Day 3: All Good Things Come To An End
Things seemed to fuzz up from here on out. We only had a few more hours left before we traveled back to Manila. Coming to terms with it was rather heartbreaking. It was like getting to the last page of a book you didn’t want to end. 😢
It started as a usual day. We woke up to another one of Lucia’s signature homemade breakfast meals. Ugh, can’t wait to write about this one. Really soon, I promise you guys. 😉
As soon as we were done breakfast, we headed out to buy our pasalubong. We initially planned to do this whole shopping thing yesterday, but sadly, we didn’t make it to Good Shepherd on time. It was still early when we left Lucia’s, and from what we’ve gathered, the convent doesn’t open until 8 am. We had an hour or two to spare, so we figured a quick stopover in Mines View Park won’t hurt.
First stop: Mines View Park, Outlook Drive
One of the more popular tourist spots in Baguio is the Mines View Park. The park provides an overlooking view of Benguet’s gold and copper mines. Hence, the name. The main attraction is the observation deck, which you can get to by walking down the stone-covered stairway. From the platform, the view was just impeccable. There were no words to describe the scenery that was right before my eyes. To say that it was extremely breathtaking would still be an understatement.
There isn’t much to see in the park after the deck. But for those visitors who’d like to make the most out of their trip here, there is a museum and a souvenir shop right at the entrance. Apart from that, one can simply indulge in the beauty of the flowers and bonsai being sold everywhere. Or if you’re a dog lover, why not consider a photoshoot with Baguio’s all-time favorite St. Bernard? The price of 50 Php is quite reasonable, given the unlimited number of shots. However, they charge extra for wacky poses, which really, I don’t understand why. 😓
From the park, we walked a few meters to where we were buying our pasalubong. Any idea exactly where?
Next stop: Good Shepherd Convent, Gibraltar Rd.
The Good Shepherd Convent is known as “the go-to” place for everyone’s pasalubong. While it’s a tradition for Filipinos to bring home something from a trip, there isn’t much to worry about because Good Shepherd Baguio has you covered. Their bestsellers include peanut brittle, strawberry and ube jams, among others. It was just upsetting that when we got there, the peanut brittle was already out of stock. 😭
What I genuinely liked about the whole set-up was the system. It was neatly organized from start to finish. Sales clerks and security guards were constantly on sight, providing clear instructions to incoming customers on how to go about the shopping process.
Tip: The early bird indeed catches the worm. Most of their products get easily sold out so it’s better to march up there in the morning. Good Shepherd is open from 8 am to 5 pm.
As soon as we finished checking out, we left for our next destination. In the first blog, we’ve kicked off this journey with a visit to a church, that being the Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral. In the same spirit, we’ve decided to end this beautiful trip by going to another one of Baguio’s most celebrated shrines.
Final stop: Lourdes Grotto, Dominican Hill Rd.
The Lourdes Grotto sits atop a high hill, where access can either be through climbing up the 258-step stairway (yes, we counted!) or driving through a narrow, precipitous road. Candles and flowers were sold for a minimum price. We bought a white rose and a bundle of candles as offering. By the time we reached the top, we were greeted by the seamless sculpt of the Our Lady of Lourdes itself, a church on the left, and a candle lighting station on the right.
The church was beautiful. It was its simplicity that drew people to it. Unlike other churches, this one was plain and modestly designed. It lacked the fancy decorations most churches have; the pew was outrightly made of wood. For some reason, I guess this was its charm – right where everything was bare and unadorned, it made the whole experience of staying there more peaceful and light. As we stepped out of the church, we found people lining up at a table where, along with the pile of donation envelopes, a record book was in place. We learned that people who come up the grotto write their petitions and prayers in the book. Without much hesitation, I did just as the others. I put down my personal intentions into writing, in the hopes that someone will get to read it and say a prayer for me.
From the church, we walked to the candle lighting station, where we lit the candles we bought, and offered more prayers. Then, we spent the rest of our time, silently taking in the magnificent view that surrounded us. To be there, right at that moment, was truly gratifying.
It was a little after 10 when we trudged our way down the grotto. Luckily, we were able to hail a cab right away, that got us back to Lucia’s in time for our check-out. The minute we got there, we grabbed our bags, took some more pictures of our humble abode, and finally said our thank yous and goodbyes to the lovely people behind Lucia’s Bed and Breakfast. 😢
We headed to the bus terminal afterwards. By 1:25 pm, we were aboard, leaving this gem of a place. Thank you for your warm people and your cold weather, for the pine trees, the sunflowers, the strawberries, and the countless sights. It was an unforgettable experience altogether and I am beyond grateful.
And that, my friends, concludes our wonderful Baguio weekend getaway! I hope you enjoyed reading! ❤ For those of you who are planning to go to Baguio and stay there for 3 days and 2 nights, feel free to use my itinerary as your reference. It sure was tiring, trying to squeeze in everything, but I tell you, at the end of the day, it was all worth it! 😉😉
‘Til our next trip,