A Travellerspoint blog

Baguio City Revisited

One step at a time. And so the most arduous journey is completed

I have been in Baguio several times and it looks to me an ordinary place. Now, I want to visit Baguio once again but I want to explore more about Baguio picturesque places and even in Benguet Province. Prior to my departure to Baguio, I searched some tourist spots first over internet that I did not visit during the past climb in Baguio to be able to explore easily.

DAY - 1

My first stop was in Bell Church. This is located at along Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City near La-Trinidad border crossing. It can be reached by jeepney that plies from Baguio City to La-Trinidad, Benguet, or taxi. When I alighted from taxi, I saw the bridge which leads to the entrance of the Bell Church compound. Before I reached the entrance, I saw some residential houses on the right side. The compound is gated with high concrete steel bar; I think 10 feet high more or less, so this is a really secured area. The entrance is marked by an intricate design arch with two dragons at the top and each side of the concrete wall. I was so amazed when I spotted the exquisite landscaped garden with Chinese character written on the wall; the Pagoda; the statue of Buddha and soldier general; lotus and fish pond; and the color red that gives a true Chinese atmosphere.

The bridge

The bridge

Bell Church gate

Bell Church gate

Landscape garden

Landscape garden

Statue of Chinese soldier

Statue of Chinese soldier

The Lotus

The Lotus


The Bell Church

The Bell Church

My second stop for this day was in Easter Weaving Room. It is located at 2 Easter Road, Guisad, Baguio City, Philippines. It can be reached via taxi and car only because there is no jeepney that plies along this road. When I entered the store area, one of the sales staff told me that it is possible to watch the weavers at the looms to get a glimpse of the wide range of hand-woven items such as table linens; house wares, wall décor items, church vestments, fabrics, native costumes, men and ladies wear and apparels. So, I was happy because this one of the reasons why I visit Baguio and this is my first time to watch live weaving hand-woven items. It was really amusing watching those women do their work. I know that it is really easy for them weaving but for me I was totally confused how it works.

Eastern Weaving Room

Eastern Weaving Room

Wooden weaving machine

Wooden weaving machine

Weaver on the go

Weaver on the go

Weaver on the go

Weaver on the go

The next stop from Easter Weaving Room is in Wood Carving Village. It is along Asin Road, Tuba, Benguet , Philippines. I reached it via taxi that cost me less than a hundred but it can also be reached via jeepney. The jeepney terminal to it is near at Baguio market which plies to Asin, Tuba, Benguet. When I got there, I was not able to take photos because some of the establishments were closed. So it was truly frustrating to me then. But I was glad that the taxi driver told me that if I want to, I can visit BenCab Museum which is only 5 minutes walk from wood carving place. So I did not give up, then I found myself heading to the museum.
BenCab Museum is located at Km.6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet, Philippines. It is open daily except Monday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, from 9:00am to 6:00pm. It has an admission fee at Php100.00 for general patronage and Php80.00 for students and senior citizens. There are many guidelines when you enter the museum such as no food and drinks from outside are allowed in the museum. It is only permitted only in Café Sabel and may not be carried into the galleries; smoking is not permitted anywhere in the museum; still photography for personal use is permitted but no flash or tripods allowed. Videotaping is permitted in the lobby only and no photographs or videotapes may be reproduced, distributed, or sold without permission from the museum. Sketching is permitted in the galleries (pencil only, no ink or paint) with sketchbooks no larger than 8 1/2 x 11 inches (21.6 x 27.9 cm). No easels, stools, or sketching while sitting on the floor is permitted. The Bencab Museum is committed to the promotion of the arts, and the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment, as well as the culture and traditions of the Cordilleras, as an expression of the artist’s gratitude to the country that nurtured and inspired an artistic career that continues to grow, mature and fascinate.
I was totally flabbergasted by all the paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures by our renowned Philippine Artists. I really admire them for their brilliant talents and creative minds. I also have found granary Gods; lime containers, native implements, weapons and other outstanding examples of indigenous arts and crafts of the Cordilleras. For this trip, I was absolutely blessed!

Painting

Painting


Painting

Painting

Sculpture

Sculpture

Sculpture

Sculpture

Sculptures

Sculptures

Sculpture

Sculpture

The garden hut

The garden hut

Painting

Painting

The last stop for this day was in Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary. This is located at 25 North Santo Tomas Road, Campo Sioco, Baguio City. I chose taxi because I have to get there prior the closing time. It was already 3:45 in the afternoon when I arrived. But it can be reached also via jeepney that plies from Harrison Road overpass stairway to BGH-Campo Sioco. The taxi driver has alighted me at the doorstep of the Administration building of Maryknoll. When I enter, I saw a woman and greeted me instantaneously. She asked me what am I going to do there and I replied that I want to take some photos of nature. She asked me to pay Php30.00 for the entrance fee. The mission of the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, at the Maryknoll Sisters' Center for Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation is to actively learn, articulate, and teach earth-based ethics. It endeavors to articulate a "new cosmology", or understanding of the earth and its meaning gleaned through scientific data, ancient traditions, indigenous cultures, the world's religions and contemporary spirituality that move us to reconnect both with nature and the Eternal Spirit.

Maryknoll School

Maryknoll School

The Path

The Path

Old structure

Old structure

Old structure

Old structure

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

The bridge

The bridge

DAY – 2

Before I take my feet to my first trek for the second day, I took my breakfast first at Danes Café. Upon ordering, I noticed that they have toasted siopao(steamed bun). I was curious how it taste like, so I ordered one piece of toasted siopao. I was so disappointed when I took my first bite because I thought it was toasted but I was wrong. It seems like an ordinary baked bun. Anyways, after my meal, I rummaged around a taxi cab that I can hire to Mt. Sto Tomas since I am not a mountaineer and I don’t have any idea where to go. Mt. Sto Tomas is exactly situated in Tuba, Benguet Province. It is estimated 7,500 feet high. After asking a couple of taxi drivers, I got a taxi cab going to Mt. Sto Tomas and it cost me Php700.00 for one hour staying at the peak of Mt. Sto Tomas. Some parts of the road going up were so dangerous because of the landslide and there were rough roads because it was under construction at the time I went there. Because of the long agony of the taxi cab that I felt during travel, I decided to stay at Mt. Cabuyao only. From Mt. Cabuyao, it takes 4 km long all the way to the summit of Mt. Sto Tomas. At the summit of Mt. Cabuyao, I saw the dishes antenna; it is a wideband tropospheric scatter radio which link to Juzon, Mt. Taiwan and connecting US military facilities in the Philippines to other facilities in Taiwan and even beyond Japan and South Korea. Other attractions on the summit include the vegetable terraces and a view of Baguio City and Benguet Province, and the mountains on the central axis of the Cordilleras Region.
It was really rewarding to me; the cost, and fear of landslide because of the typhoon that had just landed a week before. But then, this experience is very remarkable and completely invigorating my mind and my body.
The Road to Mt. Sto Tomas

The Road to Mt. Sto Tomas

The Road to Mt. Sto Tomas

The Road to Mt. Sto Tomas

The Road to Mt. Sto Tomas

The Road to Mt. Sto Tomas


Baguio City from Mt. Cabuyao Summit

Baguio City from Mt. Cabuyao Summit

Baguio City from Mt. Cabuyao Summit

Baguio City from Mt. Cabuyao Summit

The Village at the summit of Mt. Cabuyao

The Village at the summit of Mt. Cabuyao

When I got back from Mt. Cabuyao, I headed directly to the jeepney terminal going to Balatoc Mines. The terminal is in Petron gasoline station near Social Security System office. I asked the jeepney driver to alight me at Balatoc Mines and I was lucky then because one of the passengers offered to guide me to my destination. It took me almost an hour to my destination and costs me Php24.00 one way. When I arrived, I told the security guard that I want to take a tour and he guided me to the tourism office right away. The tourism staff commanded me to wear boots and construction hat for safety purposes. The tour has begun.
The Admin Building

The Admin Building

The statue

The statue

The railway

The railway

The tour guide

The tour guide

The Rusty Equipment

The Rusty Equipment

Welcome sign

Welcome sign

The tool

The tool

The Miner

The Miner

Fist Aid Sign

Fist Aid Sign

The tour guide and the tourists

The tour guide and the tourists

Posted by Billygar 06:43 Archived in Philippines Tagged park church the of province city philippines baguio summer mt tourist capital mines mining mt. spot benguet sto tomas cabuyao Comments (1)

MassKara Festival 2010

This is my first travel to Bacolod City and witnessed one of the world-famous and colorful festivals, "The MassKara Festival". Together with my colleague; Tere and I booked our flight three months prior October 16, 2010. The festival starts on October 1-19, 2010, but the masskara street dance competition was held only on October 16 & 17. We got an early flight-5:15 in the morning with AirPhil express bound to Iloilo City. Yes Iloilo City, you read it correctly. Well, we opted our itinerary via Iloilo City because it is economical for us who are in a tight budget rather than direct flight to Bacolod City. We got a promo sale ticket which is very cheap compared to Manila to Bacolod due to festival season. This is common in the country that if there is festival in one particular place the travel cost go up. But that is not a problem, there are other ways to attend the festival, just like what we did. Instead of direct flight, we took other route.
Iloilo City airport

Iloilo City airport


We arrived at Iloilo airport at around 6:18 in the morning and headed directly to ferry terminal to buy the ferry ticket bound to Bacolod. It was a long way travel from Iloilo airport to ferry terminal (Supercat), I think it took us 30-45 minutes even though there's no traffic then. We purchased 10:30 am ferry ticket schedule-it cost us Php295 per head, because we have to take our breakfast first and try the famous Lapaz batchoy of Ilonggo. After purchasing the ticket, we took a cab and headed to Lapaz market, people said that this is the place we can find the original batchoy. I was so excited then to taste the delectable and original Lapaz Batchoy. I am really adventurous when it comes to food tasting. hmmm... so yummy!
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We got back to ferry terminal one hour ahead of our departure time. The terminal was full of passengers bound to Bacolod. It was frustrating then because the ferry arrived late and of course departed late as well. The ferry itself was good and have complete set of life vest for every passenger which can be found under seats. They played movies on dvd to entertain the passengers while on board , but the air-condition system was annoying because it was so humid inside the tourist cabin . We arrived at Bacolod city at around 12:00nn, took a cab to Sugarland Hotel where we stayed at for two days. The hotel is located at Araneta Avenue, Singcang, Bacolod City, it is a standard class hotel in town but the room was good and the staff were very accommodating. It was a good value for the money spent.

After checked-in and rested for two hours from the trip, we prepared ourselves for the street dance competition event and the parade. The starting point of the parade was near to the hotel where we stayed at and it was very accessible to us. The street was full of participants of the parade and sightseers when we arrived at the venue. I was so amazed by the colorful masks, costumes, and the energy of the participants. They were standing in the street for long hours in the middle of sunny afternoon and humid weather. I really salute to those kids who really are energetic, they dance gracefully to the tune of the masskara music: "Kari Sa Bacolod:Masskara 2010".

It was composed by Bryan Caballero’s which fused techno music with the classic samba rhythm, giving the MassKara music a modern appeal. The street was full of banderitas and loud sound system. It was very magnificent witnessing this kind of festival and I really love it, and I am sure you will love it too.DSC_2775.jpg
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The parade lasted until around 6:00pm but we decided not to watch the formal competition because we were so exhausted and sleepy. We haven't enough sleep the night before leaving Manila because of our early flight. We headed straight to SM to chill out before we get to our hotel. We had a tight slept then........(zzzzzzzzz).

First thing in the morning, we took our breakfast and prepared ourselves for another adventures day. It was a sunny day with scattered clouds and perfect for landscaping photography. This is what I want when I took landscape shot, I want a dramatic scene. This day, street dance event was held at around 4:00pm, so we decided to spend our free time to stopover at other tourist spots of Negros Occidental. First stopover was in the Ruins- This is located in Talisay, Negros Occidental. it is one of the best ancestral homes in the Island of Negros Occidental. The mansion was owned by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson for his first wife, Maria Braga, a Portuguese from Macau whom he met in his vacations in Hong-Kong. It shows the remains of the mansion during World War II wherein the guerrilla intentionally burned the house so that the Japanese people could not use it as their headquarters.
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Second stopover was in Bacolod City Hall, it is a newly designed building which was constructed in the eastern area of Bacolod City. It has a magnificent architectural and people of Bacolod can be proud of.
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Our third stop was in Panaad Park & stadium- this is the place where we can find the replicas of landmark from 13 Negros Occidental cities and 19 municipalities. The annual Panaad Festivals is celebrated every April and showcasing the best of Negros Occidental in terms of history, arts and culture, commerce, trade and industry as well as products, sports, talents and skills. This one promotes the tourism of entire Negros Occidental.
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We spent half day for these wonderful tourist attractions, it was really paid off though. Thanks to the cousin of Tere who was really generous and for being patient touring with us and being our driver. It was really appreciated. He gave us his time just to drive and show us around. After gripping the scenic spots, we grabbed our lunch at Manukan(chicken) alley. Each restaurant has its own recipe of grilled chicken which came from their family roots recipe. It is a perfect place to those who are in a hurry, a place you can eat and run. The food itself was delectable and perfect to those who are in a budget travel.

We had time to get forty winks after meal, so we decided to go back to our hotel. It was really tiresome but a fun-filled experience. I don't really feel tired when there's an event like this. It gives me more excitement and different energy. After two hours of rest, we prepared ourselves for the street dance competition-Barangay level. This competition has more outlandish than school level yesterday. Some participants have parade float, more props, and more participants this time. Same as yesterday, the street was full of sightseers, tourists and photographers. It was so exciting being part of this event, as a noob photographer, this is really huge to me. It was so funny seeing a lot of photographers grabbing of only one subject. I remember one photographer opted not to take pictures of the participants, instead he photographed the crowds. The energy of the participants this time has more full of life than yesterday.
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The parade lasted also at around 6:00pm and we decided to go to SM instead of watching the competition at the park.
We have to buy souvenirs, take our dinner and rest early because we have an early flight the next day. One good thing was the staff of the hotel arranged our transportation to airport so we had no problem to catch our early flight back to Manila, and to arrived at the office ahead of our boss.
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It was a memorable and fun-filled travel that really stays in my mind and in my heart. See you on my next trek!

The proverb says;

"One must expect to smile and also to weep on the road to happiness"

Posted by Billygar 04:53 Archived in Philippines Tagged people trees sky planes airport city sunrise philippines music festival mt. hall kari negros samba 2010 masskara bacolod occidental kanlaon Comments (1)

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