Going Places: Baguio City (Part 1)

Hi guys! I’m adding in another entry for my Going Places 2015 Series and this time I’m sharing to you my trip to Baguio City last June.

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Okay, I know this is so last year, literally, but my calendar is still vacant for now and my pending trips are not happening until mid-year (because this woman’s got to hustle, ya know). So while waiting, I’m doing a little throwback.

Also, I’m not really going to go into details here so this post won’t really be helpful in terms of expenses and how to reach places but I will try my best to at least give out some tips, narrative way. Dividing this post into two as well because…well, I narrate a lot! Seriously.

Anyway, the moment we stepped out of the bus and into the streets of Baguio, we were greeted with a cold blow of the wind! It was around 8 a.m. I think and we were dead tired from the long travel from Manila. Thankfully, our hotel, Microtel, was just a walking distance away from the bus stop.

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If ever you pick Microtel as your home away from home, expect the place to be superb. Well, in my experience. Their room is great, comfortable and perfect. I don’t know how much our room was because I didn’t pay a single cent for it—that’s what you call grace.

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As a first-timer in the city, we knew that there were lots of places to visit but since we had limited time (3 days), we picked the famous tourist spots as our places to go.

Strawberry Farm

What’s a Baguio trip without going to the strawberry farm? It’s located in La Trinidad which is about 3 km away from the city proper. Tip: If you have extra cash, go ahead and spend money and experience strawberry picking. Sorry, I forgot how much it was but I think it was around 500 pesos per kilo.

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But if you’re frugal like me, just take a photo pretending you’re picking and then buy the strawberries in the city market for pasalubong! Hehe. It’s a lot cheaper—like around 300 pesos. And if you find an ice cream man around, do taste their strawberry ice cream.

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Mines View Park

This famous tourist spot is an overlook park where you can see the northeastern outskirts of Baguio. It was crowded when we went there so it was impossible to take a decent solo photo of the view. This is also the place where you will find the St. Bernard “Beethoven” dog and pink-dyed horses (which will by the way cost you around 50 to 100 pesos for photo op).

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Oh My Gulay

This restaurant was featured in “Byahe ni Drew” so we walked around downtown to look for it. It’s in the 4th floor of La Azotea Bldg. so finding this place will be a little tricky. But of course, Google Map or Waze will help you with that.

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This place is perfect for vegetarians or at least for people who eats vegetables. Sorry for the carnivores though because you won’t find any meat in this place. But their food is delish! The ambiance is okay, too. I say, must try place!

 

The Mansion

This place is restricted so expect to see little. All you can really do here is take a photo with the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines. Yeah.

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Wright Park

This is where you can go horseback riding for half an hour or so.

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That’s it for now. Part two to follow!

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Going Places: Caliraya Resort Club, Laguna

2015 has been a year of going places for me. God has been so faithful in keeping his promises to let me set foot in destinations I’ve never been before and I know there’s going to be more.

That is why before the year ends, I’m going to do a series of travel posts that has happened in the past months. Let me kick off the “Going Places” series with our trip to Caliraya Resort Club in Laguna that happened back in February.

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Now, before I get started, I’m not going to go into specific details since I didn’t really take note of that. I will just be sharing some of the things that you can expect when you go up to this haven of lush greenery and adventure.

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10996138_10205814099369664_8340705630618207590_n_zpsxke07tdyWe didn’t really go here for a vacation though. We mainly went for Victory’s 2015 Kids’ Church Teachers’ Summit. The location of the event was just a big bonus. During our extra time, we toured around the place and even tried some of their activities.

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I swear that place is filled with so much things that guests can do. I wish we had more time to try all the activities but I guess the chance to ride a bicycle up in the sky was enough.

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When in Caliraya Resort Club, make sure to try the Sky Bicycle. Adventure and thrill level of this ride is so high you’d probably discover your fear of heights there. I know I did. And don’t worry, you won’t fall off…they say.

Aside from the Sky Bicycle, they also have Zipline, wall climbing, swimming pool, basketball court, Pinoy slide, Bungee Fun and so much more. If you check out their official Facebook page here, you can find out their other available fun activities.

They even had this hilarious mud slide wherein people would go up the hill and slide their way down to a pool of mud!

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If you’re not a germaphobe, then this one is for you. Unfortunately, I think they’ve already replaced it with a 550 feet long slide they call as the Super Slide. I think the new one is cooler though.

Victory organized a Power Up Night for all the Kids’ Church Teachers wherein everyone dressed up according to the theme “Power.” I went as Elasti-Girl from “The Incredibles.”

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Our 3-day stay in that place was really amazing and worth it. If given the chance, I’d definitely go back there.

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Travel Tip:

  • Don’t forget to bring your warmers—jacket, scarf, cardigan, socks. It gets cold up there especially during the night.
  • Bring enough extra clothes for all the activities.
  • Get ready to do lots of walking in going back and forth to your room.
  • Allot a time to tour the whole area. The place is big!

How To Make That Travel Happen

Last weekend, I was privileged enough to tag along a short trip to Camiguin with Coco and his fellow entrepreneurs. It was my first time in that beautiful pear-shaped volcanic island so imagine my enthusiasm and excitement despite the blazing summer heat and the very long drive. 

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While we were on this trip, I thought about the times when I was just dreaming about going to places. I don’t even know where I got the tremendous love for traveling since we never really had a lot of family vacations back then. But here I am now, craving, wanting to set foot in places that I’ve never been before.

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But if you’re like me, traveling isn’t an easy feat. Obviously, it entails the most important element of all—cash, lots of it if possible. The farther the destination, the bigger the money you’ll need. And unless you come from a wealthy family, a multimillionaire or simply just have a fat bank account, traveling takes a lot of work. 

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Not everybody have it all easy and I am no exception to that. I work at least 8 hours a day just to earn and fund my dreams of going places. But I’m blessed to say that even though I am not financially fat, I am still able to somehow pursue wayfaring. I never really thought I’d have the privilege because let’s admit it, travel is seriously expensive! And even until now I still wonder how other people do it. Are they just really that rich? Do they have high-paying jobs? Is someone paying their trips for them? How?

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Well, whatever their answers may be, here are some of the ways that I know of (other than family trips or being funded by parents) that can make that travel happen:

The stable cash flow

My current job is my main source of income. This is basically where I get money for all of my needs and wants, traveling included. I’m actually a tad bit conscious with how I spend my money and I don’t like making one time big expenses. That’s usually what hinders me from spending for travels. But that will lead us to number 2.

Just do it!

Don’t even let the issue of money be the reason not to experience traveling. Just as long you have the budget for it (please don’t borrow money just for pleasure purposes), then go for it! 

The wisdom of budgeting

When traveling, the first thing you need to consider is the budget. How much are you allocating for that trip? What are the specific expenses? Do some research on the fares, accommodations, food and other necessary things. Be wise with your finances especially if it’s a shoestring budget trip. 

The power of credit card

Okay, first of all, such great power comes with great responsibility. I personally think one should only own a credit card if you are wise with its usage. My sister and I make use of the credit card in booking our plane tickets or reserving a hotel room. This means that we don’t need to bring out cash right then and there especially if we don’t have it on hand yet. We get at least a month to save up to pay for the bill. When we went to Singapore last year, the credit card was really handy. It basically made our first international trip together possible!

The more,the merrier!

Group travel with friends, colleagues, or relatives can make the whole travel experience be less expensive. That’s because you get to divide the cost of the travel elements like the accommodation, food, transportation and others. So for instance, if your hotel room costs 3,500 per night and there are like 4 of you in the group, you can equally divide for the payment, leaving you with a charge of only 875! So as much as possible, go in groups because aside from “the more, the merrier”, it can also be “the more, the lesser you pay”. 

The privilege of incentive trips

I don’t get to enjoy this one but Coco does. In fact, our Camiguin trip was actually an incentive trip from their networking company. Because I was just a tag-along, I had to pay for that trip while they didn’t even have to shell out a single peso! (Thankfully though, Coco paid the half for me.) They have had international trips as well like Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and others—everything paid by the company. Nothing is better than all-expense paid trip! 

Dual purpose trip

Last February, I was able to visit Laguna not primarily for leisure but for a conference organized by Victory. We basically went there for the conference but the venue was a bonus because we stayed at Caliraya Recreational Park which was nothing short of beautiful! For a price of around 3 thousand, we were able to enjoy a scenic place, some adventure rides, comfortable rooms, chilly weather and we were even very, and I mean very, well fed! A great deal of dual purpose.

The good old piggy bank

Of course, nothing beats the old habit of saving up for something you want. I’m not really good at this department but I try to set aside a certain amount when I know I have something planned up the next month or the next year. I think a great way to motivate you to save up for a travel is to book a flight or hotel room ahead. When you have already made such commitment, there’s no turning back anymore. You just have to save up for an upcoming trip.

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So far, those are the things that I know that will really let you make that travel happen and not just remain as a plan or a dream. If you have parents or someone sponsoring your trip, then be thankful. But if you’re like me, you just have to make it happen!

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