I really really loved Baguio, its scenery, its people, richness in culture and great weather. This area is known as the Cordillera Administrative Region and it is in the mountain area thus is much cooler than most of Philippines. The native tribes of this place are called Igorots which means Mountain people and includes the Ifugao, Sagada, Banguet ,Apayao and the Kalinga. One way to identify the men is that they either have long hair or have a strip of long hair at the back of their heads.
Baguio through my eyes:
At the entrance, we were met by a group of senior citizens all dressed in their traditional attire-welcome to culture and I definitely had to have a photo opportunity.
Once inside, culture is represented with the various sculptures around-we even met a warrior who was a head hunter.
2. Baguio Cathedral:
Philippines is dominantly Catholic and thus there are beautiful Churches all over. The Baguio Cathedral is the oldest and largest Catholic Church in Baguio. The exterior of the church is painted pink-cute , cute, cute and I just took time enjoy its beauty. From the gates, there is a serene feeling and as I walked around the church, I was awed by the interior decorations of the pulpit, paintings, statues, chandeliers, cushioned kneeling pews to the exterior that has beautiful statues of angels holding the Holy water are a beauty to behold. Make sure to say a prayer or two and /or attend mass.
Conventional Center-Art Gallery
The art gallery is like taking a walk through traditional Baguio. The paintings and other artworks reveal the culture of the people at festivals and in their day to day lives. Thanks and credit to everyone whose artwork is shown here. If you do not have too much time but want to learn about the culture, you have to visit this Art Gallery.
l totally loved this place-it felt like I had gone on a spiritual journey. The Lourdes Grotto is a Catholic Shrine where one has to climb several stairs to get to the actual shrine. There you will find people praying, meditating and lighting candles.
Once up the stairs, you actually feel like you are in the clouds. As I walked around the area, we saw many Christian artworks from paintings to statues.
The paintings tell the story of Jesus as he was led to the cross. We saw him being flogged by the soldiers, him carrying the cross, him being nailed on the cross among others all on rock paintings. In the Christian faith-this is called “The way of the Cross”.
There are also several statues along the way with the largest one being of Jesus. The walk is somewhat solemn, made me take time to reflect on my Christian faith, my beliefs, and say several prayers .
Well, if you have heard of haunted houses and wanted a feel-start here. This hotel was previously a prestigious hotel, having 33 rooms and frequented by the who is who in the society. However, it was eventually deserted and when I visited, it had no doors or windows. The locals however claim that it is/was haunted as they could hear doors banging, windows breaking and noises from the hotel especially at night—spooky. I didn’t experience any of that but, as we walked within it and walked around the stairs-it just felt spooky.
Right near the Diplomat Hotel gate is the Worlds Largest Ten Commandment Tablet in the world for all to read and meditate on. Yes, the Guinness World Records recognizes it as thus. It clearly and boldly states the Biblical 10 commandments that Moses was given by God- go on test your memory.
Mines View Park:
If you are super serious, have no sense of humour and do not appreciate the basic things in life-keep away from this place. Ok, maybe this place may actually do you some good.I got to ride the most colourful horse in the world and hugged the largest and coolest dog I have ever seen.
I also had time to learn Ifugao lifestyle as well as dress up like a true Ifugao lady. I think their fashion is tops and the bright colours just made me glow.
Unlike what most people think that travel and holidays do not make one break a sweat-I actually I work out naturally more whilston the road-check out these stairs.
Due to this place being located high in the mountains, you get to have an aerial view of Baguio city and the hill tops.
Farming is something everyone should do-you will appreciate more what you eat. It is taxing but the fruits of ones labour are worth it. This place is known as thus because it mainly grows strawberries but it also grows and sells other food crops some even for export as I haeard. I also got to taste one of the seeetest strawberry ice-creams here.
The Museum was fun to visit as it not only provided lots of information on Bagui, its people and its culture, I also got to enjoy looking at most of the artefacts.
Visiting the homesteads
Homesteads give one an authentic look and feel of the people. Being mountainous, most of the homes are built on the mountain sides and I wondered how some even made it to their homes. Visit both the traditional and the modern
Baguio delicacies vary and I sampled as many as I could-at resturants, homes, streets-everywhere: Your tastebuds will thank you
How I pulled it off
There are various means of transport from jeepneys to buses to taxis. In some places I would use public means but to explore beyond the town I was privileged to get a local to show me around.