This week, Baguio will reopen its doors to tourists in Luzon, of course with some protocols. You might be wondering what else to do in this City of Pines if you’ ve already visited most of the tourist spots in the area. Aside from enjoying the ber-month breeze, here are other five things you can do in the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
- Visit the BenCab Museum
Just 15 minutes drive from city proper, The BenCab Museum is a project of the BenCab Art Foundation, a non-stock organization that supports activities related to the arts and environment. With its vision of bringing arts closer to the people, the museum houses the artist’s collections of his own works, as well as those of acknowledged Filipino masters and rising contemporary artists.
The museum features art gallery and shop. You will not only find here art works but also, but also good food, specially coffee, for it has coffee shop or Café Sabel, which offers fresh and natural food. Their signature coffee blend, BenCab’s Brew, is sourced from BenCab organic farm.
Further, there is also a farm and garden below the museum which showcases organic farm produce and typical indigenous architecture of the Ifugao, Kalinga and Bontoc. A river meanders through the property, with cascading waterfalls on one end. The hill and mini forest across, which features an eco trail, is also the source of fresh spring water used in the museum and farm. The artist, assisted by native coworkers, grows seasonal vegetables, herbs, strawberries, sweet potatoes, coffee and ornamentals. There is an aviary housing peacocks and various birds, and a veritable animal farm with ducks, geese, turkeys, and other local livestock.
- Play Golf
So far there are three golf courses in Baguio. One is in Camp John Hay or the Camp John Hay Golf Club. With a stunning landscape designed by American golfing legend Jack Nicklaus’ Golden Bear International Group, Camp John Hay Golf Course is one of the country’s most illustrious courses, boasting an 18-hole and bentgrass-covered playing field.
Another one is Pineswood Golf and Country Club Estates.The latest one to open in the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Pinewoods Golf Course is one of the Philippines’ most favored destinations in Baguio City. This 18-hole championship golf course is luxuriously located on the mountaintops in cool high altitudes. Gary Player has wondrously designed this course full of scenic fairways in the Cordillera mountain range where pine-scented breeze is everywhere.
Last but not the least is the Baguio Country Club. Lodged at 5,000 feet sea level, this 18 hole par 61 and 4,038 yards , designed by Luis Golem Silverio presents seven (7) par 4s and eleven (11) par 3s. The par 3s are tough and long at more than 196 yards each with tight narrow fairway, lined with trees and elevated greens. The shortest par 3 is hole no. 9 with a distance of 114 yards and longest hole no.15 with a distance of 192 yards. Longest par 4 is hole no.3 with a distance of 411 yards.
- Take a picture of Stobossa Colorful of Houses.
Located in Balili, La Trinidad, this giant community mural project was created with the local government, artists, volunteers, and the Department of Tourism. It is a part of the urban revitalization program for tourism. Tourists can take pictures in front of this photogenic spot. From Baquio proper, it will only take you around 15 minutes to visit this Valley of Colors.
- Go trekking at Eco Trail at Camp John Hay
If you like nature, you will basically enjoy the trek to Eco Trail of Camp John Hay. This will give you another unique experience in Baguio. The trail is around 3 kilometers and you may traverse it for about an our or so. Along the path, you’ll be greeted with a scenic view of pine trees, dried streams, wooden bridges, green grasses, and the chirping of the birds.
But before venturing into the forest, please check first the weather. Or better, make sure that you bring your raincoat or rain-protection gears. Baguio weather is bit tricky. A sunny day can quickly turn into rainy day. Another precautions before starting your trek are don’t forget to bring water and to dress appropriately; meaning, wear thin long sleeve shirt and pants to protect yourself from bug bites. Further, bringing the kids, if you have, are not encouraged. They might get bored along the way and might be a burden to you as well, specially if the road gets muddy.
- Shop at the Mile Hi Center
I know Baguio is not a haven for mall shoppers, but you can always shop and maybe score cheap fashion finds and unique souvenir items. Specially if you are already in Camp John Hay, you can easily drop by at Mile Hi Center which is just closer the The Manor. Formerly an American Military’s commissary, Mile Hi Center continues to be a destination for fun and leisure and it remains a crowd-drawer with its variety of products and restaurants on offer. (Featured photo courtesy of facebook.com/pio.baguio/)