Baguio Halloween Day 3

Asin Hot Springs, Tuba, Benguet

This morning we went to Tuba, Benguet to visit the Asin Hot Springs. This place is slowly becoming famous getaway during one's Baguio vacation. Yes, we squeezed in a swimming excursion in our Halloween itinerary. Thanks to Asin!

We left the house at 8 am. The road to Asin was long, winding, and uphill. The travel alone was already an adventure. We passed through two caves before getting to the road that leads to the resort. Medyo naligaw pa kami. Buti na lang Jene knows how to speak Ilocano so he and Manong Juanito asked around for directions. W reached the resort by 9 am.

Entrance fee to the resort is only 80 pesos in the Asin Hot Springs Resort. There are other resorts around the area that charge higher, class daw kasi. But I found the Asin Hot Springs resort fine. Ok naman ang facilities. What's great pa is that we had the dipping area to ourselves for a while because we arrived earlier than the other tourists.

Mainit talaga ang tubig. We planned this spot to be on our last tour day so we can relax our tired muscles in the hot water. True enough, therapeutic nga. It was like being on a hot jacuzzi. Pinagpawisan talaga kami.

After a while, Manong Juanito led Ate Do, Lloyd, and Lucky to the road leading to the river. We saw them cavorting down in the waters from where we stood in the resort. Toto, Dadijun, and I followed them. Kakainggit kasi. Kaya lang, I almost got cold feet when I saw the long hanging bridge that will get us to the other side so we can go down the river. It looked rusty and crude kasi eh. Siguro it took me ten minutes to cross the hanging bridge. I endured not only the anxiety but also the annoying shaking of the bridge care of my evil brother Toto. When I was down the river sitting by the rocks, I saw children running on the bridge! How'd they do that? Kakahiya pala ako, hehehe!

We stayed from 9am till lunchtime. After lunch, we packed our bags and drove back to Baguio.

Row 1 : The road to Asin.
Row 2: Asin Hot Springs Resort entrance.
Row 3 : Now is your time to laugh aloud. I did!
Row 4 : Lloyd and Olec and the hydroelectric plant just outside the resort.
Row 5-7 : Swimming time; Takaw ni Toto.
Row 8 : Tita Ops and the whole gang at the Dipping Area
Row 9 : The river below and the infamous hanging bridge.
Row 10 : The river wild! Ang lamig ng tubig dito.

Itogon Woodcarvers Village
Along the road to Asin is a row of stores that sell woodcrafted materials native to Benguet. It's kind of the Paete of the North. We made a quick stop over to make some pasalubong shopping here. Products here are cheaper than the ones sold in Baguio. I was able to buy a wooden candy tray for only 80 pesos and a pair of big wooden spoon and fork for 50 pesos. A set of wooden salad bowls here go for as low as 100 pesos only.

Lourdes Grotto

Another favorite tourist destination in Baguio. Hay, panibagong sakit nanaman ng katawan. Buti na lang, dami tindero ng strawberry taho! *winks*

Lloyd and Toto dig strawberry taho!

Rap counted 252 steps to the top. Yang batang yan, laging naka-barkada sa iba. Feeling binata, hehehe! Excited ang bata, Our Lady of Lourdes kasi ang bibisitahin. Syempre, patroness ng Lourdes School kaya inspired to go up the grotto.

Rap offered candles, prayed to Mama Mary, and enjoyed the view.
Halfway to the top, we stopped by the stores to buy some pasalubong. I bought souvenir shirts for the kids and for the alalays back home. I also bought myself a pair of silver earrings and a silver ring, both for 100 pesos each. It's way cheaper than Ibay's and the stores in Mines View. We stayed a while at the top after our photo shoots. Kakapagod talaga but the it was worth it.

Top: Sovenir pictures in front of the shrine.
Bottom: D' Thordies; Ate Do and Jene's candid shot; and,
Dadijun on the way to the top.
Baguio Cathedral
I do not remember visiting the cathedral the last time we were here so I asked Ate Do to squeeze in a few minutes for us to visit the place. Rap was ecstatic again, religious places often amaze him. Lalo na that he saw the Crucified Christ in Igorot woven cloth. He also prayed fervently inside the church because Ate Do taught him to make a wish since it was his first time to visit.

Mines View Park

Itinuloy na rin ang naudlot na Mines View Park. It did not rain today so the fog wasn't that thick. Tamang-tama lang for picture-taking. And we're with Toto and Lloyd na so blessing in disguise on their part. This time around namili na kami ng mga pasalubong sweets sa tiangge. 5 for 100 pesos lang kasi ang strawberry jam. The peanut brittle and ube jam I will buy na lang tomorrow from Good Shepherd.

We got home around 5 pm and for the first time during our whole Baguio stay, I had the chance to sit on the couch for an hour. Ate Do washed all our our laundry. Buti na lang may automatic washing machine na sa unit namin. I did not cook tonight because we still had food from our baon.

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Baguio Halloween Day 2

Yesterday, we hired a jeepney that will be our transport service for today. Manong Juanito, our driver, is a friend of Manong Cris who lives in Mirabella, the house just across our unit. We rented the jeep for Php 200 per hour. It's a 14-seater jeep and it would be more comfortable for the 12 of us instead of hiring a van that will charge Php 250 per hour. One doesn't need airconditioning during travel in Baguio, anyway. Although I think the city is getting more and more polluted through the years.

I woke up early today to cook breakfast and our baon for the day's tour. We initially planned to have lunch in restaurants but we decided to cook na lang since we already have a hired jeepney.

Toto was already awake when I went down. He said he woke up early so that he could catch a glimpse of the sunrise. The view from our place is really beautiful. I bet he was able to take good pictures of him and the rising sun today.

By 7 am, everyone was up and we ate breakfast together. Mama and Tita Ops volunteered to become the official dishwashers while my siblings clean up the table and the kitchen counter tops. Manong Juanito arrived 10 minutes early for our 9 am trip. Buti na lang ready na kami lahat by 9.

Top : Breakfast with the whole family.
Bottom: All set for the day's tour in Manong Juanito's jeep!

Philippine Military Academy

Today, our first stop was the Philippine Military Academy headquarters in Loakan. It's sembreak during our stay and we did not get to catch a glimpse of PMA cadets in their blue uniforms hovering around the campus. I wanted Rap to see how the cadets look like pa naman when they go to class. Among the places we've been so far, PMA for me has the most beautiful landscapes. Talo pa ng mga gardens niya ang Botanical Garden. The flowers here are more colorful and vibrant. And the pocket gardens are so artistic. This was the first time that I was able to climb the tree house. Actually, it's either I don't remember seeing the tree house three years ago or it's a new spot. There's also a small grotto of Mama Mary. All of our pictures here are good shots because the sun shone bright today unlike yesterday when we went out.

1st Row: Posing in front of the planes.
2nd Row: In front of the grotto; and,
Hehehe... kunyari pupu si Lloyd!
3rd Row: Kanya-kanyang pose na sa tapat ng headquarters building.
4th row: Amidst the beautiful pocket gardens of PMA.
5th row: On top of the tree house.
6th row: Rap in solitude; cadets marching the grounds in fatigue

Camp John Hay

The nearest stop from PMA is Camp John Hay. Originally, we planned to let the boys play some mini-golf and for all of us to visit the butterfly farm. Alas, we were not able to find where the mini-golf area was and the butterfly farm's entrance fee (80 bucks) is too expensive compared to Marikina's World of Butterflies. Pare-pareho lang naman siguro ang mukha ng mga butterflies, no! Sayang ang pera. So we just rested on the grass while the boys (both big and small, hehehe!) goofed around. Nakakahawa ang kakulitan nila. I guess we were pretty bored so all of us joined the kulitan and captured it in our pictures. Thanks to my brother, Toto, for some of these funny pics.

1st to 3rd Row: Yan ang aming makukulit na boys!
4th Row: Peek-a-boo group pic; Me and the boys.
5th Row: Pagod na sila Ate Do and Jene,
kami ni Dadijun hindi pa!

Maryknoll Eco Sanctuary

Maryknoll Eco Sanctuary was something new for all of us. It was Ate Do who discovered this spot in the internet while we were still in the planning stage of our itinerary. It's located in Camp Sioco. From Camp John Hay, we drove on towards Marcos Highway and took a right turn to Sto. Tomas. We arrived around 12 noon and the main gate was closed. We thought the park was closed for the day until Dadijun went inside the other gate and found out that we can enter the vicinity through the alternate gate. Before proceeding to the trek, we ate our baon in the jeep. We had a hearty meal of Vigan Longganisa, Cucumber Salad, and Rice.

The place was a school before the July 1990 earthquake. From then on, the Maryknoll sisters dedicated their efforts in transforming into a place for environmental education . There are 14 stations throughout the trek that builds the "Cosmic Journey" that they want each participant to experience. I think this is embodied in the message that is present in their brochure, that is, "to inspire, love, and respect that will enable us to nurture and protect Mother Earth for future generations.

Since we took the alternate entrance, our cosmic journey started with the 14th station! Hehehe, paatras! The experience was still worthwhile in spite of the hilly terrain. The view from the hill was enough to relieve us of the tiredness!

1st Row: Olec and Rap at the lobby; The Bell, 1st Station.
2nd Row: Symbols along the trek.
3rd Row: Sadako si Ate Do; Stonehenge; Dinosaur Egg.
4th Row: Up and Down the Hanging Bridge to the caves!
5th Row: View from the cave; Me and Dadijun; Goddess of Fertility.
6th Row: Pictures from the Village Period, 11th Station.
7th Row: Me at Station 9; The group at Station 12 and Station 13.

Bell Chinese Temple

We drove back past downtown Baguio and took the road leading to La Trinidad. Along the way is the Bell Chinese Temple. It was my third time to be there so I wasn't too excited. I didn't even bother to take a look at my fortune because the last time hasn't even come true yet. I took pictures of my brothers, though.

My brothers, Toto and Lloyd (with the hat).

Strawberry Farm, La Trinidad, Benguet

It's not picking season yet this time of the year. But since the Strawberry Farm is just around five minutes away from Bell Temple, we still went to discover the place. It's another first time for me. Before, I thought that it would be a long drive from Bell Temple that's why we didn't go here. The heavy fog started to come down by the time we got to La Trinidad proper. Fogs are familiar sights in Baguio during the afternoon and it brings cooler air. There are roadside stores that sell Baguio products in the area. I was able to buy a thick 12" x 20" bathroom rug for only 80 pesos. I also bought a crocheted poncho for 80 pesos, 3 small woven bags for 100 pesos, and 6 crocheted strawberry keychains for 50 pesos. There were strawberry taho vendors everywhere but, this time around, we chose to eat homemade strawberry ice cream. Kahit na ang lamig lamig na! Sarap naman!

Top: Lucky's and Lloyd's solo shots.
Middle: Me, Dadijun, Tita Ops, and Rap.
Bottom: Pretty in pink!
Easter Weaving Room

The Easter Weaving Room is another tourist spot along the way going to downtown Baguio from La Trinidad. It is a shop of woven and handcrafted products native to the province. It has become a tourist destination because visitors can go down the store's basement to view the women weavers at work. Rap had a nice time watching the weaving process. I did not buy anything from the store because prices of products here are considerably higher than those I saw in Strawberry Farm.

Weaver at work.
Burnham Park

Hay, ang walang kamatayang Burnham Park. Medyo nakakasawa na. I guess we went here because the children wanted to ride the boat. Turuan pa kami kung sino ang adult na kasama eh. In the end, it was Lloyd who endured half an hour of being the boatman. Lucky and Meg went with him, too. Sigurado masakit ang katawan niya bukas. Tita Ops and Mama went around the park's tiangge area. Toto, Dadijun, and I stayed by the dock to rest.

After Burnham Park, Megan, my siblings, and I asked for Manong Juanito to drop us at SM and the rest will go home. I needed to buy food for tomorrow's Asin trip. Megan came along with me the the supermarket while my siblings went around to buy their needed supplies. We met after an hour and hailed an FX taxi to bring us back to Green Mansion.

This time around, we were successful in setting up the fireplace. Yesterday, it almost took me and Jene forever before we were able to light up the wood. We removed the big center table in the living room so everyone can just sit in front of the fire. We took the chance to take some pictures of us, too.

I cooked dinner again and after eating dinner and cleaning up, I cooked the baon for tomorrow's swimming trip. We'll be leaving early so the food needed to be prepared as early as tonight.

Rap was already sleeping on the couch by the time I finished cooking. We went up to the room around 12 midnight.

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