20 Places In Baguio To Go To On a Holiday Weekend
Our favorite nippy-weather-destination never fails to please. Here is a list of cultural hubs, plus old and new places to explore with friends and family.
With the recent cold weather making Baguio’s temperatures dip to as low as 16 to 11 degrees Celsius, it isn’t any surprise that many of us are thinking of trekking to the popular weekend destination this holiday season.
Even with its growing population (more than 300,000 residents as of a 2010 census), influx of tourists, and overabundance of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, there are still a lot of quiet and peaceful spots in and around the city. Here’s what you can explore the next time you head up North:
There is a movement called “Walk Happy! Baguio City” that encourages people to walk and avoid the traffic. Take advantage of this movement in your explorations!
1. Appreciate art.
Some of the main draws of Baguio are its various noted and up-and-coming artists, as well as cultural artisans of the North. There are many places that you can see (and in some locations, even touch) works of art, such as the Botanical Garden, VOCAS (Victor Oteyza Community Art Space) on Session Road, Arko ni Apo, Tam-Awan Village, the newly opened Museo Kordilyera at UP Baguio (though this will be closed from December 21, 2017 to January 31, 2018), and of course, the BenCab Museum.
VOCAS, 5/L La Azotea Bldg., Session Road; Arko ni Apo, Tacay Rd., Pinsao Proper; Tam-Awan Village, Gate 366-C, Pinsao Proper; Museo Kordilyera, 30 Gov. Pack Rd, Baguio City; BenCab Museum, Km. 6, Asin Rd., Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet
2. Light a joss stick.
The Bell Church is a reminder of the rich, Chinese heritage of Baguio. Walk around its gardens, explore the painted pagoda, and take in the sights and sounds of the Buddhist rituals within.
Bell Church Rd., Benguet
3. Retrace historical steps at Camp John Hay.
Established in 1900, Camp John Hay is steeped in Philippine-American history as a former military reservation for American soldiers. Here, you can find many buildings and houses that are reflective of American architecture, and you can also walk through the Bell Ampitheater, Secret Garden, and Cemetery of Negativity.
Loakan Road, Baguio City
4. Learn to weave.
Try your hand at the Easter Weaving Room, where you can see the local weavers in action. They offer training programs for those who are interested to learn and earn from it.
2 Easter Rd., Guisad
5. Go bargain-hunting.
The Bayanihan Hotel is an art deco gem wherein celebrities and dignitaries used to stay in the 1930s in Baguio. Nowadays, it is the hub of ukay-ukay shopping, as the building (repaired a few years ago) overflows with secondhand items.
Otek St. (near Burnham Park)
6. Stay in a 108-year-old hotel.
Casa Vallejo has been around since 1909, when it was used as a dormitory for Americans who were working in Baguio at the turn of the last century. It has since been beautifully restored, and aside from the hotel, it contains a spa, a bookstore (Mt. Cloud), and Hillstation Café.
Upper Session Road, Baguio City
7. See gardens within a garden.
One of the latest Baguio attractions is Mount Costa, which boasts more than 20 landscaped gardens, walking trails, water features, and picnic areas. The picturesque gardens are perfect for Baguio selfies!
ME 33 Upper Lamtang, Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet (with entrance fee)
8. Lace up and trek.
A former hill station at Camp John Hay has several trails that you can follow for an invigorating trek around nature.
Loakan Road, Camp John Hay
CHAT & EAT
The cold air and walking tend to build up an appetite. Thankfully, Baguio is known for its many restos of different cuisines and price ranges.
9. Good Taste Café
Residents and tourists alike swear by the delicious and affordable dishes of this homegrown favorite. All types of pansit, buttered chicken, and more are served up family-style in generous portions.
Cariño cor. Otek St., Baguio City
10. Visco’s Restaurant and Cake Shop
You’ve probably spotted their beautiful and equally scrumptious strawberry shortcakes on celebrities’ Instagram posts, but Visco’s also serves up excellent pasta, pizza, and salads.
Puso ng Baguio Bldg., Session Road; 4BPO AyalaLand Technohub, Camp John Hay
11. Ili-Likha Artist Village
The famous Baguio artist Kidlat Tahimik runs this quirky wonderland, and the term “food court” does not do it justice. If you’re curious, ili means village, and likha is for creativity.
32 Assumption Road
12. Choco-late de Batirol
If you want a homemade cup of thick hot chocolate right in the middle of nature, head to this outdoors-y restaurant and watch them whip it up for you.
Igorot Park, Camp John Hay
This place is owned by a Japanese couple in an old Baguio house, so you’ll feel like you’ve been invited over for a delicious (and beautifully set) meal.
72 Legarda Road
14. Hill Station
Set within historic Casa Vallejo, Hill Station is a fine dining restaurant right at the city center. Dine on exotic meats like wild boar and venison, and finish off with Death by Chocolate.
Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road
15. Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna
There’s a lot to love at this Greek-style restaurant: the lovely view, the homey, charming, and instagram-ready décor. But the star of the show is the Greek menu: souvlaki, moussaka, baklava, and olive starters, of course.
26 Outlook Drive, Baguio City
Baguio is a mecca for handicrafts and fine indigenous fabric, all at pocket-friendly prices.
16. Baguio City Public Market
Amongst the rows of three-for-one-hundred peanut brittle, you’ll find rustic and affordable touches for your home, such as the colorful walis, wooden carvings, and well-made bangkitos. And before you head home, don’t forget to buy a load of the very fresh Baguio produce.
Rajah Soliman Rd., Baguio City
17. Narda’s Handwoven Arts & Crafts
The late Narda Capuyan brought indigenous weaving to the forefront in the 1970s—even introducing it to posh department stores in New York—but her legacy lives on in the finely made woven fabrics and accessories in her stores.
151 Upper Session Road, Engineer’s Hill, Baguio City
18. PNKY Vintage Collection
Pinky Magsino started her antique shop in 1970, and aside from a branch in LRI Design Plaza in Makati, her Baguio store is still going strong. Take your pick from Pinoy and Cordilleran antique pieces, woven and wooden furniture, vintage jewelry, bags, and more.
Baguio Country Club, Country Club Drive, Baguio City
19. Easter Weaving Room
Aside from the weaving center where you can see the weavers in action, there is an expansive shop where you can buy the woven fabric by yard, as well as rows and glass stands filled with affordable placemats, bags, tablecloths, and runners.
2 Easter Road, Guisad
20. Sabado’s Handicrafts
Antique collector Greg Sabado’s shop is like a wonderland of wooden pieces—bulol of various heights, from palm-sized to six-feet-tall, baskets, benches, and stools. But head to the basement to see more of his collections, mostly in molave and kamagong.
Outlook Drive, Baguio City (look for the sign: “Sabado’s”)
The original article “On a High in Baguio” appeared in the November 2016 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine Philippines. This story has been updated by Real Living editors.
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