Not every trip is perfect, but I’d say we did this one pretty smoothly.
It’s our first ever to go on a trip just the two of us, and the thing is, it was my surprise for him. I told him ahead of time to ready his money for the holidays. I didn’t tell him why, and luckily, he trusts me enough to do exactly as I say. But of course, there were times when he couldn’t help but bug and ask me what the whole thing was for.
Until one day, I asked him to get our bus tickets going to… drum roll please… BAGUIO!
A perfect domestic destination for a romantic getaway and to spend the last days of 2014 together. Just the two of us. An escape from all the hullabaloos in Makati.
Without further ado, here’s how our itinerary went.
Using GrabTaxi, we were able to get a cab going to Victory Liner Pasay Terminal and arrive there safe and sound.
We were there 3 hrs early. I told Borge that it’s okay, and besides, it’s scary to be going out at 12 midnight, even though GrabTaxi is available at anytime. The fact that I was super duper excited was, of course, part of it. ;p
Borge bought two (2) deluxe bus tickets for our ride. Sorry, we weren’t able to take photos of the bus, but I assure you, the bus was very clean and comfortable. The terminal, though, needs more seats to accommodate those who are waiting for their scheduled bus, as well as, the chance passengers.
TIP: Buy your tickets at least 1 month ahead.
The deluxe bus of Victory Liner has a toilet since there’s no stopovers. We didn’t get to use the toilet, but Borge got a glimpse of it, and he said it was neat.
It also has two (2) monitors, but since our travel time was at dawn – 1:15 am – the bus driver and attendants thought it would be best not to turn them on and let the passengers doze off.
Our seats were adjustable, so we were able to use its leg rest.
It only took 5 hrs. going to Baguio from Pasay Terminal, and as we were approaching Baguio Terminal, we could already feel the cold weather. VERY cold weather, and that was at 5 in the morning. That’s right! Brrrrrrrr!
TIP: Buy tickets going back to Manila soon as you land the terminal. Tickets are fast selling. Some I talked to there were not able to reserve seats and had to wait for another day before they can get a ride back to Manila.
Cafe By The Ruins Dua
Though our ride came with free bottled drinking water and a muffin, which we didn’t get the chance to drink and eat ‘cos we were asleep, we decided to have breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins Dua – a new branch of Shuntug Road’s Cafe by the Ruins. Thanks to the kind “manong” who told us about the branch nearest to the terminal. It was practically walking distance.
I guess the reason behind the name Cafe by the Ruins Dua is that, it’s their second branch. Better ask Mrs. Lim-Perez. 😀 She was the one who welcomed us on our second visit. That’s for later. Moving on!
Cafe by the Ruins Dua
There’s another one on Shuntug Road.
Contemplating on how to be the next Jose Rizal just cos he was drinking Rizal’s Tsokolat-e.
Great! Eyes closed. Thanks Borge! Hmpf.
I was holding bread pans with Ernie’s Kamote bread, bollilo with jam and butter, and on the table, a cup of Arabica Coffee – be surprised what they serve with your coffee for a sugar.
Geez! I didn’t even get the chance to take a picture of his breakfast.
Guess he was really hungry and the food was really good.
We were here early, before their open hours. But the staff were so kind to let us in and offer us seats while we wait a few more minutes, just to ready everything. So, yes, that made us the first customers of the day. Buena mano ika nga.
TIP: Cafe by the Ruins opens at 7am. They accept major credit cards.
Elljov Transient Units
Located at Shangri-La, San Luis, Mr. and Mrs. Bautista were kind enough to welcome us to their house. This is where we stayed for 4 days and 3 nights.
For a very affordable price, you get a room with a free 5 gallon drinking water, dishwashing soap, extra blanket, use of kitchen utensils, cable tv, fridge, efan – not that you’d need it, and hot and warm shower.
According to Sir Jovie, they once let a family of 16 stay here. They weren’t supposed to allow them, but they really needed a place to stay. Besides, they only used it for sleeping and taking baths. The rest of the day, they were out, roaming around Baguio.
Borgito already feeling at home.
Free use of gas range. Tank was full.
Free drinking water and use of kitchen utensils.
Free use of fridge.
Additional blanket – free of charge.
Sir Jovie handed this over to us, saying “Oh, baka ginawin kayo. Idagdag nyo ‘tong pangkumot nyo ah.”
After we set our things in our room, and rested for awhile, we decided to go straight to the Lourdes Grotto, which was only walking distance from where we were staying.
See my solo above? Borge kid that I was being called in by the light. I said, “I’m too heavy. I will have to lose weight before I accept the calling.” While he missed the calling, just about an inch farther. LOL.
Here’s the thing. At a much younger age, I wanted to be a nun. I used to play with my cousins and pretend I was a Mother Superior.
Borge, on the other hand, wanted to be a priest. He went to Don Bosco Seminary in Canlubang, where he became acquainted with the priests of that parish.
We didn’t know each other then, but such a coincidence. Good for storytelling.
And something else about Canlubang, related to me, that adds up to the coincidence. This one’s a secret. Ask me personally, and I’ll tell you.
Borge had been a servant of the church since he was 9 years old, in Don Bosco Parish Makati. I used to go with my Dad every summer to his office, and after, we go to Don Bosco to pray. Another coincidence?!
I think NOT! ლಠ益ಠ)ლ
It’s FATE. （●´∀｀）ノ♡
I hope this explains it.
Burnham Park and Good Taste
After we went all the way to the top of the Lourdes Grotto, we headed to Burnham Park and had lunch at Good Taste. Let me tell you, this is where you’ll find good eats in big servings at very affordable prices. It’d be great to tag along your family or barkada here.
See that plate of pancit below? That was our leftover from the resto. We ate half of it, and still looked as if we haven’t taken from it. One order cost Php130, which they said was good for 2 persons. But believe me, you’d need at least a couple more companions to share this with.
Take home from Good Taste.
We ordered Butter Chicken, Bihon, Chopsuey, and their Hototay Soup.
We’ve been to Burnham Park before, so we only did a little paseo.
While in the park, I got swarmed by kids singing Christmas Carols in exchange for alms.
I wasn’t going to give any, keeping in mind how the church and the government discourage people to tolerate asking for alms.
But it was the holidays, so I still gave and prayed so hard that it would do them good.
After, we went back to our room and rested for a bit. Then, we were out and about again, off to…
We decided not to take pictures because we thought the place would be jam-packed. It was. But not as horribly, like how we imagined it. There were lots of people, yes, but we could still move around freely.
Besides, it pays to be extra careful and wary when shopping in an outside tiangge.
Anyway, the Night Market was where we were able to buy quality bags for Php250 – Php1,000. These are the kinds of bags that you can buy in Glorietta or Market! Market! for twice the price.
Ready your cash and activate your good eye for good quality products.
Php250 – Php1,500: bags for ladies
Php100 – Php550: unisex pouches
Php350 – Php1,800: bags for men
Php150 – Php2,000: shoes (ladies and men)
Php50 – Php500: sandals/slippers (ladies and men)
Php50 – Php150: 3 pairs of socks
Php200 – Php650: thick blankets
Php50 – Php150: bonnets
Php10 – Php1,000: souvenirs
We began our second day in Baguio at Tatay Diaz’ Special Bulaluhan, which is also a few meters away from Elljov. Yes, we had bulalo for breakfast, and it was goOoOoOod!
TIP: Along the way, you should be able to pass by Recolletos Seminary and a short walk from Puregold, which is literally 15-25 steps away from the Bautista’s.
Hot Bulalo soup, tender meat. It just separates effortlessly from the bone. Mmmmm…
Next stop was…
The locals of Baguio said there was not an actual La Presa. The place was known as Sto. Tomas.
We took a jeepney ride going to what they call the turnover point, then walked to the foot of the mountain – don’t be pussies, it only took us 5 minutes to get there – and rented an FX going all the way up to the top of Sto. Tomas. We were charged P150. Fair price. It’s the same no matter how many passengers are on board.
We had a very good driver. The road was zigzag, but with a “pawis-steering” FX, he managed to drop us off to our destination. I would say, you haven’t lived if you haven’t tried.
It was a 15-minute travel time via wheels, but other people chose to be mountain climbers and walked their way up. How long did it take them to reach La Presa? Let’s just say, we were already on our way back when we saw them making it half-way. Mhm.
Walked all the way to the foot of the mountain to get that FX ride.
Almost there. It was challenging to walk up the road, yet we had the energy to flash another smile for a selfie.
Walking to the set of Forevermore was tiring. So, we had a break and bought Strawberry taho. It’s not like the taho you can buy in Burnham Park, where they only add strawberry syrup and no real strawberry bits.
Have you guys met “bAGNEtS” and “Xan-duh”?
Borge checking to see if we really were in La Presa. It would have been a bummer if we ended up at the wrong place.
See that lady behind our shot? She scared me. I thought I was hearing voices in the wind because we were at the back of the set when she followed and whispered to me, “Sayang di nyo sila naabutan. Kaninang alas tres lang sila umalis.” LOL.
Forgive my big, rounded face, if it covers half of the view.
So, after a sweet, romantic feel at La Presa, we went to…
Ben Cab Museum
To bring back the artist in me, and awaken the artist in Borge, we went to this place.
We took as many photos as we can. What you see in here may seem a lot already, but believe me, these are not half of what’s in the actual.
Man contemplating on his navel. It’s art, but… EEEEW!
Then, there’s the Erotica Gallery.
I chose not to upload the photos because I’d like to keep this blog post rated PG. If you want to see, text me, pm me, or email me. I’d be glad to share. (｡•̀ᴗ-)✧
After going in circles in the museum, we got mad hungry. We planned to have lunch at Cafe Sabel, but they do not accept credit cards; we were saving our cash for other shopping galore. So, we ended up at…
Two words – SULIT and GINORMOUS.
Sulit because for the price they charge, you get ginormous servings. Not just big, heap of servings per order, but literally, GINORMOUS.
Expect to be bloated after a meal. If you eat here, your next stop for sure would be the comfort room. I’m not saying that the loo WAS our next stop. Uhm… No kaya! We had plenty of room for the food kaya we were able to hold it in. HAHA!
My choice was their Full House – 2 big pieces of Las Vegas wrap, baked mac, and 2 huge BBQ wings. I added a glass of strawberry milkshake, EXTRA whip cream! Price: P180 Calories: Who cares!!! It was the holidays.
Borge had the Fillet Mignon. He likes his steak well done. It came with soup, crackers, fruit juice, and ice cream.
I know, right?!
Four Seasons fruit juice and Strawberry Milkshake
After a good meal, we went to…
The Pink Sisters Convent
We prayed and thanked the Lord for giving us the means to travel for the holidays, and for keeping us safe.
In between the Pink Sisters Convent and Laperal House is the Korean Union Church
We called all the saints to guide us on our next stops, which were…
The Laperal House and The Diplomat Hotel
We are scaredy cats, I courageously admit. So yes, that’s why we decided to go to the scary places before dark. Like we wish to see headless ghosts on our vacation. Forget it! What are we?! NUTS?! You fools! (ノ)ʘ﹃ʘ(ヾ)
Still, we wanted to experience a little thrill.
Scaredy cats, scaredy cats!
Why keep the monopod with you, huh, Borge? Aber? You’re aware you can’t hit ghosts with that thing, right?
Still holding on to it?
Okay, I know I said we are scaredy cats, but I’m not the type of person who likes to exaggerate things to get attention. Only, something strange happened to us while we were in the Laperal House. We didn’t experience anything in the Diplomat Hotel, but like I said, there was something in the Laperal House that gave us goosebumps and made us to never look back.
You see, soon after we left this house, we checked out all our photos. We discovered that there were shots we expected to be there, but lo and behold, NADA! Instead, these are what were captured.
What do you think?
You have the liberty to comment, but please do not be rude.
When the horror adventure was over, we went grocery shopping for our Media Noche. On our menu were:
Sirloin steaks: Borge did all kinds of doneness to the steaks – medium rare, medium well, and well done.
Salad: cabbage with creamy pineapple cheese ball, extra queso de bola slices
Burger patties: beef lean ground rounds and beef ground with fat
The next day, Beef Nilaga.
I know… BEEF GALORE!
Other on the menu: bread, watermelon, papaya, fried rice, and BEER!
Then, as we waited for 2015, we spent the night talking, napping, then talking again, napping. Until…
We stood up and joined the countdown.
Borge and I slow danced our 2014 away!
Slow danced, with nice, warm, sincere, full-of-love embrace.
It was so nice…
No pictures. Just intimate memories to be shared by the two of us.
How’s that for a romantic getaway, huh?
So, this is why we didn’t go to Camp John Hay for the countdown.
We were so tired and sleepy that we stayed in the room ’til afternoon, but we revived our energy back and marched to SM Baguio to look for a spa.
I was desperate for a massage that time. Unfortunately, we didn’t find a place to my liking. So, we went back to the house and spent the rest of the day talking, laughing, goofing off… (ง ´͈౪`͈)ว
The usual things we do when we are together. (_๑˘ㅂ˘๑)
On our last day in Baguio, we went to Good Shepherd and Mines View, which was newly renovated when we came there.
We didn’t bother going to Wright Park, Camp John Hay, Botanical Garden, The Mansions and PMA, ‘cos we’ve been to these places before.
TIPS: Taxi drivers in Baguio give exact change. I highly suggest not to give tips no matter how much you want to reward their kindness. I say this because I don’t want you to unknowingly corrupt their minds. Let them be. Also, cabs here only have the right passenger door working. Keeping the left door closed all the time helps avoid traffic and accidents.
We checked out an hour early, 10am.
We managed to buy everyone pasalubong.
Then, on our last day in Baguio, we went back to and had brunch at Cafe by the Ruins Dua.
Borge had the Tinapa, served with a cup of mountain rice and a cup of hot tea with honey. I had Mrs. Lim’s Noodles and a cup of their famous Rizal’s Tsokolat-e – again. 😀
This is where I’ll leave you temporarily.
Surely, there’ll be lots more to share with you on my next blog posts.
Cheers to health, wealth and happiness!