Baguio — What You Need to Know About the Baguio City Market

Can you name any market that is more beloved than the Baguio City Market? It’s the only marketplace I know that’s also a popular tourist destination in Luzon. Whenever I’m in Baguio, I always visit this place to get fresh fruits and vegetables at a much cheaper price than in Manila. This is where I also get pasalubong items, for items such as strawberries and ube jam are usually...

Ifugao – Batad, Banaue

Last year, my college roommate Grace and I went to Batad, the UNESCO heritage site in Ifugao. From the trip to our stay in the village and back, there were many things that went wrong with our trip. Looking back, I think we would never have survived it if it not for our sunny disposition and sense of humor. The Road to Banaue We booked the 9 PM bus so we could reach Banaue by breakfast....

Kalinga – Buscalan

January 2016 – Since my last post, I've been to Buscalan, Kalinga twice, and got inked by the legendary Whang-Od two more times. Every time, I make sure I bring at least one new friend with me. Why do I keep coming back, and why do I want more people to do the same? What's in Buscalan, anyway? Here are some of my favorite things about traveling to Buscalan: The long journey to...

Kalinga (Part 2 of 2) – How to Get to Buscalan, Tinglayan

April 2014 – I have to admit that getting to Buscalan, Tinglayan is both exhausting and dangerous. There are many roads that lead to the Cordilleras but only one highway traverses the town of Tinglayan. Since we went there during the Holy Week, and I was too stupid not to reserve any bus tickets, we had no choice but to make cutting trips. Anyway, based on what...

Kalinga (Part 1 of 2) – A Weekend with Whang-Od in Buscalan, Tinglayan

April 2014 – I’ve always wanted to explore the rich culture of the different ethnic groups of Cordillera. So the first time I had a few days off from work, I made up my mind to finally visit Kalinga to see Apo Whang-od (pronounced as Fang-od), the oldest living mambabatok (tattoo artist) in the country. It was the first time that I spent more than 12 hours on the road. Since it was...

Baguio – Balatoc Mines Tour

March 2014 – Being a fan of high fantasy, I have always wanted to see a mine where dwarves would toil day and night in search of gold. What I found in the mines of Benguet were not the creations of Aulë the Smith, but a sad story of modern-day slavery work that is almost reminiscent of Panem’s District 12 (excuse the mixed references from different works of fiction). After having...

6 Places To Visit in Baguio

March 2014 – Some of my closest friends have said at some point that they’re done with Manila and they’re leaving for Baguio to become a nun or an artist or a recluse, etc. My friend Elvina is not one of those people. I think she's always had a love and hate relationship with Baguio, having spent a whole year living there as a student. This month, we rediscovered the City of...