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Monday, May 21, 2018

The Best of Baguio Experience Tour Day 1

Going to Baguio is always an adventure even if I've vacationed there since I was a kid. There are a lot of interesting places to discover and explore, not to mention the sumptuous dishes and "pasalubong" favorites that the place has to offer. Being surrounded by nature and the cool mountain air is also a nice way to recharge one's mind and spirit especially if you are an urbanite, like me.

This photo taken using ZenFone 5Q
The Best of Baguio Experience Tour is a two-day tour for the Philippine Bloggers Network (PBNet) and its Team PBNet Baguio sponsored by: Kaizen Builders Inc., Azalea Residences Baguio, ZenFone 5, Mazda, Baguio City Guide, Casa Vallejo, and Zymph Business Solutions Inc.

Azalea Residences graciously hosted our 3N 4D stay in the City of Pines while Kaizen Builders Inc. and Zymph Business Solutions Inc. provided for our needs, and Mazda generously lent us a Cx3 that gave us a comfortable roundtrip ride from Manila to Baguio.

Woke up early to have some power breakfast at Tradisyon, the cafe & restaurant of Azalea Residences.

First on Day 1's agenda is a surprise morning hike to (guess where?) ----- Camp John Hay Eco-Trail. I admit though that this is my first time to hike in this part of the woods even if we've explored CJH for years now. Upon arriving at the trail site, we were joined by a team from ASUS and PixelMaster Ms. Arlene Donaire, who taught us the basics and some tricks of using mobile phone photography using ZenFone 5Q.

#ZenFone5 #WeLovePhoto Read more about ZenFone 5Q here ----> ZenFone 5Q.

Here are some of the photos I took using ZenFone 5Q:

Camp John Hay Eco-Trail
Ordonio Drive, CJH
Baguio, Benguet
*** entrance in front of Le Monet Hotel
*** no entrance fee

Next stop is (I wouldn't have guessed this, really) at Locked In, the very first escape room in Baguio City. We were divided into two groups- Team PBNet and Team PBNet Baguio. Truth be told, I am not really keen to join the game because I tend to panic when I am inside a windowless room but the promise of having a fun game and solving puzzles with friends are just too hard to ignore.

There are about seven escape rooms to choose from and Team PBNet chose the "Black Magic," room while Team PBNet Baguio opted for the more adrenalin inducing "Death Match." And guess what? Team PBNet was able to solve the mystery in a little less than an hour so we got to have our photos taken for the Wall of Fame.

Patience is definitely needed while you're inside the escape room. Also, you need to think fast and use your "detective" skills. Lastly, team effort is very important.

Locked In Baguio
Nevada Square
Loakan Road, Baguio City
*** landmark is Panabenga Park
*** fee is P250 for a group of 5-6 pax, P300 for 3-4 pax

Third pit-stop was at Manduto Cafe & Restaurant inside Pinewoods Golf & Country Club in Baguio City. It was already around lunchtime when we arrived at Manduto so we're all excited. Like most of the restaurants in a golf course, it has a nice view of the 18 hole golf course.

We ordered several dishes but I love the kare-kare the most and I think Manduto Cafe's version is at the top of my list now of Best Kare-Kare in the Philippines. The sauce is rich and creamy and doesn't have peanut bits. The ox tripe and "buntot ng baka" was also tender. Overall, it was so good I regret not eating the whole serving because I still have to taste the other dishes.

Dessert at Manduto was a wonderful affair also as I had a love-at-first-bite moment with their Lemon Cheesecake. I still can't find the exact words to describe its taste but I'll go with sublime for now. Stay tuned for my full review of Manduto Cafe & Restaurant on my food blog- The Kitchen Goddess.

Manduto Cafe & Restaurant
Pinewoods Golf & Country Club
Km. 3 Asin Purok Road

Last pit stop for The Best of Baguio Experience Tour Day 1 is at Dadi Roi Enterprises, maker of Suka Watwat- one of Baguio's best kept secret. Suka Watwat is a gourmet vinegar developed by Robert Roy who has a penchant for different "sawsawan" that he likes to pair with his meals (according to his wife, Mylene). This is a gourmet vinegar indeed because it has notes of different flavors akin to wine.

Another gourmet creation of Robert is the Wagas Special Rice Vinegar. Being a perfectionist, it took years of hits and misses before he was able to come up with a superb tasting Wagas. The story of Suka Watwat and Wagas draws inspiration from traditional Cordilleran practices. More details on The Kitchen Goddess. Stay tuned.

Dai Roi Enterprises
Scout Barrio
Baguio City


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