Being busy at school or work is not an excuse for you to deprive yourself of a getaway!
The more you spend time studying or working, the more reason you have to take a quick break from your realities and escape to the mountains and or to the beach.
Do not worry so much about hurting your finances to make this trip possible. This article will guide you to realize unforgettable moments for only Php 5,000.00 per person.
Elite Daily wrote an article that says travelling has scientific effects on one’s “mind, body and soul”. It is a good way to recharge your mental and emotional batteries.
Thus, For Life and Law is providing you a budget-friendly travel guide to two of the popular travel destinations in the Philippines – Baguio and La Union.
Disclaimer: This article is based on my own experiences after visiting the two cities during a long week-end (Saturday Morning to Monday afternoon) on November 2019. If you have additional tips or any relevant experiences to share, feel free to comment below. Also, this budget tip is only applicable when you are base from Manila. If you are from overseas or outside central luzon, then additional rates apply for air fares and bus fares.
What can you get from this trip?
Baguio is also known as the “City of Pines” in the Philippines. The city’s weather is unusually colder compared to the rest of the places in the country that is why a lot of people visit the place, especially during hot season.
Aside from its refreshing weather, mountainous location and mossy plants, Baguio also offers good food (some exotic), and entertainment centers that would surely make your trip “sulit”.
Meanwhile, La Union has spectacular beaches with gigantic waves that are best for surfing.
In fact, the surfing competition for the SEA Games 2019 was held in La Union Beach.
More than the beaches and beachfront resorts, the city has a laid-back vibe perfect for a stress-free vacation.
How to go to Baguio from Manila?
There are two best ways to go to Baguio if you are from Manila:
1. By Bus thru Pasay or EDSA bus terminal (Economy or Victory Liner’s first-class service use NLEX, SCTEX, and TPLEX)
2. Private Car
In my case, I was traveling with two of my girl friends.
I guess going to the place in a group of three or more allows you to save considering that you will have to share for the accomodation and some common expenses.
Since we do not have our own car, we booked a ticket with Victory Liner in EDSA Cubao.
We booked the ticket in advance for fear that we would hardly be accomodated as chance passengers since we went there during the SEA games month.
The bus that we were in departed at 9:00 am and arrived in Baguio around 2:00 pm via TPLEX.
If you travel during summer, holiday season or special events like the SEA games , it is expected that bus passengers are swamped so it is really advisable to get your ticket in advance.
The good thing with Victory Liner is that even if you booked a ticket for a later time, you can still use the same ticket to be a chance passenger in an earlier trip.
(Victory Liner) EDSA CUBAO TO BAGUIO
Regular aircon: P485 – (6-7 hours depending on traffic)
First class: P800 – (3-5 hours)
(Victory Liner) PASAY TO BAGUIO
Regular aircon: P496
First class: P800
Check more on the Victory Liner’s bus schedule here:
(Joy Bus) CUBAO TO BAGUIO
(Joy Bus) PASAY TO BAGUIO
Where to stay in Baguio?
For your accommodation, there are a lot of cheap hostels or AirBnb choices that you can check online.
You may find a place to stay when you arrive in Baguio, but I do not think that is a good idea if you want a hassle-free getaway.
I would still suggest that you book a place to stay in ahead of time to lessen the chances of having a ruined vacation.
My friends and I stayed at The Half House. The room that we booked in advance was good for four persons, with free WI-FI and no curfew.
The place does not offer a free breakfast, but they serve food for an additional fee.
Nevertheless, the house owner was very accommodating and we definitely had a good stay. Also, our room luckily had a balcony where we had a glimpse of the city view.
How we got into our stay cation place? From the Victory Liner bus terminal, we grabbed a taxi going to The Half House which was just 10-15 minutes ride and paid less than Php 200.00.
You may also opt to take a jeepney ride which is way cheaper but, unfortunately, I could not say much about how to go there via jeep since we preferred to take a cab for convenience.
Itinerary for 2 days, 1 night in Baguio
When we arrived at the Half House, we took few hours rest (nap, shower, “kwentuhan”) to regain energy for our night out. We began going around the city at 6:00 pm.
But first, eat!
What a better way to start a vacation than eating?
Volante Restaurant and Everything Nice Cake Shop and Cafe
We took a cab to Volante restaurant located at the Session Theatre Bld, Session Rd, Baguio, Benguet.
This sophisticated resto is known for its good-tasting pizza. My friends and I enjoyed a full meal with a serving of pesto pasta and Pizza Margherite.
And guess what? We had a sumptuous dinner, but we only paid 200 pesos each.
Isn’t it a perfect way to start the night?
After having dinner, we took a short walk around the Session road area.
Since it’s Christmas season, we were able to enjoy the beautiful lights creatively placed on building facades and pine trees.
We also had a good taste of coffee at the Everything Nice Cake Shop and Cafe.
The cafe offered hot chocolate for only Php90.00 and coffee frappe for Php 95.00.
Their chocolatè tasted just fine, while the cheesecake tasted good although a bit sweet for my palate.
Find great buys at the Baguio Night Market
One highlight of our trip was enjoying the Baguio night market at Harrison Rd, Baguio, Benguet.
The market is open from 9:00 pm to 4:00am.
The city’s night market is known for its cheap clothes, shoes and other items, if you are the type who likes checking racks and racks to find a good fit.
True enough, we were able to buy two “ukay-ukay” dresses for only Php 150.00 each. You may think that the said price wss expensive for a second-hand wear, but, actually I thought of it as a good buy.
The dresses were from an expensive brand and were surely in good condition.
Witness the night view at Burnham Park/ Lake
We arrived at the night market before it opened so we spent a few minutes walking around Burnharm park while viewing the Burnharm lake – a century old man-made lake.
The lake is a famous tourists’ attraction that offers boat riding. At night, the lights are also heart-flattering to gaze at.
Day 2: Morning sight-seeing and horse ride at Baguio City’s Mines View Park
We started our second day around 9:00 am.
We first went to the infamous Baguio City Mines View Parl or Mines View Observation Deck at Mines View, Baguio, Benguet.
The refreshing air while on top of the mountains was therapeutic. There are also plants, souvenirs and silver-works for sale within the observation deck.
You may take a photo opportunity while on a horseback ride for only Php 50.00.
Quick trip to the public market and Victoria’s bakery
Around 10:00 am, we already went to the public market to buy strawberries and other delicacies we can bring home.
We first stopped at Good Shepherd store to supposedly buy their known good-tasting strawberry jam, but we backed out due to the long queue.
We were catching up with time as we have to travel to La Union by 1:30 PM already.
We went to the public market instead and bought what we can for our families and friends.
We also bought Cinnamon rolls and Cream puff from Victoria’s bakery.
Cinnamon Roles – (one box) Php 138.00
Cream Puff regular flavor – Php 17.00 each
Important tip before buying at the public market: Be diligent in checking the prices of the goods you want to buy. One store may offer a much lesser price than the other over the same quality and quantity.
Wrapping Up our Baguio Trip:
Surely, there are so many other parts of the city that we were not able to visit. But of course, we have those places reserved for our next Baguio touch-up.
Our short vacation in Baguio may seem short for a city too beautiful and big, but it was all that we needed to reconnect with nature and get a sight of one of the world’s best places.
Day 2 at 1:30 PM, on our way to La- Union
Part II of this article will be about our La Union trip and how we made a quick tour within the two cities for Php 5,000.00 pesos each only.
-I hope this blog can help and inspire my readers regardless of where they are from or whatever they do in life!
For Life and Law is also open to any article contribution which will potentially inspire others.