Travel Diary: Lourdes Grotto and SM Baguio

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Last month, our family decided to take a 3-day vacation to escape the scorching heat of the city (it’s your fault, Summer!) and there’s no better place to go to than the Summer Capital of the Philippines –  Baguio City! It is in a province north of the country and because of its high altitude, you can expect a breezier and colder weather. This was not our first time going there, in fact, we’ve been there last 1995 (time flies sooo fast! it’s been 19 years already!)

We left our house at 5 in the morning and my father was the one driving. It is a 6-hour drive from where we live. I don’t remember much from our last visit there but I know for sure that the roads going there are better now.

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One of my favorite things to do while in a road trip is to look at the beautiful scenery that we were passing by. You don’t usually see these kinds of landscapes when you’re living in the city.

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The mountains are literally in cloud 9! LOL!

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A long road at the mountainside

We arrived at our hotel a little before lunch. Because it’s still early to check in, we ate lunch first. Our hotel was located in downtown Baguio so it was near the tourist attractions that we wish to go to. In fact, it is in front of the Burnham Park which we scheduled to visit the second day.

You can see a jeepney terminal in front of the park.

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Half-nature, half-city

We rested for a bit then we went to our first planned destination in the city – the Lourdes Grotto. It is a Catholic Shrine located in a high hill that requires you to climb 252 steps to reach the grotto (I regret the fact that I didn’t have a photo of the stairs. Oh well. #badblogger). Since we brought a car, we only have a few steps remaining to reach the peak (parking issues only, not cheating issues! LOL!).

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It is a quiet place to say your prayers and just meditate with cool breeze surrounding you.

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Tota Pulchra Es Maria means You are all beautiful, Mary

After staying in the grotto, we went to take a look and bought some souvenirs for our friends back home. There were lots of stuff available such as key chains, wallets, ref magnets, T-shirts and their famous Peanut Brittle, Ube Jam and Strawberry Jam.

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Then we’re off to SM Baguio! (For those who don’t know, SM is a chain of malls here in the Philippines.) According to my very reliable source, my father (LOL!), SM Baguio is the only mall in the country that has no aircon. Why? It’s because of this:

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The top floor of the mall has no roof but instead in its place is a giant tent! That’s how the cold air gets in. It’s using a natural air-conditioning system. Cool, right? (pun intended) We had our dinner there then it’s back to the hotel for us. We’re already feeling tired because of half-day traveling and the other half spent on walking and sight-seeing.

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 View from the mall balcony! Pink sky! I LOVE it!

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