Practically everyone I know has a memory of having been in Baguio at one time or another. Except me. I’m 24 years old and I’ve never even stepped foot in my country’s summer capital! I was determined to change that ever since last year but I never really got the chance until last week when my friends Jesrell, Joan and I finally pushed through with our trip to the city of pines. Needless to say, it was an absolutely fun weekend!
Our bus was scheduled to leave Cubao at 10:30PM so the three of us met up in Ayala to have some dinner first. EDSA was traffic as usual since it was a Friday night, but thankfully we didn’t miss our bus. We didn’t have a place to stay yet, nor did we have our return tickets for Manila, but we didn’t worry about it as we were determined to just wing it. Hehe. It’s fun being more careless than usual sometimes.
In fairness to Victory Liner, they were right on schedule and by 10:30PM, we were already on the road to Baguio. Barely half an hour later, I was already asleep and knocked out and my next memory was when we had our stopover in Pangasinan at around 2:00AM. We had some mami noodles and hopia, but we didn’t have the common sense to remember our bus number. We just knew it was the bus parked nearest the comfort room so when we heard someone announcing that bus no. 7056 was already leaving, we didn’t panic because we could see from where we were sitting that the bus we thought was ours was still parked there. Finally we finished our food and hopped on the bus, but the moment we stepped inside, something didn’t feel right. I told Jesrell I remember stepping on a yellow curb when we got out, but why are we stepping on a white curb this time? The passengers didn’t look familiar and we couldn’t find our bags on our designated seat numbers! The three of us exchanged split-second “we’re dead” glances, mumbled vague apologies to the other passengers, and went down the bus. “Wrong bus!” we screamed, though the truth was terrifying. One of the guards asked where we were heading and we said Baguio, and he said we were the last remaining passengers of that bus no. 7056. We ran like our life depended on it (it probably did) and finally reached the right bus. The conductor said they’ve been looking for us all over the place and we apologized profusely. One of the passengers asked where we’ve been and we just apologized again. It was so embarrassing! When we got to our seats, we didn’t speak a word to each other because of utter shame. How could we forget to remember our freakin bus number?! Was it naivete or stupidity? Maybe a mixture of both. I was too embarrassed that I immediately fell asleep because everything feels safer when you’re sleeping. Hehe.
The next time I woke up, it was a little before 4:00AM, the bus was traversing this uphill road and I knew we were already in Baguio. I smiled to myself, murmured a small prayer of thanks, then turned to my friends and flashed them a big smile. “We made it!” 😀
When we got the bus terminal, the first thing we did was to line up and buy our return tickets the next day. Our tickets safely tucked between the pages of my book inside my bag, we walked out of the terminal, turned on Joan’s phone’s GPS, and went to look for a hotel on that chilly cold morning. Finally, we came across two men who showed us hotel brochures, gave us a good rate, and offered to bring us there. We were tired and sleepy then that we just wanted to lie down in bed so we said yes and went in their car. In hindsight, it was another careless decision because what if those men weren’t the tour guides they claim to be? But thankfully they were very nice and a little later, we were safely checked in at room no. 129. We slept for about three hours and woke up to begin touring the city.
It was a cold morning and our instincts were screaming for breakfast so we took a cab to Camp John Hay and had breakfast at Choco-late de Batirol, one of the places recommended in a Baguio blog post that served as our guide the entire trip.
We ordered Vigan longganisa and hot chocolate and had a hearty meal in a cozy place. Good morning, indeed!
We were so full after eating that we decided to walk around Camp John Hay first. Lots of trees, breeze, and just pure calmness.
Nature is a such an unintentional show-off, right?
Side story: Freshman year in college and Despicable Me was showing but I didn’t have extra money for the ticket so Joan and Jesrell both pitched in so we could all watch the movie together. Still melts my heart. ❤
Dear Baguio, we were definitely off to a good start, weren’t we? 🙂