Philippines

Baguio’s Parks, Playgrounds, and Places to Eat

It’s Tuesday morning: my husband wakes up early to build a dam at Lily of the Valley Organic Farm (post coming). Inevitably, our daughter wakes up early and what are her and I to do with our day?

First, there’s the laundry problem.

La Trinidad has no water so this is a serious mission. We carry two bags of dirty laundry to the nearest shop but it’s closed. There’s a sign on the door with a number that I call and I hear that someone is on their way to open the store in 10 (read 40) minutes. The kid and I wait comfortably at a little restaurant/bakery/cafe on Km.6 with an intriguing display of local fruit wines.

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When we return to the laundry shop it’s open but instead of two hours, it will take five days to wash our clothes. That won’t work; we won’t be here in five days. It will take five days because there is no water. Duh.

The friendly lady at the store agrees to hold onto our dirty laundry anyway so we can continue our outing without lugging stinky clothes around.

On to the jeeps! Miliani looks out the window and sings “Paw Patrol! Paw Patrol!” this time with new lines, meaning she randomly blurts out names of some of the pups. “Rocky! Zuma! Everest! Everest!”

Everest is her favorite.

Moving along: the jeepney takes us right to the gates of Burnham Park and this time I know where to find the playground.

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What a wonderful place to run around!

We walk along the right side of the lake, take the right turn just past it, and there it is:

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Playground to infinity!

The playground was far too big for me to relax somewhere and watch my daughter play; no, I had to follow her around from one play area to the next.

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Despite the tale these ominous clouds might tell, it was quite a hot and sunny day.
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How to be a monster on a tire snake
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Adventure abounds

Eventually, my daughter became too hungry and thirsty to keep me chasing her around and we went on the hunt for food.

She very much wanted to eat in the forest, recalling a delightful picnic we’d had in the “spooky woods” while hiking the Blue Mountains in Australia. If only there were a deli and a bakery on every street corner in the world, spontaneous picnics could be had anywhere. Alas, no such thing was to be found in the vicinity of Burnham Park.

Not far from the park, however, we spotted an enticing alternative:

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A lunch buffet promo at Heritage Mansion and the little girl was free.

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Ha, poor fools. They don’t know how much sushi she can put away.

My review of the Heritage Mansion Buffet Restaurant & Cafe, Baguio City:

With their August promo and my daughter just within the eat-for-free height range, we had a pretty nice lunch for under 400 pesos (less than $8).

My daughter ate three plates of sushi with no complaints (I tried it too; it was fine). I enjoyed the fresh salad vegetables, roasted vegetables, and stir-fried vegetables.  My favorite dish may have been the duck adobo: what a spectacular flavor combination. Sadly, though, the little piece of roast chicken I tried was dry as a sock.

After the sushi, the little lady found pizza and tried a slice but it was quite awful. I made her get through it (I was neither going to eat it nor pay the 200 peso leftover fee) because she wanted a little strawberry cake. And she did finish the pizza but, tragically, the strawberry cake was kind of gross too. She ate the strawberry on top but I didn’t make her finish the rest, and no one charged us for it either. They must have understood.

Sage advice for mid-range hotel buffets: choose wisely. Every dish can be a hit or a miss, so it’s best to serve yourself tiny amounts of whatever looks appetizing and go from there.

In conclusion, the Heritage Mansion is pretty nice and I quite enjoyed almost all of the food that I selected for my plate. If you’re there and you’re hungry, I say go for it.

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