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  1. #1
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    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020

    Hi all! Prior to the lockdowns/ community quarantines, the BF and I had some leave credits and we decided to take a short trip north. This was done in the first week of March. There were already lots of COVID cases in China & S Korea, but that time only 3 confirmed cases in PI. It remained that way for several weeks - turned out that there was a shortage of test kits.

    Anyway, I'm glad we made the trip - we were both very busy the days prior, so the holiday was a welcome break. We were both able to return to work hale and hearty, thankfully. The weekend after, there was a lockdown in Metro Manila and a few days after, in the whole of Luzon island. Some provinces/ islands in the country also made their own lockdowns.

    Anyway (again), I hope this thread will give some cheer during these lockdown days. Pics on next post.

  2. #2
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    katie23's Avatar
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    We decided to travel north slowly, so the first stop was Angeles City (Dau bus station). We dropped off our stuff, then had a Jolli (bee) lunch. He had burger & fries, I had this.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-fb_img_1583714827628-jpg
    ^warning: don't eat the spaghetti if you're not Filipino!

    Our room was located near the American Legion place.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_124420-jpg

    Along that street, there were several apartment complexes which looked like Airbnb type rentals. Probably for expats or retirees. Towards the end of that street, there was a group of apartments occupied by locals, and some "working girls" outside - it was their dorm or apartment. It was around lunchtime, so they weren't in their night attire. Sorry, no pics, as I wasn't comfortable taking them.

    What I also noticed was that the houses/ apartments had their gates topped with spiky metal or barbed wire - seems there's a lot of crime there. That street was ~10 minutes walk from Walking Street.
    Last edited by katie23; 21-03-2020 at 09:29 AM.

  3. #3
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    In Angeles, there are many Koreans & K-owned supermarkets. I wanted to try my hand in making Japchae / Chapchae, so we went in search of noodles. Found this at JJ Supermarket in Walking Street, which is Korean owned I think.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200321_103520-jpg

    @bettyboo - did I get the right noodles for Japchae? My local supermarket doesn't have this.

  4. #4
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    Walking Street, Angeles City. It was my first time there, and it was... interesting.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-fb_img_1583564594121-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-fb_img_1583564619934-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-fb_img_1583564606471-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-fb_img_1583565039294-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_184931-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_184905-jpg

    Along that road, there are many bars, clubs and restos. Relatively few tourists/ (s) expats, bcos of COVID. Most of the restos (esp the Korean BBQ ones) had only 1 or 2 tables occupied. At present, the establishments are closed due to the lockdown.

    Note: some pics are from his camera

    Sorry for the small pics /thumbnails. I'm posting from phone & my Internet isn't too good, so can't be assed to do the uploading pic thingy.

    If someone reposts the pics or quotes them, thank you very much.
    Last edited by katie23; 21-03-2020 at 11:05 AM.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    The digs in Angeles.

    It was an apartment type room. Small but adequate, around 900 pesos or 17 usd (1 usd = 51 pesos). It was our cheapest room for the entire trip. I prefer apartments so that we can cook (if we want to), since we're not Dillionaires.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_141928-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_141959-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_142012-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200302_085158-jpg
    ^apartment complex exterior

  6. #6
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    Dinner at a family owned Korean resto on Walking Street - it was good!

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_204658-jpg

    Spicy noodle dish
    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_195859-jpg

    Pork, squid & vegs
    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_195226-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_194755-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200301_194136-jpg

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
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    Next day, we travelled to Baguio City via Victory Liner bus. Not much pics of that day - it was a travel day. Baguio, since it's in high elevation, was blessedly cool, 20-24 degrees versus 30 degrees in Angeles & Manila.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200302_091324-jpg


    Dinner at a steak house. Not good - meat was tough.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200302_181940-jpg

    Good thing the tokwa at baboy (tofu & pork) dish was OK

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200302_181950-jpg

    Eurotel Hotel - not worth it for the price of 2,500 pesos, IMO. Location was good (near Burnham Park & restos) but room was bleh. Still, it was only for a night, so it was OK.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200302_160341-jpg

    Breakfast was OK too

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_062359-jpg
    ^needed a heavy breakfast for the 6-hour journey to Sagada

  8. #8
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    I have been to Baguio several times, but this was only my 2nd trip to Sagada. My last trip was in May 2016, wherein I went with a girl friend/ colleague.

    Sagada is a small town in the province called Mountain Province. Benguet, Mt. Province, Abra, Kalinga and Apayao are the provinces that belong to the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). There are many hill tribes in this region, which were largely left alone & uncolonized during the Spanish colonial period. In the 1900s, the Americans sent missionaries, engineers, etc and the hill tribes came in contact with Westerners. I made a thread about my former Sagada visit.

    For this visit, I was interested in the changes after four years. Sagada is famous for its Hanging Coffins. It wasn't famous among tourists, but in Feb 2015 it was used as one of the locations in a local indie film which became a hit. After seeing the beauty of Sagada, more ppl from Manila started going there, especially during weekends. There are tour groups (for joiners) that transport people in minivans direct from Manila, usually during Friday evenings.

    We went to the GL Liner bus station and were able to catch the 0900 H bus to Sagada. One way bus ticket was Php 230 (?), no A/C - open the windows, the air is cool.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_072921-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_072926-jpg

    At the 7/11, we noticed a promo for Soju. Both us us were fond of flavored soju, so it was a win!

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_074610-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_073321-jpg

    Edit: here's my past Sagada thread

    Sagada Adventure 2016

  9. #9
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    Baguio city is chock full of people & houses, so in most places you can't see the trees or mountains anymore. Still, it's only around 5 hours from Manila (at night), so it's a good weekend escape if one wants cooler climes.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200306_154541-jpg

    First toilet break/ stopover in the 6-hour bus ride


    My friend, the Hulk, was still there
    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_130613-jpg

    Petrol prices
    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_130617-jpg

    I had to look for Spidey, as he was hidden by new stores
    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_130707-jpg

    Spidey was now hidden in a corner
    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_130756-jpg

    The views were still great

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_130740-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_130747-jpg

    More pics later...

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Baguio city is chock full of people & houses, so in most places you can't see the trees or mountains anymore. Still, it's only around 5 hours from Manila (at night), so it's a good weekend escape if one wants cooler climes.




    Petrol prices



    More pics later...
    Baguio city looks an interesting place. How on Earth to you get to those houses at the back?

    Colours are fun.

    ---

    Unusual to see the diesel price lower than the Petrol (gas) price if I'm reading the board correctly?

    What was the price to use the 'comfort room'?

    ---

    I was going to make the images larger but, it's easy enough to see them in all their glory by clicking one image and doing the 'next photo' dance.

    ---

    Great trip report ... keep the pics and stories coming please.

    ---

    BTW, I was looking to see what Caltex's Silver was and came across this site.

    Why Caltex sells just 3 kinds of fuel

    Scroll down and it had some direct Phillie info.
    “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”

  11. #11
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    Fields Avenue 'aye? What sort of a PERVERT are you!

    Very different reports and pics coming out of there now, full lockdown and it's completely deserted. Probably a good thing that you got a little travel in earlier this month, you could not do the same trip now.

  12. #12
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    Angeles is probably the worst place I've been to in Asia although I did manage to nail 5 birds in less than 12 hours, so it wasn't all bad.

  13. #13
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    @headworx - yes, most establishments are closed now in the whole of Luzon, except for food, hospitals, pharmacies. If interested in the lockdown of Angeles city, check out the vids of Philly in the Philippines (retired US guy/ Filipina wife) - they live in Angeles.

    @David48 - that toilet was relatively cheaper than others! Only 3 pesos for a pee, in most cases, it's 5 pesos. Re: petrol prices, yes the one on top is for diesel, the 2 others are for gasoline. Caltex (California Texas Oil) is owned by Chevron (US). The big oil players here are Caltex, Shell, Total and Petron. Petron is owned by San Miguel Corp (the beer maker, among other things). Re: houses in Baguio, they get to the houses at the back via good old fashioned walking! People there are mointain goats bcos it's all hilly.

    @hallelujah - it felt a bit odd strolling along that Walking Street, seeing all the working girls - there were more girls than clients, bcos of COVID. Now, they probably went home to the provinces prior to the lockdown. I'm not keen to return to Angeles, unless it's to shop in the Korean marts or eat K-food.

  14. #14
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    I'm not keen to return to Angeles,
    It's the one place on your itinerary that I skipped.

    Sagada was extremely quiet when I was there. Admittedly it was in low season.

    I was only in Baguio for a few hours but it seemed pretty cool in every sense. Lots of uni students. The winding hillside ride down from Sagada was a bit hair raising.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
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    Some scenes in Sagada - it's a small mountain town. There are no large hotels, it's all family owned inns/ hostels. Most have have free wifi.

    In 2016, most tourists were either Filipinos or young white backpackers. This year, I saw more elderly groups. There was even a couple of French women (in their 60s?) who were eating in the same canteen with us. The canteen was in the basement of the building near the tourism office.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200305_113039-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200305_164453-jpg
    ^group of western non-millenial tourists
    Last edited by katie23; 23-03-2020 at 10:34 AM.

  16. #16
    I'm in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    I was only in Baguio for a few hours but it seemed pretty cool in every sense. Lots of uni students
    My my. Are we to expext a Punty/Luigi/YD-esque thread soon?

    Nice pics Katie

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
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    Because of internet limitations, I can't seem to attach many pics on one post, so pls bear with me.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200305_112556-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200305_114326-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200305_113120-jpg
    ^lots of construction for new inns
    Last edited by katie23; 23-03-2020 at 10:44 AM.

  18. #18
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    @cyrille - Sagada was also fairly quiet when we were there, but then we went on weekdays, so the usual weekend crowds from Manila were avoided.

    The tour guides, inns, restos there must all be suffering because of this lockdown. And it's not just here in PI, it's worldwide. Still, we must cooperate to "flatten the curve". Sigh...

    @Dill - lol. That would be a fun read!

  19. #19
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    My my. Are we to expext a Punty/Luigi/YD-esque thread soon?
    I'm sure you'd prefer one from hal showing how he 'nailed' five women in twelve hours and still considers Angeles to be the worst place he's ever been in Asia.

  20. #20
    I'm in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    I'm sure you'd prefer one from hal showing how he 'nailed' five women in twelve hours and still considers Angeles to be the worst place he's ever been in Asia
    He caught a dose I reckon or the last one had a proper Johnson .

    Your last two posts; the piccies haven't uploaded Katie.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
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    From Metro Manila, one can get to Sagada directly via O/N bus. Visit Genesis Transport for details - I think its 10-12 hours, 3 seats per row (reclining) and ~900 pesos or 18 usd.

    One can also go on O/N bus to Baguio (5 H, Victory Liner) then travel 6H to Sagada during the day. First trip is 5:30 or 6 am, I think, via GL Liner.

    There are also minivans - I saw a group of 6 foreigners alight from a minivan, carrying wheeled cases.

    Sagada is more of a backpacker destination and it's a simple town, no 4-5 star facilities. Great for hiking, caving, or just chill & enjoy the cool temps. When we were there, temps were 16-24 degrees C. IMO, it's not advisable to bring wheeled cases since it's hilly and inns/ guesthouses don't have elevators. Most of the tourists I saw (local & foreign) were relatively fit.

    We didn't roam a lot in Sagada, just mostly chilled. I got ill on the next day and I self-isolated. Probably due to fatigue of the past week. At times, I thought I had the dreaded C-virus. The BF had a bad knee (injured it a week prior), so we weren't exactky the fittest at that time.

    Bus schedules. From Sagada, one can go to Banaue & Batad to see more rice terraces. Fun fact - the last scene of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity Wars - those rice terraces were of Banaue.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_154410-jpg

    Late lunch - we arrived past 3pm

    His
    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_151525-jpg

    Hers
    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200303_151501-jpg
    Last edited by katie23; 23-03-2020 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Problem loading pics

  22. #22
    I'm in Jail

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    ^ When you see that 'ATTACHMENT and numbers' appear in the upload box instead of the url, it means they haven't uploaded

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat
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    ^I'll fix the links, ta. Net problems. Prolly many students doing online lessons.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat
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    After a day of my self-isolation, we went for a walk. Our digs were located along South Road, so we just walked farther along that road. I wanted to see the Hanging Coffins. We reached the junction of Sumaguing Cave, then stopped & turned back. The BF's knee was acting up, and I felt a bit weak too, due to the mild flu-like illness of the day before.

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200305_115155-jpg

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200305_114301-jpg
    ^my digs in 2016 was near this place

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200305_114600-jpg
    ^my old digs was in that direction. Before, it was just a foot path. Now, there's a concrete road

  25. #25
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    Thanks for all the greets and greens - you know who you are.

    More Sagada pics

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200305_114511-jpg
    ^more guesthouse construction

    Short trip: Angeles, Baguio & Sagada March 2020-img_20200305_114514-jpg
    ^part of South road

    I'll only put 2 or 3 pics per post due to 'net limitations...

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