Horse-Back Riding in Baguio City

I consider Baguio City to be one of my favorite places in the Philippines. The weather, the food and the sights always pops up in my mind whenever I feel like escaping the stressful nature of my job. Maybe the next time I go up to Baguio I can bring with me my son. I’ve read about horse-back riding in Wright Park in Baguio City and I think it would be a wonderful activity for the kiddo. Baba was a bit apprehensive when I suggested this so we looked up everything we ought to know about horses, riding, saddles and the accessories. We found a website that gave us plenty of ideas about horses and saddles including some tips for training and competing.

Horse saddles are necessary to any horse. Getting one that matches your horse will make it almost invisible. Some people like this look because it beautifies the horse without looking out of place.

Choose a saddle that you will always adore. Saddles are a bit pricey but you can find discount saddles through this company. A basic saddle can be upgraded for cheap if you decide to head in that direction. You can spend money on rosettes instead of leather strips for the saddle.

This website also offers boots for sale. Ladies will find many designs to choose from to make their outfit complete. A cross design would fit in nicely with just about any saddle on the site. You can also purchase a headstall set to really impress the judges.

Whether you are looking for a bargain or the best of the best, the saddle company can help you with your purchase. Ask for customer service help and they will help you as soon as they can. Training saddles are a nice addition to any horse that will be judged in an event.

Overlooking the importance of good training equipment will lead to poor results in your competition. When you are training for an event, make sure you keep the horse comfortable. Training horses with their competition saddles will be beneficial for them. It might be best to keep the training saddle on during the event. It will be comfortable for you and the horse.

Baguio Budget Escape 2: What Eats and Where To’s?

We surely had a blast on our Baguio Budget Escape Day 1, and the weekend was far from over. We woke up early the next day and prepared for our host – my housemate and Baguio resident Lalai with her son Kabay will take us to The Manor for a buffet breakfast which Baba and I promised in exchange for the free ride up and down the City of Pines.

The Manor, Camp John Hay, Baguio City

Lalai and her family took me to The Manor the last time I was stuck in Baguio so I was pretty excited to have another round of delicious breakfast meals in a beautiful location.

Breakfast Buffet Rates at The Manor are:

Adult : Php 550
Kids : Php 275

please make me an omelette with everything on it!
winner waffle with maple syrup and blueberry jam

Kabai with his fruit plate

Lai’s plate

We took turns at getting some time off and exploring the grounds of the hotel before we had our part 2 of the brekkie. We would love to spend an over night here on Baba’s next vacation.

the Manor

we love it here!

After a hearty breakfast, Lalai took us to Good Shepherd Covent in Mines View Park to buy a couple of Pasalubong favorites – the famous Ube Jam. There was a long line of customers so Baba and I decided to take pictures while we waited for Lalai to complete her purchases.

Good Shepherd Convent, Baguio City

From here, we passed by the Botanical Garden and the Mansion but we did not go down, instead Lalai dropped us off at our Inn to rest while the rain poured over the city. This trip was completely unplanned so Baba and I don’t have anything in mind to go to.

After our siesta, we then decided to take merienda-cum-early dinner and go to the Lourdes Grotto. I was still raining on and off so we just took a cab though we had some idea on how to go there already.

the Veniz Cafe

counted the steps up the Lourdes grotto

Despite our lack of planning, we thoroughly enjoyed exploring the City of Pines. We’ve both been here before but have not really explored the city, and now it felt really good getting lost and finding the right way together. We do plan to re-visit Baguio next year and maybe we’d be able take Teloy along with us then.

Baguio Budget Escape: Food Trip in the City of Pines

It was a quiet Friday evening when our housemate, who hails from Baguio City announced that she’s driving alone to Baguio early in the morning. Out of nowhere, Baba and I decided to join her on a road trip. With a couple of clothes and 5K budget, we hit the road at 4am the next day.

The drive was uneventful, we stopped by Sison, Pangasinan to eat something and we’re a little disappointed that Kenon Rd was closed so we had to take the much longer route via Marcos Highway.

We reached Baguio City at around 9am. Baba and I declined Ate Maricar’s invitation to stay in their house and searched for cheap Baguio City accommodations instead. We found La Brea along Session Road and made reservations for 2 nights. We did not prepare any IT and made this trip a completely spontaneous one. We just noted recommendations and jump into what we have in mind next.

After freshening up, we headed to Glenn’s 50s Diner in General Luna Road in front of Brent Road  for our late lunch. The ambiance is great and they have big servings of food. Baba loved his Swimmers while my Schintzel was just okay.

waitresses at 50’s diner wear sailor uniforms!

we love their coffee here

Baba’s Swimmers – 3 seafood delights in sweet-spicy sauce
schnitzel for me (okay lang)
ka-table namin c Marilyn Monroe!
the red car parked outside 50’s diner

After lunch, we decided to walk back and pay visit to the Cathedral and offer prayers of thanks. Then we played corny and headed for Burnham Lake for some rowing action.

can’t believe these oars are so heavy!!
should have tried those paddle boats instead

It was raining on and off and we were tired. We couldn’t think of anything to eat for dinner just yet so we headed for SM Baguio and waited for the rain to stop. We stayed at the veranda and was awed when the fog enveloped the city.

Then we walked to Session Road where there are more choices when it comes to foodtripping. We ended up at one of my friend’s favorite Pizza place – Pizza Volante. The place looks unorganized and seems to be a series of expansions – might be because of the growing number of diners. They have great pizza and pasta choices here – the price is also just right for students on a budget.

love this cheeze burger pizza!

Baba suggested we eat only light dinner tonight because he wants a nightcap at one of the bars we passed by earlier. It’s called the Bohemian and they have angelic acoustic singers here. We had a basket of fresh potato fries and a bucket of beer to end the night…

frothy milk! 😀

a basket of potatoes

lassheeng Baba?

Day 2 of our Baguio Trip was spent at the Manor, Good Shepherd and Lourdes Grotto. Blog soon 🙂

A Grateful Year: Recount of My 2011

Last year, I came up with a year end review of my 2010. It had been a year of balanced good and bad experiences, and 2011 started really good for me. Now it is over, and as I recount my experiences, I’m shocked at how busy the year was for me.

2011 started with so much gratefulness in my heart, and it has ended with so much more. A recent facebook status from a friend said “Grateful people get more than what they are grateful for” a passage from Bo Sanchez made me realize how true it is for my 2011.

I made a list of goals for 2011 and so far, I’ve successfully met some of them.

Yes, I was able to build stronger family ties. an added bonus was, a close tie with my 2nd family as well – my co-workers. and for the later part of the year, an even stronger bond with my high school and college tropa (10years and counting).

Yes, I am finally debt-free!! Though most of what I’ve earned for this year went to paying accumulated debts for the past 2 years, I was able to manage and still live well over what’s left.

No, I wasn’t able to finish DPM 🙁

No, I wasn’t able to climb Mt. Apo. 🙁

No, I still did not learn to ride a bike!!

But, yes I came back to writing. I finally got my back on track and found clients who recognize good work and compensate well. yipee! 🙂

Then, I remember making a top 3 travel wish list for 2011, missed out 1 but was able to have more!

Sta. Cruz Dragonboat Exhibition Race March 2011.
Photo by Mr. Abet Lagula
AQ at BIDBF. Photo by Mr. Abet Lagula

It all started with a busy racing schedule on March. All the training was put to good use as my team Aqua Fortis joined in several racing events for the summer. Then there’s the Sta. Cruz exhibition race and the Boracay International Dragonboat Festival which brought me to yesssssssssss Bora for the first time!!!

It was a wow experience for me setting foot in the beautiful island of Boracay for the first time. And though this trip was spent mostly on the boat, I still loved it – just feeling the sand on my toes and seeing crystal blue waters each morning is divine! I made a promise to go spend some time here again soon.

Then just two weeks after, I flew to Puerto Princesa, Palawan with my most dear friends. An experience that brought us together again after many years. It also gave us a chance to bond and talk about how things had been going, how things are going on at the moment and how things will be in the future.

We were able to visit the different islands off honda bay and swam and snorkel our hearts out at Snake Island and Pandan Islands.

It was the highlight of the mid year and summer season for me. It was apparent with my skin color how much I enjoyed the sun and beaches for the summer of 2011!

The Palawan trip also brought me to one of the world’s Natural Wonders – the Underground River in Sabang, Palawan. I was very lucky to have visited this place at least once in my life and I am also putting this on would-visit-back-with-teloy trips one day soon.

This trip concluded the first half of my 2011. For the month of June, work started to get busy, and I seriously wanted to get my flawless (yes, flawless!) skin back so I took a rest from rowing.

July came in and ended with an unexpected surprise. It was something that gave spice to my single-lifehood and had a bittersweet ending. Still, I’m giving it (or him) another chance and so the future looks brighter with renewed fate and beliefs.

 August came in heavy in emotion and a sudden urge to escape. The long awaited trip to Sagada and my goal of crossing out the first on my top 3 travel wish list loomed ahead, but typhoon Mina got in the way and gave me an unplanned sojourn in the cold and typhoon drenched city of Baguio.

Maybe it wasn’t really time for me to get to know Sagada yet. So I’m putting it yet again on my top travel wish list for 2012.

September took a dragging. Though nobody noticed it at work, I took advantage of the company and the time spent with my co-workers.

Their support was a tangible thing, not spoken but sincerely felt. And so I was very much grateful. Part of my September was the day trip to Silang Cavite and Tagaytay.

view of Mt. Mayon from the
2nd flr of Embarcadero

And, still experiencing that emotional turmoil, being okay and not okay, I seek refuge in the comfort of being with my son, Teloyskie. I took a vacation home and came back to work with a vengeance.

When October came in, everything was set 
on a roller coaster ride. My “home” project started, as well as a food trip saga. I’ve been wanting to move into another apartment for the longest time, and the search started for this month. Along with it was some amazing food discoveries. 

The burger project in Maginhawa St. in Teacher’s village allowed me to customize my burger and gave me my first  taste of blueberry milk shake.

This also made me work on gaining weight so people around me started taking me dining and food tasting. But still I was more into coffee tasting and how I love meet ups with fellow Aquababes Debie and Osh at Toastbox for a cup of skinny coffee!

Work also became demanding along with a new and demanding boss. Busy could not completely describe how this month was, then it ended with a work related trip to Fontana Leisure park in Pampanga. 

November was a blast! This month took me to my top 2 travel wish list for 2011 – Davao. Though it was a rush 48 hour experience, it was still a trip that took me to the southern part of the country – Mindanao!

It was a busy work-related trip but we were also able to go around the souvenir shops suggested at the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific – Smile Magazine.

I also took my mandatory leave in the middle part of November so I was also able to visit Teloyskie for his 5th Birthday! Happy!

December probably was the busiest part of my year with the long list of events and activities. There were a lot of christening, bridal showers, weddings and Christmas parties. All these events, gave me some of the best time with my family and friends. And showed me all things that I should be more thankful for – the people who were with me all this time. Thank you for all the love and support! Another year comes, and I have 365 more days to show my appreciation and love for all of you.

Baguio: The Solo Sagada Failed Ending

i’ve been forever planning to have my own solo trip. been checking the SAGGA’s website, researching and browsing every topic pertaining to Sagada very so often. And when the 4-day weekend came, i was ecstatic! this is it i said to myself, I’m going! There aren’t anything that can stop me then, i made reservations already and all i need to do is travel. i feel confident about this though a bit anxious too because its going to be my first solo trip. (not to mention a day trip to experience Pahiyas Festival in 2008).

Well, yeah it FAILED. I can hear Bagyong Mina, laughing and taunting me while i was stuck in Baguio. But what the heck, I was just too thankful for not being so bull-headed and heeding my friend/officemate’s advice to travel in the middle of the storm. Lalai, my officemate lives in Baguio but her family is a local of Bontoc. When we arrived in Baguio on a stormy early Saturday morning, and she told me that she will take me to the terminal once the weather get better. She was firm and told me she knows the weather and the way more than me so i should believe her when she tells me its not safe to go.

The rain didn’t stop all day, so Lalai suggested that I leave for Sagada the next day and just join them for a buffet breakfast at The Manor before I leave. So i just slept the whole Saturday in their cozy home.

Next day, we all headed for The Manor, it is located inside Camp John Hay. This hotel is really impressive and I think I’d never consider visiting it in some other time or company. For one, it is quite pricey, but having visited this once, I think a stay here would be quite worth it.

The Manor Hotel, Camp John Hay Baguio City

breakfast buffet at the Manor (P500 adults, P250 kids)

After our breakfast, Lalai took me to Dangwa to check for trips to Sagada, (my oh my) there are no trips because of some landslides. We headed to a jeepney terminal which travels to Bontoc, again no vail. People around had been buzzing about landslides and the non stop rainfall which might cause more landslides. This time I gave in. Well at least I’ve tried, and there are still next times for me to follow through with my Solo Sagada. Later that Sunday, a relative of Lalai told us about the Lizardo bus which fell off a cliff due to the landslide last Saturday. I can’t help but think that if I’ve been really bull-headed and stubborn the day before, it would have been my bus that fell off the cliff!

going around Maharlika Market for pasalubongs
baguio day4. late lunch at cafe veniz after buying pasalubongs

I’m so thankful despite being stuck in Baguio in the midst of Bagyong Mina. I was cozily spoiled by the warm and hospitable family of Lalai for 4 days!