If you haven’t been to an affordable Baguio trip or if you’re thinking of visiting it again after so many years, you’re in for a real treat. It is still one of the top summer destinations in the Philippines because of its fantastic climate, a haven for those who can’t bear the stifling heat in Manila. Baguio is also where the Panagbenga Flower Festival happens, considered as one of the best costume festivals in the world, and it keeps getting better year after year.
Since Baguio is several hours away from Manila and you will need at least a week to really enjoy your vacation, it may prove expensive for some travelers. Fortunately, you can still enjoy the best of Baguio without making your wallet cry. Here are 5 awesome ways to eat, live, and go places for a budget-friendly Baguio escapade.
- Enjoy the cheapest bulalo and pinapaitan at Kainan Sa Silungan
If you happen to see long lines near SM Baguio during lunchtime, chances are those people are waiting patiently to be served at Kainan Sa Silungan, often considered as the cheapest eatery in Baguio City. It’s at Upper Session Road, beside the DSWD silungan center and the PNA building. It’s a hit among employees from SM and nearby offices, who don’t mind queuing for the most delicious home-cooked meals at unbelievably low prices. Pinapaitan costs only 25 pesos for half an order, while a half order of Bulalo goes for 60 pesos. They have a combo meal consisting of chicken sisig and dinakdakan for only 50 bucks. Best of all, they have unlimited sabaw. You will never go hungry here, even if you’re on a shoestring budget. To know more about the eatery, you can check out their Facebook page.
- Get a dose of local art at BenCab Museum
If going to Burnham Park or Mines View Park is too cliché for you, you’re better off feasting your eyes at the BenCab Museum, which you can reach via a jeepney ride from a terminal near Baguio market. General admission fee is 120 pesos only while it’s 100 pesos for students and 80 pesos for senior citizens. Visit their Facebook page for more details.
- Score dirt cheap designer clothes at ukay-ukays
Ukay-ukay is like the Salvation Army here in the Philippines and God’s gift to people who don’t mind wearing secondhand clothing. There are lots of reasons why you should shop at thrift stores, but the most important of them all is the price! Where else can you buy an Armani dress for less than 100 pesos or a pair of Doc Martens for barely 300 bucks? All original, of course. Sure, there are lots of ukays in Manila, but they all get their supplies from Baguio, which makes the prices here way lower than those in the city. Walk along Harrison Road during night time and brave the stalls of unbelievably cheap goods you can find here.
- Indulge in cheap beer and coffee, plus great music
There are three ways to stay warm in Baguio: wear a jacket, drink hot coffee, or drink liquor. You can do all three and pay only minimal by going to Session Road. Rumours, one of the oldest bars in Baguio City, serves beer and cappuccino for around 50 pesos only. If you want unlimited coffee, head to Pizza Volante and order a specialty pizza to go along with your brew. If you can make the effort to go beyond Session Road, head to City Camp Alley and listen to great acoustic music at Kaffeeklatsch while you’re on a caffeine or alcohol trip.
- Find great accommodations for less
If you travel just like a backpacker and you don’t mind sharing a room with strangers, Baguio has lots of clean and safe dormitories where you can sleep and shower after a long day of exploring. There are budget rooms below SM Baguio and also on Session Road, where dorms can go for just 299 pesos per night. There are also budget-friendly hotels in Baguio for those who don’t like common rooms.
If you require more privacy and you don’t mind shelling out for nicer rooms, then a mid-range accommodation is what you need. El Cielito Hotel at North Drive near Session Road has rooms and suites perfect for guests who need standard hotel accommodations without the exorbitant rates. Book directly at the hotel website for fast and safe reservations.