Baguio - First Impressions

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Baguio - First Impressions


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Old 1st May 2014, 01:36 AM
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BAGUIO - First Impressions

Have we been unlucky?

We came for our first visit to Baguio, and have been here for just a day and a half. Myabe it is too early to start recording impressions, but I shall do so anyway - With the help the someone might point us in the right direction(s) so we can better enjoy the rest of our trip.

First, the good part. The people we have met are friendly and helpful. We have found that elsewhere in the Philippines, and so expected it. If anything the people here are more friendly than in Manila, and are willing to go out of their way to help strangers. They also seem reasonably happy, which is always a plus point for this wonderful country, which is rated 5th happiest in the world, though being far from the wealthiest.

Baguio is not a sophisticated place - and who should expect that? But we were disappointed that our two strongest impressions were that it is full of young people who want to spend their time walking back and forth from the huge SM Mall, and that it rains a great deal. The rain leaves the place darker and muddier than we expected.

We are hungry for a big of culture, even local culture, and maybe even a good museum or two.

Suggestions are very welcome

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Old 1st May 2014, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by OffThePeak View Post
BAGUIO - First Impressions

Have we been unlucky?

We came for our first visit to Baguio, and have been here for just a day and a half. Myabe it is too early to start recording impressions, but I shall do so anyway - With the help the someone might point us in the right direction(s) so we can better enjoy the rest of our trip.

First, the good part. The people we have met are friendly and helpful. We have found that elsewhere in the Philippines, and so expected it. If anything the people here are more friendly than in Manila, and are willing to go out of their way to help strangers. They also seem reasonably happy, which is always a plus point for this wonderful country, which is rated 5th happiest in the world, though being far from the wealthiest.

Baguio is not a sophisticated place - and who should expect that? But we were disappointed that our two strongest impressions were that it is full of young people who want to spend their time walking back and forth from the huge SM Mall, and that it rains a great deal. The rain leaves the place darker and muddier than we expected.

We are hungry for a big of culture, even local culture, and maybe even a good museum or two.

Suggestions are very welcome
Hi and welcome,

You are seeing so many kids and young adults now because it is summer vacation from school until around June 5th or so.

Yep, lots of rain up there but a whole lot cooler too.
I assume you have been to Strawberry Fields and Burnham Park already. Another place to see for fun is the Chinese Bell Church. Perched on the side of a hill, it's a fun place to see and for photos. Not sure of other places to see there but would suggest asking a local. Perhaps a vendor at a store/stall in town.



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Old 1st May 2014, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OffThePeak View Post
BAGUIO - First Impressions

Have we been unlucky?

We came for our first visit to Baguio, and have been here for just a day and a half. Myabe it is too early to start recording impressions, but I shall do so anyway - With the help the someone might point us in the right direction(s) so we can better enjoy the rest of our trip.

First, the good part. The people we have met are friendly and helpful. We have found that elsewhere in the Philippines, and so expected it. If anything the people here are more friendly than in Manila, and are willing to go out of their way to help strangers. They also seem reasonably happy, which is always a plus point for this wonderful country, which is rated 5th happiest in the world, though being far from the wealthiest.

Baguio is not a sophisticated place - and who should expect that? But we were disappointed that our two strongest impressions were that it is full of young people who want to spend their time walking back and forth from the huge SM Mall, and that it rains a great deal. The rain leaves the place darker and muddier than we expected.

We are hungry for a big of culture, even local culture, and maybe even a good museum or two.

Suggestions are very welcome
I spent a weekend there in 1985 and it was dark and dreary, chilly at nights and felt a little creepy walking around the city streets (dark out), was real happy to return back to Subic. The difference was the evergreen tree's and lighting a fire in our cabin at Camp John Hay.

vegetables are grown there and from what I hear real cheap.

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Old 1st May 2014, 08:01 AM
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After a second day, and a trip to Camp Hay and a walk along Outlook Road above the Country Club, we are seeing a more stylish side of Baguio. This was a marked contrast with our trip to La Trinadad yesterday - when we thought we had wandered onto a big movie set and were seeing a Ashlands set for that grim area seen in The Great Gatsby film.

There must be places where locals can live happily in the Baguio area without a car - but we have not found that yet. Cabs are cheap enough, but there are times when they are hard to find. We don't mind taking Jeepnies at times. We have been in three of them in two days. But they are not ideal transport for tall, long-legged foreigners with bad knees. Still, I find it best to try to act like a local when trying to get to know a new place.

Walking up and down all the hills and walkways remains a bit of a challenge. I think the locals must be part mountain goat. Maybe we will find a nice flat walkable part of Baguio if we keep looking
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Old 1st May 2014, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by OffThePeak View Post
After a second day, and a trip to Camp Hay and a walk along Outlook Road above the Country Club, we are seeing a more stylish side of Baguio. This was a marked contrast with our trip to La Trinadad yesterday - when we thought we had wandered onto a big movie set and were seeing a Ashlands set for that grim area seen in The Great Gatsby film.

There must be places where locals can live happily in the Baguio area without a car - but we have not found that yet. Cabs are cheap enough, but there are times when they are hard to find. We don't mind taking Jeepnies at times. We have been in three of them in two days. But they are not ideal transport for tall, long-legged foreigners with bad knees. Still, I find it best to try to act like a local when trying to get to know a new place.

Walking up and down all the hills and walkways remains a bit of a challenge. I think the locals must be part mountain goat. Maybe we will find a nice flat walkable part of Baguio if we keep looking
That walking up and down everywhere you go is what keeps us here in the low-lands. I'd love to live up there, even in a local standards house. But those hills everywhere are worse than San Francisco. I think living there and given the abundance of rain all the time, I'd just buy a small car and drive most places. For shorter distances I'd bring my motor-trike from here to run around on in good weather..
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Old 1st May 2014, 04:36 PM
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Take a look at this site Go Baguio! Your Complete Guide to Baguio City, Philippines. It has some good information. There are tons of other sites there as well. With the exception of the beaches/water sports, there is more to do there than many other places in the Philippines. Have fun on your trip.

i will be there in 3 to 4 months permanently. Can't wait!!
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Old 1st May 2014, 09:58 PM
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I spent a weekend there in 1985 and it was dark and dreary, chilly at nights and felt a little creepy walking around the city streets (dark out), was real happy to return back to Subic. The difference was the evergreen tree's and lighting a fire in our cabin at Camp John Hay.

vegetables are grown there and from what I hear real cheap.
We were there in Oct of 85, we might've been cabin neighbors at John Hay! lol

We went horseback riding in the mountains, no idea if that's still available to do.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 12:37 AM
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We were there in Oct of 85, we might've been cabin neighbors at John Hay! lol

We went horseback riding in the mountains, no idea if that's still available to do.
We ate at Shakeys and went to a fair with a train, Ferris wheel rides and we also tried the paddle boats (bicycle type), also went for a small tour in one of the underground caves, I also remember the long bus ride and as we approached Baguio the sometimes narrow mountainous roads. We looked at some of the shops and some of the soldiers were wearing dress uniforms and standing or leaning on the corners, they weren't drunk but ? It seemed odd if not strange.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 01:13 AM
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I know the locals like cars, and think they need them - provided they can afford one. Actually, since i have lived for decades in major walkable cities like: Hong Kong, London, Chicago, and New York City, I do not share that attitude. I think cars and suburbs isolate people, and in their own quiet way, destroy the quality of life. I prefer a walkable city or walkable small town or village with a train linking it to the big city. Oil is running out, and I think we will all need to live that way, if we want a decent quality of life. Ayala is on the right track IMO building 17 walkable CBD's all around the Philippines. But transport links between the CBD's need improvement. I am confident that will come, given time.

Yesterday we "mapped out" a walkable part of Baguio near one end of Burnham Park. It basically stretches from Upper Sessions Drive to near our hotel (Golden Pines). This area could be developed more than it is, and if Baguio wants to have a large proper CBD then I think there is an excellent chnace it will be here. Unless a company like Ayalaland stakes a large area nearby and builds a new CBD from scratch. (This seems unlikely, since AL has so far stayed in the South.)

We spoke to one of the knowledgeable Filipinos we met (a lawyer with real estate experience), and he did not share our vision. He thought any real estate investments in Baguio would be boring, and the city would stay a "vacation capital" with very seasonal activity and slow economic growth. But he likes bringing his family here on vacation.


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Old 2nd May 2014, 01:23 AM
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We ate at Shakeys and went to a fair with a train, Ferris wheel rides and we also tried the paddle boats (bicycle type), also went for a small tour in one of the underground caves, I also remember the long bus ride and as we approached Baguio the sometimes narrow mountainous roads. We looked at some of the shops and some of the soldiers were wearing dress uniforms and standing or leaning on the corners, they weren't drunk but ? It seemed odd if not strange.
These are great activities for families with young children. My partner is a Hong Kong woman, and we do not have children, so we seek less family oriented activities. We also have a strong interest in matters Green - sustainable living, organic food, renewable energy - and these things are developing in the Philippines though slower maybe than they might.

The Philippines now has a very aggressive target to move to 100% sustainable energy in 10 years time, and you can learn more about that in this Video:

Mark Dansie: Renewable Energy in the Philippines


(EF does not allow me to post the YouTube link yet, but you c an do a search on YouTube)


Last edited by OffThePeak; 2nd May 2014 at 01:27 AM.
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