Camp John Hay was built in 1903 as an American military base used for R&R. It was turned over to the Philippines government in 1991 and is now a tourist attraction, housing Baguio City’s only 5 star hotel and a golf course among other things. It was also the first place in the Philippines bombed by the Japanese during World War II.
San Juan… a small beach town located on the western coast of Luzon, just north of San Fernando City. Very popular surf area… small, quiet and the perfect getaway from Baguio City.
The paradise island of Boracay. What more else can I really say?
I spent some days on this extremely beautiful island and hardly took a single picture (the ones below make up of about half the total), a photographer needs his vacation too damnit!
Once, I will have to write a nice in-depth essay delving into all the characteristics between all the famous paradise islands in south east Asia, having been to several over the past few years (Bali, Samui, etc) it certainly would be an interesting conversation to have.
But yeah, our flight out of Shanghai left just after midnight, putting us down in Manila in the wee hours of the morning, only to board a small prop-plane an hour later to Kalibo. A small “ferry” (seen in the photos) then took us to the island and by 9am I was on the beach with a Red Horse in my hand. One could say I was indeed quite sufficiently ready for the end of the world (the Mayan prophecy of December 21, 2012). Had the skies come tumbling down, I really could not think of a better place to be.
I don’t have much more to say about Boracay, friendly people, cheap prices, live music in every direction, and the fresh seafood market with restaurants located all around it that instantly cook your purchases any way you desire was a tremendous delight. Certainly my kilo of king tiger prawns BBQ’d with garlic and butter was only just short of utterly mesmerizing. Just go to your favorite travel site and buy a ticket, simple as that. Boracay. Do it. Do it now. You won’t be sorry.
The final night in the Philippines… walked around the majestic night skies of Quezon Hill/San Carlo Heights, Baguio once again (I can’t get enough of those colors!). Sitting here in Shanghai now, and I can’t wait to see them again while breathing that fresh crisp air… good thing I’ll be there in less than a month. See you soon Baguio!
That final photo is of the firework display (as seen from Quezon Hill) marking in the end of the Panagbenga, Baguio’s annual flower festival (see previous posts for photos).
On the drive from the coast up into the mountains around Baguio we stopped to get some lunch (pic #1), and right across the street is the Darf Cockpit Arena. Check it. We then drove further up the Naguillian Highway (yes, that 2 lane road is a highway!) and into Baguio… sweet drive if you ask me!
…the moon treated us to some wonderful nightscapes…
(could not have asked more from a leap-year day)