Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baguio Ukay2, Hotel Supreme, Mines View

On our first night in Baguio during our cooperative seminar, we went to the area's famous ukay-ukay (second hand flea market) after our dinner. We strolled first along Session Road, and visited the cathedral, just to kill time since the street market starts at around 9:00 pm.

The ukay-ukay occupied half the whole stretch of Harrison Road, just outside Burnham Park and parallel to Session Road. There are lots of local tourists looking for good finds, mostly used clothings, as well as knock offs or fake products. 

Branded items (Columbia, North face, etc.) costs at least 5 times more than the unpopular brands. There are also used shoes like Merrell, but with damages if scrutinized, so they are still expensive even at less than half the original price. I was lucky to buy a 2-in-1 jacket with removable inner fleece part for only Php 150. :)

Here's a shot of the flea market from an overpass at the end of the road. The large crowd resembles a rally or mass demonstration from afar.

After a dayhike earlier and squeezing our way into the ukay crowd, we deserve some pampering. RS and I decided to try the Sparadise, for a serious massage that starts at Php 250 per 1 hour session. This is one of my best massage experience at very reasonable price.

Our group was billeted at Hotel Supreme along Magsaysay avenue, leading to La Trinidad town. The lobby is spacious enough, with free wifi internet there, but not on the guestfloors.

Food here is just average, as well as their quality of service.

The rooms assigned to us can accommodate 4 persons, clean and good enough, despite the absence of aircon units.

Left side of the photo below was taken from their blue-tinted glass elevator, facing Magsaysay Avenue, and the older building of the hotel across. The right side photo shows the view from our room's window, a hillside with houses.

The following day after our seminar, we went to Good Shepherd to buy their famous ube (yam) jam and other specialties. Its just walking distance from Mines View Park, so we proceeded there as well.

On the left side of the park's entrance is a big store selling wood carvings and local handicrafts.

The displayed goods are really nice, exuding with native ambience, so its hard to resist taking pictures. Well they allow tourists to take photos, and there's a bowl for donations beside the registration book, where visitors are asked to sign.

Mines View Park is still nice, but the green scenery is competing with the roofs of the houses below. Aside from the many shops that sprouted in the area, there are more St. Bernard dogs for photo shoots, joined by white horses with colored pink mane hair.

The park and whole Baguio City is an example of how a supposedly mountain retreat place could be a victim of commercialization. Somehow, it is loosing its appeal as a leisure and relaxation hideaway. :(
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