The thread running through our entire Philippines trip was that we woke up in the dead of the night, every single night, just to get to somewhere.
Started our journey taking the 1.55am red eye flight from Singapore to Manila. Funny how even though we reached at 5am there was an insane jam in the city and a supposedly short trip to the Victory Liner terminal turned out to crawl along at a snail’s pace. With bad air.
Anyway when we were looking for the taxi queue at the airport we stumbled onto the pick up point where waiting passengers were sorted by last name. Well, anything works, right?
And people keep asking us if we are Koreans. Thanks I am flattered (kinda?) but actually we are just southeast Asians like you. And I’m not even fair.
Anyway we reached the Victory Liner bus terminal and immediately upon alighting from the cab there was a guy asking us where we were going and promptly ushered us onto a bus leaving for Baguio. It all happened so fast we couldn’t really process whether we were being kidnapped or not (we weren’t). And both the taxi driver and the bus conductor didn’t give me any change for our fares! Which led me to suspect they don’t give change here in the Philippines?? Thankfully those were two isolated cases which never happened again.
Reached Baguio bleary-eyed 7 hours later, a city nestled among clouds. Very romantic. But actually just like most Southeast Asian cities, badly polluted with smog and noise. We spent a good 20 minutes looking for our Airbnb which had a dubious address (very vague) and an elaborate description that didn’t quite match up to what we saw in reality (crazy cut stone wall-not that crazily cut after all).
We had lunch at this hole in the wall stall that was super popular with locals, all of whom stared at us when we walked in. But we braved the stares and confidently placed our orders. The food was so simple and cheap but so good – we ended up popping by every time we were looking for something to eat.
Went out to rackee for the jeepney terminal that we were supposed to take our jeepney from the next day to Mt Ulap, walked through the city which was very, very crowded with people and cars. Seriously governments need to start doing something about mandating car filters.
One good thing about our Airbnb was it’s proximity to the Victory Liner bus terminal and the SM Baguio mall which was huge and had great terraces. Ok actually that’s the only good thing about our Airbnb. Those who know me know that I am super chill with cleanliness and hygiene but this place just was on another level. But I can understand that to most Filipinos this would probably be much more sanitary than the conditions at home. Sunset at SM Baguio after my foot massage. Pretty sure I fell asleep and snored. And this was before the hikes!
Next post, Mt Ulap!