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My Baguio-Nueva Ecija Trip: How The Last Weeks Of My December 2018 Went (A Super Late Post)

December 15 – 19, 2018

Going to Baguio City after like… 18 years?; and to Nueva Ecija was one of the most unforgettable and fun things I did with my roommates unexpectedly.


If only I knew we’d go here, I would have recreated these photos. 😂

I was just lying on my bed; wanting one hell of a long sleep, when my former roommate, Cherry, asked me to tag along to Baguio City. I’m not sure why that was, but I honestly didn’t feel like going. It was also one of my best friends’ baby shower happening that night, and I was also tasked to drop by at work before starting on January 2nd. So yes, all I wanted to do that morning was to sleep!

I was then talked out of my senses when Cherry and Jessica – my roommates – convinced me to finally tag along. Eventually, I said “yes” with us, having different agenda in the afternoon at first (I went to my soon-to-be new job, and my best friend’s baby shower and gender reveal, while the two of them went thrift shopping at Baclaran).

Before dusk, we also went to Mary Kay Makati where I officially became a Mary Kay Philippines Beauty Consultant. My certification was done the week after. You can read more about my MK Experience here.

At 8 PM, I went to my best friend, Ery’s, baby shower and gender reveal along with our college friends. I honestly didn’t know we’d be off to Baguio City at midnight. I was just texted we’d go after my mini-gathering with college friends. 😂

I thought we were leaving for Baguio the next day, I didn’t know it was going to be that night! So when we arrived at midnight in QC, we immediately packed all our stuff and went to Baguio. Cherry rented a van that time.

Here’s our back-to-back Baguio-Nueva Ecija Escapade on December 2018

Baguio City Itinerary

We went to check-in at Albergo, one of the most finest-looking hotel in Baguio. I swear, this was too beautiful for a hotel! It’s like a condo-type hotel with a complete set of furniture and kitchen utensils.

The bed was a cool double-decker where Jessica and I slept at the bottom bunk. It has drawer-like beddings underneath the queen-sized bed (bottom bunk), so if there was a need for an extra, say, a companion; (but of course we wouldn’t just let the driver sleep where we sleep), it can just be pulled out!

At lunch, we went to eat at Good Taste Restaurant where the food served were merely lutong bahay (home-cooked viands) and gulay (vegetables). Yum! 😋

In the afternoon, we went to Strawberry Farm to see some strawberries…

… and sunflowers…

And then proceeded to The Mines View where I did me some horse-riding… 😂

… and a dramatic pose on the view uphill… 😂 LOL! 😆

Then we went to The Mansion at almost 6 PM…

And finally the next day, at the famous Burnham Park…

It was freezing cold in Baguio City and some folks even told us it was ‘sunnier’ that time. Meaning, it could have been colder if we went some other day. 😨😂

I’m not sure how you can go to Baguio City via bus as we rode a Montero that time, but here’s a bit of information on how to get there via commute and/or private transport:

Via Commute

  1. Go to a Victory Liner bus in Manila bound for Baguio City. You can either ride from Pasay, Cubao and/or Caloocan. Regular fare is 450 Php (depending on the bus company).

Via Private Transport

  1. Take the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) going to the SCTEX from Manila at Exit 85.
  2. Drive from SCTEX to Tarlac City, then turn left to a road.
  3. Continue driving until you reach Mc Arthur Highway.
  4. Turn right, drive continuously along Tarlac City roads and Pangasinan province until you reach Rosario, La Union.
  5. From Rosario, La Union junction, turn right to Kennon Road.
  6. Turn right again to Marcos Highway.
  7. That’s all the way to Baguio City. Just drive along!

Nueva Ecija Itinerary

Okay – so I’m not sure what happened AGAIN, but we all impulsively thought of going to Nueva Ecija as part of our roommate’s “job.” I’m not sure what she does honestly, all I knew was that we went there as well to have fun.

We arrived at around 9 PM and went straight to Villa Liza Resort and Restaurant to stay in for the night. Aside from having dinner, we went straight to sleep.

Mornings in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija be like…

… and BREAKFAST! 😍

Fried sunny-side up eggs, longganisa, and corned beef for breakfast

After breakfast photos be like…

And of course, by the pool-side…

I can’t give full directions on how to get there since we were using a rented car to go straight ahead. But here’s what I was able to get a hold of:

Full Address: Villa Liza Resort and Restaurant, Aurora Rd., Bongabon Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: 09494095323 / 0917 710 9600

We should be getting back to Manila by Monday morning but things got out of hand, and my former roommate asked if we could stay one more day. I forgot what the reason was, but the extended stay on Monday was spent going to Pantabangan Dam.

I looked chubby-AF there, though. 😂

Just by looking at this picture, the sunset with nature just feels serene-AF for me. It’s very heart-warming! I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but this picture looks peaceful. ❤🍃

Not to mention a VIEW with the waters feels divine! 😍 I am very in love with everything that is Pantabangan Dam (I am a super fan of the ocean, so waters like these make my soul feel good)! 😍💖

We extended ANOTHER night after Monday, as we went straight to Minalungao National Park after leaving Bongabon, Nueva Ecija for some sightseeing and exploration on Tuesday morning.

The view at Minalungao National Park was super amazing, I bet this is the REAL AND BEST highlight of our impulsive trip!

Here are some of my photos in Minalungao National Park

I posed like I was owning it. Hell-yeah! Haha. 😂

And this view? Dang! It’s a must-see! 😍

This one’s across the river near the cave. My other roommate, Jessica, and I would have gone to the caves if only dogs didn’t run after her that time! Hahaha! I literally ROTFL-ed that time as she even went to HUG a random stranger out of fear. 😂

Everyone was laughing including me! 😂😆

Here we are (with me overcoming my fear of heights), as we took our picture in the middle of the HANGING BRIDGE! 😂

And here’s me, and well… my favorite purple socks! 😂😆

If only we had one more day to stay, we would have seized it as there were TONS OF OTHER ACTIVITIES you can do here at Minalungao National Park:

  • Bamboo rafting and swimming
  • Walk the hanging bridge
  • Hike and/or Trek
  • Go Zipline!
  • Cliff Dive
  • Spelunking/Caving
  • And many many more! 😍

To get here via commute (because I wasn’t able to keep track of how our private transport went)

  1. Ride a bus from Cubao or Pasay (whichever is near to you) going to Gapan or Cabanatuan. Travel time is 3 hours. Fare is 150-200 Php, but I’m not sure if this still hasn’t changed.
  2. Afterward, ride a jeep to General Tinio.
  3. Then, ride a tricycle going to Minalungao Park. Fare is 50 Php.

You also have an option of riding a tricycle from Gapan to Minalungao park, but that’s around 500-800 Php at 1.5 hours average.

We eventually went home on Tuesday evening after all the extended travels.

To be completely honest, going on with this impulsive trip had caused me my work ethic. I went absent for so many days at work (I was on a pre-resign state that time), and I literally didn’t go to work on purpose anymore out of guilt. Hahaha! I know, I know. It was my bad as this wasn’t a good idea; I should have resigned properly yada-yada-yada (I swear it wasn’t as ‘easy’ as you think… but I also swear I won’t do that again)… but I won’t trade this soul-searching experience for a 9:30 PM – 6:30 AM job that only elevated my severe depression during (hence my short hiatus on blogging for almost 3 months).

This experience helped me breathe and find myself again. And I must say it is indeed true that ‘traveling’ really opens up your soul for brand new things to see. Traveling is really food for the soul; so when one tells you this, you’ve got to believe them as it did me.

Despite the judgment I’ve gotten for what I did for the first time, I wouldn’t trade this opportunity where I got close to healing. I wouldn’t trade this experience of healing my soul over some judgment that, “I don’t have a ‘proper’ work ethic” because THIS EXPERIENCE was what healed me from a job that only made my depression worse (throwing some shade aside).

This experience and opportunity opened up my eyes to ways on how I can deal with my deteriorating mental state moving forward. It’s not just about ‘traveling’ per se, although that’s part of it. It’s about the lessons, divine interventions, learnings, and growth along the way.

Ergo… every risk was worth it! 😊💖

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