Baguio Halloween Day 1

12 MN, Victory Liner Cubao

The dispatcher announced over the intercom that we can already board our 12MN bus to Baguio. From the uncomfortable seats in the waiting station of the Victory Liner terminal in Cubao, we stretched our weary backs and carried our heavy baggage towards the bus' parking area. Lo and behold! The door of the bus was still locked up, the driver and conductor were still snoozing! We waited for like ten minutes before the driver opened the door. Siya pa ang galit! He said something like, "Nagpapahinga pa ang tao eh!" Kapal ng mukha! As if naman we sat comfortably in their waiting area no! Not to mention that Rap was half awake and was leaning on me while we were in line. Buti na lang maganda at bago ang bus na sasakyan namin.

Top Left: Daddyjun plays Tekken while waiting for 12MN.
Top Right: Tulog na si Mama at Megan
Bottom Left: Lucky, Me, and Rap.
Right: Tulog na si Rap sa bench by 1030 PM.
12:15 AM

The bus left for Baguio (finally). Rap and I sat in the front row. The seats in the bus are very comfy. Rap continued his interrupted sleep after a few minutes. The bus took a break every two hours. First stop was in Siesta, Tarlac and the second one was in Pangasinan. Tip for travellers like me, bring lots of spare change. A trip to the john will cost you 2 to 3 pesos. (That's just for a simple wiwi break, ha! It's more expensive for "dumi".) I could have had a restful sleep if it were not for the inconsiderate driver, conductor, and inspectors who talk loudly as if the passengers were not sleeping. Hello! Night trip kaya ito!

Left: Rap's not in a jolly mood. Ikaw kaya maistorbo sa pagtulog mo!
Middle: Daddyjun and Lucky sat behind us. Behind them is Tita Ops.
Right: Ate Do and Jene sat across Daddyjun and Lucky.

6 AM, Victory Liner Baguio City

Finally, the City of Pines. We were still one hour early from our 7AM check-in so we decided to eat breakfast first at the terminal's dining area. In fairness, this bus terminal is clean and more decent than the one in cubao. Parang nasa airport. And there's even a connecting walkway to the Microtel Inn beside the terminal.

Left: Lucky sitting by the bench just outside the Baguio terminal.
Right: Megan and Rap seemed undecided about what they will have for breakfast.

7 AM, Green Mansion Condominium, Gibraltar, Baguio

We hailed 2 FX cabs to bring us to our place in Green Mansion. FX taxis can only load up to five passengers per trip unlike before. The road from downtown Baguio to Gibraltar was uphill. It was even steeper when we came past the Good Sheperd Convent entrance to the gates of Green Mansion. Kawawa talaga ang kotse namin kung nagkataon.

Top Left: Olec standing outside our unit.
Top Right: Mama Babes and Tita Ops at the 2nd floor.
Bottom Left: Cuddle time in the our room.
Bottom Right: Mama Babes and her grandchildren
by the entrance to Green Mansion.

9:30 AM, SM City Baguio

Time for grocery shopping. I already planned the menu for the whole stay beforehand. Armed with grocery list and calculator, Ate Do, Jene, Daddyjun, and I bought everything we needed inside the supermarket. There's firewood, too! Jene even bought dressed "palaka" that he will cook for the night's pulutan. There's no airconditioning in this branch of SM. The place reminded me of Mall of Asia minus the bayview but with the cool crisp air and city view of Baguio.

Still too early for grocery shopping, we whiled away the time by
taking souvenir pictures!

1130 AM

We're back to the house with our groceries and firewood. I started to prepare for lunch. We were running late and about an hour behind schedule. I just fried some liempo and chicken wings while Ate Do and Jene whipped up a bowl of garden salad. We ate lunch and were ready for the day's first tour by 1:30 PM.

1:30 PM onwards

Our first tour consisted of places that were near to the place that we stayed in. We planned it so because Ate Do and I knew that we'll be dead tired from the six hour travel from Manila to Baguio.

First stop was Baguio City's Botanical Garden. Not to much to see here but giant Igorot replicas and, as the name suggests, lush greenery. I guess we just stayed for a little more than thirty minutes. The last time we went here, there were still native Igorot houses to view. Now, there were just less than five around and only one that can be worth taking a picture of. Mas marami pa ang tiangge stalls. The kids, however, had a great time trying on Igorot costumes and we took pictures of them in it for a minimal fee. They also had pictures riding horses. Here are pictures of us taken in the place.

1st Row: Lucky and Meg, Olec and Rap pose with the horses;
Group pic with me as photographer.
2nd Row: Group pic with Dadijun as photographer;
Magkaaway na Igorot; Olec dressed in Igorot costume
3rd Row: Rap in Igorot costume Meg and Olec;
Rap and me in front of an Igorot house representation.
4th Row: Giant Igorot statues; enjoying a stroll in the garden.

We took an FX taxi from Botanical Garden to Wright Park. I initially planned to let Rap and Olec get some horseback riding but it was so expensive. Imagine, 300 bucks for an hour! Di na lang, sayang. And besides, we didn't want to stay there for long. I can't stand the smell of horse poop. So we walked up the steps towards The Mansion. We had to stop every now and then to rest.

1st Row: Pagod na si Meg, Tita Ops, and Mama;
Jene and Ate Do.
2nd Row: Dadijun, Olec, Mama, and Tita Ops;
our youngest brother Lucky and Ate Do
3rd Row: Dadijun, Me, and Rap.

It was drizzling by the time we got to the top that will lead us to The Mansion. Buti na lang I brought 2 umbrellas and Ate Do also brought her big one. Nakakatuwa naman kasi everyone tried to squeeze in dun sa aming 3 umbrellas. That was also the day when we discovered the miracle that's called "Strawberry Taho". Ay grabe, ang sarap compared to the regular taho that we have here in Manila. I can't remember how many refills we had!

Sarap ng taho with strawberry syrup and
whole strawberries! Enjoy si Tita Ops o!

We just had a quick picture-taking in front of The Mansion before deciding to board a jeep to Mines View Park, our last stop in our itinerary.

Top Left: Ate Do, Jen,and Lucky.
Top Right: Meg, Mama, Ta Ops, and Olec.
Bottom Left: My family
Bottom Right: Meg and Olec.

The rains started to pour by the time we reached Mines View Park. It was hopeless even without the rains because the fog in Baguio is thick during the late afternoon. Once again, we boarded a cab that took us home. We just decided to enjoy the house with each other's company for the night and just come back to Mines View Park before heading back to Manila.

I became the official cook during our whole stay since it was I who planned the menu. For our first night, we had Daing na Bangus, Mixed Vegetables, and Nido Soup. Toto and Lloyd arrived just in time for dinner.

After dinner, the kids became busy playing PSP while the others sang their hearts away with the Magic Sing that we brought. Jene, Mama, and Daddyjun started the Tongits session in the small round table in the sun room.

Top Left: Kulitan ng d'Thordies.
Top Right: Videoke night over here.
Bottom Left: Senti trip si Toto.
Bottom Right: Tong-its!

Rap and I hit the sack by 10 PM. I wanted to have a good night's rest in preparation for the following day's tour.

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