It has been countless times already that I have been to Baguio and Benguet, but this time it is different, really different from previous’ experience! Continue to read and see how this memorable experience was made. Whew!
My husband is now a motovlogger; “Motor ni Juan“. I initially planned the trip. From the time I was planning the trip, Google maps indicated that it would take us 6 hours from our location. Laban! No expressway, only highways since our Yamaha Aerox S has 155cc displacement (not allowed in expressway). Imagine the trip? It would be exciting as I thought then.
On the actual trip, November 2019, we left Bulacan at 3:30AM. Our journey began which was a bit different if we were in a car. The scenery looked more lively and on point. We were geared up with Benkia padded riding jacket (him), Nitro padded riding jacket (mine), Vemar knee and shin guard (him), Evo Full Face Helmet GSX 1000 (him), Evo Modular Helmet VXR 700 (mine), Full face mask (him), and SSPEC motorcycle gloves (him).
Along the way, it was cold since it was the wee hour when we left, aside from Christmas season is coming. On the road, we encountered some motorcycle accidents, which reminded us to be safe always and be more vigilant since others are KAMOTE riders (irresponsible and inconsiderate)! We got hungry for breakfast at Pangasinan area. We found Carmen’s Bulalohan and Kambingan. We spent only 150 with 3 rice, 2 ulam and 2 black coffee. Busolved!
On our way going up, we tremendously felt very cold that our mouth had smoke. Or it is called “Breath Vapor” or “Steam”. In medical term, it is EBC or Exhaled Breath Condensate since the process is condensation. Fogs were prominent and it felt like heaven. We were like kids who seemed to saw it first time. It was so calming.
We arrived in Baguio City at 10am+ at the accommodation we booked ahead of time. We saved a lot through Agoda. It is located near the Burnham Park. It was decent enough for the purpose of rest and safe keeping our stuff while we were on tour. We were early for 2pm check-in time. So, we started our Baguio and Benguet tour. Below are our destination and experience for each.
1. SM BAGUIO
The mall was already opened. We wanted to go to SESSION ROAD, since motorcycle is not allowed at the area, we parked our Aerox S in SM, and left our 2 EVO HELMETS at the package counter. The attendant says, it is good for 1 hour only. Ok then. We just walked down and crossed the street to reach Session Road.
2. VIZCO’s at SESSION ROAD
Remember the movie Glorious starring Angel Aquino and Tony Labrusca in 2018? It was a story of a young man who fell in love with an older woman. At Vizcos was their first date. Kilig! They offer variety of food but their specialty is their sumptuous cakes. We had pizza, a slice of Strawberry torte, and a slice of Mango cake. Delicious as it looks and way better than others that we have tasted.
3. UKAY-UKAY AREA IN SESSION ROAD
It was very cold, I needed pants to survive for the entirety of our stay. We found maong/jeans pants and a jacket which were so cheap for its brand. We also found wigs which was funny because of the curly short one, like the natural hair of our Baby Fifth.
4. STARBUCKS at SM BAGUIO
We still had to kill time and wait for the check-in time. We sat down for a bit and had coffee while the wig was on. It is also the season of stickers for the most sought Starbucks Organizer. I had 2 stickers there. Then, we head to the hotel we booked for 2 nights.
5. MT. YANGBEW at TAWANG, BENGUET
Our NOT SO ORDINARY adventure began here! It was afternoon, from our hotel, we head straight to Tawang Baranggay Hall to pay environmental fee which costs PhP 30 each tourist. It was really adventure going there because most of the roads are uphill slope. Riding in a motorcycle on such road was so thrilling. I did not look at the road most of the time as it may make me dizzy. Kuya Willy was the attendant at the time. He was friendly and accommodating. No need for a tour guide. They say it is just easy trek. Alright easy huh? Few minutes away from the Baranggay Hall is the way up to Mt. Yangbew. There was cemented part going up. At the end of the road is where the trekking starts. We parked our motorcycle and started to walk our way up. They say it is a 30-minute walk. Well this depends on your stamina to walk uphill. This is a beginner’s hike. We qualified as beginners because it was really our first time. I had to stop a few times to rest. It was all worth it! See for yourself!
6. BAGUIO CRAFT BREWERY
I have been to Baguio many times, but this was the first time I visited Baguio Craft Brewery. They serve different flavored beers not to mention fruit flavors. The best part was their FREE TASTE. I got to taste most of the beers they offer. They have Caramel flavor which smells really good. I ordered the Strawberry flavor beer along with our food orders for the night. Their menu are infused with beer. Try it there! Their menu starts at PhP 200 and up.
7. VALLEY OF COLORS
The next day, going to our destination, we passed by these houses built on the mountains. It looked pleasing to the eyes because of its different colors. It is located along the road, it can be easily seen. You won’t miss it. A donation of any amount shall be given if you want to capture their community. Just that, take a picture and leave.
8. RAINBOW CAFE at AMBONGDOLAN BARANGGAY HALL
To start another adventure, environmental fee has to be paid first. We headed to the Ambongdolan Baranggay Hall to pay for the environmental fee and tour guide plus other applicable fees. With the help of the late Ms. Gina Lopez, she managed to organize the tourism location in Ambongdolan. Some spots were created to add value in the beauty of nature. What a very lovely and inspiring woman.
There is where Rainbow Cafe is situated. They sell food and drinks there. Also, some souvenir items such as shirts, keychains, mugs and others. Ate Jennifer is the attendant at Rainbow cafe. While his husband Kuya July is in-charge of the tours. They have lots of tour guides to help you out enjoy your trip. Ours was Kuya Urbano. The ratio of tour guide to tourist is 1:4. Do the math if you are a group of more than 4.
I ordered our lunch for the day before we left going to the caves. Ate Jen took care of our food. It was served after our caving and trekking. What we did was, we ordered Filipino food, then they will have it cooked for you and ready for lunch time. Be specific with your menu and what sides you want to include. They charge affordable fees for their food. They usually buy at their COOPERATIVE nearby. They have No refrigerator or freezer yet to store food. If anyone has the capacity to donate, I am knocking on your door for them.
I would advice everyone who reads this to buy stuff from them, you will help the community in a big way. They really touched our hearts in a very simple way by letting us feel that we are a part of their family. We really felt the warmth in their hearts.
9. AMBONGDOLAN CAVES + BLUE LAGOON at AMBONGDOLAN TAWANG, BENGUET
This is it!!! I could never forget this experience!!! Imagine a MAN VS NATURE tour? Hiking, trekking, rock climbing, without any experience, without any harness. What we had were flashlights and safety vest. I am not discouraging you. I am inviting you to a challenge. We did it and so will you.
You do not have any idea how Buwis buhay it was to go through all those big rocks, climbing, trekking, including slipping down a few times. I almost gave up but there is no coming back. It is now or never!
Go out of your comfort zones! Test your limits! There is no coming back! Explore the Philippines before other lands. I am proud to be a Filipino.
Please LIKE my Facebook page. Comment your experience. Ride safe! Enjoy life!