Monday, April 27, 2015

Baguio Again!

Visiting Baguio was not really on our itinerary, but since my best friend Sharon cousins visiting Abra would want to stop over Baguio for overnight because her other cousin owns a transient house in Baguio, so we decided to joined them and go to Baguio. The idea coming back here didn't really excite me much, because I'd been here twice. But since it was my best friend first time so I decided to joined her excitement being her tour guide in the city. We leave Abra late in the morning and we reached Baguio 5 hours later, it was late afternoon when we arrived in Baguio and it was gloomy and a little rain pouring outside. Since this time we came with a bunch of people, my best friend and I were kinda hesitant to go on our own plan. After a few hours of resting and there is no plan from the group, me and my best friend decided to go on our own.

Since, she really wanted to try the Strawberry picking in La Trinidad Benguet we head it there first, it was around 4:30 in the afternoon and I am very thankful that I know someone from there. She's a niece of our supplier whom I meet 3 years ago here in Baguio and since then on, we became friends. I hurriedly dialed Kinjud's number hoping to catch her in La Trinidad, and luckily shes still there, she gave me the direction and voila! an hour later we arrived and standing, looking over the green fields with lots of people picking strawberries. 

Coming here would usually takes you three kilometers or 30 minutes or less from Baguio City proper. Anyone can go here using any way of public or private transportation. You can hire a taxi from the city proper that would cost you Php 100.00 or more depends on the traffic situation in La Trinidad road.

I am very excited because this is also my first time trying out there famous strawberry picking, because the last time I was here, it was planting season so instead of picking the strawberries, me and my co-worker end up digging the fields and help the local farmer plants the seeds. It was okay and we had fun though, but this time, its the real thing. Nothing beats the experience of getting this beautiful heart shaped berries fresh from the farm.

Since, its the peak season picking a strawberry straight from the field is quite pricey, not like during lean season, one basket would only cost you Php 150.00 but now it was around Php500-600.00 thanked goodness! I'm glad I had a friend from the area who managed to help us bargain and we were able to get it at Php 400.00 not bad right?

with my bestfriend Sharon and my friend Kinjud.
Sharon and I were really happy picking them and eating in between, although we were informed that we should eat them after washing but sorry we can't help it. It was so delicious and sweet.

After filing in our basket with strawberries we head back to Kinjud's vegetable stall in the are, Sharon and I bought some fresh lettuce, broccoli and some pasalubong or present for our love ones back home. My best friend even bought a walis tambo o broom reed, its not because she could find one in Manila, but because walis tambo from Baguio are durable and world class quality, in fact this is one of most popular product that everyone always takes home from Baguio. And of course your strawberry experience won't be complete if you won't try their very own strawberry ice cream. At first Sharon and I thought this is like any other dirty ice cream you could see in the street, but to our surprise this one is an exception. The ice cream is really good. we really loved it, its creamy with little chunks of the actual fruit and its sticky, it wont easily melt, we even played it turning upside down. This ice cream should be in your list if your planning to visit the strawberry farm. Totally worth a taste and you won't be disappointed.

It was around 5:00 pm when Sharon and I leave the farm, my friend Kinjud advice us to take the Bokawkan Road so we can dropped in Tam-awan Village, another tourist attraction in Baguio. I'd been here before, Tam-awan is a 2.5 hectare- mountain-side village that was built to preserve and showcase Cordillera's culture and history. An artists’ colony set amid a charming collection of Ifugao and Kalinga huts. It is the heart of Cordilleran arts and culture uniquely blends indigenous aesthetics and exquisite Cordilleran craftsmanship with an artist’s concept for a village adapting to Baguio setting. I am very excited to tour my bestfriend around the place becasue there are a number of Igorot huts within the village which would allows her to see the traditional homes of the Cordilleran people. But unfortunately we arrived just in time for their closing time. 

So we head back home, while on our way to the city we can't help be amazed by the fogs on the road. So we asked our taxi driver if he could pull over and let us have a photo opt with the fogs and he certainly said yes and even took our pictures. If there is one thing I loved about Baguio definitely its the fog. I love this visible mass consisting of cloud water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. I felt like I am one step closer to heaven every time I am surrounded with fogs. It's just amazing.

It was dark when we reached at our transient house. Everyone was asking us where we have been, and we were like; "Oh! we were just in the park" (liar!), we didn't want them to know we've been wandering around the City. After dinner my best friend and I were lying in bed getting bored, while waiting for the rain to stop. It was around 10:00pm when the rain stopped. So we hurriedly went to Wag-wagan night market or locally known as ukay-ukay or thrift stores. Which open at 9:00pm to 3:00am along Harrison Road in Baguio. This is were great deals of signature items, like clothes, shoes and other fashion accessories you will find. These are shipped from overseas in bulk and are sold here at a very cheap prices. Your Baguio Itinerary won't be complete without you coming here or check them out at least. Baguio City is known to be the “Shopping Capital of the North”, the best place to buy secondhand garments. And we would't miss it for the world even if its raining.

On the next day, we were getting ready to head back home, and stroll for a while in Burnham Park. It was so nice walking around at the park, because the flowers are blooming everywhere. 

Unfortunately our group findout that we went to Strawberry Farm, so they decided to go there and try the famous strawberry picking. While every bodies busy picking the strawberry, my best friend and I were busy buying  "pasalabong" and eating strawberry ice cream.  

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sitio La Presa of Forevermore

Your probably a fan of abs-cbn famous television drama "Forevermore" if your reading this blog or your like any another peeps who are curios of this place and planning to visit the setting of this television series.Well folks sorry to disappoint you but there is no Sitio La Presa exist in the map, but there is Sitio Pungayan, in Tuba Benguet, which is the real life version of the fictional La Presa in Forevermore. I certainly have no idea what La Presa is, because to be honest I don't watch this show. It just happened that my best friend mom Nanay Josie is a big fan of this show, and since we were in Baguio, we decided to stop by and check out this place before heading back to Manila.

La Presa or Sitio Pungayan is located on top of the mountain of Mount Kabuyao in Brgy. Tuba Benguet, not in Baguio. People often mistaken La Presa is in Baguio will its not, it's in Benguet guys. Your entry point going up to the mountain is via Marcos Highway (Ben Palispis Highway) in Baguio City. You can go here by private vehicle, you can rent taxi in Baguio for around Php600-Php1,000.00 (Prices may change without prior notice), or ride a jeepney one in the morning going down the mountain to carry residents down the mountain, and one in the afternoon to bring residents back to their community up Mount Kabuyao.

It was a long curvy ride, much like going up to Sagada, my bestfriend was a bit scared while i'm like its okay bf wait till you go to Sagada and Batad in Banaue those are way worse than this, which is true.

behind me is two big RADAR.

A few hours later we reached the saddle point of Sitio Pungayan, it was noon already and so many people in the area. We were inform that we had to pay entrance fee before going down to the actual shooting scene, but unfortunately we weren't able to pay, because no one asked us, we just go straight to the shooting location.

It was so foggy and very cold, I certainly love the place, I loved it even more than Baguio, as we walk down the hill I saw plantation of lettuce and cabbage. So many souvenir stalls in the area, and photo booths. 

A few minutes walk downhill we saw the famous house of "Agnes" and the pig and the pig house. I was really shocked how people flock this place, there are so many people busy taking pictures some of them even go inside the house, thanks goodness the owner of the house is hospitable and kind enough to let them in. But of course you have to pay for the entrance fee.

After an hour of obligatory shots we decided to head back to manila especially rain starts to pour. I loved its cold weather and that's it, there is nothing special on this place (but then of course if your a Forevermore fan then this would be special). I'm kinda feeling bad how this quite remote place is now being flock by tourist because of this televesion drama. I mean don't get me wrong I'm just being honest here. I would like to go back here, in a quite environment because certainly Sitio Pungayan would be a perfect place to spent time with mother nature and meditate. I hope tourist visiting this place would remain this place clean, because as I was looking around, I'm a bit disappointed with the trashes scattered in the area. Respect mother nature and the place please!!!

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

YouScoop #BeatTheHeat

My "Lusuac Spring in Abra" photo were featured in YouScoop #BeatTheHeat challenge. YouScoop is a citizen journalism arm of GMA News where in we reports, pictures or videos and share it with them. Thank you YouScoop team for choosing me and liking my pictures.

Here are the top photos submitted for YouScoop Assignment: #BeatTheHeat! Thank you, YouScoopers!
Posted by YouScoop on Friday, April 10, 2015
A video posted by YouScoop (@youscoop) on

I also shared a Picturesque view passing by Baguio - Nueva Vizcaya Road  it was received warmly, got favored and re-tweeted by fellow citizen and gmanews twitter account. Many thanks youscoop team.

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Abra's Hidden Gem "The Lusuac Spring"

I had the privilege to spent my holy week break from work in the Province of Abra, my best friend Sharon's hometown. A landlocked province of the Philippines in the the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon, with eight (8) hours travel time from Manila on a land trip. This province has received many negative telltale as a tourist destination. Thanks to our local media for the publicity reports on their unstable political conditions. Some tourist are hesitant to explore the wonders this province has to offer due to safety measures. But it's time to change this perspective as I tell you may experience on this beautiful quite province of Abra. People are very friendly and accommodating and pleasant to talked with. 

As I stayed here for a couple of days, I discovered that Abra has its fair share of hidden gems, their famous Lusuac Spring in Barangay Poblacion Lagayan, Abra, a refreshing spring a waiting for us to swim. A perfect place to cool-off from the summer heat, it's clear water are indeed inviting for a dip.

Lusuac Spring is a well-landscaped resort, it is a good place to hold picnics and bonding with family and friends. It is open to the public with 50 pesos per head for adults and 20 pesos for children's entrance fee. There are also cottages in the area available for rent, prices ranges to 150 to 350 pesos, with a slide on the edge of the pool for kids and kids at heart. They also have a place for you to change your clothes and a comfort room. (Ps. prices may change without prior notice)

The water comes from the underground of the trees surrounding the pool. It's amazing to know that the local people within the area used this water as source for their cooking and drinking needs. So, worry no more, if you forgot to bring your own bottles of water because this area provides the unlimited supply of spring water fresh from mother nature. You can also wallow in your drinks in the pool to cool it. Thanks God the spring doesn’t lose water all year round even during dry seasons.

Below the pool is wherein the excess water falls for locals to wash their clothes. Other travelers and guest would also go down there to challenged their strong self to drop of water from above. Were supposed to try it but, it was so slippery and dangerous so we let it aside and we just continue swimming in the pool.

Lusuac Spring is waiting to be unveiled to an open-minded visitors, thrill seekers and a nature lover like moi. It's worth a visit because the cool water "Lusuac" has to offer would definitely refresh the weary bodies of travelers and its guest. Plus the cool breeze of the air and calm atmosphere the trees that surrounds the swimming area is worth the experience.

There are various ways to go to Abra, from Manila to Abra via Partas, Dominion or Philippine Rabbit Bus. Dropped of point would be in Bangued, Abra terminal, from there you can ride a jeep bound to Lagayan. And from Lagayan town proper, ask a tricycle driver to bring you to Lusuac Spring.

I personally don't know a place where to stay in Abra since I stayed at my best friends house. But you can check this site for your reference so help plan your Abra Adventure.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Picturesque View at Baguio - Nueva Vizcaya Road

Few days ago we where passing this road as part of our road trip adventure with my best-friend Sharon and her family (Bugaing Family). We were coming from Manila to attend her older brother's wedding in Linglingay Alicia Isabela and we are heading back to La Union and we take this alternative road to shorten our route. Baguio-Nueva Vizcaya Road is a 104 kilometer shortest route between the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino in the northeast and the provinces of Benguet, La Union and Ilocos Sur in the northwest, according to the data from the Cordillera offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) of the Philippines. 

It was our first time passing this route and we have no idea what this road has to offer. All we know and excited about is that, we will be passing by Baguio City.

While on the road we can't help get awe! with what we are seeing outside; blues skies, greenery fields and the dry mountains which offer picturesque view. What's so nice about road tripping with private vehicle is that you can pull over anytime to take your shots and selfies in every beautiful spots and views you'll pass by. And we no exception to that! We can't help but pull over and take our obligatory shots with this beautiful rice field in Nueva Vizcaya!

Windy and......

warm weather.

As we continued our journey we also passed by mountains with miniature Rice Terraces views.

And then we pull over for our obligatory jumpshot on the road of Bgry. Kayapa Nueva Vizcaya, with beautiful flower's along side the road as our backdrop. 

My Best-friend highest Jump-shot by far with this trip.

with my best-friend Sharon, her mom Nanay Josie and me.

Me and Nanay Josie

On the road we also saw one of the oldest power plants in the country and was among the first large hydroelectric power plants constructed in the Philippines. The Ambuklao Hydroelectric Power Plant o the Ambuklao Dam it is so big and beautiful. Unfortunately we didn't pull over because it was getting dark but I still managed to get a nice shot of this view.

As it was getting dark outside and I was trying to get my best shot of the beautiful Ambuklao Dam. Can't help to look up as I was seeing sunset and started taking some shot and to my surprise I had the best snap shot for the day. Sunset in the Mountain of Ambuklao Dam in Brgy. Bokod in the Province of Benguet.

What do you think? Isn't it beautiful? My college adviser describe it as heavenly shots as I posted these on my Facebook wall :)

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