the kids so all of the ladies could go shop in the night market.
We were always reminded by people to take good care of our belongings. When we were there, police officers were everywhere and they were making sure that the crowd was in order. The direction of people shopping were counter-clockwise and no one can go against the flow. When someone goes the opposite direction, the police officer would call his attention and would tell him to follow the flow. There was order. A sight so rare nowadays.
Even at night, taho was there because it made the people feel hot.
The Baguio Experience
The moment we reached Tarlac, we already missed the weather in Baguio. The cool breeze inside and outside the houses. I personally miss the weather. The kids, though they did not like Baguio at first ended up loving it especially the Go Karts.
week later two weeks later, I still long for this Baguio experience. The weather, the walk in the park in the afternoon. I even considered moving there, but the thought of landslide stopped me. Anyway, to that extent, and all the experience made me realize things.
First, experience matters. Whether we like the place or not, whether we like people or not, in the end, our experience with them is what will make us want to keep repeating the moment and make more moments. This made me realize how important it is to make sure that every moment we have with people should be one that would make them want to meet us again, or one that would make them keep reconnectinng with us.
Second, it reminded me of our relationship with God. Sometimes, we use one bad experience and decide not to have anything to do with him because of that, but if we just allow ourselves to “enter the city” like what happened to us. If we stopped at the entry point and gave up, we wouldn’t have experienced the rest of Baguio and that is the same with our relationship with God. If we stop at the “entry point,” we wouldn’t experience how great, how amazing the rest of him is.
Let us not be afraid to come closer to God, whatever the cost is. Allow him to move in our lives. Let’s move further and step out of the “entry point” and go deeper “into the city” where all the action and experience is. After that, you’ll keep longing for it and you’ll want more of him in your life.