Friday, 13 December 2013

Solo Trip to the City of Pines

Hi! How's everyone today? Hope your week was awesome too!

I was supposed to go to Baguio with some friends last Tuesday but there was a change of plans so I was not able to join them. But that's OK. :)

Anyhoo, my vacation leave was already approved so I thought, "Why not go? I go to places by myself, this shouldn't be any different."
So I went.


I left Manila in the wee hours of the morning, about one in the morning. I took the night trip because I was traveling alone and I thought it will be lonely having to sit for eight hours with no one to talk to. Taking the night trip means I can sleep. I just brought a large bottle of water and two big Sour Cream Piattos (my fave ^_^). If you're planning to travel alone as well, always be mindful of your surroundings and your belongings. Wear clothes that do not stand out (Save the trendy clothes when you do your exploring, think cute pictures! LOL!), keep gadgets out of sight especially when you tend to fall asleep during long trips and you should keep change and spread your money on different pockets. ( I kept a thousand peso bill inside the sock I was wearing, -__-" hahaha!)
I rode a Dagupan Bus Liner which according to my tita costs less. They have two stopovers (I missed the first one because I was asleep. boo!)

I wanted to stay at a lodge to fully have the backpacking experience but my tita told me I could stay at their place. That helped because the money that would go to paying a lodge was used to buy souvenirs. Yay! I arrived at a little after eight in the morning. I slept for another two hours at their place to shake off some buslag (jetlag without the jet. Corny, I know. :P)


I wanted a light meal before I start my Dora the Explorer moment so my first stop was a cafe called "Cafe by the Ruins." It's a small cafe near Burnham Park and tucked behind bamboo walls.

The place provided the peace and quiet I needed to escape the whirlwind of call taking. Ambiance was relaxing and the staff was nice (not to mention cute! haha!) 

I ordered the Moroccan Mint Tea and Banana Muffins. They are absolutely wonderful. The tea is served with real mint leaves with honey and lemon on the side. I prefer to add honey to my tea because it adds a sweet flavor to that cool taste. Mmmmm. The banana muffins were serve with jam and butter on the side and were heavenly. I can tell that that they did not scrimp on the ingredients because it did not crumble to tiny bits when I cut it with my fork. Scrumptious and filling. ♥ Drop by when you visit the city. While enjoying the meal, I asked one of the staff if there are any local bookstores around aside from the bookstores in the mall. He told me to head to upper Session Road and look for Hill Station. I thanked them for the yummy treat and headed out.

I wanted to explore the city more so I decided to walk instead of taking a cab. Walking around lets you get to see shops that you might miss if you drove around. It also helps if you have music playing in your ears (always have your earphones and playlist ready, you can never go wrong with an awesome playlist.) I manage to get to Hill Station (Thank you, Google Map!)

When I entered and walked downstairs to ask where the book shop was, the person sitting  by a small table asked me if I'd like to watch a free movie. Free movie? Seriously? When I checked the sign, it said "Cinematheque." Turns out, the small shop shows old Filipino Indie movies for free. Yup. For Free. All you have to do is sign your name on the entrance sheet and you can take your seat. I watched two movies. Hey it's free. LOL. 

After I got my share of Pen Medina, Gabby Concepcion, Lorna Tolentino and Amy Austria, I headed to the bookstore. It's quaint place called "Mt. Cloud Bookshop." As you probably know, I am a huge book junkie. I read just about anything. And this book store has a collection of different books from literature to history, from children's book to old novels. Most them are from local writers, which was very cool. It's a refreshing break from all the international writers and mainstream novels that I read.

They also had a lot of books by Jessica Zafra, a local writer I love so much. She's witty and very funny. They allow you to read the books in the store. They have chairs and bean bags conveniently placed around the shop. I spent a good three hours reading and laughing. I told you I love books. ^_^ Before I left, I bought myself a birthday gift, a small "Little Prince" journal.

It was already dark by the time I left the shop, not to mention cold. I was tempted to ride a cab back home but decided against it. I remember passing an Army~Navy joint before I went to Mt Cloud and decided to eat there. I know what you're thinking, "Why go to a fast food joint when Session Road is screaming all kinds of local restaurants?" I had a good reason. Well, a reason anyway. :)

I wanted a dinner to kick start and represent my adventure tomorrow.
So here is Army~Navy's FREEDOM fries and FEARLESS fried chicken!
The FREEDOM to explore on my own and FEARLESS adventure I'm about to take. ♥



Army~Navy is a fast food joint known for their military design and their food is also named likewise. Their burrito and tacos have choices of beef, pork or chicken and their quesadillas are really cheesy. I ordered the Fearless fried chicken because I like their gravy laced with black pepper and spices. It gives the chicken that nice zing. I'm also gaga for their Freedom Fries. You don't need to dip them in ketchup as they taste good on their own but I especially love them with mayonnaise.  I didn't order any drink but I love their Libertea as well.

Humming Auld Lang Syne (their song for their #joymaker video), I entered Starbucks. Some of the staff smiled when they heard me humming (I can't help humming because I liked that video. Hoho!) I wanted something warm to drink on my way home to fight the sweet cold air. My ammo, White Chocolate Mocha. ♥ 

That pretty much wraps up Day One. :)

BTW, thanks for dropping by today.
Day Two will be up soon. 

Lots of love,
Sammy ♥

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