Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mines View Park Hotel in Baguio - a Fun and Relaxing Stay

I came home late last Friday evening feeling so proud of myself for having joined the very fun and relaxing bloggers tour of Mines View Park Hotel located at 1 Apostol St., Outlook Drive in Baguio City. This is the fourth time that I traveled without my husband, Peter. The first three times were as follow:

1. 2008 FunBoard Cup in Boracay
2. 2009 Jakarta and Bali trip
3. 2010 Singapore, Ho Chi Minh and Kuala Lumpur trip

...and this time, I did it with so much gusto unlike before when I used to cry prior to the trip and I'd be having several panic and anxiety attacks at the airport and while on flight. The whole excursion felt right from the start because I know I'd be going with wonderful people who share the same passion as I do -- passion for blogging and for traveling, and because Baguio, for me, in a way, feels like home. Aside from the fact that it's just 5 hours from Manila, I've had a few visits to Baguio before and each time had always been full of exciting (and romantic) memories. Plus, if anything happens to me, Peter won't be that far away. ^_^

Anyway, because I don't want this to be a very,very, very long blog post, I'll just share with you here the summarized version of how it all happened, plus links to other Baguio-related posts.

Sept. 23 at 5:30 in the morning, all of us bloggers scheduled to join this trip met at HalfMoon Cafe along Tomas Morato for beakfast. I didn't know everyone in the group so I stayed outside with my blogger friend Ryan and had breakfast with her and Peter. I ordered Bangus breakfast set and brewed coffee.

At around 6:30 am, we were on the road up north. We were divided into three vans and I was honored to be with the Aspacio couple, Jennie and Jed, my co-MJ fan Ryan and my Plurk buddy JL.

L-R: JL, Ryan, Jennie and Jeff

L-R: Me, Ryan and JL inside the Innova we rode.

There were several stopovers at different gas stations. Finally, at around noon, we stopped at this huge Lion statue along Kennon Road for some major photo op.

At times like this, I miss Peter. Who will take my picture??? LOL! Thanks to my blogger friends who tagged me in some of the photos. At least there's proof that I was part of this very exciting Baguio trip and visit to Mines View Park Hotel. Hihihi.

Thanks to Ryan for this photo above.

A candid shot from Jennie... thanks dear!

Before 1 pm, we were all convened at Mines View Park Hotel's lobby to check-in our luggage and enjoy a warm lunch buffet, prepared by Zenz Restaurant's chef at the function room. All of the staff were very welcoming and kind. How I wish that all hotel staff in every hotel are like this. We were treated like princes and princesses!

At the hotel lobby while waiting to be checked in. Thanks Ryan, for this photo!

At 2:00 pm, all of us toured this beautiful and serene hotel. Mines View Park Hotel has such spacious rooms, with different motifs (the one where we checked in felt like a Valentine's room coz of the red backdrop).

What a beautiful room with two big beds!!!

I like!!!

bathrooms are one of the few places I first look into when checking in. This one is clean, nice, with a lot of hot and cold water. I Like!!!

They have a gym, kids' quarters, verandas, and other modern facilities, plus a breathtaking view of the lush and beautiful Cordillera mountains and overgrown pine and eucalyptus trees everywhere. Check all its amenities at my blog.

This is the view from the veranda...

So lunch, presscon, tour, then siesta time after that. My roommate Ryan, and I enjoyed the view at our private balcony that was very conducive for some real conversations over smoke. And so smoking and talking we did! I really love this girl! She's just so real and beautiful and kind, and a mega, super, duper Michael Jackson fan! Love you, sis!

This is he view from our bedroom window and balcony.

Enjoying our yosi time by the balcony.

At 4:00 pm, it was yoga time! We were supposed to do this at the veranda upstairs to be one with nature and enjoy the view of the lush Cordillera mountains. Unfortunately, it was drizzling and sooo cold so they turned the function room into a Yoga room instead.

Gosh! I haven't had yoga in a while. Some positions were quite painful. But after a while, I got the hang of it, and even fell asleep afterward, including some of the other bloggers. Hehehe. As our Yoga instructor said, Yoga is the only class you can take that can let you sleep afterward. LOL!

At 5:00 pm, the Yoga room was transformed into a Bibingcrepe Making room. They taught us all how to make one. I was already feeling woozy coz I've been awake for almost 48 hours then and my world was already spinning! So I just took photos of the other bloggers who cooked bibingcrepes and I managed to get a bite or two. Hehe. So delicious! Hopefully, next time, I get to make my own. For the steps, here's how to make bibingcrepe. This innovative culinary dish is exclusively offered at HalfMoon Cafe.

Next on the list of itinerary was Fortune Telling. I was really looking forward to this. I thought there's gonna be a class conducted by a "Madam Auring" type of lady with all her paraphernalia and fortune telling stints. What we had was a regular man, probably in his 40's, who came with a bottle of oil and anybody who wants to have his/her fortune told will just have to fall in line and have his/her palm read. It wasn't what I expected but it will have to do. Here are the details of my Fortune Telling experience that night.

Me and Arvin while waiting for our turn with the Fortune Teller.

Dinner at Zenz Restaurant was to be served at around 7:30 pm. Since it was still around 6:00 pm, I decided to take a shut eye. I almost didn't wake up until Ryan texted me around 8 pm. The Igorot Dance Show has already started! Wooohooo! Such sexy male bodies! Hehehe... ^_^

After dinner, Ryan and I fell into a dreamless stupor due to over fatigue. We weren't able to go down anymore for some videoke entertainment. Tsk, tsk. It was so cold that I was wearing my fur gloves to bed too!

We woke up the next day to a very cold and foggy morning. After a hearty breakfast of danggit, scrambled eggs, chicken adobo, fried rice and lots of brewed coffee, we were all set to go to Strawberry Farm.

Unfortunately, the strawberries weren't in bloom yet and we were not allowed to go inside.

There were a lot of vendors urging us to buy their stuff so I ended up buying a cup of Strawberry Taho, a first for me.

I also checked out some of the shops and ended up buying another 80 peso cowboy hat (a shiny one as opposed to the one I have made of felt-like material), table runner and shawl for Christmas. That's all I purchased. I already have tons of Baguio loot at home from my previous trips that buying some more of the same stuff would already be an overindulgence for me.

Next on our itinerary was free time to tour the city on our own. Ryan, JL and I walked the stretch of Session Road, got immersed in the crowd of people, took a couple of photos, dropped by the famous Baguio Cathedral, The Grandstand, and Burnham Park. No shopping was done anymore. I, for one, was just feeling so happy and peaceful to take all the sights and sounds of the traffic of people going in all directions.
We were back at the hotel at around 1 pm in time for our scrumptious lunch of Strawberry Sinigang, Zenz Restaurant's newest offering. I also ate every dish on the lunch buffet table. After one final photo op, it was time to go home.

This mini blogger vacation was very fun. The people I connected with were very engaging, funny and admirable. I hope to get invited to more trips like this. Thanks to Azrael and Mines View Park Hotel who organized everything. My experience was great and I hope to come back to Mines View Park Hotel and experience it all again with my hubby next time.

Oh, we did drop by Good Shepherd for some pasalubong. I just bought a bottle of ube, lengua, choco cornflakes, snowballs and peanut crunch.

Then it was really bye-bye time. I was asleep during the ride home which was a good thing. I didn't know that we almost crashed into a Victory Liner bus coz our driver was in such a hurry. Thank God we're all okay! Before I really say goodbye to my Baguio experience, here's a another cup of coffee and plate of Bibingcrepe from HalfMoon Cafe. Ciao!


Azrael Coladilla said...

thanks din!

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

wow! finally I met sexy nomad! :)
true enough, the tour was a lot of fun coz of fellow bloggers!

Jennifer Adams-Juan said...

@Az, sa uulitin!

@thepinaysolobackpacker, it was great meeting you! Hopefully we can travel again soon.:-)


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