2600: Beguiling Baguio

It was early in the morning that I decided to head out to Baguio. I felt that I needed to take a break and I needed it fast. The reasons that lead me to escape is something that I am not open to share. Simply put, I had a mental crisis. I had little research and forgot that I needed to ride a bus that heads straight to one of the many Victory Liner terminal in Manila. I took the leap of faith and decided to depart at Baclaran. I hailed a tricycle and headed our way to the terminal. After a few alleyways and some minutes we arrived at the terminal at about 530AM and with time to spare. The trip from Cavite is taking a tool on my stomach. I wanted to take a quick breakfast before we head off but first tickets.

Baguio Ticket Fare
Regular Trip: Php 450 for a 7 to 8 hour journey
Express Trip: Php 750 for a 5 to 6 hour journey
FTW! Blog, 2600, Baguio, Summer Capital of the Philippines, #FTWTravels, #FTWblog, zhequia.blogspot.com
I wanted to maximize the little money I have so I opted to take the Php 450 trip which departs at 6AM. It is expected that the trip would be very long and sleep was inherent. I had little planning and nothing in mind but to escape so might as well wing this whole thing. As many of you know, I plan everything to the minute detail. I do not suggest that you do the same but there comes to a point in your life that one must decide throw caution to the wind. Arrived at Baguio in one piece at around 2PM. After doing some light research in between stops, I opted checked the bus schedules heading back. There is no direct bus ride from Baguio to Cavite with Victory Liner but it was a relief to see that bus rides are available on an hourly interval. The only liner that would go straight to Cavite is the Saulog Bus Liner and they have buses available at the side of SM Baguio.

Headed out and too excited to start, lodging was a main concern. There was a canopy with men in uniform across the terminal with a sign saying "Tourist Information" and yes, I headed there. They had a myriad of accommodation options and things to do while you are in the city. A personnel volunteered to accompany me to nearby lodging places. With a cup of coffee on his right hand we ventured to the place. It was a bit of a walk from where we started and the man was walking faster than I was. Boy, was I not ready for walking today. Amidst the time of day, the weather was just right. I am starting to like the weather out here. I had a light jacket on, my trusty jeans and my durable rubber shoes fit for a day like today.
FTW! Blog, 2600, Baguio, Summer Capital of the Philippines, #FTWTravels, #FTWblog, zhequia.blogspot.com, YMCA BaguioUnfortunately, they did not have much space at the place and nor was I ready for more walking. The guide was really accommodating and I felt rather bad that I could not find a good place to stay. Before we separted ways, I asked where SM was and he handed me his card with his contact number in case I need help finding my way and going about the city. After a few blocks of walking, I reached Session Road which as many of you know is also a name of a local band. Session Road is where most of the establishments are located - SM Baguio, Bus Terminal Stop with routes going to Vigan, Laoag and Cavite.
FTW! Blog, 2600, Baguio, Summer Capital of the Philippines, #FTWTravels, #FTWblog, zhequia.blogspot.com, YMCA Baguio
And lo and behold just across SM City Baguio is YMCA Baguio. They offer Hostel Rates at Php1300 per night. Choose the Dorm Rooms with 15 or 20 folks at lesser rental fees. All the walking got the best of me and too tired to look for other places, I decided that I am gonna stay here. The front desk personnel said that the room is now down to Php 1200 as it was an off peak season! Yaaay! I can use the money for food which was a stones throw away. After checking in, I was guided to the room and it was huge! It can even fit 3 people. It has 2 twin beds, a flat screen cable tv, heated shower and an electric fan. I like the fact that they have thick blankets to combat the cold weather which I may need when turning in for the night.

Refreshed for a bit, changed to fresh clothes and stepped outside. Oh Baguio, take the lead. I am ready. 
FTW! Blog, 2600, Baguio, Summer Capital of the Philippines, #FTWTravels, #FTWblog, zhequia.blogspot.com

Here are a few tips I gathered during the trip:
  • Have enough cash to last you at least 2 days. Was lucky there was a ATM at the terminal before we left.
  • Bring a neck pillow and a lightweight blanket.
  • Charge all portables (camera, smartphones and a power bank).
  • Buy a 1L water bottle from the grocery to save money. Mineral water at bus stops are hideously expensive. A 500ml bottle is sold at Php35 at one of the stops. WTF right?
  • Buy snacks like crackers and some candies to ease your tummy from grumbling.
  • Buy tissue paper, some public restroom do not provide tissues and if they do, it's not enough.
  • Use of  restroom is a flat rate of Php5.
  • Bus stops are 2 hours apart from the last one so pace yourself in drinking too much water or soda or those bottled iced teas (both are known to increase your chances of peeing aka diuretic).

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