Planning to visit Baguio City over a weekend or vacation?
For almost 20 years of being acquainted with Baguio City, the Summer Capital of the Philippines or the “city on a hill” that cannot be hidden,” I’ve seen thousands of people flock every now and then. From time to time, I met tourists asking for directions.
I thought if I would be a tourist of Baguio City again, here are the top things I would do via Kennon Road.
1. Explore the Major Tourist Spots.
Tour the Botanical Park-Wright Park-the Mansion Route. Practically, you can take a jeepney ride and drop at the Mansion, walk to Wright Park, then to Botanical Park.
Taxi. If you’re having problems with parking spaces (during peak seasons, this is very common), Baguio people take pride of the courteous, helpful, and honest taxi drivers. A taxi driver in Baguio can bring you anywhere without or less worry.
Turn to the Mines View Park. You’ve never been to Baguio if you’ve not visited Mines View.
2. Enjoy the Night.
Transiently stay at North Pines Transient House. If I have a plan to stay overnight or longer, I would make an advance reservation at the place I almost always recommend to all my friends, both locals and foreign. Even if I have small leadership functions, North Pines at Scout Barrio–and walking distance from CampJohn hay–has very affordable rooms, an honesty store, and a function room for a couple or the family.
Take a leisure walk through Session Road. I call the Session Road as the heart artery of Baguio. Just walking through it, there’s a mystique, especially at night. From SM Pines down to Lower Session, hang out with many choices of your preference. You can also enjoy boating at Burnham Park lake at sunset.
3. Exit with Great Memories.
Wait! Just before leaving, you might want to have some tips.
Try a nature walk at Camp John Hay. If you’re rested at North Pines and love hiking, you can follow the Yellow Trail nearby, lest you take a Benguet-cowboy feel with some Baguio Pony Boys, like that of Wright Park. Or simply drop by the Ayala Hub, the Commissary, and others at the historic Camp John Hay.
Travel to PMA. Baguio is best known for its military history also. It’s full of American camps, including the premiere school PMA–Philippine Military Academy. Take a trip to PMA and make a side trip to Loakan Airport to take pictures with a clear background of the runway.
Taste the authentic indigenous food. Good Taste is a good and practical place to devour, but if you like to taste the culture of the Cordillera, I recommend the smoked meat called Kinuday at Pop ‘n Mac Cafe.
Take home the best goods Baguio has to offer. Visit the Dry Market and pick your choices of fresh Cordillera produced vegetables and fruits or souvenirs.
No matter what happens, when in Baguio, the best persons you can inquire for directions or seek help are still your kind neighbors, Baguio’s Finest Police.
My friend who is a traveler-blogger once said, “We don’t collect things, we collect memories.” It’s the experience, the feel, and the thought.
Is Baguio still the best place to live in the whole Philippines? According to a recent survey based on income, cost of living, and longevity, it’s rated #1.
For someone like me, so far, I think so. Especially if you love a centralized air conditioning system even in the open streets and spaces or experiencing God’s presence through nature, Baguio City is still the best.
Glenn Plastina (c) 2017
Disclaimer: In recommending the places above, I don’t receive or earn any amount of commissions. In no way, this is classified as a paid advertisement.