Baguio Benguet Travel

2D/2N Year-Ender Spontaneous Baguio Trip

I was sad when we canceled our Masbate trip because of the Bagyong Ursula. We have things in mind to do already: early morning runs, dinner by the shore, meetups with high school friends, witness the wedding of my high school best friend, chase sunsets together with Mama and Ryan — it was supposed to be one of my most memorable moments with family.

It’s also Ryan’s first gala to Masbate sana! Sayang!

But then realizing Mother’s knows best, (Mama was afraid we’ll just be stranded in the port) made me somewhat say ‘okay’ to the canceled vacation.

Ryan’s Nanay was also worried about the storm so we went to Bicol Isarog Alabang to cancel our tickets.

Sad though that there’s no refund (Yes, there’s none!) but they converted our tickets to ‘open tickets’. Open tickets mean we can use the tickets within 30 days. In our case, we can use it until January 26, 2020 or transfer to another person with 100 pesos charge.

Anyway, I thought we’ll just stay in Cavite the whole December but my cousin Ate Jacques messaged us if we wanna go road tripping to Baguio! But of course!
Sad though Mama is not with us because she has work for 10 days (Metroderm Clinic Manager reliever because the current one will spend his vacation in their province).

So, Ryan and I together with Ate Jacques and hubby Kuya Patrick went to Baguio together for the first time. Yes, couple trip. Lol.

Day 1 – December 29, 2019

Ryan and I woke up at around 3AM to prepare for our Baguio adventure.

Night before, we packed our things already and I was laughing that Ryan is always reminding me that we will just be there for 2 days and 2 nights, not 1 week. LOL! But I packed light as always! Charot.

We went out of the house at around 4:00 AM I guess and luckily, there are tricycles in the area going to Gahak where we rode a bus to Baclaran. Then from Baclaran, we rode a bus again going to Shaw.

Funny because whie in transit, I was making fun of Ryan telling him we won’t break up just because we’ll go to Baguio. Haha!

I don’t really know where this came from but according to legends (lol), couples who go up to Baguio will eventually break up. We just laughed about it and then he reassured again and again that it will never happen even if I am not saying anything. Haha!

Thought we’re going to arrive at 6AM because we went out late but we were at Ate’s condo before 5:30AM! Glad that we also have time for light breakfast. Kuya cooked some yummy lucban longganisa. Yummy!

At around 5:30 in the morning, we got our things and went to the parking for the building and off we went to Baguio via TPLEX!           


After 5 hours of driving we finally reached, BAGUIO CITY! There are so many memories in this place, good and bad, but I would always love going back to the City of Pines!

At around 11AM, we checked in to Belshang Inn along Asin Road.

Belshang Inn’s rate per person is P400 and we got a twin bedroom with TV, wooden table and chairs, with own toilet and bath, overlooking the mountain of buildings. LOL. I don’t wanna see Baguio as this, didn’t even take a picture but I still love that our place overlooks Baguio City.

Belshang Inn’s 3rd floor corridor. Love the colors!

Welcome to our room!

1st Stop – Lunch at Pizza Volante

Scared that we might get stuck in traffic, Ate and Kuya parked their car at the inn and we opt to travel by jeepney and taxi! Glad that just a short walk from Belshang Inn there’s a line going to Baguio Town proper that actually stops by Burnham Park! Fare is P8.50 only per person.

Because it’s already lunchtime and our stomachs are growling, we went directly to Pizza Volante in Session Road. I thought the place is just small but upon entering the vicinity, I was surprised that it is actually wide and has a number of tables. They also have the 2nd floor. The place was fully-booked at that time but we still waited, maybe because we don’t have the energy to look for other restaurants already. Haha!

After a couple of minutes, there’s a vacant table already! We ordered pizza for all of us, yum! Ate Jacques ordered tuna while Kuya Pat chose grilled lamb; while Ryan and I ordered sizzling liempo and chicken teriyaki.

While we love the food, what we don’t like is the service.

The crews are not that attentive and won’t even make eye contact. There are times that we know they heard us but act as if they don’t hear anything. Maybe they’re just tired though.
It also took us long to get our bill. Anyway, I’ll still go back for another review though. Let learn to give second chances. Just for this! LOL

2nd Stop – Chocolate de Batirol

After the hearty lunch, we then went to Camp John Hay — because, why go to Baguio if you wouldn’t stop by Camp John Hay?

This is actually my favorite spot in Baguio — pine trees, fresh air, with view of families enjoying each other’s company – what a sight to behold indeed.

After a couple of minutes ride to Tsoko-late de batirol, we were to see flocks of people waiting to get inside. We went straight to the staff at the entrance and lined up our name. We are at number 46 when we arrived and they are just serving number 11. Amazing, you batirol!

We arrived at around 3PM and went in around 4PM. That’s one hour of waiting for batirol, suman, and turon, guys! Haha! But of course, while waiting, we did some photo ops (lol), of course.

We stayed for an hour and enjoyed our merienda! It was actually the first time that I get to enjoy batirol. I don’t know why. Haha!

3rd Stop – Camp John Hay

Then off we went to walk along Camp John Hay. We stopped by near Tsokolate de batirol and took some photos before we head back to Belshang Inn.

Tired from travel and lack of sleep, we went back to our inn first to rest and sleep before going out again to the night market.

4th Stop – Belshang Inn

I think we arrived at around 6PM at Belshang Inn. It was starting to get cold that hour. My head was starting to hurt then so I decided to have a quick nap until 7:30PM.

5th Stop – Session Road – Vizco’s Cakes

Before 7:30PM, Ryan woke me up and I started feeling really dizzy and my head hurts so much. After a couple of minutes everyone’s getting ready to go out already. We planned to go to Baguio’s night market to buy ukay ukay after eating dinner.

We again waited for the jeepney going to Baguio town proper and by this time, I know I am not feeling really well. Like if I have a choice, I just wanna stay at the inn. But of course, I don’t wanna spoil the night so I pushed myself to go because hey, it our first night!

We walked directly to Session Road and decided to eat at Vizco’s. I think I’ve tried their cakes before but I am not really sure lol. We waited for a couple of minutes, and while waiting, I was sleeping.  Huhu. Sorry, guys!

After a couple of minutes, there’s finally a table for us. Baguio is indeed crazy every December! Ryan and I ordered pesto pasta and chicken meal and a slice of strawberry cake. Ryan is not into cakes but he ate most of it so fast! Good thing I was not in the mood to eat that much. LOL.

6th Stop – Belshang Inn

We were about to go to the night market but my head hurt so much that evening that we opted to go back to Belshang directly. Ryan bought me Biogesic first while Ate and Kuya bough water in 7/11. I actually don’t know why they went to 7/11 when there’s Mercury Drug right there? Hmm. Haha!

Anyway, Ate and Kuya were okay to go back to our inn to have our full rest and just wake up early for our last day in Baguio. <3

Day 2 – December 30, 2019

Odd as it seems but I woke up sweating heavily because it was so hot! Weird really. When Ryan felt I can’t sleep and I was sweating we went up to the window and opened it.

Anyway, I woke up before 6AM and asked Ryan countless times if he wants to go out already and walk around.

He kept saying yes but still won’t get up! Haha. We ended up sleeping until 7:30AM. Haha. Ate and Kuya were still sleeping as well so might as well sleep. Lol.

At around 8AM, Ryan and I went down to look for breakfast. We thought Belshang Inn is not offering breakfast but we were surprised that they have a small room for orders!

Not bad for 70 pesos (without coffee) breakfast!

1st stop – Burnham Park

Of course, any Baguio trip will never be complete without visiting the most iconic and frequented Baguio attraction, the Burnham Park.

At around 10:30AM, we went out Belshang Inn and went directly to Burnham Park. Here are just some of our photos. Loving the Christmas vibe!

2nd Stop – Solibao Restaurant

Because it was past 12 noon already, we looked for a place to eat near Burnham and the nearest to where we were was Solibao Restaurant.

Solibao Restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in Baguio. I have been seeing this restaurant each time I get to visit Baguio but it was just now that I get to experience Solibao.

While we were excited to order and eat here, it was sad that the service is not good as well. The restaurant is not that full but the waiters were not focused. Maybe they were already tired. We actually approached three waiters, promised that they go back for our orders but never came back so Ryan and I went inside to do a follow-up. After several minutes, they got our order already and was served pretty much faster than we expected.

We were just at the alfresco area of the restaurant, but there were flies everywhere so we waited and opted to go inside the restaurant.

3rd Stop – Biking at Burnham Park

4th Stop – Ukay Ukay

5th Stop – SM Baguio

After our ukay haul, we went straight to SM Baguio because Ate and Kuya will buy something in the department store.

We went first to Starbucks and because Ryan and I were savings for something and coffees above 100 pesos is a no for us for now, we went to Belgian Waffle instead and bought waffles and coffee!

Then we went to the overlooking area of SM Baguio, 3rd floor, sat on the floor with our hot coffees and just talked about life in general, our future plans, and how grateful and thankful we are for the trip.

I also had a short panic attack (lol) when we realized Ryan’s jacket (my Christmas gift) was missing. I was about to get pissed but when I saw and sensed that he was really worried about the jacket, I calmed myself and him and went to every spot we went to earlier that day on SM.

So after about a couple of minutes,

6th Stop – Baguio Market

7th Stop – Dinner at Baliwag

8th Stop – Burnham Park at Night

Of course, what’s Baguio tour without visiting Burnham Park? It’s my first time to roam around the park during Christmas Season and we were so happy with the parols, lights, and people gathering together!


The best getaway indeed are those not planned! I love our Baguio trip so much that I needed to write all the details. Haha! Super thankful to Ate Jacques and Kuya Pat for this trip!

Hope we can bring the whole family here next time. 🙂

Benguet Chasing Wonders Itogon Mountains Travel Weekend Guides

Mt. Ulap, Itogon, Benguet (Ultimate Dayhike & Budget Guide) – [UPDATED 2019]

Mt. Ulap Dayhike | Detailed itinerary

If you are a close friend of mine, I guess you would know how much I love Mt. Ulap in Itogon Benguet that whenever someone is asking me what’s the best mountain to climb, the answer is an instant ‘MT. ULAP’ with a big smile on my face, reminiscing my magical, foggy, and cold hikes.

I have been to this mountain twice already (see blog here) and it still feels like my first time! Maybe because of the cold weather, New Zealand feels, the pine trees, or maybe because she heard my prayers during my first hike. Haha!

Weird but I feel like I have a deeper ‘connection’ to this mountain that I can’t explain and understand. Yes, you can call me a weirdo! Haha.

Really glad that I went out of my comfort zone and decided to climb mountains (because I wanna try something new because, hello heartbreak! LOL!) last May 2017 in Mt. Maynoba! My bucket list is rejoicing!

Anyway, if you are looking for a chill hike, cold weather, beautiful green mountain ranges, and rolling hills, YOU.NEED.TO.SEE. Mt. Ulap


If you are up to a challenge, definitely Mt. Ulap dayhike is for you. Here are some details of Mt. Ulap together with the itinerary and things to expect so you can prepare for your climb.

    Itogon, Benguet
    Entry point:
     Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon
    Exit point: Brgy. Sta. Fe, Itogon
    LLA: 16.2904 N, 120.6312 E, 1846 MASL (Mt. Ulap)
    Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-3 hours
    Specs: Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3,
    Features: Grassland and pine ridges, scenic views of the Cordilleras, burial caves
    Source: Pinoy Mountaineer

Mt. Ulap Summit

My mountaineer friend organized a Mt. Ulap dayhike since he also wants his friends to witness the beauty of this mountain. Fortunately, I got slots for me and my friend, Arlyn!

We are 15 in the group and since we divided the expenses, we only paid P860 each. 

Mt. Ulap Dayhike Expenses and Rates

Below are the inclusions for our 860 pesos DIY hike to Mt. Ulap.

Inclusions for P860 
– Rented Van Service 18 seater (Roundtrip)
– Environmental Fee
– Trail Head Registration Fee
– Local Guide Fee

Here’s also a breakdown of Mt. Ulap rates from our Tour Guide, Edu Losnong, if you are planning to do Mt. Ulap dayhike

Registration Fee
– 18-59 yrs old: P100
– 13-17 yrs old: P20
– Student with vaild ID: P50
– 12 yrs old and below: FREE
– Senior Citizen: FREE

Guide Fee
– Mt. Ulap Dayhike: P600
– Camping: P1000
*1 guide to 7 pax

Camping Fee
– P800 (Good for 10 pax)

Porter Fee
– One way: P500
– Two way: P800

Parking fee
– Mt. Ulap Dayhike: P50
– Mt. Ulap Camping: P70

You can also message Kuya Edu directly if you have questions. Please let him know that he’s highly recommended. 😉

Things to Bring

  • Head lamp/flash light
  • Trail water (2-3L)
  • Trail food
  • Packed lunch
  • Extra set of clothes
  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Sun/rain protection
  • Jacket
  • Plastic bag for your garbage 🙂
Read Also: 10 Tips To Save Money For Your Dream Vacation

Mt. Ulap DIY Itinerary


09:00PM – McDonald’s Greenfields District / Edsa Central (Beside Teleperformance) 

Since this is a Friday (Dec 23, 2017), Arlyn and I met at around 7PM at Greenfields. We ate dinner, talked and laughed about so many things, and bought snacks.

10:00PM – Departure from McDonald’s going to Ampucao, Itogon Benguet via rented van 

We waited until 10PM until we were complete. Since the other participants are from Zambales, they agreed to be picked up in Tarlac.

02:00AM – Arrival Sison, Pangasinan breakfast at Leeza’s restaurant, secure and buy food. 

I really don’t wanna go down and eat because I am so sleepy. I think I was not able to sleep in the van. Haha! But then, since Arlyn wanted to go and check the place, I accompanied her and ate breakfast. Leeza’s Restaurant is big but some employees were masungit na. Maybe because they’re tired and sleepy already.

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03:30AM – Arrival at Brgy. Ampucao | Registration | Secure Guides

And then, we finally arrived at Brgy. Ampucao! 🙂

It’s so cold! I know though that we will be having clear skies because there’s no fog in this area because comparing to my first hike, the place is full of fog, like 50% visibility only. I also love the vibe then! But this is a totally different experience.

We registered, bought tungkod (which I left somewhere afterwards), prepared our bags, and food. Don’t forget to use the comfort room! You don’t want to pee along the way, right? Hehe. I think they are getting 5 pesos per wiwi.

After some reminders from Drew and Kuya Edu, we said a little prayer and started our journey!

04:00AM – Start Trek (witness sunrise along the trail) 

The trek started with a long walk to the first ascend. Even though it’s cemented, the slope is still high and we were breathing heavily already. Haha!

For me, this spot is the very start of the hike. The wind was already starting to blow really hard and cold. Love it!

We had a couple of rests and photos. I also love how the sun starts to say hello to us.

This is my favorite trail — the trail to Amabanao Paoay! You will get to experience the rolling hills, how the sun kisses the mountains and all the pine trees. I love how the wind kisses my face as well..

Everything is really perfect that I just want to go back.

Super ganda nito sa personal. Can I just go back? Huhu.

Mr. Sunshine’s peaking already!

Dito ko narealize na matchy matchy ang cap ko at jacket ba ‘to. Haha.

Medyo nakakatakot ‘to. Konting push pa ng hangin, sa baba na ako pupulutin. Haha!

Wag na wag kakalimutang mag picture dito. Nakakatanggap, promise! Haha!

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07:00AM – Arrival Ambanao Paoay Peak 1

Contrary to the itinerary, I think we arrived at Ambanao Paoay Peak a little later then 5:30AM. I think Arlyn and I arrived at the peak at around 7AM since we are at the tail of the group, savoring every peaceful scene.

Love all the trees and trail along our way to Ambanao! One of my faves!

On our way to the 2nd peak, we got lots of New Zealand feels. Good thing we’re really at the tail of the group because the sweeper (Kuya Edu) is with us! Arlyn and I got lots of photos together as well because of Kuya Edu!

Yey! We’re here!

With our Kuya Edu.. Edu-Wow!

Wild berries!

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08:00AM – Arrival Gungal Rock Peak 2 | Rest | Photo ops

Because of the picturesque views and spots along the way, and we really love taking photos, we arrived at the Gungal Rock at around 8:00AM.

Mt. Ulap Gungal Rock

Mt. Ulap, Itogon, Benguet

09:30AM Arrival Mt. Ulap Summit Peak 3 | Full Rest

Mt. Ulap 3rd Peak

After around 9:30AM, we reached Mt. Ulap’s 3rd peak and got a really great view!

Mt. Ulap

Mt. Ulap

09:58AM | Start Descent to Brgy. Sta Fe

If there’s one thing I learned from my Mt. Ulap climb, it is we are sometimes too focused on the trail that we often forgot to stop, look around and appreciate the beauty of the trees, the cold wind, the flowers and the mountain. We always rant how tired we are already that we just want the climb to end.

Just like in life, oftentimes, we are too focused on the difficulties, of how hard our every day life is, of how we struggle so much with our work and with our relationships that we forgot how blessed we are still.

Anyway, it’s getting emotional already! Haha! Going back to the descent, there was one time when we stopped for over 15 minutes because we were waiting for some in the group. We sat on a big rock and just talked about life and how God made such wonderful trees, beautiful flowers, and perfectly made mountains.

Definitely God loves us so much that He created all these for us to enjoy and of course, to take care of.

12:30PM | Arrival at Sta. Fe Jump off, wash up, tidy up then travel to Baguio

At around 12:30PM, we already arrived at Sta. Fe. Arlyn and I together with Ate guide were the very first to arrive at the place! We quickly looked for our van to get our things, rested for a while and took a very cold bath afterward. Grabe, parang may yelo ang tubig nila! Haha! Very cold but very refreshing.

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1:30PM | Arrival Baguio City lunch at Goodtaste, City Tour, Buy pasalubong

After everyone’s ready already, off we wento Baguio for our sidetrip! Yey!

Of course, just like our first Mt. Ulap, we also ate at the Good Taste. If you’ll be going to Baguio never leave without eating out at Good Taste! Mabubusog kayo ng sobra without really spending much!

After lunch, we dropped by at the Burnham Park. While everyone’s busy buying pasalubongs and all, Arlyn and I opted to stroll around the park, bought strawberry taho and seated on the grass of their grandstand.

Burnham Park

05:30PM | Departure from Baguio, travel back to Manila

I love how this climb went and ended. Taho in my hand, green grass everywhere, a friend who is ready to listen with how cruel I am.. Haha! Love you, Arlyn!

Honestly one of the best climbs to date!

Burnham Park | Baguio after Mt. Ulpa day hike

11:00PM | Arrival back to Manila

This may be my second climb to Mt. Ulap but still, this mountain never fails to fascinate me.

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If you are looking for cheap hotels, inns, or lodges in Baguio, please refer to this blog list as we listed the cheapest hotel stays in Baguio City.

But see below some list of Baguio hotels:


Mt. Ulap will always be my forever love! I will never get tired of going back to this mountain. I promise myself that the 3rd time I’ll be going back here, I will bring a tent and stay overnight under the sky full of stars, cook Sinigang na Baboy (yes, I will!), and witness the sunrise.

Excited to go back! Will you come with me? Tara!

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