Hedcor, the company that pioneered run-of-river hydro in the Philippines and anchored the Aboitiz Group’s entry into power generation, was set-up in Baguio City 40 years ago. As a popular holiday destination, the city is as familiar as its strawberries and pine trees, but as UnionBanker Christianne Quemado shares in this Aboitiz Eyes special feature, Baguio will always have wonderful surprises awaiting the eager explorer.
Christianne Quemado | July 19, 2018
If there is this one place I won’t get tired of visiting it would be Baguio City so when a friend and colleague in UnionBank asked me to a quick getaway to the City of Pines, I instantly said “yes”. Since we’ve been to Baguio several times before, we just decided to do a food crawl instead of the usual tour.
I usually create an itinerary for my travels but decided not to follow one for this trip. We didn’t want to be in a rush. We just wanted to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila.
After Friday work hours, we went to the nearest bus terminal and lined up to get our tickets. Getting the overnight bus is the best option when traveling north. We were off by 12 midnight and slept through the five-hour ride.
We arrived in Baguio City at 5 AM and hailed a cab to catch the sunrise. Following advice from the internet, we proceeded to Mines View Park. After 10 minutes, we arrived at the park, which was not crowded with less than thirty people on the view deck. We were all quietly waiting for the dawn to break while the roosters wake the community.
My friends know that I am not a breakfast person. But since the trip was a food crawl, I needed to be one just for the day. So we headed to Café by the Ruins Dua located on Upper Session Road. We had to wait for an hour since the restaurant was still closed when we arrived. I wanted to order the pinikpikan but it’s not available on the breakfast menu so I ordered a smoked Baguio-style longganisa with organic rice, fried egg, fresh fruits, and a juice.
And the List Goes On
We still needed to buy more time until check-in, and so the list goes on at Arca’s Yard located at Tiptop, Ambuklao Road. Since it was already lunch time, we ordered another rice meal. We also tried their signature sweet potato pie known as the Docto Pie ala mode. I paired it with Arca’s Cloud Tea. We thought we ordered too much but still managed to finish everything.
Time for Another Dessert
My visit to the City of Pines won’t be complete without stopping at Session Road – the heart of Baguio City. Why? You can find here that dessert that cannot be missed. I highly recommend Vizco’s Restaurant and Cake Shop’s infamous strawberry shortcake.
Freshen Up and Rest
Fatigue was already starting to hit us. Good thing our condotel was a short walk from Session Road. Upon check-in, we freshened up and recharged until dinner.
Note: There are several accommodation options in Baguio. Just make sure to book in advance since affordable rooms get filled fast.
Cap the Night
We capped the night at Baguio Brewery Craft Beer along Palispis Highway. This company opened in 2014 and they pride themselves on using sustainable ingredients available for their dishes. They offer craft beers on tap – from ales, fruit beers, wheat, to stout and lager.
After sampling the craft beers, I ordered their new ale named Dinumug (Kolsch). It has low bitterness with a very refreshing and dry finish at the end.
We also ordered isaw paired with vinegar dip, salt and pepper chicken wings, and fish and chips. Yes, two ladies can handle that much food. We even managed to buy midnight snacks on our way home.
The beauty with no itineraries is that you can sleep in. This is actually the best thing to do in Baguio. And that’s what we did on Sunday morning.
Time to Move
Before leaving Baguio, we had our breakfast at Ili-likha Artist Village along Assumption Road. It is a tree house restaurant that promotes healthy eating by serving meals from fresh and organic ingredients. We ordered balbacua – a soup specialty from slow-cooked oxtail – with organic red rice. While waiting for our food, we explored around the tree house and we found various artworks from recycled materials.
We also tried their baklava from walnuts and cashews but we still craved for the strawberry shortcake. Afterward, we walked to Vizco’s to grab a piece of cake that we ate later on the trip.
Back to Reality
We boarded the 11:30 AM trip. On our first stopover, we ate the piece of cake we ordered from Vizco’s to finish our food crawl and slept for the rest of the ride until we arrived in Manila at around 5 PM.