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. Several things to do on a rainy day in Baguio
genuinely make it a top tourist destination, whatever time of the year.
While Baguio City’s stunning public parks and airy nature reserves reflect its rich culture, it resonates through its indoor venues: 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
Travel Time: 15 to 20-minute drive from Baguio City center
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
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 local art and heritage exhibitions.
The museum is named after Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, deemed the master of contemporary Filipino arts. He has procured and produced the artworks housed within from his many decades of work and travel, aside from paintings, artifacts, and implements reflecting the Cordilleran heritage. 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 the indoor galleries, Café Sabel is also a quaint coffee shop where you can lounge in the afternoon, making it an ideal place on a rainy day
in Baguio. The area also has its organic farm, aviary, duck pond, and a small forest with a trail. An open meadow also serves as a venue for events and art shows.
Indeed, BenCab Museum brings out Baguio’s best features: rich culture and lush nature!
Travel Time: 20 to 30-minute drive from Baguio City Center
Operating Hours: Monday to Thursday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Images: Choco-late de Batirol Facebook page (L); Raddi John (R)
Where to go in Baguio when raining
? Combat the cold weather 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 cocoa farms.
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, and fruit flavors and fusions like orange, strawberry, and mint plus raspberry. Of couhe wrse, ordering a cup of tsokolate is already a given, but it’s what you pair it with that counts.
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!
Travel Time: 10 to 15-minute drive from Baguio City center
Operating Hours: Daily, 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM
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 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.
Travel Time: 10 to 15-minute drive from Baguio City center
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Image: Erick Frederick Hidalgo
Another facet of Baguio’s heritage is featured in their fabric through the clothes and textiles they weave. At Easter Weaving Room in Guisad, this age-old practice has lived and thrived as long as the city has existed.
The weaving site is an ideal place for your indoor activity
in Baguio, a school that has stood since Baguio was founded in 1909, and after more than a century, Easter Weaving Room’s business still booms. In time, their business grew to comprise other crafts as well.
You can watch weavers at work inside the weaving room as decades of traditional hand-weaving practice are 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). They also sell woodcarvings, handwoven bags and purses, and various leather, silver, paper, and crocheted products. This eclectic energy brought it to fame, with its products reaching international patronage through multiple missionaries.
Travel Time: 5 to 10-minute drive from Baguio City Center
Operating Hours: Daily, 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
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), kalabasa puree (squash), and 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 initially published in Yoorekka on June 20, 2019.
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