Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Part1: Baguio Flower Festival 2011 Day1 - The Panagbenga Experience

It was end of last year when we decided to visit the yearly festival in Baguio for February 2011.  We knew that there will be lot of locals and tourists who are going to watch the grand street parade and grand float parade, so as early as December, I've been getting information about it.



Things to remember:

It is important to buy your bus tickets one month before the grand street and float parade, and reserve your hotel accomodations as early as December to January. Of course the best location of your hotel is along or near session road where the parade will pass by.  Also, expect a higher room rates of accomodation during the festival.

Transportation to Baguio

We head to the Victory Liner terminal in Calooocan at around 1030pm to prepare for our 1130pm scheduled bus bound to Baguio.  There are lots of chance passengers hoping for extra seats so to avoid the stress, make sure you bought your tickets in advance.


Victory Liner
Manila to Baguio - Php 430.00/head one-way - normal aircon bus

As soon as we arrived in Victory Liner in Baguio around 5am, we head to the ticketing booth to buy our bus tickets going back to Manila. The line was heavy as there were lots of tourists thinking the same way.  It took us 1hour and 15 minutes to finish buying tickets going home.  They have a manual process, one counter still checks and go to other counter if they have available seats et al.  I just wished they could have a system to help them in this course. You can only buy tickets Baguio-Cubao/Pasay in Baguio. I think it would be much easier if anyone can buy tickets to any terminal to avoid the long lines, therefore an organized process on their part.


Victory Liner is at the upper part of the session road.  Due to Panagbenga, the road is closed from 6am to 10am so everyone is just walking and looking for a perfect spot to watch and take pictures. Our plan is to check-in on our transient house at noon after the Grand Street Parade.

The Grand Street Parade

We decided to stay just below SM Baguio located at the upper session road. Why is it convenient for me? The people gets too crowded as early as 6-7am even though the parade starts at 8-9am.  With this line, we will be one of the earliest person to watch the parade, plus we didn't have to wait too long compare to those at the end of the road. But if you really want to watch the whole scene. go to the Panaad Stadium as the Street Parade contest can be watched there (after the parade). Stadium is near Burnham Park.

The parade starts with the officials walking down the street.  As soon as the kids came into the floor, the hype and vibe was so wonderful that i truly enjoyed it.  Kudos to all talented students of Baguio who participated in this big event! I salute all participants (some of them came from  nearby provinces as well) for all the hardships to make the Panagbenga Festival memorable for everyone. :)

What Happens Next?

It's a bit hard to tour Baguio City during Panagbenga without your own vehicle, so we just picked some places that we wanted to see.

Baguio Cathedral

After the parade, we wait until the mall opened to eat for our early lunch.  It's too early to check in on our reserved room so we decided to walk along the session road and visit the Baguio Cathedral.


It's really hard to take a cab during the festival, it took us one hour before we could have one so it's best if you have your own car to tour around, expect heavy traffic and parking on different places here. 

North Pine Transient House

Our first plan is to booked from La Brea Inn which is one of the cheapest room rate along session road, but it didn't push through as they required  minimum of 2 nights stay during Panagbenga while we're only here just for a night. 

We stayed at North Pine Transient House near Camp John Hay, 5-10minutes away from session road.  It is recommended if you have vehicles with you.  This is far from the city proper so somehow it's not recommended during Panagbenga since getting a taxi is hard during the festival. But if you only want a place to stay for a cheap price and it's not during the festival/holidays, this is good.  The place is quiet, the view is stunning and the room is beautifully furnished.  We always take a cab getting there (taxi fare is less Php 50.00 from SM Baguio), but we used to ride jeepneys with signage 'Plaza' when going back to session road/Burnham Park as it passes by along the way. 



North Pine Transient House
Scout Barrio
http://baguioresthouses.multiply.com/
Better choose Transient 1 in their website, as this is the nearest from the road. 
Contact Person: Mona/Janet
Php550/room (even during Panagbenga, rate doesn't increase)
queen size bed, with private cr, & cable tv
Check in time: 12pm
Check out time: 12pm the next day
Contact Numbers: +639189354080 / 0743052511

Burnham Park

We took a quick nap then proceed to Burnham Park and see what it has to offer today.  I've been to Baguio few times already but this is one of the most visited place as it is located strategically at the heart of Baguio City.  The place is crowded and you'll enjoy food trip too.  St. Bernard dog is also here at that time if you want to take pictures with it. (Php 20 - 1 shot, Php 50 - 3 shots).




Bell Church

Next stop is at bell church.  A Taoist church located in between Baguio City and La Trinidad,  Benguet.  We just took a cab from Burnham Park with taxi fare of  Php50.00.  It's my first time to visit this temple and gladly enjoyed it.  We saw kids here who were practicing probably for an event.




You may want to check these too:
Part2: Baguio Flower Festival 2011 Day2 - Panagbenga's Grand Float Parade
Complete 2D/1N Itinerary During Baguio's Flower Festival Panagbenga 2011



26 comments:

JeffZ said...

I love the shot of the hat with the pink lining. :D I was there at the moment and we've gone to (almost) the same places.. :)

North Pine's rates are very affordable!

Pinoy Adventurista said...

great shots!!! thanks for sharing your experiences with us!!! I can't wait to read your next trip! Meron na ba? Saan? Hehehe!!! excited ako... hahaha!!!

Chyng said...

i like the place where you stayed. lucky you for booking that kahit super peak season! (my friends stayed out, wait listed sila on almost all the hotels and aguesthouses!) haha

anyway, loser me! i have never attended any festival in pinas.. =(

Pinoy Boy Journals said...

ganda ng photos!!! but... ang daming tao! Grabe!!! di ko kaya ganyan! he he

cagayan de oro jobs said...

Panagbenga!! I missed the festival! grrr..

Ian said...

North Transient has beautiful furnishings and it looks new... a good room to stay for travelers to Baguio.

adventurousfeet said...

@jeffz

thanks! yeah northvpines is really affordable despite the festival

adventurousfeet said...

@pinoy adventurista

may part 2 pa to.. di pa kasi ko makapgpost agad, been busy at work :(

adventurousfeet said...

@chyng

aw! too bad for them, siguro magprepare nalang sila ng mabuti for next year. It's my first festival, it's never too late :) thanks for dropping by!

adventurousfeet said...

@pinoy boy journals

thanks! yeah mahirap sumiksik super crowded, but it was indeed a nice experience :)

adventurousfeet said...

@cagayan de oro jobs

there's always next year naman po :)

adventurousfeet said...

@ian

yup, seems new pa nga and mura na din siya

lakwatsera de primera said...

nice post, Panagbenga is my first ever festival, well aside from Ibalong Festival back in high school, kelan na ang part II?

adventurousfeet said...

cool, ako din its my first. posted na part 2 sorry natagalan :)

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

ako din 1st ever festival ko yan (2009). too bad d ako nakapunta ths year. :(
thnx for sharing that transient house. mejo mura xa compared sa mga hotels. dorm style yung tinutuluyan ko pagnagagawe sa Baguio, mas mura, pero d kagandahan. hehe

adventurousfeet said...

@thepinaysolobackpacker

ok lang yun, mas tipid nga mas ok sakin hehe!

Anonymous said...

INFORMATIVE

adventurousfeet said...

@anonymous

thanks!

Joy said...

That was a very nice festival. I was able to watch it when we visited Baguio during our vacation. Really cool! I hope I could see it again.

adventurousfeet said...

yeah, the festival was great!

cagayan de oro jobs said...

I would just like to compliment the photos. They are really nice. Did you take all of those? They're the first things that grab my attention. Nice :)

adventurousfeet said...

thanks cagayan de oro jobs. yup i took those photos

Jen Semilla said...

you have a perfect spot. where is it specifically?

adventurousfeet said...

hi jen! We were located fronting SM Baguio

crismich said...

thanks for sharing...buti nalang nakita ko toh agad..hehehe very good advertising for North Pine..just reserved today.=)

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

miss ko na northpine! ang ganda jan no? :)

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