Baguio: the Great misAdventure

2 AM -ish arrival in Baguio, Saturday night bled into Sunday morning. Famished as we tried to limit stop overs (quite a feat with Tracey’s extra small bladder). First thing we did? Locate any establishment that’s open for food! 

Good food, huge serving size, value for your money and open 24 hours! What else can you ask for? Their building is old and the parking is to be desired for (garbage is located in the parking lot so you can imagine the smell). Waiters and waitresses can improve on attentiveness and response time otherwise they are okay. The place is very busy, customers leave but are replaced almost immediately by the next batch. And yes, they come in batches. Mostly male. Pet peeve: roaches

Then comes the grueling part… a place to stay. We didn’t have a plan, no reservations either. We had one place in mind, lo and behold! They were fully booked! 

We drove from one place to another, combing entire areas and long streets. We even went as far as going through side streets! Alas! All places are fully booked! So then came the blitz calling as secondary strategy. Googled top 10 – 20 tourist places, called all the numbers as listed, guess what!? Still fully booked. Commonality: they will have available rooms either by 12 noon or 2 PM. It was only 3 or 4 AM, we couldn’t wait that long

By some unfortunate (or fortunate) event, we were supposed to have tried Teacher’s camp but were asked to come back at 7 AM as their admin office is closed until then. My darling companion, Tracey, used waze to look for Teacher’s camp and unwittingly input “house in the middle of the woods” instead. So waze brought us there. As we were trying to figure out what this house in the middle of the woods looked like, we happenstance on South Drive Manor. We were accommodated despite the lack of schedule and the wee hour of the morning. We must’ve looked pitiful eh? 

It’s a cozy little nook right across Teacher’s camp. Staff is friendly, attentive and very accommodating. It was still dark and we were tired so we didn’t really pay attention to what was an obvious work of art of a building! They took us in for about 3k per night. A bit pricey but the place was worth every penny.

Situated within the manor vicinity, limited parking slots but I’d say very safe


And so our adventure is yet to start…

We got ze semi-corner room! Yay!!

It has the old, antique-type feel. Corridors are musky but overall clean It didn’t trigger my asthma so that’s saying a lot. The place is a natural beau.

We got ourselves a two single bed room. More like a hotel set up than an inn. The toilet and bath was really spacey. Old tiles and can be improved by a rug but you won’t see me complaining. More than your usual room commodities, it included a ref, tv with cable, sliding door closet with room for clothes you hang and those you fold. Have I mentioned that the toilet was really spacey? Totally dig that. T&B has built in hot and cold shower, quite hard to mix and match but you’ll eventually get to it

Our room is on the 3rd floor and the patio it came with makes for a very beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, early morn the next day, we woke up to the sound of a motorbike’s motor being tested for repairs, turned out there were people across the street who were cutting down trees! Flabbergasting!!

Refreshing. Relaxing. There is no other term to define this. The cool morning air blends nicely with the warmth of the sun. The room didn’t have an AC but that’s hardly needed in this environment. We found nights very cold and mornings had the perfect temp.

Soft and cushy to the feet. Not steep. I’d say it’s a perfect flight!

This is part of the lobby. We didn’t get to play since we were “pressed” for time

This is to the left of the pic above. Why didn’t I get a panoramic shot? I just thought about that now. Hehe


Lobby pics incoming…

Let’s go back outside, shall we? There are still stuff in the parking which I haven’t shown you…

Right across our manor, we have the secret garden cafe. Wasn’t able to try their food (and coffee) since we’ve been out the entire day, once back, they were already closed. We decided against drinking here because… stairs! We’d be rolling drunks in no time

We’d have to go back and try this


…so far that concludes our stay in South Drive Manor. I might go back to this post and edit if I get to remember more but other related pics will be in my FB page. 

Train to Busan 

Well. Why is train to busan such a hit? Simple. It shows us the nature of men. Humanity’s capacity to both be cruel and kind. Loving and spiteful. Of hope and hopelessness. Of selfishness and greed but also of selflessness and generosity. Which character can you relate with? The tough and loving Sang-hwa? Whose love for his wife and unborn child manifesting, not only in his will to survive but also, in his will for others to survive, with hopes of them protecting his family. 
Or are you the selfish Seok-woo? Unaware of his own selfishness at first, needing his daughter to jolt him to reality by pointing it out. Puts his self interest above everyone else’s but eventually learns that he won’t survive like that. 
Do you see yourself as the innocent Su-an? Still viewing everything with curiosity and wonder, unmarred by this world’s ugliness. Perceiving the world in black and white, with the understanding that only a child can afford. 
Will you be the manipulative Yong-suk? Driven by his desire to survive, he will use others to further his own interest. In the end, he only wanted to see his mother. Regardless of how noble a goal, his strategy to achieve this is unapologetic, inhumane and outright dirty. 
This may be the product of overthinking but the reflection it triggered is more than welcome. 

Prisoners

The past imprisons us

In memories of grandeur

Of lives long gone 

Of lost loves and stature 
The past imprisons us 

In ideals and hopeful wishes 

Of blissful summers

Love letters and sweet kisses
This past that imprisons

Are but memories now

Of old smiles and old pains 

Throbbing echoes somehow 
~aleck solier