Quick Trip to see the City of Pines!

IMG_6110It’s been years since we last visited Baguio City, most of the comments that we saw in blog posts and heard from our friends is that Baguio City is almost like Manila in terms of traffic which is the reason why we don’t visit this place often.February is peak season for tourists in Baguio City because they are celebrating the Panagbenga Festival or Flower festival. Most of the hotels are fully booked and you will see a lot of tourists everywhere. For our family we wanted a chillax ( chill and relax) vacation. So we skipped most of the tourist destinations in Baguio and just hand picked those that is accessible without being caught in heavy traffic.

We made a stopped at Our Lady of Manaoag Church in Pangasinan to attend a mass, back in 2013 we also stopped by in this Church for the car blessing of my in-laws’ van that they recently bought. The place is still crowded with a lot of cars lined up for car blessing and people who wants to hear the mass although its a Saturday morning. After the mass and lighting of candles, we went on and have a our brunch at a nearby restaurant.

From Manaoag Church it took us about 3 hours to reach Baguio City. We planned to take some photos at the Lion’s Head which is a landmark that you are heading to Baguio City from Kennon Road, however there are a lot of tourists and cars on that area so we just stopped by at the viewing deck.

Our next stopped is Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad. It was almost 12 noon when we reach the farm. They have designated parking area for the tourists. A lot of people are selling different goods like Strawberry Ice Cream, Strawberry Taho, vegetables and other pasalubong.

Our main purpose in visiting this farm is to pick strawberries and buy vegetables like lettuce, Broccoli and cauliflower which is way cheaper compared to Manila prices.

Strawberry Picking will cost 500 pesos for 1 kilo of Strawberry you picked. I think its worth it since we enjoyed the experience and also have fresh strawberries with us to take home. We also picked different types of Lettuce like Ice Berg Lettuce and Red Ice Berg Lettuce which cost us 50 pesos for 3 bundles/pack and Romain Lettuce which cost us 100 for 3 bundles/pack. We were able to picked Broccolis as well which cost us 100 pesos for 2pcs no matter how big it is.

After buying the Veggies we went straight to our hotel since we are already tired from the long drive and we do not have any sleep since we went to this trip straight from our work. We booked our hotel via Traveloka/Shopback, we are staying at Le Monet Hotel inside Camp John Hay. Camp John Hay is once a US Military Base during the Philippine – American War, now it is one of the tourist spots in Baguio. It has various activities in the area and forest watershed reservation.

Le Monet is a 4 star hotel, it is smaller that what I expected from the pictures and quite old already though I am not sure what year it opened. The lobby is nice with huge chandelier. Upon entering the hotel you will directly see the buffet area unlike other hotels where you can see the reception area at the entrance. When you turn to your right you will find the reception area for check in and check out. The staffs are helpful and the check in is very quick, they also assisted us in bring our baggage in our rooms.

The room seems fine although it doesn’t have an aircon, one of our companions asked about the aircon but they said that you need to pay for an additional 500 pesos to used an aircon (bummer!). We already paid for the room why can’t we use the aircon? This is the first time that I encounter this kind of hotel, I’ve been to different hotels in Manila and other countries but this is the only hotel where you cannot use the aircon in your room.

Beside the hotel is a Filling Station, where you can buy foods of your choices. We had our quick lunch in this place before sleeping. While my hubby and I slept, my kids together with their aunt went to the swimming pool to swim and play with their cousins. The pool area is small and covered but according to my kids it is still very cold so they do not last long in the water and just decided to play board games in the room.

At 8PM we went out to have our Family dinner at Vincent’s Place. It was a Cozy Restaurant with an acoustic singer. We waited for about 30 minutes before we got a table, we understand that since we are a big group, but prior to that they already took our orders so when we were seated the food are all ready.

The price in this restaurant is not expensive, more of a mid range in terms of pricing but the serving is huge. The food are all delicious and we are satisfied with the taste.

We had a lot of take away since we did not expect that the serving of each food is big. We also loved the acoustic singer because he has a great voice.

In the morning, we went out at around 6AM to explore Camp John Hay. We walk around and saw the different activities here although the opening time is at 9AM. We saw the Tree Top Adventure, Bell House, Forest Trail, Mini Golf, Go Cart and Bike rentals. We took photos as we explore the area.

We went back after an hour and visited the Le Monet garden. It is a small garden but looks serene and beautiful. It also has a place for bonfire.

IMG_6225After strolling around we went back to the hotel and decided to change our clothes before having our breakfast. The breakfast in the hotel is at the first floor/lobby area. Our booking includes 2 free breakfast for adults and we need to pay 325 pesos for each kid. There aren’t that many choices for the breakfast, they have the usual longganisa, tocino, beef, fried rice and danggit. They have few fruits and vegetable salad too. For the drinks you can ask for coffee or hot chocolate.

Once we filled our bellies, I went to the front desk and ask if we can reserve for the free shuttle tour that the hotel offers for the guests. Luckily, they still have slots for us. The shuttle left at 10am for a quick 30 minute tour within Camp John Hay. It was great to see the whole place.

One more disappointment in our hotel room is that there are no water in shower when we returned and we cannot take a bath to prepare for our check out. We called the front desk, after about 30 minutes the water is back.We were able to check out on time which is at 12noon. The check out is also old school where they still need to check your rooms if you consume anything from the snack bar before they let you go. They do not have a quick check out unlike other modern hotels.

Before going to Manila, we made two more stops in Baguio. First is at Starbucks in Camp John Hay and second is to take photos at “The Mansion”. After that we hit the round and went back to Manila which took us about 5 hours.

Till our next family adventure πŸ™‚

 

 

 

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