The most-awaited road trip for the gang

Breaking our fast in a strange table-less place makes the trip more authentic. Luckily, the Victory Liner bus terminal in Pasay offers a variety of breakfast options. I opted for the hot choco and a pan de sal baon for brekky. There are cup noodles available but I don’t like to start the road trip with MSG-laden food. We missed the 6 am trip to Baguio, so we killed the time by eating at the bus terminal.

We didn’t get the non-stop bus with the lavatory. But most of the buses are air-conditioned and some have Wi-Fi access. Our bus is going to make two stops en route to Baguio.

Our stops were made in Tarlac, which I think is a depressing place. Everywhere you look you will see endless barren and green fields. It reminds me of Farmville and one of those B-rated horror movies.

Anyway, we thought it’s gonna be a 6-hour trip (inclusive of 2 stops) but we were wrong. We crossed the Baguio border by 2:05 pm (making it a total of 7 hours) complete with fuzzy headaches and growling stomachs.

Chilly February weather at 2pm

The bus trudged up quietly, climbing its way carefully to the mountains. I can imagine the Ifugaos making their way to the other side of the mountain. It will probably take them a day or two. We pressed our pale faces on the windows and was impressed by the scenery. The sight was pretty awesome. Beyond the clouds and mountains, rests the City of Pines. Might as well call it the City of Clouds. The city is practically covered with wisps of white cotton atop the mountains. The trick is not to look down. If one wants to commit a secret suicide, rest assured your body will never be found.
When we get off the bus, we were greeted by a breath of cool air, as if we are facing the AC. Taxis in Baguio are not air-conditioned and are in FXs/Tamaraws version. Since most of the taxis will not take the six of us, a kind man with a van offered to take us to La Brea Inn in Session Road for a P100. It’s just a 10-minute ride from the terminal to the inn.

Back then, tourists can still smell the scent of pines. Now, the tourists are greeted by the whisper of cold air.  Nevertheless, I love the climate in the city. People wear jackets, hoodies and knitted caps. A good excuse to wear scarves, woolen beanies and one of those dorky yet cute Japanese-inspired character hats.

Budget-friendly inn
View from our room
The heart of the metropolis

La Brea Inn is located in Lower Session Road. Smacked right in the heart of the city. We have Burnham Park on our right, SM Baguio on our left and McDonalds across the street. We chose to eat at tried-and-tested places, even though we have Yellow Cab beneath our building. I have to thank 7-Eleven for saving my stomach for a cup of hot cocoa in the mornings.

During our first day in Baguio, we immediately head to Burnham Park for a quick stroll and start enjoying our vacay, the express way. Which means, we hit the tourist activities.

Goofing around Burnham Park
The park is a favorite hangout of the students
Afternoon boat ride at the murky lagoon