I hereby present the last batch of pictures from our Baguio trip. I caught sight of these daisies as Lei & I walked through the length of the Pool of Pines. Beautiful flowers never fail to catch my attention, and these are no exception.
Upon reaching a gateway of some sort, we turned and looked back at the Pool of Pines which now seemed to stretch up to The Mansion. In a word — breathtaking!
Going past the gateway, we reached a rise in the land and we could see the whole of Baguio. From this vantage point, we had a feeling of serenity as we quietly take in the beautiful view. But just to the left, and in stark contrast to the scenery we’ve just witnessed, creepy-looking trees devoid of leaves create the impression of despair and gloom.
So as not to spoil the moment, we just ignored this ominous sight and continued our trek until we reached a very long flight of stone steps leading downwards toward the horseback-riding area. Although the thought of horseback-riding appealed to us, our bodies did not agree. Tired from the day’s activities, we longed to get back to SM City Baguio for a hot dinner and some quiet time at Starbucks before we finally take the Victory Liner bus that would take us back to Manila.
But before we proceeded I just had to take a shot of these fiery-looking flowers before we left.
Lei and I finally reached our last stop on our fourth day in Baguio. These are the gates of The Mansion. The Mansion was built in 1908 to serve as the official summer residence of U.S. Governor-Generals at the instance of Governor-General William Cameron Forbes. It now serves as the holiday home and working office for each President of the Philippines during his or her visits to Baguio. (From Wikipedia)
After posing in front of the gates, we were now posing inside the gates and with the actual Mansion on the background. We noticed immediately a new addition to the Mansion’s grounds and that is the huge yellow ribbon underneath The Mansion sign.
Just across the street is Wright Park. Named after Luke Edward Wright, he served as Governor-General of the Philippines between 1904 and 1906 and also as U.S. Secretary of War from 1908 to 1909. Gov. Wright was also the architect of the shallow elongated rectangular man-made pool of water known as the “Pool of Pines”. (From Wikipedia)
While strolling hand in hand along the Pool of Pines, we caught sight of a horse feeding quietly beside a tree.
There were quite a number of tall trees around the area and here was one of them. Or were these actually two trees?
More pictures of Wright Park in the next post!
Lei and I were on our way to the jeepney terminal when we remembered the sign we saw earlier about the Cordillera World. So we made a detour there and it was sure worth it!
The Cordillera World was a mini museum of all things Cordillera. There were wooden statues of Igorot warriors in various poses, wooden statues of animals, assorted wooden figures, a life-sized Igorot male and female statues, etc. There was even an elevated wooden house, complete with a bedroom, a living room and a kitchen, at the center of it all. Near the base of the wooden house, I found these assorted horns:
There was even an area where you can have your pictures taken amidst an assortment of flowers. Our tripod surely came in handy.
There were so many things to see but so little time. I found this wooden sculpture of an Igorot warrior to be particularly impressive!
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Cordillera World. We were now ready to go to our next stop. But before we did, we just had to take one quick stop at our favorite dried pusit vendors 🙂
Now, on to The Mansion and Wright Park!
Again, Lei and I planned to wake up early since we would be going to Mines View Park today. But alas, the cool Baguio weather and our comfy bed made that impossible. BTW, here is a picture of our very nice and zen-like accomodation.
After having lunch at Retro Diner, we had a long walk to the jeepney terminal that would lead us to Mines View Park. It was tiring but the cool air made it bearable. On the way, I saw this derelict building which had some graffiti on it with nary a pedestrian giving it a second glance. But for me, it was a perfect subject.
We finally arrived at Mines View Park after a short jeepney ride. Tourists really flock this destination. We still remembered the restaurant, where we had lunch the last time we were here, with a fantastic view of the mountains. As we made our way to the obsevation deck, we were greeted by this sign. It was fairly new, I think.
We savored the cool mountain air as we made our trek on steep and rocky trails like the one below.
Once we arrived at the observation deck, the view was really breathtaking!
As a bonus, we found this cat sleeping lazily on top of the rocks. For P50, you can have a picture with a Saint Bernard dog at one of the booths below. But a picture with this cat is priceless! 🙂
The chilly air made us want to go back. And since it would be dark soon, we plan to catch the jeepney that would take us to The Mansion and Wright Park.
My wife, Lei, was so excited on our third day. Finally, we would now go to the Strawberry Farms which we had not visited during our Baguio trip almost three years ago. For the price of P250/kilo, Lei was able to pick red, luscious strawberries at the farm.
Before leaving, I took one last shot of the Strawberry Farms…
After enduring the heat and the long commute from La Trinidad back to Baguio City, we decided to hang out at Burnham Park again. On the way, we discovered Baguio’s own Rizal Monument which I also took a picture of.
As we crossed the street from the Rizal Monument to Burnham Park, I noticed a sculpture partly covered by a tarp. It seemed to be a bust of Daniel Burnham, although I’m not sure. I took a picture of it. After rounding a corner, we read a sign about the ongoing renovations of Rose Park of which the bust would be a part of.
We were finally back in Burnham Park, by the man-made lake. It was so nice to feel the warmth of the sun.
As we got hungry from all the walking and sight-seeing we decided to go back to SM. While crossing the soccer field on the other side of Burnham Park, I noticed what seemed like a statue of some sort. Upon approaching it, we saw that it was an Igorot sculpture which had fallen to a state of neglect. Even the people around seemed oblivious to its presence as they lazily sat on mats underneath. But for me, it was another perfect subject.
As the day ended once again, my wife and I stopped to rest at a BDO branch at Session Road. While resting I took a picture of my wife against the fiery sky of the setting sun…
Thus ends Day 3. See you on our last day in Baguio in the next post! 🙂
Waking up refreshed and energized, we were then treated to a sumptuous breakfast by our gracious host. But we got so stuffed after breakfast that we fell asleep again. At least I think I did 🙂
Lunchtime came. Lei and I only had a thought in mind. We had to go back to Point and Grill at SM City Baguio. So we did.
This time around, we were more adventurous as we ordered a set of fried quails. At first we were terrified since we could actually see the shapes of the poor birds and one of them seemed to be even looking at us accusingly! Lei bravely took the first step. She picked one of the birds slowly,… bit them,… and enjoyed them! I also tried and I surprisingly enjoyed them as well. Although they looked terrible, they actually tasted quite nice 🙂
Our next stop was Burnham Park. On the way to the man-made lake, we saw a group of teenagers on skateboards. Some were good, most were not. But they made good subjects, nonetheless.
Upon reaching the man-made lake, my wife expressed again her desire not to ride on the boats since she got bored the last time we were here. So I just took pictures of the boats instead of riding them.
As night fell, I took out my tripod for some night photography. Here’s one of my memorable ones, IMHO 🙂
After a quick dinner at Chow King, we went back to our accomodation via cab.
As my wife, Lei, and I sat on our comfy seats at Starbucks, SM City Baguio, hours before we take the 12:10 AM Victory Liner trip, I began to contemplate the past few days of our wonderful vacation in Baguio. It was an enjoyable and at the same time a very memorable experience.
It all began the morning of January 24th. My wife and I hurriedly rushed to the Victory Liner Terminal at Cubao. Happily, we were still able to catch the 9 AM trip after the mad rush hour. After a long 6-hour drive, across 3 stop-overs and 2 rather good movies (Gladiator & Columbiana), we finally made it to Baguio. At first we thought that we might not see the sun in Baguio since it was so foggy on the way there.
But as we entered the town proper, our trepidation turned to relief as the hot sun shone through the windows of the bus and into our faces. We’ve decided to head first into SM City Baguio before proceeding to our accomodation.
At first we were thinking that SM City Baguio was just another SM just like all the other SMs that we’ve already visited. But upon stepping on the wide open deck, were we in for a surprise! The view was so nice from that location. The cool winds caressed us as we savor the seemingly endless vista before us. My wife and I concluded right there and then that SM City Baguio is the best SM ever! It’s the most picturesque, the most relaxing, and definitely the coolest among all the SM Malls we have ever visited!
After the amazement and wonder, our stomachs grumbled. Greenwich was the first choice but Lei decided that there were hundreds of Greenwich back home so we decided on something different. To Point and Grill we went. They have a nice selection of food at an affordable price. Lei ordered crispy pork binagoongan while I, much to my regret later on, ordered a Mongolian BBQ meal.
After the nice meal, Lei and I wandered around SM City Baguio until sundown. I took the picture below from one of the viewing decks during the golden hour:
Exhausted from the long drive and deprived from sleep, we then hailed a taxi and headed to our accomodation.