Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Exploring Baguio One Morning on December 2010

Exploring Baguio One Morning on December 2010

My day to explore Baguio started early because of a bird chirping beside the window on top of my bed. I realized dawn was breaking and I remembered I wanted to take a picture of the sunrise after two years of not going back to Baguio. My excuse “I’ve been busy”. Not much has changed except for the condotel being built in front of the house blocking our once majestic view of Baguio mountains. It was the side of Baguio covered with greenery and sometimes it would hide the end of a rainbow. Oh well, the only thing constant in this world is change. Nothing is really permanent. I took my photos and spent some time meditating. I returned to the conscious world with my face covered by the warmth of the rising sun. Together with the thin fog covering Green Valley and the gentle morning breeze, I rose to jog.

Sunrise at Green Valley Baguio

I decided to take the normal route around the subdivision. I’ve walked these paths countless of times but have not really run on it. The air was thin and I can hear my heart pounding inside my chest screaming for oxygen. It was a good kind of physical pain. I successfully jogged the course twice without stopping. Around the subdivision, not much has changed except that there were more houses being built. Every year, new establishments are rising. I wonder if the day will come in Baguio when I would look at the horizon and see a clear path of trees and nothing else.

Green Valley, Baguio

After a buffet breakfast at the house, thanks to a generous tita, I had this urge to explore the Black Market. The previous day, I already visited the Black Market to look for ukay-ukay finds which was very fruitful. I bought about 8 pieces of clothing and spent only less than a P1000 (if I were in Manila that would have been like two items, if I am lucky). I was thinking I want to share pictures of the stuff I love about Baguio’s Black Market especially the juiciest fruits and the crunchiest vegtables one can eat.

Sagada Oranges from Black Market Baguio

Strawberries from Black Market Baguio

Another perennial favorite are the assortment of pasalubong one can bring home. This year’s catch finds include Lengua de Gato from Tartland (3 big containers for 200); Romana’s peanut brittle (P130); and my all time favorite chocoflakes from Mikasan (P80). These pasalubong can also be bought in small containers in groups of 4 for P100; 6 for P100 and 7 for P100 but under a different brand name.

Black Market Baguio

If you are buying these pasalubong in bulk, it would he very handy to buy these cartoon inspired bayongs where you can put all your purchases to avoid losing items. I am saying this based on personal experience.

Bayong Bags at Black Market, Baguio

If you plan to buy t-shirts, rugs, blankets, comforter and other souvenir items I would suggest to to buy them first before going to the fresh produce side of the Black Market so you can roam freely before buying your fruits, vegetables and flowers. If you are a suki of Tita Cora of Tita Cora’s wooden handicrafts, owner of one of the best souvenir shops in the Black Market, maybe she will agree to make her shop your temporary depository station and a meeting place as well after shopping your hearts out. From Tita Cora, I bought handcrafted tissue boxes worth P150 only. We saw the same item at SM’s Kultura and it costs twice the price we bought it from Tita Cora. The best thing about being friends with the locals is gaining a resource person who has amazing stories to tell you about Baguio and a benefactor of a wonderful handcrafted fertility idol as a gift on your wedding.

Black Market

My journey brought me on foot to Session Road. I was looking for animal hats I saw on a couple of girls who were wearing them at SM. I wanted to buy a cat hat. Inside the Black Market, the animal hats price ranges from about P200 to P280. In Session Road, I got mine (after much haggling) at P180 only to find out that these animal hats are being sold at Divisoria for P120 a piece or P100 for wholesale. My justification to myself is that at that time I was in Session Road, it was “a need” and at the same time “a want” so it was not that painful to pay extra.

Animal Hats, Session Road, Baguio

In my journey along Session Road, I couldn’t find a restaurant I fancy. Most of the eating spots I saw were also restaurants I see in Manila. I considered visiting two places though. One is Razon’s and the other one is Sizzling Plate. I thought of Razon because I was wondering what it would be like to eat Halo-halo in Baguio and Sizzling Plate because the ambience caught my attention.

Razon's Session Road Baguio

In Sizzling Plate there were a moderate number of people and they seem happy inside the restaurant. Still, I was quite disappointed seeing that there are not much unique choices. I consoled myself that this is a good reason to return next time with a goal of looking for restaurants that truly represent Baguio. Still, if you have anything in mind, why don’t you post a comment and suggest your favorite Baguio restaurant.

Sizzling Plate, Session Road, Baguio

Apparently, all roads lead to SM Baguio but before I can reach the landmark I found a stopover beside the BDO bank where I can take a photo of the city from a higher vantage point.

BDO Session Road Baguio

Bus Line Baguio

My day’s journey ends at Starbucks where I found the time to write this half-day journey of mine. It’s a good change from the usual hustle and bustle of the city. It still feels a lot like the city though. It definitely smells like the city from where I am sitting. The difference maybe is the chilly weather but there is nothing that will make me not love this day exploring Baguio one morning on December 2010.

Tomorrow trip to the Balatoc Mines and Baguio Farm – I cannot wait.


  1. i just want to say that those oranges they are selling in black market are not sagada oranges..imported po iyon..ang sagada orange has a color of light orange-yellow.. :D

  2. @Anonymous: I appreciate your input. Hopefully next time, you can share us your name too. I might even invite you to be a guest writer in my blog since you seem to know something about Sagada oranges. I'm sure consumers will benefit from that kind of tips.