Because the rainy season is the lean season, travelers can have the feeling of having the city all to themselves. There are no long taxi lines, no heavy traffic in the usual tourist spots, and not too many people to bump into while walking along Session Road or even in Burnham Park. This has become a rare luxury even to Baguio residents themselves, when out-of-towners do not flock to the city.
You can go to The Manor at Camp John Hay for an evening entertainment (Photo courtesy of The Manor)
Beyond the usual touristy activities that are better done during summer, there are other ways to spend a rainy day in the city. Because there are not as many tourists in the streets, a leisurely stroll is possible. In Camp John Hay, you can cap your morning stroll with a cup of coffee and breakfast. Depending on your budget, you can go to Mr. Beans at the Commissary, or Starbucks near the golf course in Camp John Hay, or even the coffee shop or piano bar at The Manor.
For vegetarians, you can try Oh My Gulay who serves brewed coffee and tea to warm you up. (Photo courtesy of Bryant Sia)
If you are more adventurous, Session Road has more to offer in terms of food and things to do and see. Whether you walk down or up along Session Road, you can enjoy different types of coffee with the many coffee houses in the central business district. Local coffee shops to try include Ebay’s in upper Session near the post office and those at the Ili-likha Artist Village along Assumption Road. Oh My Gulay, the vegetarian restaurant on the top floor of La Azotea building along Session Road serves organic coffee and tea. The smaller Azotea Greens on the basement of the same building also has local brewed coffee and tea.
Cafe by the Ruins serves real hot chocolate made from pure tablea.
If you have not been to one of Baguio’s must-see places, Café By The Ruins, this is the best time to go. They now have two branches, the original one near the City Hall and Café By The Ruins Dua, which is found along Upper Session Road, right next to Mario’s Restaurant. Aside from coffee, they also bake their own bread like kamote bread, basil bread, and potato onion bread which are good to have with their herbed liver pate, fish roe pate, herb cheese, kesong puti and basil, or simply jam and butter. They also have real hot chocolate made from pure tablea.
In terms of food to keep you warm after a walk, you can go for the quintessential mami (chicken, beef, or wanton) that you can get at Luisa’s Cafe or 456 Restaurant, both along Session Road. For those who love spicy food, Japanese ramen or Korean noodles are available at Hodori Restaurant, located along Mabini Street.
The other good news about having the city all to yourself is that shopping can be a breeze. Ukay-ukay or wagwag shops are many, especially in Bayanihan Building, which is near Burnham Park. If you want to shop while enjoying the cold evening breeze, go to the Night Market along Harrison Road. One side of the road is closed off starting 9:00 PM so that vendors could set up their wares. There are new items for sale, but most are second-hand items that range from shoes and clothes. Consider bringing a flashlight, so you can clearly see the items you get interested in. Check for damages or missing parts.