North Bound: Day 1

It was my semestral break during the last week of October, and my family rarely goes out of town during this time because we usually have our vacations during summer. However, we wanted to change things a bit so we headed to Baguio, which is known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” and as well as the “City of Pines”. We wanted to breathe in the fresh cold air and enjoy the northern part of the country so we decided to stay there for three days, from October 30 to November 1.

Manaoag Shrine Interior

Day 2. Day 3. Photo Gallery. Baguio is around 4 hours away from Metro Manila if you drive, but of course it might be longer due to traffic. I suggest leaving early in the morning so that you can get to Baguio around lunch time. My parents and I left at around 8 in the morning (We were supposed to leave at 6 but we weren’t able to wake up that early haha), so we decided to have a stop-over.

Manaoag Shrine Exterior

For our first stop, we decided to visit Manaoag Shrine in Pangasinan. This is where you can see the image of Mama Mary as the Lady of Manaoag. The Church has an aesthetic interior and as well as beautiful architecture. During the last week of October and the first week of November, it is Filipino tradition that we visit and pray for our friends and family who have passed away. To commemorate them, we lit some candles at the shrine.

Le Chef at The Manor Hotel, Camp John Hay

After around one and a half more hours from Manaoag, we finally reached Baguio! We stayed at The Manor Hotel at Camp John Hay which is one of the major attractions in the city, and it also used to be the air base of the Americans when they colonized the Philippines. We first checked in to our rooms, then we had late lunch at Le Chef, the restaurant there. We also met up with my other relatives!

Panoramic Shot of The Manor

We all explored the garden and took some photos. We also savored fresh air, and luckily it was really cold which is great. Many Filipino usually go to Baguio for the coldness because it’s usually hot in most places of the country, especially Manila.


The Manor is not the usual structure of a modern hotel. It is known for its simplicity and elegance, and the rooms are really great and comfortable to stay in. Since we were all tired from the drive to Baguio, we only stayed at The Manor.

Top from Bayo, Jacket from Gap, Sweatpants from Bershka
Choco-Late de Batirol Restaurant

For dinner, we went to Choco-Late de Batirol Restaurant which is a few minutes away from The Manor. This restaurant is known for its famous Choco-Late de Batirol, the classic Filipino chocolate drink that is hot, thick, bittersweet and made from local cacao beans. The restaurant is outdoor and has a pretty design.

Menu at Choco-Late de Batirol

We ordered all things Filipino! We ate pork binagoongan (pork cooked in shrimp paste), sisig (a Filipino dish made from parts of pig’s head and liver), and sinigang na bangus (Filipino soup with milk fish as the main ingredienct). Of course we would not forget to order the famous Choco-Late de Batirol. We even requested one of the cooks to show us how they make the drink!

How to make Choco-Late de Batirol

There we have it for Day 1! Stay tuned for more on my stay at Baguio xx


17 thoughts on “North Bound: Day 1

  1. What a lovely post, I have never been to the Philippines so this is a lovely way to get a feel for the place, the culture and the food, lovely post, so informative and you’ve captured the essence of the country perfectly!

  2. The Philippines are somewhere I’d love to visit, I know so little about them. And this looks a lovely spot, although reading in the depth of UK winter, it’s funny to think of being so hot you’d love to head somewhere cool.

  3. So interesting, I love to find out about places I have never been to. I also find it really funny that you go to places for the cool air – it’s so miserable and wet and cold in Ireland right now, I’d love some warmth and sunshine! 🙂

  4. Maybe because we have a lot of manors in the UK but its exactly how most manors are and it looks really beautiful, it is always nice to go away with family

  5. The Philippines is high on my list of places to visit so thanks for sharing this, it’s great to get a first hand account and a better insight in to the country as a holiday destination. That Choco-Late de Batirol sounds delicious! xxx

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