Monday, September 21, 2015
Frolicking at the Panagbenga Festival of Baguio City (Part 2 of 2)
This is part two of our #CamellaGesPanagbenga story where a handful of us went on a Baguio Road Trip to experience the sights and sounds of Panagbenga Festival. That's what I really thought.
However, the original plans were drastically changed without any consultation from the majority...or was I just unaware that the rest of the group were agreeable. Anyway, this was the story way back February 28 to March 1 but unfortunately I did not publish this article because it was too full of disappointment. But without any editing, I am now posting this to remind me how I really felt that day while showing you some of the beauty of Baguio city. I promise to write separate articles about the different places we've been to, including the ones I told in part 1 of this series, so I can show more photos of Baguio.
Incidentally, the real reason why we went up to Baguio was to help promote and blog about the promotional giveaways of Camella Homes where luck selfie addicts can get a chance to win prizes from Camella Homes. People just needed to visit the Vista land/ Camella Homes booth at the SM City Baguio, grab one of their fansigns, take a selfie with them, tag Camella Official on Instagram, tag 5 of their FB friends and then post. It's that easy. Camella Homes also sponsored some raffle and games during the GMA Kapuso Special Concert happening that night.
I was fortunate enough to get my name picked in the raffle, so I brought home some GCs with me on the way back to Manila.
As told on part 1 of this story, we had a home-cooked dinner after one of us decided to just buy ingredients at the local marketplace and cook dinner and breakfast. It was a very frustrating part of this Baguio adventure since I wanted to try out the popular restaurants of Baguio city.
It was however fortunate that we had lunch at the Oh My Gulay restaurant immediately after the road trip from Manila before proceeding to Camella Homes' SM City Baguio stall. Oh My Gulay serves mostly veggie foods as their main ingredients in their dishes. Since Baguio is known for their fresh vegetables, it was not surprising that there's a restaurant dedicated to serving veggie foods.
The following day, instead of returning back to Manila after lunch time as originally planned, it took us the entire day of March 1 to frolic around Baguio just to please our requests. There goes my Sunday event down the drain. But not to worry, I was able to send some correspondents to take over.
Breakfast was all fried. Though I don't really mind since one day of splurging on oily foods was no big deal. I wanted to have some "danggit" (my priority breakfast dish at hotels everytime I'm out of town) but the one leading the purchase at the market place refused to buy it for me since it was more expensive than the "galunggong", eggs and veggies she prefers. So I ended up eating less but never worried since I thought lunch was just a few hours away.
Morning was spent at the strawberry farms in La Trinidad, Benguet. My companions and I bought some fresh vegetables and strawberries, one ate a strawberry Ice cream which was more "strawberrified" as compared to the first ice cream we had at the Lion's Head monument before as we entered Baguio City.
After a few hours of taking our time at the strawberry fields and vendor stalls, next was a visit at a temple for some photo ops. We then proceeded back to Session Road for the parade, and as expected, we were too late to see the parade pass through the said street. We had to walk towards the Burnham Park to meet the floats there. Sadly, the crowd was already too thick to get a good position. I'm the type of guy who complains a lot but usually not directly. I just like to plan everything even if its for the following day but prefer to focus on the more important reasons why we are up there during the Panagbenga rather than prioritizing other activities. I just let people know only I was disappointed after everything is over.
Next on the list was a visit at the Good Shepherd where we bought some "pasalubong" like Ube Jam, Strawberry Jam and other sweet delicacies. The queue was average in length but was still non-stop. It would have been less if only all the counters were selling.
I took a stroll of the garden to take some photos while waiting for the others who were still buying our pasalubong for our loved ones. We decided to make it a group purchase so only a few would fall in line while the rest can go around the complex.
OMG! Who even thought of postponing lunch? Apparently, someone decided we are still full from breakfast and took it to herself to delay lunch time so that we can go to a very sensationalized attraction at La Presa. She had the left-over breakfast packed in plastic containers so we could eat them just in case we were hungry but who would like to eat the same set of oily food at the same day? Yuck!
La Presa was the site of the famous teleserye called Forevermore, but all I could say after seeing the actual house is 'Walang Forever." There was nothing really amazing up there but a few rice terraces-like fields, the satellite dishes from a nearby mountain, and the fog. There were so many vendors all the way leading to the end where the Forevermore site was located. Some people were carelessly throwing away their food left-overs, trash, cigarette butts, candy wrappers, etc., everywhere without considering its effects on the environment and natural beauty of La Presa.
The sandwiches from breakfast or the ones braided with Ube never really satisfied me as compared to a rice meal. Thus, all I got was air, and lots of air on our way up to the peak of La Presa. This is probably why I farted a little when my tummy got squeezed at the car. Lol! "Kinabagan na ako dahil walang laman ang tiyan ko kundi puro hangin."
I could feel my hunger as we walked all the way to the Forevermore site. My stomach was complaining a lot. I was trying to voice out to them to eat at the KFC restaurant after we've done seeing the Forevermore site at La Presa, but I guess I was not as loud enough for them to hear.
It's just too bad I was not able to bring a camera due to the fear of damaging my lenses from all the fog. It was too cold and foggy that the camera may just get ruined. However, I also forgot to bring a smartphone so I was not really able to take photos of the actual La Presa site where the teleserye is done.
Thank heaven they decided to stop by at the Cafe in the Sky restaurant. But, if only I knew that would be my last meal for the day, I would have eaten more. The limitation with me is I cannot eat too much in just one seating. I need to take in very few food at a time so I won't get bloated. Also, if the food is not really good, I would eat only a little, but its alright as I can manage until next meal time. Unfortunately, dinner time was again cancelled.
We attempted to go to a drive-thru to order food but burgers and chicken meals from a fast-food chain is not really my type of meal especially when you are asked to eat the junk food in the car. Not very appetizing.
I thought the worst was over. It turns out the night still had room for some unfair treatments when the company driver took it upon himself to only follow who he thought was in charge. He agreed to taking her directly to her home, but when I requested to be given the same privilege, he blurted out a lot of illogical and inconsistent reasons. He probably thought I wouldn't complain but I'm the kind of guy who tells everything online. No sugar-coating, no selective story-telling.
But now I realized I was so grouchy that day because I was so hungry. Skipping meals was not really a great idea. Next time I would insist to dine when appropriate rather than keep it to myself and be cranky for the rest of the day.
Overall, this Baguio trip was not really bad. I keep downgrading the good stuff merely because I really wanted to see the Panagbenga festival in all its glory without the rush factor, and a good spot to take photos, and maybe videos too. The other tourist sites are there to be explored later after the coverage of the main event.