after my midnight walk on Session, i slept really well that i woke up around 8am. not too good because i had planned to go to more places that morning. i went to the hotel cafe for breakfast, which was not a blockbuster. the milk for the cereal was a bit sour. the embotido was burnt. i guess i did not enjoy the free breakfast. at all. after that, i just stayed at my hotel room to blog about the previous days. i finished right about 12 noon.
i arrived at Tam-awan Village by 12:30pm. it only cost me 80 pesos from the hotel. based on what i saw on the net, i expected the place to be big and full of natives. but it was not. it was like a makeship village with art galleries and hike trails. don't get me wrong, because after the initial dismay, i actually loved my stay there. i was greeted by a receptionist and had to pay 50 pesos for my stay there. i was given a map and a bookmark. knowing me, i didn't use the map at all. i just let my feet take me where they wanted me to go. and they were really tired.
i walked up a steep flight of stairs made of stone and at the top was a gallery of paintings and artsy stuff that can be bought. beside the gallery were stores for pasalubong. thinking that i was on a tight budget, i did not buy any.
i reached the cafe, and there was a table full of noisy guests so i avoided that. it was raining when i arrived so the steps were really slippery. the bamboo stilts and handrails were also mossy, so you must wonder how a maarte person like me was able to stay there for more than an hour. the first steps and makeshift bridges were okay. it was the upper trail that was really a challenge for me. i did not notice how high i already was that when it rained, i settled at a hut that seemed like a resting place, and in a few moments, i was among the clouds.
i took this time to pray, thank the Lord for letting it rain. my plan was to just take pictures and leave. but the rain made me stay a bit more and breathe what must have been the freshest of air. suddenly i forgot about the insects that were feasting on my legs (yeah, do not wear shorts and use sturdy flip flops/shoes). it was cold, what with the rain and the fog, but i felt warm inside. after 20 minutes, when the cold was too much for me to handle, i whispered "Lord, please let the rain stop. like, right now" (with a smile, of course). after a few minutes, i left the place. Tam-awan Village is a miniature of what the natives would have lived in. it was fun to see idols planted around the place. there was the hut for reproductively challenged couples. there was also a place for bonfires, with stone chairs surrounding it. a tour guide must have been really helpful, but there were so little to see about the culture. the hiking part that i did not expect made me appreciate the place more.
with all that climbing i did, i was hungry. this time, i made sure i went to 50's Diner, which cost me 91 pesos coming from Tam-awan Village. true to its name, it was a diner. the look, the feel, the music, the posters, the uniforms of the servers, etc. i ordered Guys on the Hood (no, it's not what you think), which had a slab of porkchop, fried chicken leg, fries, pizza, spaghetti and mixed veggies. boy it was one heck of a meal! good: well-done porkchop, crispy chicken skin, sweet sauced spag, big slices of fries. bad: the pizza was just a slice of bread with cheese and tomato sauce on top. also, the Boo-boo's Special (four seasons) was too sweet, i had to take a couple of gulps and put more water in my glass. the whole meal was less than 200 pesos. i should come back.
after carbo loading, i felt it was appropriate to walk some more, so i headed to Camp John Hay. from 50's Diner, it cost me 61 pesos for the cab ride. the first place i went to was the Cemetery of Negativism (oh, there's a 50-peso fee) and just passed by the Filling Station. i have gone there two years ago anyway. i took pictures of each tomb, and it made me sad that some of the sculptures have been broken, and the tombs are only maintained by re-painting from time to time. i also took pictures of flowers, the totem pole and the huge sunflower that was their symbol for the Panagbenga Festival.
the next place i visited was the Bell Ampitheater, which was like a circular garden with steps surrounded by different, colorful flowers and the steps would lead to a small stage in the center. i didn't know what got over me, but a few feet away from the stage, i started to cry. to make it more dramatic, it rained. i took this time to talk to God again, and made a pact with Him. if it was His will for an event to happen in my life, i wanted that to take place in this beautiful garden. i was stuck in the garden for a few more minutes because of the rain. when the rain stopped, i had to walk for a few minutes before i was able to get a cab that would take me to Starbucks.
yes, the Starbucks inside Camp John Hay is my most favorite ever. it has a wooden ramp that leads to the front door, but the interior makes it lose its cabin feel. i suggest that they build a fireplace inside, real or not. after my stay there, i had to walk a lot. it was difficult getting a cab anywhere! i started walking from Starbucks, and got a cab near Filling Station. that was not fun at all because it was raining. anyway, i wanted to experience nature, so there. i got what i wanted.
i went straight to my hotel. rested for a bit then went to SM Baguio because i was craving for sizzling stuff. i got tenderloin tips. so-so. stayed at Starbucks (again) then went home. i had a hard time sleeping that night. by 2am, i had to go back to KFC to eat. i think i slelpt around 4am, and woke up an hour after to get to the 6am bus.
and next time, i should ask the route for the buses. because i could've paid less had i gotten off Quezon Ave. i thought after Cubao would be Sampaloc so i got off Galleria and took a cab to get home. i slept almost the whole trip. i've seen the views anyway. and i needed sleep.
when i got home, i was so hungry. good thing there were a lot of food. i wasn't able to hang out with everyone anyway, i was too tired.