a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Monday, December 31, 2012

Post Climb Side Trips in Baguio City

One of the things I look forward to when hiking in the Cordilleras is the stop-over (even if it's just a short one!) at the bustling city of Baguio. Despite some traffic, mountainsides encroached with buildings and houses, I remain charmed with its weather, people, art and cuisine , oh especially the cuisine! :) 

After a tiring but enjoyable hike in Bokod, Benguet (post here), I joined blogger friends Ivan and James on another adventure around Baguio. 

First Stop: 
From the Victory liner terminal, we walked a few blocks until we got to Upper Session Road to check out Mt. Cloud Bookshop.It is located within the same vicinity as Casa Vallejo, a boutique hotel and one of the oldest structures in Baguio built in 1909. It is a haven for booklovers who find delight in browsing through rows and rows of books, carefully considering each option before buying it and relishing it in quiet nooks. 

Main floor of Mt. Cloud Bookshop
More treasures to be found at the loft of this charming book shop!
The ladies by the cashier area are so amiable. They allowed us to put our backpacks beside the counter so we can roam around freely. They're also very interactive with their customers and answered questions energetically. 

I took home a book by one of my favorite writers, F. Sionil Jose, whose use of words have the power to transport me inside a story, as though I am face to face with the characters he created. I also bought some postcards - one of which featured a painting by another favorite of mine - Art Lozano and a bookmark which prior to my purchase, had no idea costs 200 Pesos until the receipt was ready and I had to pay for it. That crushed my heart because that could have been another book. Serves me right for not asking, oh well. It's a cute bookmark anyway. :)

Mt. Cloud Bookshop
Casa Vallejo Upper Session Road, Baguio City, Philippines 
Business Hours : Daily, 10:30 AM-8:00 PM 
Website : http://mtcloudbookshop.com 
Facebook Page  

Second Stop : 
We continued on foot towards the middle part of Session road. Ivan was heavily craving for Oh My Gulay, a vegetarian restaurant and art space located at the top floor of the La Azotea building along Session Road. Since we have been hiking for two days, we didn't mind several plight of stairs for some amazing cuisine. 
Fully satisfied Journeying James and Ivan Lakwatsero
Chow-Chow (egg noodles with fresh veggies, 135 Pesos)
Oh My Gulay La Azotea Building
108 Session Road,Baguio City, Philippines 
Business Hours : Daily, 11:00 AM-9:00 PM 
Tips : be there before 6:00 PM so you can get great seats and you must order before 8:30 PM before they take the last orders. The top deck has a good view of Mt. Sto. Tomas, the highest peak with the easiest entry point from Baguio. 

Third Stop : 
After dinner, James expressed his desire to hit the public market to buy some coffee beans and to check out the ukay-ukay stalls. I, on the other hand, just wanted to hang out inside a quiet cafe and recollect my thoughts before the long bus ride home. Not sure where to go, I sent a text to a friend and fellow blogger Dominic who was incidentally in Baguio for the weekend. He suggested He-Brews Cafe beside Baguio Cathedral. And so our journey on foot continued and after a few minutes, we reached He-Brews. I was so happy that apart from coffee, they also sell books - mostly religious and inspirational books. We purchased coffee and waited for Dom who was just a few minutes away from where we were. 
Shot from the second floor of He-Brews Cafe. Here you can also find a good view of
the buzz along Session Road.
Photo taken at the entrance of He-Brews Cafe
He-Brews Bookstore Cafe 
Porta Vaga Roofdeck, 2600 Baguio City, Philippines 
Business Hours : Daily: 9:00 AM-8:00 PM
Facebook Page  

Fourth Stop : 
Since He-Brews was closing at 8:00 PM, which was still too early for our 10:30 PM bus ride back, we decided to transfer to Te Quiero, a newly-opened restobar connected to the second floor of the Victory Liner terminal. 
Spicy potatoes in tomato sauce (125 Pesos)
Te Quiero offers Spanish cuisine that come at a price range of 200-500 Pesos. The ambiance feels a bit posh with its uniformed staff in crisp buttoned polos and black pants for men and skirts for the ladies. The tables are also set with heavy and shiny utensil sets.  

Another noticeable and commendable thing about this place is their accommodating staff. They made us feel genuinely welcomed during our stay and were nice enough to stow our backpacks in a corner. I also wanted a carrot-orange shake which was not on the menu but they were nice enough to accommodate my craving. I also gave out specific instructions on the sweetness level which they also considered. 

We sat on comfortable lounge seats and chatted the night away. Several more friends arrived, Jules who was also in town after their Pulag hike came, as well as fellow hikers Gideon and Wilmer who bid us goodbye before their trip home.


Te Quiero Tapas Bar & Restaurant 
 Microtel Inn, Session Road, Baguio City

Related Posts :
Here are links to other worthwhile sidetrips in Baguio. :) 
Camp John Hay's, Yellow Trail
Baguio Tourist Spots

3 comments:

  1. you should try attending the poetry reading at the mt. cloud bookshop every 3rd monday of the month when you are in baguio...very interesting to hear people's sentiments and views on particular issues. (they usually have a theme every month. and everyone is welcomed to participate. you can even do extemporaneous recitation of prose of poetry.

    ReplyDelete
  2. matagal na akong naiintriga ng Oh My Gulay dapat masubukan next time... at si Dong... incidentally everywhere... hahahaha

    ReplyDelete
  3. mukhang masarap gawin ung spicy potato in tomato sauce ehehe naku tol kapag ako siguro nagawi dito i need a whole day in reading and looking for good find books ehehehe

    ReplyDelete

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