Day 4 of Lakbay Norte finds us waking up to the cool crisp mountain air of Baguio. It’s always a pleasant experience to just breathe in the pine fresh atmosphere in this highland city. Our group stayed at the uber-comfortable chiropractic beds of Microtel. From there, we moved to Baguio Country Club for our briefing and much sought after breakfast.
I’m no stranger to what Amboy, the head of Baguio Conventions and Visitors Bureau (BCVB) was telling us that morning in regards to making Baguio as a new adventure destination in the north. But Clint, the head guy of Ambuclao Baguio Adventure who I met before on a photography assignment in Baguio assured me that there’s something different on this arrangement. I already wrote about the new roads and some of the Kayaking and Adventure activities in Ambuclao so let’s see what’s more in here.
We were on a mini bus on our way to Ambuclao when we had a minor mishap on the road. Our minibus brakes gave in but our driver was smart enough to move on the side of the road preventing us from falling off. No one was injured but our group was soon split in two for the lack of a bigger vehicle.
And the show went on. The first group were already enjoying the kayak at Ambuclao while some of us were on top of the jeep on the way there. I wasn’t really interested on the kayak since I’ve covered that before so I jumped in Amboy’s car and headed to where the go karts were.
There were three go-karts there and I immediately jumped into one and excitedly drove off the rough road trail in Ambuclao. It was certainly a fun ride but had to be careful slipping off the road from the loose rocks. I would have liked it to have some routes tracks instead of the straight ones but this activity is fairly new. I’ll give them some time to make some interesting race tracks here.
We had to support each other on going across a strong river current to where our lunch was waiting. We found an outdoor mini-bar and was served a refreshing concoction of drinks and shown a set-up of a butler and chef on site with a dining table and tent. The idea is that when people are finished with their activities, the food is ready waiting there. I’m a bit impartial about the set up though as it is too fancy for me.
While waiting for the other half of the group and munching on some of the bread to temporarily pave the hunger, we prepared the long table for the boodle fight lunch. Spreading out the rice, adobo, salted egg salad. It was fun preparing it and much more fun when the other half of the group came and joined in the fight. It was so filling that the only words we could utter was “Mmmmm”
As soon as we’re done eating we got ourselves ready for the ride back to Baguio. We were already overstaying and hours behind schedule because of the minor mishap. As soon as we got back to Baguio Country Club it was a quick wash-up and onwards we go to Pangasinan.
The drive took a few hours. I think everyone was trying to recover from the day’s activity as the bus was quiet throughout the ride. I was fresh from a snooze when we found ourselves welcomed at Lingayen, Pangasinan. We were at the beautiful capitol glowing brightly in all its splendour that night.
They gave us a brief tour around the capitol grounds. We would have appreciated it more in daylight but seeing how it was all planned out from the ground with the main capitol building as the epicentre. I never expected to see such beautiful structures in this side of the north. The whole area is actually a historical setting with American Colonial style structures as old as 1917 being renovated to its former glory.
We got inside the Sison Auditorium where they are in the process of restoration and reconstruction of the building. And I’m just astounded at the level of details they put here. I’m sure it would be real elegant once it’s done.
Of course we got a tour of the main building Capitol. It was the most beautiful American Colonial Building when it was built April 21, 1917. Now it has warm lighting from stylish wall lamps and hanging chandeliers, wooden offices and French windows. If I’m a government office worker, I’ll be really proud working here. We had some snacks at the roof top that offers views of the capitol grounds.
We drove off again now arriving at Alaminos Tourism Office but my eyelids were already shutting close during the short presentation as we arrived almost at 10pm there. It was a short presentation and snacks then we made our way to Islandia Hotel for the Night.
Baguio Conventions and Visitors Bureau
Microtel Inn and Suites Baguio
Upper Session Road, Baguio City
Ambuclao Baguio Adventure
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.