WANDERLUST| 8 reasons to revisit Baguio

AFTER  you have strolled along Burnham Park, have your selfies taken at the Presidential Mansion, and worn Igorot costume at Mines View Park, it’s time to check out some new – and not-so new – attractions that continue to make Baguio City a popular tourist attraction.

COLORFUL houses of sitios Stonehill, Botiw-tiw and Sadjap

COLORFUL houses of sitios Stonehill, Botiw-tiw and Sadjap

 MOUNT COSTA. Located along Pico-Lamtang Road, this new attraction is a place where you can find inner peace while you explore its zen gardens. Mount Costa affords guests a quiet walk along man-made trails and discover unique flora and art installations.

 BENCAB MUSEUM. Just a few minutes away from the city in nearby Tuba, Benguet, the museum is a 4-storey building that houses National Artist Ben Cabrera’s art collection as well as artworks of noted Filipino artists and cultural exhibits of indigenous tribes in the northern highlands.

THE DIPLOMAT Hotel on top of Dominican Hill

THE DIPLOMAT Hotel on top of Dominican Hill

 FARMER’S DAUGHTER. If you fancy traditional Ibaloi and other Cordillera fares, such as “pinikpikan” (soup made of chicken beaten with stick until it gets bruised – said to improve the flavor- prior to cooking),  “pinuneg” (blood sausage), “tongsoy” (watercress) salad or “kinuday” or “stag” (smoked meat), this roadside eatery is the place. Packed with diners especially during lunch. Be there before the lunch crowd fills up the humble comedor along Long-Long Benguet Road.

COUNTRY living at Azalea Residences

COUNTRY living at Azalea Residences

 GHOST HUNTING. A tour to the city’s old buildings is sure to scare the daylights of you. Get goosebumps as you meander along the decrepit rooms of The Diplomat Hotel, a former retreat house of the Dominican friars before it became a 33-room hotel in 1973. Images of nuns and kids playing by the fountain courtyard often appear in visitors’ photos taken in the place.  The Victorian-style Laperal House along Leonard Road is where ghosts of a kid who died in a car accident and her nanny who waited for his return are said to show up at dusk.  During the Japanese occupation, the house became a garrison where soldiers where tortured and women were raped and killed.

 MOUNTAIN LIVING AT AZALEA. Enjoy the view of mountains and pine trees as you feel the cool mountain breeze right at the comfort of your own room. Azalea Residences, along Leonard Wood Loop, gives you both the vibe of country living while being minutes away from the city center. Their resto Tradisyon serves some of the best fusion fares in town.

 WAGWAG. Before SM mall arrived in the city, there was already another SM (segunda mano) store where locals shop for fashionable get-ups. The 3-level Bayanihan, site of an old hotel building across Burnham Park, is a maze of stores that sell pre-loved clothes, footwear, bags, toys, household items and fashion accessories.

 BAGUIO PUBLIC MARKET. Located at the lower end of Session Road, all sorts of pasalubong items can be brought here at bargain prices. Want ube jam, fresh strawberries, ref magnets with images of Baguio attractions, and that famous Baguio broom? Yep, this is the place.

 STABOSA. The once mountain of decrepit houses of sitios Stonehill, Botiw-tiw and Sadjap (thus, STABOSA) in Barangay Balili in La Trinidad, Benguet, is now a popular tourist spot for Baguio visitors. The repainting of the houses is a collective work made by local artists.

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