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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Best of Baguio Experience Tour Day 2

Our wake up call for The Best of Baguio Experience Tour Day 2 is at 3am. Oh my! Luckily, I am a midnight owl so 3am call time is easy-peasy.

For our first agenda of the day, we travelled up north for roughly two hours (I'm not really sure because I was lulled to sleep as soon as the van left Azalea Residences where we are staying and woke up as soon as the van reached our destination. The sun was already up when we arrived at Atok, Benguet around 5:45am but it was soooo cold! I was wearing three layers of clothing already but my teeth are still chattering. I was a bit hesitant to go down the flower farm (Northern Blossom Farm in Atok, Benguet) but glad that I did because this is the view that greeted me (us, rather).

According to our guide, Mt. Pulag is that mountain just below the sun (this photo.

This photo was taken using Nikon J5

We may have missed the sunrise but the view definitely makes up for it. You know the film- "Above The Clouds?" This view is similar although the location shoot for that film was in Mt. Pulag.

This photo was taken using Nikon J5

Northern Blossom Farm is famous for its cabbage roses but according to Ms. Lani Ganayan, the farm proprietress, the colors of the cabbage roses are lovelier during the ber-months till February when the climate is colder.

This photo was taken using Nikon J5

We got hungry after our trek down and up the Northern Blossom Farm and espied this lady selling burgers and lumpiang shanghai. The lumpia had ham and cheese filling and tasted so good. She sells it at P5 each. I ate three- yummy!

We also made a stopover at the market to buy some food and vegetables and fruits. I bought "pako" edible ferns which I brought to Manila.

Second stop was at the Sakura Park in Atok, Benguet. It was way past sakura season so we're not really expecting any blossoms but got lucky because there's a tree with a few blossoms.

Here's the lone tree with a handful of Sakura blossoms. The tree is young so it still needs to grow. It was explained that because of the freak hail storm a month ago, most of the Sakura trees got damages and lost some branches.

After visiting Sakura Farm, we proceeded to the Lourdes Grotto at Wagangan Treasures in Atok, Benguet. The grotto itself is located a few more steps from this huge boulder. You'll pass by a Tourist/Visitor area wherein you need to write down your name. There's also a donation box so please feel free to share some love to the grotto caretakers.

The Lourdes Grotto is in a cavern and there's a space between the rocks where natural light comes in. According to one the elder manning the grotto, it was established in the 1970's or even earlier. It so happen that we visited the grotto on a Sunday so I asked if there's a mass. She said that a priest already said mass two Sundays ago, and a mass is held once a month. I feel so lucky to enter this grotto and it feels nice to pray here because it's so quiet.

Our guide suggested going up rock climbing on top of the grotto. The boys disappeared fast (going up) while I stayed down a bit and contemplated if I will follow them or not.

This is our tour guide, Jericho Rosales. Without him, I wouldn't have the courage to go rock climbing. He makes it look so easy going up and down. According to him, he and his classmates/friends used to go to this rock to hangout. He was standing on the edge of the rock and we're all like- "Don't stand there, it's not safe!"

Here's a proof that going up is not easy as saying 1-2-3 ... PBNet founding member Az Colladilla almost slid back on the ground because the shoes that he is wearing is not meant for hiking or rock climbing. It is important to wear the right type of shoes when one is going on a a hike or rock/mountain climbing.

This is me, feeling fearless and had my picture taken near the edge (same spot as where Jericho stood). #YOLO I mean, I don't know when I'll have the chance to go rock climbing again so I need a picture to remind me that I was able to do it. Aja!

Photo credit to Az Colladilla

Did a paparazzi shot here while PBNet founding member Ron Villagonzalo is answering a call. Wow, phone signal is that good!

This photo taken using ZenFone 5Q

Here's a group shot of the "fearless" ... missing some peeps in this photo. I think they went down already.

After our rock climbing stint, we made another stop at the busy Halsema Highway for some photo-ops because this is the Highest Highway Point in the Philippines.

This is the exact spot of the Philippine's Highest Point- Halsema Highway in Atok, Benguet with an elevation of 7,400 feet above sea level.

Of course, going on a trip is not complete without some food. The restaurant that we're supposed to go was closed because its a Sunday so the kuya who drove the van suggested Wind Saddle View Restaurant. And I'm glad that we ate at Wind Saddle because the food was not only delicious, the serving portions are generous also and its cheap. We only paid P650 (including a liter of Coke).

 This photo taken using ZenFone 5Q

After our late lunch, it was time to go back to Baguio. After freshening up a bit, I was still able to attend the 6:00pm mass at the Pink Sisters Chapel a short ride away from Azalea Residences.

Read about The Best of Baguio Experience Tour Day 1 here.

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.


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