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More than a Decade in the city of Pines: Embracing Life in Baguio City

By Regine M. Buhayo

For more than a decade, I have called Baguio City, the enchanting "City of Pines," my home. Our family decided to move here back in 2009. Baguio is nestled in the highlands of the Philippines, this mountain retreat has been a haven of tranquility and charm, offering a unique tapestry of experiences that have woven themselves into the fabric of my life. Wandering through the winding streets, I've become attuned to the rhythm of this high-altitude haven. The bustling Session Road, with its array of quaint cafes and bustling markets, paints a lively picture against the serene backdrop of pine-covered hills.

The cool breeze of Baguio City.

The cool climate, a stark contrast to the tropical heat of many Philippine cities, creates a refreshing and invigorating atmosphere. Baguio's landscape is adorned with lush pine forests, rolling hills, and vibrant flowers, making every stroll through the city a picturesque journey.

The recent lowest temperature recorded in Baguio City was January 28, 2019 the temperatures drop to (9.8°C). The normal temperature in Baguio in a daily basis is 20.6 °C | 69.0 °F it’s the best weather for strolling.

The Baguio City Flower Festival (Panagbenga) (February – March)

The Baguio City Flower Festival, also known as Panagbenga is an annual flower festival that’s being celebrated every February, it’s a vibrant and colorful celebration that encapsulates the spirit of the City of Pines in the Philippines. This month-long extravaganza showcases the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of Baguio. The festival is a harmonious blend of traditional rituals, modern performances, and spectacular floral displays.

The streets specially the session road comes alive with colors as floats adorned with thousands of blossoms parade through the city, creating a breathtaking floral panorama. Traditional dances, music, and indigenous rituals add a cultural flair to the festivities, connecting the community with its roots.

City of Pines Baguio City
Window View (Middle Quirino)

Session Road

For me, Session Road is not just a street; it's a living testament to Baguio City's journey through history and its vibrant present. It seamlessly blends the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, making it a microcosm of the city itself. Every Sunday Session Road is closed. We call it " Closed Session" where people from different parts of the world sell and buy their goods. Not only that, you can also see performers in every corner of the street showcasing their unique talents.

List of places must visit in Session Road. (Recommended restaurant)

· Casa de Pizzateria ( best pizza “ BBQ Chicken”)

· Jack’s ( Jacks Style chicken )

· 50’s Dinner ( Guy’s on the hood)

· Recess (Sizzling Chicken Gizzard Chicken)

· Volante ( Chicken BBQ with Corsican rice)

· Tea house ( Cakes and Palabok)

· Victoria Bakery ( Cream Puff )

· Oh My Gulay ( Vegetarian Menu)

Baguio Cathedral ( 104 steps)

Baguio Cathedral, officially known as Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral, is a prominent religious landmark located in the heart of Baguio City, Philippines. Constructed atop a hill, the cathedral boasts breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and pine-covered landscapes. Built in the post-war era, the cathedral's distinct architecture combines modern and indigenous design elements, reflecting both cultural and historical influences.

Cathedral of Baguio City
Baguio Cathedral (104 Stairs)

Igorot Stone Kingdom

Igorot stone Kingdom located in Long-Long in Pinsao Proper Village. It's a beautiful layers of stone-formed castle structure. My friends and I enjoyed the unli picture taking inside the park. The Igorot stone kingdom is a castle maze like attraction. There are performers like a flute, violin and other musicians that accept donations. Also, there are Native Igorots on their traditional attire that you can take pictures with, they charge around 100-200 pesos depending on the package you want to avail.

Transportation available:

Jeepney (P12 -14 regular jeepney)

Otek terminal (Near public market)

Taxi rate (P70-150 rate)

List of places best visit in the morning (Famous Tourist Spots)

*SM Baguio (Sunset Terraces)

* John Hay Baguio

* Starbucks (John Hay/Old Starbucks)

*Burnham Park

- Athletic bowl

- Rose Garden

- Melvin Jones

- Boating Area

*Botanical Garden

*Right Park

*Mines View

Best Place to Visit at Night (Baguio City)

*Baguio City Night Market

*Jadewell (Street food)

*Puyats Sport Center Mall (Billiard & Bowling)

Night life in Baguio City (Best spend with Barkada)

*Spade Super Club (Crown Legacy Hotel)

*Curfew (Teacher’s camp)

*The Camp Club (Teacher’s camp)

*Here X (Teacher’s camp)

*Hotline (Legarda)

*Primo (Legarda)

*Planet G (LGBT Bar)

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