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Sunday, March 24, 2013

B3X: The BAGUIO-BENGUET BLOGGERS Appreciation Tour 2013

The rise of other tourist destinations and the availability of cheap flights has meant decline in tourist arrivals in Baguio.The City of Pines is therefore constantly transforming itself to continuously lure tourists,most of which are loyal to the place.In short,Baguio is putting up with the competition.And I think it is doing a good job.Tourist arrival I heard is going back to healthy levels.Much is to be done of course.The scheduled completion of TPex (Tarlac-Pangasinan Expressway) mid this year is expected to cut travel to the city to around 4 hours compared to grueling 6 hours.That is expected to boost arrivals.

Of course much of the work has to be done by the locals.It's nice to know that some sectors are putting up to the challenge.Blogging for example has been a dead zone in Baguio until recently.After the success of the 1st Baguio Blogging Conference last year ,Cordillera bloggers are positioning themselves to be the social media authority in the City of Pines.

I was therefore excited when their leader,Vince of http://lakbaybaguio.com/ invited me for the first ever B3X: Baguio-Benguet Bloggers Appreciation Tour 2013.

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Cebu  and MNL Bloggers for BAGUIO-BENGUET BLOGGERS Appreciation Tour 2013
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Vincent took the inspiration from established blogging communities in Southern Philippines particularly that of General Santos City.Have you heard of the SEX Tour?Quite catchy right?While you might think of a sexual connotation,S.E.X actually stands for Socsargen EXperience where members of the media and online community are taken into a cultural social and food immersion tour of the region.It's about time Northern Luzon has an answer to it coz yes,may asim pa ang Baguio.

And that's what I have proven myself.Being a frequent visitor of the place,I realized during B3X Tour 2013 that there are still many things to discover in Baguio City.

Here is our itinerary for the tour as well as some of the summary posts of the experience.

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ItineraryDay 1
  • Panagbenga Grand Street Dancing Parade
  • Lunch
  • Burnham Park Landscapes
  • Lourdes Grotto
  • Diplomat
  • Tam-Awan
  • Dinner
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Day one saw a slow start for me not awed by the street dance competition of Panagbenga 2013.I still think it's a good excuse to be in Baguio though despite the effort of commuting to the city when bus queues are veeeeeery long.One of the surprises came during lunchtime when we tried this restaurant along Session Road they call Oh My Gulay.I really like the ambiance of the place.My kind of thing.Plus,the food,though vegetarian is commendable.

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DAY 1 FOOD PORN:


OH MY GULAY_Anak ng Putanesca
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OH MY GULAY_Restaurant
Another surprise for me was the former Diplomat Hotel.Despite all the damage brought about by time and war,it still maintains a classy facade and proud history.

READ: 
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TAM-AWAN VILLAGE
Always feels good going back to Tam-Awan Village and reconnecting with the culture of Baguio and the Cordilleras.

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We concluded the day with dinner at New Good Taste Restaurant.The food is supposed to be good tasting but I find it forgettable.All I can remember is that we almost starved to death for coming in a bit late and for waiting almost an hour for our orders.Blame the large crowd at the restaurant.I got confused whether I was in a mall food court or not.Of course,we always felt excited going back to our hotel accommodation,who wouldn't if Azalea is your official residence in the City of Pines.

AZALEA_Residences Baguio
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Day 2


  • Panagbenga Grand Float Parade
  • Lunch
  • Strawberry Farm
  • Wright Park
  • Botanical Garden
  • Mansion House
  • Dinner
  • Hotel
The 2nd day saw the Grand Float Parade which got me excited a bit.At least compared to the lousy 1st day street dancing competition.Twas my first ever Panagbenga experience and having witnessed a couple of Visayan festival prior to the event made me see the huge difference.Read my observations of Panagbenga 2013 here: PANAGBENGA FESTIVAL:Colorful but lacks consistency and glamour.

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It was already almost lunchtime when the Parade finished.That's when we headed out of the city to La Trinidad which is by the way the capital of Benguet---in case you haven't heard.We were to go to the Strawberry Farm but we dropped by a restaurant near Benguet State University to try their signature version of "pinikpikan".I heard they have a better version of pinikpikan compared to that of Tam-Awan Village.Turns out they don't.It was okay though.I just don't like the idea of pork and chicken combined in the dish which Vince said is the real pinikpikan.I was not ready to buy the idea.But it was okay.Pwede na.And as Vince reiterated,it was waaaaay better when they tried it.I guess it all boils down to consistency.
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the fried ice cream is good though esp the strawberry flavored

The strawberry picking experience was the fun part.I've been to Strawberry Farm before but I haven't experienced picking the fruit myself.although a little pricey (350php compared to 150php when you buy it picked) it is an experience that I suggest you try.Saya saya!
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We went back to Baguio to do horseback riding and to buy some pasalubong.Good Shepeard was already closed when we came so our colleagues from Cebu had to go back the next day.I bought a few shoals from Mines View instead for my shoal-obsessed wife.hehehe


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We went back to the hotel to freshen up and had supper at Don Henricos SM Baguio.What better way to end the day but with large pizzas and buffalo wings!
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Oh,the day didn't finish yet.Back at the hotel,I barged into the room of Cebu Bloggers carrying vodka.Ethelbert of http://www.cebublogcamp.com/ did some tricks and came up with a mix of vodka and sprite with fresh strawberry for added twist.What a way to end the night.

Day 3

John Hay Historical Core Floats on Exhibit
Mines View
Good Shepherd
Maharlika Silvershops - Session Road in Bloom
Lunch
Home

I wasn't able to join the tour on the 3rd day as I had to leave for Manila early the next day.I heard some of the bloggers headed to Mount Santo Tomas,the highest peak in Baguio which offers a 360 degree view of the city.Inggit naman ako sa pic nila


CEBU BLOGGERS

MNL BLOGGERS


BAGUIO BLOGGER: Our Guardian for the entire time we were in Baguio City.
Vince: http://lakbaybaguio.com/

THANK YOU to the Sponsors: Azalea Residences, the official residence of the 1st B3X and Sun Cellular, the official Network and Broadband partner.


To the 1st ever B3X  Appreciation Tour.Cheers!!!!

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3 comments:

  1. ang saya ng baguio trip mo ahh
    inggit much talaga ko

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sir! ang sosyal naman ng Azalea. Nakakatuwa naman! I unfortunately never been to Panagbenga but been to Baguio several times, always love it there. I have always believed that Baguio lives up to it's name as Philippine's Summer Capital. It sure is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Thanks and more power po sa blogs niyo! I-add ko po ang na mention nyo na Blogs on my list to visit!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Baguio still the most visited place by the local tourists as well as International tourists. But frankly, I've not gone yet to the place even I'm from Bulacan..heheh

    ReplyDelete

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