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Baguio After 8 Years

August 29, 2011

Yep, you’ve read it right. I haven’t been in Baguio for 8 long years. The last time I was at the City of Pines aka Summer Capital of the Philippines, I had a fieldtrip with ze bois (read as, hmmm,Kawlo, Francis,  Red, Moe, hmmm, Ken, JM? Ron?) and was already too distant a memory. This is why although my trip last week was 100% business and NO PLEASURE AT ALL, I was still excited to finally be outside of Metro Manila and technically havng the looong overdue vacation as what I have promised myself during my 2011 New Year’s Resolution. Sad, right? In fact, ever since I went to Puerto Galera last 2008, I have never been farther than Tagaytay City down south (Yes, the usual Leslie’s and Starbucks come to mind.)

This is the reason I took a lot of caffeine and chocolate on the way to Baguio so, to quote Steve Tyler, I won’t miss a thing. In fact, as what most of my Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers can attest to, my live tweets and status updates narrated the miles and miles we covered from Manila to Baguio. You can only guess how many “followers” and “friends” I’ve lost on the way. Hahaha! But no fret, I also gained a lot (friends, followers, and more) as I shared my experience.

I would have wanted to specify the people of the Genuine Thermos Team I was with, but I dunno, methinks they still love their privacy too much for me to just disrespect it in my blog. Te-hee!

DAY 1. First Stop, Tarlac. In order to formalize the “businessness” of this trip, we first dropped by SM Tarlac to install the tarpaulin for our window display at Toby’s Sports as shown below. Then we had our lunch at Matutina’s, which, to my surprise, made me eat around 3 cups of rice. Of course, the usual main courses were superb but what I was really crazy about was the pinakbet. It was cooked just right! Afterwards, we dropped by one of our major dealers in the area, Northern Marketing, before heading up north.

Fast forward to Benguet area, all I can say is the view is just exhilarating. Going to the province really makes me want to live in the province all over again. As soon as the fog set in and the cold air touched my face, I just knew I was home. And then the rheumatism kicked in. Hehehe.

We checked in, I checked-in, at Holiday Park Hotel in Baguio which really made my day. I got a California King Bed! Hehehe. Anyway, yep, that’s the gloomy view from my hotelroom window as Typhoon Mina approached us. But neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall foul up my already sunny disposition! Hehehe. I’m so, in Tagalog term, babaw, that the mere thought of just being in Baguio, inside the hotel room, already made up for all the years I didn’t have an actual vacation. *rotfl*

Lest we not forget, we were there for business, so after having a short shut eye, we proceeded to Tiongsan (one of our biggest dealers this part of the country,) and then bought all the usual roundabout of strawberry and orange marmalade, chocolate krispies, pili nut, cashew nuts, and whatnots, the adjacent public market could offer. After which, we proceeded to SM Baguio to once again install the same tarp at Toby’s Sports before we had a very sumptuous dinner at Point & Grill.

DAY 2. Provided nothing happened in between this sentence and the sentence above, hehe, I woke up as early as 5 AM so I can do a Manny Pacquiao and jog around Burnham Park. The air was chilly and the sun was still nowhere in sight, but like any disciplined athlete (athlete daw, oh!) I braved the temperature and whatever strange things I can see on the way, in order to have this experience once and for all. It was fun, really, especially since Burnham Park early that morning reminded me of Pre-BGC days of Fort Bonifacio when towering building and over-expansion were still nonexistent. I also saw a group performed arnis, tai-chi, the oh-so-flamboyant aerobics, while I went up and down and up and down with around a hundred or so other joggers.

Come 7 AM, we had our Filipino breakfast at the hotel and then went to the Mile-Hi Center where we had a li’l shopping. I say li’l since though they bought some, I didn’t buy any because I honestly couldn’t see any price difference from what they’re selling with what I see in Metro Manila. Why bother, right? Hehehe. Soon enough, we went to La Trinidad, Benguet to visit the bigger branch of Tiongsan in that area. After a few hours of top-secret discussions, we bid goodbye to Baguio and off to San Fernando, La Union where we rushed to see our dealers in the area particularly from National Bazaar! After setting up the uber infamous Thermos cartondola, we had a quick bite – Jollibee – and drove once again to our next destination, Dagupan City, where everything began to go, sadly, downhill. Hehehe.

After buying a lot of dried things by the roadside and a very hilarious dinner at a Chowking somewhere midway where the restaurant staff had a “fight” among them, we arrived at Dagupan City around 9:30 PM. For some reason, the very smart receptionist at that time of Luxor Hotel gave up our rooms to other guests since we were late. The funny thing was, we already informed them that we were running late and we were coming from Baguio City and, correct me if I am wrong with this, weren’t they supposed to ask us first (they had our contact numbers after all) if we were still coming before they assumed we were no longer checking in for the night? Anyway, after an hour of “soul-searching” we finally found a hotel that would let us in. For all intents and purposes, let’s just say, the accommodations we were able to get in Dagupan really sucked. Hehehe.

DAY 3. We started our day early so as to meet our current and potential dealers in the area. We also had our usual roundabout of store and mall visits where I chanced upon these nifty gift items. Haha! Would you believe these dolls are priced at US$20? No comment. Haha!

After having a very heavy lunch at Shakey’s, it was now time to finally go back to the Metro, but before we did that, we dropped by the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag. It was there, in those Holy Grounds, I believe, that Coy Coballes texted me an invite for the 2011 Globe Tatt Awards. I mentioned this because all the while I was in this provincial trip, I was communicating with someone I later coincidentally met during the 2011 Globe Tatt Awards. For some reason, it was really #AWKWARD. Hehehe.

Anyway, we just had our dinner at Chic-Boy somewhere in Tarlac before finally hitting homebase before midnight. I would have wanted to share more on-line but business confidentiality and, more importantly, whatever’s left of my privacy requires me not to do otherwise. Until then!


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