The strawberry fields in neighboring La Trinidad is a must see when strawberry harvest time. The green fields are dotted with red as far as you can see. The farmers say that the best months to do strawberry-picking is from December throughout February when the harvest are a-plenty.
Go early if you want to pick the red ripe strawberries yourself. Be sure to wear shoes, sandals won't do in the a-little-bit muddy trail. The catch is >> if you pick it your own, it costs P250/kilo compared to those being sold at the parking area at P150/kilo. For the urban-bred tourists, the fun and excitement is worth it, especially for the kids. You should see them smile with their small baskets full with their harvest contrastingly red in the green sorroundings. The experience and picture-op would be priceless.
The net-enclosed butterfly sanctuary at Camp John Hay offers interaction with butterflies bred in this place. The butterflies wont mind being softly touched or letting them cling to your finger or rest on your head or shoulder for that great photo shot opportunity.
Taking a close-up shot of a butterfly enjoying the nectar of a very colorful flower would be simply easy even with the basic point-and-shoot camera.
What was left of the now-closed Benguet Mining in Itogon Benguet, the Balatoc Mines is offering guided Mine Tours. The mine is still operational albeit minimal and with crude tools/equipment employing the locals; plus the tour proceeds as an additional income. Not bad.
Joining the tour, a numbered round-metal-sheet "chapa" that serves as an ID to real miners are also issued to every tourist entering the tunnel. A number is engraved in the chapa indicating your rank of entry to this tour. Me, I got #82,364. >> meaning I am the 82,364th miner-tourist since the tour's inception in the late 80's.
Experience how miners do it underground. Put on your boots (my 3-year-old girl even got a perfect size of boots) and hardhat, ride the train cart and go inside the mining tunnel to have a real feel of what a miners life is subterraneanly. Miners showed us how to dig tunnels, reinforce them, and prevent cave-ins, the proper and safe way to detonate explosives; and how tools and equipment underground are used till that ore is finally taken out for refining. The most memorable moment is when they detonated an explosive while we are safely tucked on one of the designated perpendicular waiting tunnels. The loud BOOM felt like a big thing struck my chest. That was just 1 for demo, imagine a series of hundred booms when its for real.
Into the refinery, ores are pulverized and the tedious panning for that "yellow thing" starts. The more we appreciated why gold costs that much. >> Check also the Museum.
The 18-hole mini-golf course at Camp John Hay is a come-on for kids. Kids pretending to be playing like their mom/dad who are incidentally busy giving basic tips - what a sight. I believed that the course was made for kids but I found out that adults are as many as the kids trying/perfecting their putting skills. Adults enjoying to be kids again, hahaha!
The golf course open areas are planted with flowering plants giving the place a lively feeling. Pictures taken here are guaranteed colorful.
Small-sized golf clubs even for 3-year-old kids are available. P85 Green Fee. No lights - daytime play only.
Although Baguio is the coldest place in the Philippines its so surprising to find out that it has an area where they have natural hot springs. hot Sulphuric water.This place is called ASIN. Its about 45 minutes from the City you can get there by public transport. You can see natural pools boiling of hot water. Although the place is not yet developed and there arent any restaurants around so its would be better to bring pack lunch. There are a lot of pools around. "ASIN HOT SPRINGS" A must see adventure.
If you arent much of diping in ASINS hot water pools you can actually Pay $2.00 or P120.00 to dip in a hot bath tub of sulphuric water. They say a lot of old people come here to take a dip at the medicinal sulphuric water bath tub to cure them selves of rheumatism
In Camp John Hay, Baguio they have a Butterfly farm. Its also a must see because you can see butterflies fluttering everywhere and if your nice enough they will rest on your hand. Butterflies usually are lively during Feb.
There was once a magnificent Crystal Cave here in Baguio. This was the place. Upon entering you could see the crystals gleaming and sparkling from the walls but because of economic problems the people were forced to literally canibbalize the cave off all its crystal and sold them to feed their families. Now its just a dark , cold cave.Although you can still see the walls carved by time.It still a worth see place. And its not bad to keep an old beauty some company every once in a while.
Are you looking for a handcrafted silver jewelry?
The silver shop at St. Louis University was very famous for their jewelries for almost half a century, but now, it is already closed!!! The best place to buy silver jewelries now are located at the Maharlika building down the Session Road. If you take a right at the end of Session Road and get up at the overpass fronting Tiongsan Bazaar, the Maharlika building is unto your left.
I was told that the jewelry shop at St. Louis University Laboratory was already closed as it was bancrupt!!! Honestly, this was the best place to buy handcrafted jewelries before. But when I checked other stores, some stores carries nice sterling jewelries, too!
Make sure to scout around first before you put your heart in buying one that you like. The prices usually vary but having a discount is better!
It is refreshing drive and get out from of the city. Drive to Mines View Park.
There is a view deck over there overlooking the mountains and hills of Baguio City. There are also array of stall where local residents sell their products. There are handmade backpacks made of rattan, tiger grass broom, woven place mats, handcarved spoon and forks, handcarved key chains, etc.
You can also try different Igorot costumes at Mines View Park for a certain fee. There are also local Igorots in their costumes ready for you to take pictures with them for remembrance. Remember to give the a tip.
Batad is one of the idyllic villages in the province of Ifugao. The surrounding terraces of the village look, as some say, as a 'tribune in a amphitheater'. The mountain people still maintain the terraces and the walls of stones and loam, often 6 to 7 meters high, with their hands. Every part of the steep slopes is used. Sometimes the surface of a rice-field on a terrace is only 10 square meters
In the old days, the Igorot people used to wear their costume even in the city. The men's costume was called the G-string and they wear a headdress adorned with beautiful and colorful feather of birds. The women, on the other hand, wore a skirt woven in beautiful colors - red, blue, and white. They wore necklaces made of snake bones and beautiful expensive beads.
There was this old story that when the richest man in Baguio City went to Manila to buy buses, he was wearing a G-string. He was one proud Igorot. He didn't care what people would say. Most of the salesmen looked at him and totally ignored him. How can this "Igorot man" afford a bus when he can't even afford to buy clothes on!
The Igorot man went to another bus sales company. To everybody's surprise this Igorot man bought several buses and paid in cash! The guy who ignored him didn't realize that this Igorot man was Dangwa! He was once the richest Igorot! (Dangwa is the owner of the Dangwa Transportation in the Mountain Province).
PMA is the premier military academy in the country where the country's future military officers are moulded. The academy is actually inside the Fort General Gregorio del Pilar.
When we visited the place, the kids were awed in amazement having seen real military helicopters, airplanes, tanks right beside them - touchable and ridable for real but not operational, of course. Decommissioned, these vehicles are displayed in the academy grounds - that's a museum in the open.
Other interesting activities in PMA are >> watch parade in review, check the PMA Museum, get up to the 10-m high treehouse and have a wide view of the place, watch platoons of cadets doing physical activities in uniform and synchronicity.
Dinner table ware made from silver in the shops of Baguio has become an export $ earner for the Philippines.
Beautiful coffee and tea spoons, sieves, salt and pepper dispensers, sugar pots, trays, etc and whatever you can think of is manufactured in Baguio.
Pill boxes of silver or other tiny containers compliment the range of products.
Those interested may contact local jewelry shops for the manufacture of submitted designs.
Established by the Jesuits in 1907, the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto is one of the more enduring tourist spots in Baguio that has been attracting devotees and tourists in decades.
Built at an elevated ground overlooking the city center of Baguio, the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary can be reached via a 100+ steps stairway. However, for the not-so-fit, a winding road to the top is the easy way up - ride plus a few steps. The place got people constantly coming and going from sunrise to sunset lighting candles and offering prayers to the Miraculous Lady.
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