Baguio-OH: The Panagbenga Festival Story

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I've been to Baguio several times. But I never had the chance to experience the Panagbenga Festival. Inspired by the Floriade in Canberra, I told Ara that I'd like to visit Baguio for this year's festival. I told her that I'd chaperone her and the boyfriend. But we told our teammates about the trip,and they decided to join us. I also invited my high school friend Meri, and Accenture friend Dwin, to come along too. Ara arranged the trip, she searched for the van, and the accommodation. We left Makati at around midnight, and reached Baguio at around 7am. We didn't make it in time for the Street Dance, so we decided to eat at Cafe by the Ruins instead. 
We first went to Good Shepherd after breakfast for pasalubong, ube jam love! :P
We proceeded to the Mines View Park after securing our hauls at the van. It was Kit's first time in Baguio, so we bullied him into wearing the Ifugao costume. I didn't try them on this time, I had my chance in one of my Baguio trips. :P
March 2011
We went to the observation deck for photo ops. I went with Meri, Dwin, Janice, and Kit. The others did their business at the Mines View Park e.g. pasalubong shopping.
with Meri and Kit
just because I look pretty on this photo haha
We left for lunch, and went to the Ketchup Food Community to eat at Canto Canto. Ribs, baby! KFC is near the Wright Park. I recommend you visit this when you go to Baguio.

We went to Camp John Hay because we planned to do the Tree Top adventures, but couldn't agree about it. We left for the Cemetery of Negativism.  According to their website, "The Lost Cemetery or Pet Cemetery as others fondly call it, the Cemetery of Negativism  is one of the famous sites found within the Historical Core. Designed by then Base Commander Major John Hightower, the Cemetery of Negativism is the symbolic burial place of negativism, said to be man’s greatest self-imposed infliction, his most limiting factor, and his heaviest burden."
Take a look on some of the tombstones. This one, the WHY DIDENT I? Lived Wondering Why and Died for No Reason. So, that's why I always tell you to seize the day. Yolo, people! The other one, Itz Not Possible, Still Not Born. This one LETZ STUDY IT, Delayed Birth, Never Reached Maturity. Hmm, never really doing it. Procrastinating a lot, I guess.
After the quick tour on the cemetery, we went further the Historical Core. The Cemetery of Negativism is only one part of the Historical Core. We found the Panagbenga Flower and the Totem Pole. This wooden totem pole features the people that helped in the development of Camp John Hay.
We went inside the Bell House. This used to be the vacation house of the Commanding Generals.
Just beside the Bell House is the Ampitheater. This structure is designed for concerts and acoustic performances.
We walked a bit on the History Trail. Aside from the history nuggets, the place is picturesque. :P
love this photo
After several more minutes in the Historical Core. We went back at the van, and we left Camp John Hay. Yes, without the Tree Top Adventure! We went instead on the Strawberry Farm. This was my first time! I'm not a fan of strawberries, but I really would like to visit this. Aside from strawberries, there are vegetables as well e.g lettuce and broccoli.
Since I didn't want to buy strawberries, I asked one Kuya if he would allow us to get in his farm lot to take pictures, he gladly agreed. Big thanks to the nice guys in the world, hihi!
We went to our transient house, and took our dinner after freshening up. The Panagbenga was scheduled the following morning. We had to wake up early in order to get good spots. 

Unfortunately, we kept on losing each other the following morning. It was almost the start of the parade when we settled on our selected spots. I was standing with strangers, and Kit took this photo from his spot. Karir!
There were a number of interesting floats. Let me share some of them. The minions float was cute, and this music-themed float was nicely done. Kudos to the people who created the floats, and everyone who had been part of the parade. It was very hot that day. 
minions fever
music-themed float
Bahag float
Marian is really pretty!
But this is my favorite of the lot.Langhap sarap!
After the parade, we went to SM Baguio for a quick lunch, and headed back to Manila. But this was before stopping at the Lion's head!
haggard na ako!

The Petronas Twin Towers and the SkyBar

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I love John Lloyd Cruz. I started to admire him when I saw him on One More Chance, opposite Bea Alonzo. Of course, I'm not gonna blog about him. But remember the movie, Miss You Like Crazy? Hehe. These lines. Yes, I googled to get them right. :P 

Mia (Bea's character): Alam mo, kapag tinitingnan ko yung Petronas, na-i-imagine ko na para silang magka-holding hands. Minsan nga, nai-imagine ko nag-uusap yung dalawa, eh.
Allan (JL's character): Ano sabi nung isa?
Mia: Masaya ako pag kasama kita..
Allan: Ako din.. sabi nung isang tower!

Yes. Kilig!! I'm a hopeless romantic. Hihi. On my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, it was kinda funny that I only get to see the Petronas Twin Towers on my 4th day. Intense. We went to the Suria KLCC after our lunch and attempted a photograph with the twin towers.
Am I happy or whut? :P
After a couple of shots, we decided to continue our Kuala Lumpur tour. After going through the city, we planned to go to the SkyBar at the L33rd of the Traders Hotel. It offers a wonderful view of the Twin Towers! I asked Karen if we could have another go on the Petronas at Suria, before we headed to the SkyBar. I wanted night shots of the Twin Towers.
We proceeded to the SkyBar and ordered a bottle of wine and a bucket of jalapenos and chicken fingers. Hihi. 
grabbed from their website
I am not a party person, but I must admit that the place screams fab!
We were seated by the window, and we had this stunning view. :P We chit chatted the whole night. Karen was a college friend, she was a co-officer on my Engineering org. She also worked in Accenture, and was deployed on one of my projects, not at the same time though. But that gave us a lot to talk about. :)
Chit chatting with a friend on this stunning view is simply marvelous. Sabi nung isang tower, masaya din ako. :)

Kuala Lumpur in a Day

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I was supposed to stay on another hostel in Kuala Lumpur, but when I Facebook messaged Karen, a college friend who is now Malaysia-based, she offered her place. My flight from Johor Bahru was very late, and she waited for me at McDonalds in KL Sentral. We planned to do the HOHO the following morning but decided otherwise. I only have one day to tour the city. We ended up with the Go KL buses, these are absolutely free!

Our first stop was the Petaling Street. This is the Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur. I've been to Chinatown in Singapore and Australia, but not in the Philippines. They all look the same to me,and expect many people to flock on this place, this is after all, a market. We also dropped by the Central Market. There are lots of stuff to buy on these places. But we just kinda window shopped. :P
We got hungry so we decided to jumped in at the Lot 10 Hutong. According to their website, "Lot 10 Hutong is a Malaysia's first and only heritage destination that pays tribute to one of the best loved national treasures - good food and the art of local cuisines.." If only for the variety, and the love of good food, I will definitely recommend this place!
Since it was hot that day, we decided to roam around the malls a bit. Pavilion looks fab!
There were many Line characters at the mall. I'm not even using Line. But they looked pretty cuddly. Agree? :P
Can I take you home? :)
We went ahead to our next destination, the Merdeka Square. The Sultan Abdul Samad building stands prominently specially with the beautiful clock tower.
We saw the National Textiles Museum, but didn't go inside. Instead we went to the nearby building, the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. This place features lots of scale models of the different places in Kuala Lumpur.
This is the area where they create these pieces. Amazing people creating masterpieces!
But this was the most amazing thing in the gallery, the scale model of Kuala Lumpur!
This was our last stop, but in one day, I was able to visit these places. I'm happy that Karen squeezed me in her schedule, and accompanied me around the city. But what is Kuala Lumpur without the Petronas Twin Towers? :P Let me share my Petronas Twin Towers adventures, ayt? :P

Lego Love at Legoland Malaysia

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My flight for Johor Bahru was scheduled at 9pm. I booked my accommodation via Booking. I searched, and reserved online, but I paid in the hostel. Since my flight was late at night, I decided to contact them, and found their Facebook page. I messaged and asked for a mode of transportation, but opted for a hostel pick up. I paid RM 60 for this. I paid RM 38 for my accommodation. :P My room at the Warm Blanket Hostel is very small. But should be enough for an overnight stay. They offer free wifi too. :P It was my first time to get an accommodation with shared bathroom, but this didn't seem to be a problem. The staff were very accommodating too.
I left the hostel at around 10am the following morning, and went to Legoland. I bought my ticket 7 days in advance online to avail of the 20% discount. My Singapore-based college friends accompanied me on this trip. They just kinda came in a little late though. :P I roamed around a bit while waiting for them, and asked nice-looking people to take my photos. :P
hurray to the good Samaritans of the world!
with Jenny and Bien
I decided to leave my bag at the locker, and paid RM 20. We went to take a look at the Legoland Hotel, where I've been meaning to stay but found pretty expensive too. But looks adorbs. :D

Inside Legoland, we found interesting minilands, these are the Asian landmarks recreated through Lego bricks. Yes, these are made of lego bricks, people!!
Malaysia
China

Cambodia
Myanmar
India
Singapore
Laos
I would have preferred that they featured another landmark, other than Bolinao, something else that the Philippines is more known of, like the rice terraces. But it is a good thing to be one of the Legoland's minilands. :)

Philippines
There are more interesting pieces in Legoland.I still find them impressive just by looking at my photos now. Like these ones, maybe?


We found this pirate too. Cool eh?
We had a go on the Observation Tower, and viewed the entire Legoland on it.
We went to the Boating School, and Bien had fun on maneuvering the boat. Hihi. We also watched a 4D adventure short movie. We got a bit wet here. There are lots of attractions in Legoland, only that we didn't try anything else, aside from the three I mentioned. Bien went alone for another ride though.

We left after few hours, and went to the Johor Premium Outlets. Shopping! :P
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