Adventure Diary: Baguio, Benguet

10 hours and a few stopovers later, we arrived in Baguio, the summer capital of the country, to experience the chilly weather that everyone's boasting over the holidays. Since it's been years since we last visited Baguio, we've decided to stick to the usual tourist's spots.

This entry highlights the following: Strawberry Picking at La Trinidad, Wright Park, Laperal House, and Lourdes Grotto.

Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet

We stayed at The Manor at Camp John Hay. Nothing fancy schmancy but it's considered to be one of the best hotels in the city. Based on the look of the hotel, it's a great hotel for couples: private and romantic.[/two-fourths][one-fourth][vertical-spacer][/one-fourth]

Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet

The first thing we did was pick some strawberries!

I'm not a big fan of strawberries, to be honest. I only like them when dipped in chocolate, because I'm crazy about the latter. Still, it was fun finding butt-shaped berries and put it 'em in the basket!

Word of advice? Bring boots. Some vendors would provide boots for free, but it's better if you just bring your own.

Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet

Somewhere near Wright Park, where the ponies are parked, there's a small area for plant vendors. They don't have a huge selection of flowers that I like, but they have tons of tiny succulents for only PHP35-50 per brown pot. They also had a bundle price of 3 for PHP100. I ended up getting 4 succulents, one miniature rose bush and chili peppers for mom.

Everything cost us about PHP250! What a steal!

Baguio, Benguet

The Laperal House is considered to be one of the most haunted houses in Baguio. The house, if my memory serves me correctly, was built in the 1920s by the Laperal couple.

When Japan invaded the country, they took over this house and used it to torture, rape and kill prisoners. After the war, Mr. Laperal went back only to slip and die on the front porch stairs.

There are more stories about this house but I'd rather not know more. I've had my fair share of the supernatural in the past and I'd like to keep it in the past.

Baguio, Benguet

Someone recommended that we should eat at 50's Diner.

To be honest, the place looks slightly unkempt. But I've later learned that they're understaffed since even the janitor was taking orders that afternoon.

I have to say that the food was great — incredibly affordable that tastes great! We were a group of six, each ordered a full meal with drinks, and the total bill was less than PHP1,300 ($30)!

So if you're in Baguio, you better include this in your itinerary!

Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet
Baguio, Benguet

The biggest highlight of this trip was seeing the main lead of Forevermore, a popular soap opera in a local TV network.

My mom really wanted to go to La Presa (or Sitio Pungayan) but I told her that it's not located within the city. So you can just imagine the excitement when the lady at the grotto's entrance told her that the cast of the show was having an ongoing shoot.

According to the crew, they've spent two hours shooting here at the Lourdes Grotto. Two hours, walking up and down the stairs, can you imagine that? Ironically, the scene only took one minute to be wrapped up in the show.

Baguio, Benguet

Our trip to Baguio was so bitin! We definitely need to go back!

Have you been to Baguio? If so, what are your favorite sights/things to do?