Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Family fun in Baguio City

After almost two decades, Vince and I went back to where our love story started—in Baguio City! We met at the UP National Writers Workshop. He and I were fellows for short fiction. By the end of the two-week workshop, we were in love. Eight years later, we got married. Eighteen years later, we have three beautiful boys and, yes, we're still writing. We have the most beautiful life!

I thank God every day for this life because I honestly didn't think I'd ever love marriage and motherhood and I never believed I could make a living out of writing. But I did it all anyway! I treasure my blessings. We may not be swimming in money (one day, one day!) and we could use someone to help us with the chores so we won't be so exhausted all the time, but what's that compared to enjoying my family and my work every day? Okay, maybe it's not so amazing every day haha, but at the end of the day, I still know that life is glorious and I shouldn't take it for granted.

Thank you, dearest Lord. I am so grateful! You are good always.

One of the best things that happened lately is our family vacation in Baguio. We decided to go celebrate it there, this time with the boys. We honestly didn't think it was a good idea because our sons are super magulo in the car but we had such a great time! I'll just do a photo essay today and add more stories through the week.

We stayed at Le Monet Hotel. It was okay. Nothing to write home about. But we got a really good deal, and it was in Camp John Hay, and the staff was so polite and nice, and we did enjoy the view!

Lots of birds always outside our window. Vince took lotsa photos of the birds. He always does that when we're on vacation.

Also outside our balcony were horses. Which meant the cool mountain air was redolent of horse poop aroma! My kids thought it was horrible but Vince and I didn't mind. It added an element of freshness to the atmosphere haha

Kids posing for Mama's Instagram...

... and for Papa's real camera.

Foggy Baguio mornings. Takes me back to those magical weeks when Vince and I fell in love!

And look at this adorableness that our love produced!

The kids at the hotel breakfast buffet. We went there just after Easter hence that golden egg on our table.

Happy baby Piero!

After breakfast, we went to Burnham Park to go biking. I've always wanted to do this when I was a kid. So happy I was able to do this with my own family. We had such a great time!

Fun balloons for just P50! The boys loved their balloons!

Even though Baguio is a cool place, all our biking, walking and running made us hot. It's a good thing ice cream was available everywhere.

As a kid, I've also always wanted to go boating in Burnham Park! But we never did huhu so I was so thrilled that Vince and I were able to take our kids on the lake. Vince actually didn't want to because it was the touristy thing to do but I don't care! It's on my Baguio bucket list. Check! And—despite the boys' faces haha—we had fun!

I'll post more photos this week of our touristy Burnham Park day!

After lunch and a rest, we went hiking on the Eco Trail. That was a looooooong walk. Well, actually, it's just 2 kilometers but because there were lots of climbing and clambering, it felt longer. This was such an adventure. We loved it!

I'll post more photos and a review of the Eco Trail this week. Have lots of advice for families bringing small kids.

For dinner, we went to the critically acclaimed Amare la Cucina. Here's Iñigo watching our pizza being baked in the brick oven. Everyone said Amare served the best pizza in Baguio. As we are a family of pizza lovers, we highly doubted this, especially when we saw the dark and unappealing decor of the restaurant. But, guys. They really truly do serve the BEST PIZZA. Like, kailangan niyo siyang puntahan. Like, I wish they'd open a branch in Manila, specifically right outside my door. Their pizza and their other food like the baked ribs was AMAZING.

Before we went back to our hotel, we stopped by Choco-Late de Batirol for some hot cocoa. They served really good and thick cocoa. My kids—used to Swiss Miss and Milo—were surprised. They didn't like it, which made me sad. Must serve them real hot chocolate drinks from now on!

But that didn't stop Piero from eating the generous topping of marshmallows!

The next day, April 18, was our anniversary! But before we celebrated it with a special luncg, we went to Good Shepherd to buy goodies because Piero loves ube. His pediatrician said he was like an old person haha

For lunch, we went to Vanilla Cupcake Bakery at Kamiseta Hotel. Here we are at the receiving room of Kamiseta Hotel. The hotel was a delight. The food was delicious! And my kids were not up for photos hahahaha

But they were certainly up for cupcakes! Here's Vito and Iñigo waiting for their dessert. I'll blog about our excellent meal this week!

I just really want to share with you this blessing because we honestly didn't think it was going to happen (we had no money haha) but I asked God to make this particular anniversary extra special and within a week of praying that, I found a great deal on Deal Grocer that not only had a hotel in a great location but also allowed for 3 months' instalment! And then when Kamiseta found out we were going to Baguio, they offered us a free meal at their hotel. And then just before our trip, our checks were released and cleared so that we had money for our vacation and for tuition! God is good!

For more of our Baguio adventures, check out:


  1. was reading your Bikes, boats and balloons in Burnham Park
    entry & was envious when I saw your boys holding their balloons. I always envy women with adorbs sons..all I wanted and prayed for was to have 2 sons/twins...it might happen in another lifetime..haha.. but when I saw reading your Family fun in Baguio City
    entry and saw your words...”We have the most beautiful life!” I felt better. I now that me too. Has a very beautiful life... belated happy anniversary! Wishing you more blessings and checks to come! Hahaha ^^ ~ anndbi

  2. Haha thanks! I want lots of big checks!!!

    All of us are blessed. Sometimes it's hard to see it when we see others have more than we do. But blessings come in God's time. We get what we need, we get what we worked hard for, and sometimes we get more than we deserve! My attitude is always gratitude and then God gives me more. He is good.

    I wish you all the desires of your heart in THIS lifetime! :)

    1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ^^

  3. I enjoyed reading this entry. It makes me want to go to Baguio with my family. Last time I was there I was just probably six years old. I have always wanted to ride bikes at parks, too. Is Kamiseta hotel more expensive than the one you stayed at? That hotel is intriguing, but my hubby said it's too girly. Haha!

    1. Kami rin tagal na! Last we were there was 1999 and we just never thought of going back until this year =) Kamiseta Hotel is so affordable! But, yes, my sons were a little weirded out sa rooms. Parang naramdaman nila na hindi sila makakapaglaro hahaha


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