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Visiting Baguio CityJun 15, 2011

Visiting Baguio City

Ina Mansion
Upon arriving, my first concern was lodging. Baguio isn't cheap for that. I texted a few friends if they knew of a hostel or pension inn for P200/night. None. Hmmm. I had a dilemma - pay the usual P500/night or bother a friend if I can stay at her Ina Mansion condo unit. I wasn't necessarily within my comfort zone to be calling my friend, but the cheapskate in me got the better of it. I made the phone call. Of course I was welcome to spend a few nights at her unit - it had no tenant anyway. I thought I'd get the small unit, but the concierge gave me the keys to the penthouse. Whoa! I was just looking to save a few bucks but I landed on a lap of luxury instead. Life is good.

Bliss Cafe
With lodging out of the way, I was free to roam the city without the psychological burden of 'a roof over my head' - more like, I was free to go back to my old stand-bys. I thought I'd say hello to my Bliss Cafe friends, Jim and Shanti in their new location at Hotel Elizabeth. It was nice of them to likewise offer free lodging at their homestay inn. Their new location was inviting and had that bliss feel to it. The appointments were all tastefully done.

I did a lot of walking, but at some point, the pollution got overpowering - time to head indoors. One hang-out is Ayuyang, where I hooked up with long-time friend, Lester. It was sad that Ayuyang no longer serves pizza. I think Ayuyang served one of the better pizzas in town. Predictably, the folk singers were still playing America tunes, Jim Croce, James Taylor, etc. They seem stuck in a time warp - which is a good thing. You can't find that vibe anymore in Manila.

Business with Pleasure
Being a bustling cosmopolitan with lots of establishments, I tried mixing business with pleasure. What better way to spend your vacation if you can make a little on the side while sipping your pina colada? I was stoked by the results. Increasingly, I felt that it just might be possible to travel indefinitely if you are self-sustaining with funds.

A Word of Caution
I was introduced to a local, an Ibaloi, who expressed alarm when I told him I was off to explore the Kalinga region. It was more like, "Huuuwat? Why would you want to do that?". I was alarmed as well. He went on about the hazards of my trip...that if I step on a chick, I would pay for all the eggs it would lay in the future, that every house is armed to the teeth, tribal wars, etc. I have to admit, it was discouraging, but I didn't come all the way to Baguio just to back out of my Kalinga trip.

Off to Bontoc
After a couple days in Baguio, I was already off to Bontoc...the gateway to Kalinga!

--- TheLoneRider

How to Get There from Subic Bay:
  1. from the exit gate of Subic Bay, take a yellow jeep and ask to dropped off at the Victory Liner terminal at Ulo ng Apo Rotunda. P8, 10 minutes.
  2. Take the Victory Liner bound for Baguio via the SCTEX (it's much faster)

Ina Mansion Jim and Shanti at Bliss Cafe Ayuyang Lester and Job
San Miguel Beer padlocked toilet paper street coffee night walk
Burnham Park Burnham Park Brahma Kumaris mountaintop houses
getting my carinderia fix grill carinderia beef mami bus schedule from Baguio to Bontoc/Sagada

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Haidee Mia BustillosHaidee Mia Bustillos
(Aug 7, 2011) Ayuyang no longer serves pizza? ay... :) thanks for the post! will be visiting the highlands soon.

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