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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Accidental Tourist 2 (The Baguio Country Club) Edition

Since my last post,  we have packed our bags and moved on to The Baguio Country Club for a complimentary  overnight stay. We're still pretending to be tourists and still have the things we packed since we stayed at the townhouse . We've thought of going back home to pick up more clothes but decided that if we were going to act as tourists, we would have to do what the tourists would normally do (keeping it real, is all).
the infernal rain as seen at the Veranda of bcc
Let me tell you a little about the Baguio Country Club. This 100 year old establishment is one of the preferred hotel destinations in the city. Not only are the rooms fully equipped with all the luxuries we expect from a Triple A class resort (the highest that we have as far as rating hotels in the Philippines would go), they also have great food from their 7 dining establishments, to make even a short visit, worthwhile. 
MAX in his fave storm evac center ;)
The Baguio Country Club also has facilities to make your vacation activity filled as well. From an 18 hole golf course, a tennis court and swimming pools, a fully equipped gym, bowling lanes, to name a few, the hotel has also been the preferred venue for weddings and other events. (FYI, Baguio City's also known for being a wedding destination)
the golf course...saw one dedicated golfer playing all alone (cept for his caddy) under the pouring rain
Now that that's out of the way, let's go back to our little vacation. 

We've always been into the whole travel lite concept simply because you don't want to throw your back by carrying too much stuff, plus it's just too much to watch your kids and YOUR bags right? Down to zilch as far as a change of clothes would go, we did what holiday-goers would do and just Shopped! 

Baguio City has two malls, department stores, surplus shops and a whole lot of second hand shops that sell clothes and accessories in a variety of styles and prices. We opted to head on out to the nearest one from the hotel, and that was the overruns shop at Camp John Hay. 

Got MAX a pack of Osh Kosh briefs (135 php for 3), a Gap sweater (he dirtied up his Calvin Klein sleepwear), an Old Navy sweater (so he won't have to wear the same sweatshirt he wore upon check in), a pair of Levi's jeans(1396 php)  for me along with a DKNY blouse, a GAP long sleeved shirt for Kix, and a Greg Norman dri fit shirt for Phil. Except for the 2 items with prices indicated, everything was around 200 php. The whole shop was on sale, from anywhere between 30 - 50% off on export overruns of known brands (the Philippines is also the home to an inexpensive, and a very hardworking workforce, thus allowing the country to have a lot of export processing zones that house factories that manufacture for these brands).

stuff from Export Overruns
I did bring enough toiletries, but just in case I didn't, the city proper's just 10 minutes away. Medicine, diapers and whatever supplies you may need are readily available in town.

patiently waiting for the food @ Par 7
Food was of course, not a problem here as you could find a wide variety of dishes and cuisines here at the BCC. What we didn't get to do was enjoy the great outdoors as it was (and still is) raining. This is the reason why I've got a lot of time on my hands to write this blog :-P.
Tonkatsu @ Hamada (BCC's resto)
Aside from the food and shopping, Baguio's got some must see places to go to. Nearby is the Mansion House, the residence of the Philippine President when he's in town. There's also Wright Park, where you could rent a horse and ride around the park for 30 minutes to an hour. Then we've got Mines View. A view deck on top of a mountain that gives you a spectacular view. One may also check out Tam-Awan Village. Tam-Awan Village is an artists colony set amid a charming collection of Ifugao and Kalinga huts. Spearheaded by National Artist BenCab, one may also view and buy works of art by local artists. 

These are some of the many places one can visit in Baguio. I shall save that for another blog :)
the Verandah
While writing this blog, the sun has risen and in a few, we shall be heading down to the Verandah for breakfast.
If there was anything we learned from being "tourists" for 2 days, it would be that you must not be a stranger in your own town. 

Plan a day trip to a tourist spot or destination in your town (or one nearby). You'll be surprised at how revisiting these places could give you a fresh outlook on things. You don't have to spend a fortune or go to far flung exotic destinations to have an incredible journey. Everything you need may just be a few steps outside your door.
hooked up with the the rest of the fam and went mechanical bull riding at SM Baguio (as part of the role  playing. no local would get caught riding that thang lol)

From TMW, may your wanderings be better than ours. 
the boys with their bacon cheeseburger and fries

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