TRAVEL

Weekend Baguio Trip

Note: This is a super duper late blog post about Baguio.

It’s been weeks since my friend and I went there. Some Baguio-goers would follow the usual Baguio itinerary. What we did was so simple. We just visited the museums and allowed ourselves to immerse with so many artworks.

Ben Cab Museum

Museums are gift of humanity to the world. I would never skip any museum in every place that I visit. Hehe. Here are some of my favorite art works from Ben Cab.

 

Baguio Museum

We rode a taxi from Ben Cab Museum going to Baguio Museum. That cost us 120PHP I think. Unfortunately, Baguio Museum was being renovated so there were only few pieces for exhibit shown when we went there.

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Baguio Food Trip

After visiting some museums, we did our personal errands like eating lunch, strolling around the Burnham Park, and eating merienda. At 2:00PM, we went to our hotel and leave our bags there. We napped for a while, then went out again to eat Visco’s cake!!!

Here are some pictures taken at Burnham Park.

Lastly, we also visited Baguio Cathedral. Here’s what you can see inside.

 

Baguio Night Market

We looked forward to visiting Baguio Night Market. Here are some photos we took there. This is my favorite part of the day btw! 🙂

These photos are taken at the streets.

Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet

Of course, we cannot skip Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet. You can pick strawberries for 400PHP and up. It depends.

Here’s an up-close look at freshly picked strawberry.

Mines View Park

Okay. We went here because we bought pasalubong at The Good Shepherd’s Convent. Here are some of the flowers we saw at Mines View Park.

Mt. Cloud Book Shop

This bookshop is one taxi away from Mine’s View Park. Well, everything is accessible with taxis! Haha. Mt. Cloud Book Shop is an indie book store that sells indie and some traditionally published books. I believe, they are friendly to new authors. Don’t skip this place in your Baguio Itinerary! 🙂

There are really lots of places to visit in Baguio. You can enjoy Baguio in weekend as long as you could prioritise the places you wanted to visit. Hehe. For us, it’s mostly museum, food, and of course, church.

Here is our suggested itinerary in Baguio for weekend.

Baguio Weekend Itinerary

Day 1 

5:00AM – 8:30AM – Travel time to Baguio

8:30AM – 10:00AM – Breakfast at The Ruins

10:00AM – 12:00NN – Ben Cab Museum

12:00NN – 1:00PM – Baguio Museum

1:00PM – 2:00PM – Burnham Park

2:00PM – 3:00PM – Checked in our hotel

3:00PM – 5:00PM – Strolled at Session Road. Lunch. Etc.

5:00PM – 6:00PM – Dinner along Session Road

6:00PM – 9:00PM – Strolled at Night Market

 

Day 2 

9:00AM – 11:00AM – La Trinidad Strawberry Farm

11:00AM -12:00NN – Slow down for personal errands.

12:00NN – 2:00PM – The Good Shepherd, Mines View, and Mt. Cloud Book Shop

2:00PM – 4:00PM – Lunch at SM Baguio, Coffee, and Merienda.

5:00PM – 11: 00PM – Rode the bus going home.

 

Here is our basic Baguio Budget for Weekend.

Joy Bus going Baguio – 520PHP (Student Discount)

Victory Liner – 400PHP (?) (Discounted)

Hotel for one night – 1,500PHP (split into two)

Food, Entrance, Taxi – 2,500 (Estimate)

So that’s roughly 4,170PHP. We splurge our money on food and taxi. So if you want to explore Baguio budget-friendly, then public transportation is really recommended. 🙂

 

Stay safe and sane, guys.

 

TRAVEL

Bacolod Trip for Four Days

After my trip in Iloilo, I planned for next trip to Negros Island, specifically Bacolod to Dumaguete and Siquijor. However, due to unpredictable weather and some circumstances, I needed to stay in Bacolod City.

Basically, this trip was exploring the undiscovered parts of Bacolod. These places were never mentioned when I googled this place. Also, this trip allowed me to appreciate my solitude during the second half of my trip. As of this writing, I missed how I wake up without tons of worries. It’s detoxifying my mind from stress.

Again, this trip is not the fast kind of trip. It was reallyyyyy slow trip. A time meant for stories, new found friends, and moments with thyself.

Day 1 – Arrival, Iloilo Airport
After riding the shuttle going to SM Iloilo, the very first thing I did was to eat La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo. I missed their Batchoy because it’s just one of a kind. Nothing beats its Super Special Batchoy, dude. Paired with hot pandesal, this Batchoy would never go out of style.

I met my friends also in SM Iloilo. We were five in this trip. I was a stranger to most of them (at first) for I only know one friend, the rest were mutual friends. Teehee.

Then, we went to the port to ride a ferry. There were schedule for trips going to Bacolod. The trip from Iloilo Port to Bacolod was one hour. We took the 9:10am trip.

When we reached Bacolod, our friend, Carl, offered to tour us in Bacolod. Thus, I could not fully explain things regarding transportation. But then, Bacolod was easily explored through Jeepney. I swear. You’d love it there. Jeep. Trike. Grab. You wouldn’t be lost.

First Stop: DSB Cafe
It’s an overlooking cafe. It’s cute and breathtaking. They’re proud of their special coffee. However, I wasn’t able to try it because it was not available that time.
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Also, we passed by a certain park in DSB.

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Second Stop: La Guada Cafe
Same with the first cafe, it offered an overlooking view. We paid 50php for entrance. Free parking. Meals and drinks were affordable. But, we didn’t eat much because we were still full.

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Third Stop: Bacolod Inc
Bacolod Trip wouldn’t be complete without tasting their Inasal. It’s legit chicken. I tasted no preservatives. Huhu. Everything was sooo perfect. Even the rice. Wow.

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Fourth Stop: Orange Gallery
There were artsy stuff in this place. Murals were on the wall. But, I was so sleepy and had no power to take lots of photos. I regained energy after drinking coffee which I poured on chatting to my friends.

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Day 2: Duyan Cafe

Our Day 2 started, really, with our breakfast at their local market. Then, we passed at their local park, and took pictures in front of San Sebastian Cathedral.

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Duyan Cafe is such a haven for nature lovers. It’s like a coffee shop in the middle of Negros. You’ll see Mt. Kanlaon as you sip coffee and eat their special chorizo with two eggs and iced tea.

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After we ate our lunch, we went to a street in Silay City that is filled with Mansions! Also, we explored Negrense Museum.

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we went home and rested. We also attended the Mass in San Sebastian Cathedral. Then, we ate our dinner and ate cakes at Calea!

 

Day 3 – The Ruins, Talisay City 

My friends went home already. I was all alone in the third day. That time, I had no worries (thank God). I was all by myself. I enjoyed how this venue captured the hearts of every traveler. I admired its perseverance. Like, it was definitely worth visiting.

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I also drank coffee at their cafe. Then, I journaled some stuff and plans. After that, I went back to my hostel to rest. It was a cozy afternoon. Then, I ate lunch, bangus this time. Also, went back to my hostel. I attended the mass at San Sebastian Cathedral.

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After attending the Mass, I walked going to SM Bacolod, drank coffee, and reflected on my life lately. Then, I watched movie at my room, too. Punong-puno ng pahinga, friends.

 

Day 4 – The Negros Museum, Lagoon, and The Negros Forest Park 

In my second day of being solo, I really enjoyed how I owned my time. I decided on my own. I worked on my own pace. Certainly, this was one of the books! Thank God for the gift of time. 🙂

Negros Forest Park was not on my list. I just saw this sign on my way to Negros Museum. I dunno, but it was not shown in any of blogs that I read. Inside this park was the natural floral and fauna of Panay Island. They have Philippine Eagle Owl, btw, and a bird with a bleeding heart (its name). There were deers, pigs, and snakes. Oops.

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After a short stroll here, I went to Negros Museum. This building has second floors. First floor was filled with varies artworks and sculptures. I guess, it is more of an exhibit rather than a museum.

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Then, I walked and passed by their Lagoon, and their municipal hall. It was like walking in Luneta. It was Tuesday morning. There were only few people  who were strolling that time. Grabe. I enjoyed my pag-iisa.IMG_7561

After strolling here, I went home and watch a Filipino movie entitled “She’s the One.” Then, I packed up, left my hostel, and bought some pasalubong.

I went to Robinson Bacolod and ate lunch. Also, I rented a computer there. Then, I drank milktea. Huhu. Hanggang Bacolod talaga. Then, I rode a shuttle going to Bacolod Airport. I only read books while waiting for my flight. It was reallyyyyy an exciting adventure! Na-miss ko yung paglalakbay na ito. Kinakabahan ako noong una. Kasi, nasanay na ako nang maraming kasama at kausap, kaya nakakatakot na babalik na naman ako sa pag-iisa. Kaya, sobrang salamat sa Diyos sa gabay at lakas. Nagawa na naman natin ang isang makabuluhang paglalakbay at pagkilala sa sarili.

My Takeaways

  • Being alone is not equivalent to being lonely.
  • Meet new friends, after reconciling with yourself.
  • Value personal time and self-care.

Also, ‘wag kalilimutang uminom ng tubig. Ayun! Nag-enjoy ako last weekend, sana kayo rin. Not posting pala to brag or what, medyo masaya lang akong nagawa ko siya. Thank God for the gift of friends pala, si Kuya Jarell, Aljhur, Cess, Luke, Ryan, and Carl.

 

LIFE LESSONS

My 7-Day Social Media Detox

My very first e-mail

I was in Grade 6 when my cousin asked me what e-mail address would I like to have. I asked her, “What is that for?” She said, “Basta, maganda ‘yun.” After some thinking time, I replied, “I want my e-mail to be angel_kim25@yahoo.com.”

Sounds funny, right? I welcomed my first e-mail when I was 12. I created my Friendster using the same e-mail address when I was 13. Finally, I signed up for Facebook when I was 15. I also signed up for Instagram, Twitter, WordPress, and Tumblr.

I am actively participating in Social Media platforms for almost a decade. Not until time has come that I got so overwhelmed with all the information I read on my newsfeed.

My Social Media Presence

My Facebook was supposedly created for communicating with my family and close friends. However, there was this season of mine when I just accepted all friend invitations I had on my home. After 10 years, whenever reading my newsfeed, I realized that I never really knew those people. Sometimes, I even judge myself why did I even confirm those request.

After a decade, I came to this point in life when I no longer became productive because of my severe social media use. Whenever there’s no work, I could stay up on Facebook 24/7, not because of family and relatives, but because of mindlessly scrolling my newsfeed, checking my Messenger, and posting status which never really mattered.

I almost gave every single information about myself on Facebook. There was no proper education on how to handle these matters. Use of social media was just emerging at that time.

How I Avoided Social Media?

Only this 2019, when I realized this addiction of mine. So, last March 6, I decided to discipline myself in using social media. Here’s how I slowly stopped using my social media.

  1. I log-out from all my social media accounts (except for work-related apps).
  2. I uninstalled Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  3. I uninstalled shopping apps, too.
  4. I removed all the notifications from all other apps.
  5. I set screen time (for iPhone users) and maximized the use of Moment App.
  6. I hide my cellphone away from me before I sleep.
  7. When working, I leave my phone in my bag.

It’s a long process of convincing your mind. But, for me, the best way to start is to UNINSTALL the apps that distract you from being productive. If this is not possible, TURN OFF the notifications.

At first, I also hesitated in doing this because of this question, “What if somebody sends me a VERY important message on those social media accounts?” Well, a part of me said that if that MESSAGE is really IMPORTANT, then, they could have e-mailed you or reached you through your mobile or work number.

My Realizations After Deactivating/ Not Using Facebook

A week without Facebook is a week without stress. I did not worry too much about the stress of certain news. I did not think too much because of the useless post I see on my feed. I felt so free for the entire week.

Also, a week without Facebook is a productive week. I was able to write more essays and poems. I was able to read more significant blog posts, and books. Also, I was able to accomplish more work compared to my attitude before.

A week without Facebook allowed me to realize who my friends really were. My real friends stay connected through mobile number and e-mail. Real friend really stayed through my DOWNS not only in m UPS.

A week without Facebook made me more grounded to the season that I am currently in. I stayed focus on work. I was able to listen to my mind’s deepest longings and desires. It allowed me to reflect more, especially this Lenten Season.

Final Notes

Unplugging from Social Media accounts is freeing yourself from useless anxieties that the world offer. Sometimes, our newsfeed overwhelms us with so much information. It might even make us compare to our friends, batchmates, and relatives.

Unplug yourself from the things that distract you. Unplug yourself from worries. Keep yourself grounded in reality and not in your fantasy. I guess, social media have been used to create a version of ourselves that we want other people to know. You have to remember that you are YOU even before you join social media craze. Be reminded that you are beautiful in your own way.

Hence, please, log out. Take a break from too much noise. Some unknowns are revealed in silence.

LIFE LESSONS

Musings on Solo Traveling

It was my first time to travel solo, last February 22-23, 2019, in Iloilo and Guimaras. I never expected to learn so much from it. It brought me back to my roots. It dragged me to my former self. I remembered that I am just a mere being in this huge world.

I agree with what Abbey Sy said, “Traveling humbles you and makes you realize that you’re just a tiny dot in this big world.”

These are my musings after I traveled solo.

When you travel solo, you travel with the real you.

You don’t have to pretend who you are. You don’t act the way people expect you to. You are just being yourself. No pretentions and spices called lies. Every single thing you do along defines who you actually are. Everything is just so natural.

As I travel, I realized that I am still the KIM who I used to be. A kind of person who laughs, jokes, giggles, and stares at the window side the whole time.

You discover your strength as you journey.

By traveling solo, you spontaneously move with yourself. You rely on yourself more. You learn to become more independent. You stretch yourself to your limits. You finally appreciate how strong you are. Of course, no one is perfectly strong, but at least it’s good to acknowledge that you are a work in progress.

It’s funny how I really cannot place my bag inside the plane. I couldn’t just reach it, but still, I tried. Then, I failed. Fortunately, somebody helped me. I guess, our strength does not only rely on ourselves but in accepting that we need help, too.

You get to know your heart.

As you immerse in your deep thoughts, you are able to listen to your heart even more. You learn to value the simple miracles that happen to your life. You realize how precious a single second is. You also hear the voices inside your heart that you never heard before. You encounter thoughts and dreams that you never encountered.

It’s weird, but I laughed an hour after my solo bus trip in Iloilo. My heart just fluttered. That trip served as a date with myself. Sleeping alone was challenging for me. My heart wandered, but I told it to be still, calm, and be in peace. Thank God, it did.

You value tripod, monopod, and camera-friendly spots.

It’s really hard to take photos all by yourself. You need to strategize on where to place your camera. You need to adjust on the light. You also need to humble yourself to ask somebody to take your photo. I guess, it’s a new learning I wouldn’t forget. 🙂

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But then again, before I did this. I still planned my itinerary ahead of time. I made sure that the places I would be visiting are safe, and in public. I avoided remote areas. I also never stayed late at night. Lastly, I never forgot to pray for a safe journey. 🙂

TRAVEL

Iloilo and Guimaras Budget Trip

Iloilo and Guimaras Trip have been on my list ever since I started traveling the Philippines. In Iloilo, Garin Farm is first on my list. In Guimaras, tasting its sweet mangoes is my priority. When this trip finally commenced, I can’t help but smile the whole time I was there. (Parang sira lang).

It was in 22nd and 23rd of February when I embarked my first solo trip to the Visayas. I just booked this trip on an impulse, so it was thrilling when this came to reality.

I only planned for my itinerary and my hostel for the first night. The rest was unplanned.

I went to NAIA at 4:30AM. Then, waited for our airplane that departed at 5:55PM. I arrived at Iloilo International Airport at 8:00PM, earlier than our expected arrival. I rented a taxi for going to my hostel. Luckily, my house parent was so kind and accommodating. When I reached my room, I just washed, slept, and skipped dinner.

Day 1 – Morning Trip, Garin Farm

The next morning, I woke up a little bit late, like 6:00AM. Then, I traveled to Iloilo City by riding jeepneys. I prayed hard to God to give the best people to get through this journey. At SM Iloilo City, I rode another jeepney going to the bus station that passes by the Garin Farm. My fare was discounted because I brought my student ID. Side story: I was not eating my breakfast yet, so at the bus station, I bought coffee in a cup. I only had 1,000 in my wallet at that time. And unfortunately, the seller has no change for it. The bus driver volunteered to pay for my coffee. How generous is he! But still, I paid for it along with my bus fare. Hehe.

Here are some pictures of Garin Farm.

I was in Garin Farm for half a day. I enjoyed the view, and the scenes up in the sky. As if I was in heaven, really. I never felt that good before. However, it was 11AM, I was still there, with no sunglasses, no umbrellas or caps, and even sunblock. Still, I am beyond grateful for having seen this place.

After eating my lunch at Garin Farm, I headed to some of the churches on my list.

Day 1 – Afternoon Trip, Church Hopping

My favorite church was Miagao Church in Iloilo. Who would not love this church?

I love its structure, solemnity, and its history. I’ve been eyeing to visit this ever since, and finally seeing it in person made my existence complete! 🙂

Aside from this church, I also went to see other churches such as Guimbal Church, and Tagbanua Church before going to an ancient house in Iloilo, called Balay na Bato.

Balay na Bato

This is one of my favorite historical spots so far. I loved everything about it because it surely reflected the ways on how the ancient Filipinos lived before. Good thing it was preserved, no? 🙂

I love every single shot I had here. Also, at this point, I realized how challenging it was to be traveling alone. Nobody will take photos of me. Huehue.

After visiting this church, while viewing my Facebook My Day, I saw one of my friends was also in that place. We met there, in Molo Church. He toured me around and promised me to accompany me in Guimaras Island. Hello, Kuya Jarel! If you are reading this, I really want to thank you for the sudden trip! 🙂

Molo Church was near Molo Plaza and Molo Mansion. My friend and I spent the afternoon here. We ate Pansit Molo, then tried their Halo-halo, and all these for only P250 only. Also, we enjoyed taking photos at Molo Museum. It was SM owned now, as they converted it to Kultura, where people buy souvenirs. We ended the day by walking along the famous esplanade of Iloilo City.

 

Day 2 – Morning, Guimaras

I was so lucky to meet my friend here, who had been living in Iloilo for several years. Our last meeting was in 2015 (?).

Guimaras is budget friendly. A boat going there only costs 15PHP. To tour around the island, you need to rent a tricycle, that costs 1,000 – 1,500PHP. It depends on the barker.

Here’s where I went to Guimaras.

  1. Jordan Municipal Hall.
  2. The Smallest Plaza
  3. The Guimaras Standee
  4. Tasted Mango Pizza
  5. The Mango Farm (and Research Center ata)
  6. Trappist Monastery
  7. Guisi Lighthouse
  8. Alubihod Beach

For me, Guimaras served as an island for solo travelers like me. Charot. It is an ideal side trip. If given enough time, I would love to stay overnight and wait for the sunrise here.

Since this post is written late, I can’t put to words how majestic the place is. For me, it’s certainly one of a kind.

After roaming around Guimaras, we headed back to the main city. We passed by the Jaro Cathedral. It is also one of a kind. Its beauty is outstanding. We also strolled around the old houses in the city proper. I must say, every single structure is amazing.

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After a quick city trip, my friend and I went to SM Iloilo, where a shuttle going to the airport awaits. I have so much to say, friends/readers, but I guess I have to zip my mouth until this chapter. There’s so much to look forward to my next trip. 🙂