Due to changing quarantine measures, the destinations featured in this article might be temporarily closed under the latest government policies. LGUs might also implement health protocols and travel requirements. Please contact the establishments before visiting. Stay safe!
The colder it is, the greater you’ll enjoy Baguio’s warm welcome.
Image: Sebastian Herrmann / Unsplash
Don’t ditch your Baguio
plans just yet! Just because the rainy season is upon us doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Summer Capital’s top tourist destinations. As a matter of fact, there are a number of things to do on a rainy day in Baguio
that truly makes it a top tourist destination whatever time of the year it may be.
While Baguio City’s stunning public parks and airy nature reserves reflect its rich culture, it resonates through its indoor venues as well: museums, heritage centers, bookshops, and food hubs. Indeed, these things to do on a rainy day in Baguio
would make any traveler excited and giddy.
Curious where these places are? Choose a weekend, stock up on sweaters, and read on!
1. Check out indoor galleries at BenCab Museum
Operating Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9:00AM-6:00PM
Travel Time: 15 to 20-minute drive from Baguio City center
Mother Nature meets contemporary art inside BenCab Museum’s vast space.
Image: BenCab Museum official website
Baguio City rests upon columns of culture and humanities, just like the BenCab Museum
which thrusts the city forward with its exhibitions of local art and heritage.
The museum is named after Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, deemed the master of Filipino contemporary arts, who has both procured and produced the artworks housed within from his many decades of work and travel. Upon paying the entrance fee, visitors will be allowed access to the different galleries: gander at artworks inside the BenCab Gallery, Erotica Gallery, the Cordillera Gallery, Philippine Contemporary Art Gallery, Print Gallery, Maestro Gallery, and many other art sections. Aside from paintings, there are also artifacts and implements reflecting the Cordilleran heritage.
Aside from the indoor galleries, there is also the Café Sabel, a quaint coffee shop where you can lounge about in the afternoon. The place also has its own organic farm, aviary, duck pond, and a small forest with a trail. An open meadow also serves as venues for events and art shows.
Indeed, BenCab Museum
brings out Baguio’s best features: rich culture and lush nature!
Operating Hours: Daily, 8:00AM-9:00PM
Travel Time: 20 to 30-minute drive from Baguio City center
Their signature tsokolate is best paired with their sweet delicacies.
Images: Choco-late de Batirol and Raddi John
What better way to combat the cold weather than with a cup of hot tsokolate
(cocoa drink)? If you want to warm up, head straight to Choco-Late de Batirol
within Camp John Hay for that familiar flavor, freshly brewed and harvested from Baguio’s own cocoa farms.
Of course, ordering a cup of tsokolate is already a given, but it’s what you pair it with that counts. Sample some of their sweet delicacies as well, such as bibingka (rice flour cake), suman sa lihiya (rolled rice cake), turon de langka (banana and jackfruit fritters), or their more savory dishes like tocino kalabaw (carabao meat) or tocino pork, or a bowl of arrozcaldo (rice and chicken porridge) or beef bulalo (beef shanks and marrow). You can even try their chocolate in different variations: aside from the traditional blend, they also have a Baguio blend, cinnamon blend, as well as fruit flavors and fusions like orange, strawberry, and mint plus raspberry.
Operating since 1996, this unassuming garden restaurant made a business out of the drink that they prepare by hand. They whisk the fresh cocoa paste inside a copper pot called the batirol, until smooth enough to serve, sip, and enjoy amidst Baguio’s chilly weather!
Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10:30AM-5:00PM and Sunday, 1:00PM-5:00 PM
Travel Time: 10 to 15-minute drive from Baguio City cente
Unlike mainstream bookshops, Mt. Cloud won’t call you out for peeking into a few pages of a book.
Images: Mt. Cloud Bookshop
Bookworms also have a special place in Baguio: among Mt. Cloud Bookshop
's gracious collection of rare reads and volumes.
Ever since opening shop back in 2010, Mt. Cloud Bookshop in Casa Vallejo along Upper Session Road has stayed faithful to filling its shelves with mostly Filipino titles, to promote better readership and champion local authors. Around just a fifth of their titles are foreign, and their Filipiniana collection boasts rare titles from independent, even indigenous, publishing houses that commonly escape mainstream bookstores.
Go ahead and browse through any book before buying – attendants won’t mind. You name it, and they probably have it: children’s books, fiction and nonfiction, books on science, economics, and humanities, and even Cordilleran titles. For books that aren’t for sale, you can rent them out for a fee. You can also purchase literary-themed shirts, postcards, and other souvenir stationeries in the store. You can even attend literary events like storytelling sessions, author meet-ups, and even poetry slams if you chance upon them.
Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday, 8:00AM-5:00PM
Travel Time: 10 to 15-minute drive from Baguio City center
This century-old weaving room is symbolic of Baguio’s tradition passed down through generations.
Image: Erick Frederick Hidalgo
Another facet of Baguio’s heritage is featured in their fabric, through the clothes they wear and textiles they weave. At Easter Weaving Room
in Guisad, this age-old practice has lived and thrived for as long as the city has existed.
The weaving site, which is also a school, has stood ever since Baguio was founded in 1909, and after more than a century, Easter Weaving Room’s business still booms. Inside the weaving room, you can watch weavers at work as decades-worth of traditional hand-weaving practice is passed on and applied. Of course, you can purchase their finished products: housewares such as placemats, linens, table runners, bed and pillow covers, and wall hangings and outfits such as church vestments, shawls, blouses, vests, barong (formal wear), and native costumes with ethnic designs like the Ifugao tapis (skirt).In time, their business grew to comprise of other crafts as well. Now, they also sell woodcarvings, handwoven bags and purses, and various leather, silver, paper, and crocheted products. This eclectic energy is what brought it to fame, with its products reaching international patronage through various missionaries.
Operating Hours: Opens daily for dining in, 7:00AM-8:00PM
Travel Time: 5 to 10-minute drive from Baguio City center
All their dishes are guaranteed green, fresh, organic, and therefore guilt-free!
Image: Cafe by the Ruins
After being razed by fire, Café by the Ruins
once again stands tall, ready to serve its patrons with a renewed sense of hope and that familiar Baguio taste everyone loves.
The memorable restaurant along Shuntug Road has been a favorite among locals since opening in 1988. Now donning a refreshing look and a refurbished interior, Café by the Ruins is back to serving its signatures: some of their must-tries include a cup of their Iced Ruins Coffee, a house blend topped with cinnamon powder and whipped cream, or a bowl of their champorado (sweet chocolate rice porridge) embellished with crunchy dried Espada (scabbard fish).
They also have savory viands and soups like their classic pinikpikan (stew with smoked pork), and kalabasa puree (squash), as well as breakfast selections, all served with purple Cordilleran mountain rice. You can even bring home a bag of their cold cuts such as embutido (stuffed pork sausage) and bagnet (deep-fried pork).
Café by the Ruins
isn’t just a restaurant, but a reminder to always bounce back from a tragedy.
It might be a little colder during the rainy season, but Baguio’s welcoming hospitality never fails to warm anyone’s heart.
This article was originally published in Yoorekka on June 20, 2019.
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