A Little Kyoto in Baguio

The pandemic made hermits of us all.  A week before Christmas last year, after staring at a wall for hours to contemplate about my life’s existence, I decided to have a date with myself.


I went on a solo travel and proceeded to the chilly city of Baguio (127 miles up north of Manila).  Known in my country as the City of Pines, I simply had a breather, walked through pruned gardens of parks, dine at cheap restaurants, watched people walk with their uninteresting facemask on, and re-read a book I have read fifteen years ago.  And when I started to get bored to the point of being spiritless, I decided to search the web on what site in Baguio have I not been to.

The World Wide Web pointed me to St Francis Xavier Seminary in Pacdal, Baguio where the Bamboo Eco-Park is located.  I hurriedly booked online a transport vehicle service car which brought me to the place tagged as the Little Kyoto in Baguio.

baguio bamboo eco-park

glad there were so few visitors (for safety)

the smaller version of arashiyama


And true enough, though the place was really little as compared to the famed Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, the place was equally peaceful and beautiful.  I have been to Baguio numerous times (both solo and with group) but I never knew that such a beauty exists in this part of Baguio until then. It was indeed a refreshing visit!  My first time visit to Bamboo Eco-Park in Pacdal no doubt was the highlight of my latest Baguio visit.

And before I left, it dawned in me that those pandemic hermits living in St Francis Xavier Seminary must be so proud of their work which resulted to something tranquil and beautiful.  A total opposite of my being an indolent and lazy hermit during this ridiculous pandemic.

Vanilla Cafe in Baguio City

I would like to believe that I have some level of proficiency on determining what and how good food would be like.  My taste buds know how to ascertain and adjudicate what good food is.

And though I love cakes and may seem to have the sweetest tooth on the planet, I have never been a fan of Red Velvet cakes.  And though I have yet to encounter a Red Velvet cake that makes my taste buds do a double-somersault with one and a half twists in the free position, I think I just had one that is the most remarkable.  

red velvet… it tastes delicious or it tastes beautiful

But my appreciation of this Red Velvet was not due to my taste buds doing a standing ovation but it was my sense of sight that makes me rejoice and be delighted towards the cake I was consuming.  I was at awe about the look, design and colors of Vanilla Café inside Kamiseta Hotel located in Baguio City, the tourist summer capital of my country. 

I guess this is the cutest café I have seen in Baguio.  The interiors were so stunningly pretty, it will definitely put some very sweet delicious smile on every one’s faces.  The café was so visually attractive, the happiness it ignites would surge towards all the other senses making all dishes they serve to be so happily pleasant and appealing.       

Vanilla Café have seem to possess some enchanting potion that smoke-screened my usually resplendent sense of taste.  I actually could no longer recall if the Red Velvet I had was good or mediocre but what I know is that I was smiling while consuming it inside Baguio City’s lovely and bewitching Vanilla Café.     

Hindi lasang masarap.  Pero lasang maganda!

Vogue-ing Baguio: The Potential Fashion Capital of the Philippines

i can never wear this ensemble in manila

I always believe that fashion is governed by the temperature.  People for sure dress up differently when they go up to Baguio.  It’s a strange thing that happens unconsciously.  You can’t just pack a simple shirt, singlet, shorts and jeans when going up to spend a day or two in Baguio.  That is why for me cool breezy Baguio City has the full potential to become the fashion capital of the Philippines.

People in the Pine City can wear lots of layers, lots of dark or neutral colored fabrics and lots of accessories to go with it.   Baguio can have warm sunny days from March to July and very cold weather from August until the end of February which means it is but logical to see true shifts in wardrobe throughout the year.

In Manila or other places in the Philippines that has invariable temperature donning in a trench coat or wrapping your neck with a scarf would simply be laughable.  When a lady feels cold in Manila, which is never an outdoor occurrence but usually inside a cinema, a mall or a hotel, she would simply wrap herself with a shawl or ask somebody to adjust the aircon.  But in Baguio, when it’s cold outside you would have to have chic overcoats, trendy scarves, stylish knitted hats and even fashionable knee-high leather boots.  Thus, you could simply play dress up!

Too bad, only few Baguio inhabitants seem to have embraced the idea that their place can be the true fashion capital of this country because of the climate.  They are so drawn with Manila-fashion they do not realize that they can actually improvise and vogue-up the Pinoy fashion which could flicker worldwide fad, craze and attention.

Yeah, living in Manila looks good but staying in Baguio feels good.  If Baguio is a drink, it is a Martini while Manila is an Iced Tea.  When it comes to fashion, Manila is the Los Angeles of the Philippines but Baguio can be its New York.

Hoy Baguio gising!