Philippines Travel

Musings of a Part Introvert on a Group Tour in Baguio

Based on online tests I am an ambivert; a person who is both introverted and extroverted. There are times when I want to shut the world and just be on my own; no phones, no Internet, zero interaction with people. Then one day I’d wake up ready to go out, wanting to see my friends and be the life of the party. I like being an ambivert because I get the best of both worlds. I can easily shift from being an introvert to extrovert and vice versa depending on the situation. But sometimes I fail, like when I went to Baguio recently for a sponsored trip by Azalea Hotels and Residences. I went on a group tour with other bloggers, it was a chance to socialize, to widen my network. Given this, you’d think I’d be in my extrovert mood but nope. In fact, we spent the whole day touring Baguio City with me acting like I was doing solo travel.

Bell Church

It didn’t help that I shared a ride with the kids. Not kid kids, but millennials, young people in their 20s who are fashion bloggers. The bloggers of my age, on the other hand, were called “mellonnials,” based on the name of one of the bloggers, Melo. Anyway, I was hardly communicative when I was with the millennials not because I was being snooty but because they seem to be speaking in a language different from mine.

In 2011 I had a fashion blog yet there I was, inside the van with a bunch of fashion bloggers and I wasn’t talking. They spoke of their common friends, places they went to, makeup, and clothes; things that used to matter a lot to me but not anymore. So I felt like a grandma completely baffled about the ways of the young. So in a true grandma fashion, I took a nap. Every time I’d ride in that freaking van I’d take a nap. But don’t judge me, I only had one hour of sleep okay.

Escaping the City Heat at Azalea Hotel & Residences Baguio

When I opened my eyes we were already in a temple. I was slightly confused because I heard our first stop is the Diplomat Hotel. As soon as we entered the premises, everyone had their cameras ready, not to photograph the place but to do a fashion shoot. I was like, seriously, they were doing OOTD photo shoot? Then I told myself, What do you expect? They’re fashion bloggers remember?

So while my companions were busy shooting Instagram-worthy photos, I took some photographs of the place. It’s a Chinese temple with beautiful and intricate arches, water lilies, dragon sculptures, and a pagoda. During our visit, there were some kids busy doing some exercises, which I figured were part of their training. What I’m not sure of is the type of martial arts for which they were being trained for.

BenCab Museum

You’ve seen that sappy film That Thing Called Tadhana where two strangers who met on a plane, then decided that it’s not creepy to launch a Cordillera trip with someone you just met? Yeah that movie, well one of the places they went to is BenCab Museum.

So we went there but I wasn’t as lucky as Angelica Panganiban’s character to have a JM de Guzman of my own. We were given a choice to join one of the staff to walk us through the gallery or to go off on our own. It was a chance for some interaction but I explored alone instead and appreciated the artwork in my own pace.

The BenCab Museum is home to the art collection of the Philippine National Artist, Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab). Each floor has rooms where the artworks are exhibited. There’s the Bencab Gallery, Erotica Gallery, Cordillera Gallery, Print Gallery, Patio Salvador, Graffiti Wall, Gallery Indigo, Maestro Gallery, Larawan Hall, Philippine Contemporary Art Gallery, Sepia Gallery, Bulol Installation, and Edison T. Coseteng Patio.

Diplomat Hotel

I remember when I was having that tattoo session with Sarah Gaugler, she asked how did I find her movie, Diplomat Hotel. You know the feeling when you don’t want to hurt someone but at the same time, you don’t want to lie? That’s what I felt, so I didn’t say anything and let my friend do the talking. To cut the story short, I love Sarah Gaugler, I hate the movie. Nonetheless, I wanted to visit the Diplomat Hotel myself so I was quite excited when I learned that it’s part of our itinerary.

The Diplomat Hotel sits atop the Dominican Hill. People are drawn to this tourist spot not only for its beauty but also for its reputation of being haunted. It’s a 17-hectare property that has seen so much history. It used to be a vacation house of the Dominicans, a school called Collegio del Santissimo Rosario in 1915, a sanctuary for the refugees during World War II, and a 33-bedroom hotel in 1973 where the faith-healing sessions of Tony Agpaoa were held.

It is now believed to be a haunted place. Locals claim that they could hear strange noises in the middle of the night like the banging of doors or windows, clattering of dishes, or horrifying screams. Given this fact, you’d think I would take the opportunity to finally go with my companions? Nope. I braved roaming its rooms and halls on my own. I’d be lying if I tell you I didn’t imagine facing some unknown entity along the way, but I guess it wasn’t enough to deter me. I was more fascinated than spooked because the hotel is made eerily beautiful by the decay that it’s suffering.

I thought about the people who used to walk through these empty halls, those who slept in the now-empty rooms, and those who cowered in fear of the Japanese during the war. I was free to inspect its crook and cranny, free to visualize its history, which wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t alone.

Arca’s Yard

I tried to read a book in our next stop, Arcas Yard despite the hopelessness of finishing it. Arcas Yard used to be just a library and a museum, but the owners decided to integrate a café because most people who visited there were looking for food. It has many interesting art pieces, mostly of traditional artifacts from the Cordillera region.

They served us their bestseller, camote pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Never heard of such a pie before but god it was lip-smacking good. The taste and texture reminded me of my favorite Filipino snack, nilupak. Some of my companions didn’t finish their pie; not me. I was into it like I haven’t eaten yet. Even the milk tea that went with it was so good the only thing that stopped me from finishing it is the thought that I’ve had enough sugar for the day.

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Camp John Hay

The next day I went with the mellonnials after realizing I shouldn’t be hanging out with the millennials. I’ve also bonded with my roommate, Trisha of P.S. I’m On My Way the previous night so I finally had someone to talk to. We went to Camp John Hay and though I’d been there when I was a kid, my memory is all rusty that it felt like I was seeing it for the first time. But I can still recall the pet cemetery and I wanted to see it again but apparently, it was far from our stop.

Tree Top Adventure

Normally, I’d go for an adventure even when it scares me because my curiosity is bigger than my fear. This time, my laziness is bigger than my curiosity so while the kids were excited to try the treetop adventure, I was excited to go back to Azalea and sleep in my room. Signs of old age? Maybe.

Anyway, for your information, the treetop adventure can be found at the Nature Park in Camp John Hay where you can try the following adventures:

  • Canopy and Funicular (PHP 350 – USD 7.49)
  • Superman Ride (zipline) (PHP 300 – USD 6.42)
  • Tree Top Adventure (PHP 150 – USD 3.21)
  • Trekking and Skywalk (PHP 100 – USD 2.14)
  • Silver Surfer Ride (PHP 200 – USD 4.28)

There are disadvantages when you’re not interacting with people when you travel, the first being, you have no one to take your picture. In fact, most of my photos were selfies or taken with a timer. But being alone can also be beautiful. I enjoyed the chance to be alone with my thoughts. I was not distracted and fully in the moment to appreciate the places that we went to. This is not to say that I encourage anyone to be antisocial, but if you are shy, it doesn’t mean your experience would be less awesome than those with companions.

I’ve lost count of the times I’d been to Baguio but I was happy to discover that there are still many things that I haven’t explored yet. It’s nice to know I still have reasons to come back and if I have to do it alone, I don’t mind at all.

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Comments (47)

  1. MICHAEL SORIANO
    MICHAEL SORIANO

    So, you’ve been to Baguio.. 🙂 I hope you had a great time in our small city. 🙂 I can relate to that ambivert thing, I wake up sometimes in the morning and just want to lock my room and talk to no one and other times, I just want to go out, travel, meet people and try to socialize. 🙂 But sometimes, it gets me in trouble whenever my mood gets along my why. Why I need to be an extro I feel like being an intro and vice versa.. hahaha

    Reply
  2. Thet Gueco
    Thet Gueco

    Having my internship on Baguio and I’ll try to visit all the place listed above. So excited!

    Reply
  3. bluedreamer27
    bluedreamer27

    ahh! I can really relate with this one .. the difference is that I am an introvert and will always be an introvert hehe..
    Honestly, i had the same experience when I was in Baguio.. It’s also a group tour but instead of taking that opportunity to socialize with others.. i ended up exploring the place alone… a few of them approached me though but they’re just putting me on a hot seat… asking why I traveled alone that time, asking me about my love life and more…. I just don’t feel comfortable so I decided to distant myself na lang haha pero in a nice way naman LOL
    Anyway, I haven’t been to any of these location in Baguio.. maybe on my next trip ^_^

    Reply
  4. Karen
    Karen

    I guess I’m also an ambivert. At some point, I also like being alone. It keeps me energized than being surrounded by people. However, at times, I feel the need to blend in with millenials and mellonials and I don’t have a problem with that. About your Baguio tour, you’ve managed to produce great shots of the places you visited.

    Reply
  5. Ferna
    Ferna

    I hear you Marge. I’m also an ambivert. I also want to see bencab too. Great post there.

    Reply
  6. Jaimie Felix
    Jaimie Felix

    Okay, so went to Baguio so many times but what We visit are the normal pang-bata “tourist spots. I never visited Arca’s and the diplomat Hotel — I guess, these are some of the place that we will explore our next trip to the City of Pines. Thanks for sharing it. Here’s to our new itinerary! Haha!

    Reply
  7. Airina Desuyo
    Airina Desuyo

    Apart from the amazing photos, I like how you started this blog with your opinion of the millennials, hihi… I’m part of that generation but I hope you will like me when we meet haha. Rock on Marge! 🙂

    Reply
  8. Nilyn Matugas
    Nilyn Matugas

    We spent our honeymoon in Baguio last Jan. 2013 and it was an awesome time for both of us. The next time we visited Baguio after that was in 2015, with our firstborn turning 1 at that time. Baka the next time we visit, dalawa na anak namin! haha.

    Reply
  9. SASWATI BHOI
    SASWATI BHOI

    He he….I fall under the same category as yours!! Half of both!! Sometimes introvert and sometimes extro!! Really enjoyed reading your post – Such a nice read!! Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    Regards,
    Saswati | http://www.exploreitmyway.com

    Reply
  10. Jerny
    Jerny

    Grabe tlga itong Baguio trip nyo 😀 Ako ay hindi pa nkakarating ng baguio kaya hanggang ngayon basa basa pa din ako.. hahaha! Lahat ng nilagay mo dito eh gusto ko puntahan, goodluck sa kin at sa budget nyahaha!

    Reply
  11. sam
    sam

    I’m also an introvert, so sometimes I avoid blogger events. There are times that I also prefer to travel just with my boyfriend. I’m not a loud person and would rather go unnotice or become alone in a place. But I love it like that. 🙂

    Reply
  12. Sebastian Bisnath
    Sebastian Bisnath

    A friend and I was actually discussing the beauty of Baguio earlier in the office. I would so love to visit that place.

    Reply
  13. Relyn
    Relyn

    HI! Happy to see that you enjoyed the trip to Baguio and saw a different perspective – introvert’s view. As a local, I appreciate the city more if I explore it on my own. Hope to meet you when you get back 🙂

    Reply
  14. Melissa
    Melissa

    I honestly enjoyed reading your post……… it was really honest and I enjoyed it. I’m kinda awkward too when it comes to social blogger gatherings but I try to work it out. It’s hard to be ambivert and I totally get you. 🙂

    Reply
    • Melissa
      Melissa

      Okay, sorry for the redundant comment but I meant that I really enjoyed the way you narrated it. It was honest and witty at the same time. 🙂

      Reply
  15. Joanna
    Joanna

    The “kids” on the bus were wrong, you are more millennials than they are as you were the ones that reached adulthood around the year 2000, not them. 🙂
    The trip looks wonderful, I have read in the past a lot of good things about Baguio.

    Reply
  16. Trisha Velarmino
    Trisha Velarmino

    We are soul sisters, Marge. I am a half introvert too. Let me tell you that you don’t have to be your best self every day. I’m glad you are acknowledging this personality disorder. Not everyone will understand and admit it. It takes courage. You are courageous! Reading this post made me realise I missed a lot of things in Baguio. Weird because we were in the same trip! I guess I wasn’t my best self at the time. Xx

    Reply
  17. Louisa
    Louisa

    I can’t wait to go back to Baguio. It seems like there’s so many more interesting things to do and places to visit since were last there about 5 years ago.

    Reply
  18. Lea
    Lea

    Hello there, friend from the MBTI Kingdom! I’m an INFJ, and I really get your sentiments because I’m also kind of an ambivert. Baguio has a lot of hidden paradise that even a lot of locals haven’t heard of. Good thing about Baguio is, you will survive even if you’re an introvert. 🙂 Hope you had fun here in Baguio!

    Reply
  19. Kim
    Kim

    I am on the same category as you are. There are really some days that I would prefer to be alone to enjoy the view and to reflect as well. Sometimes being alone is kind of refreshing. I did the same thing on one of the events that recently attended. While they were busy talking about their experiences and ideas. I was quiet and reserve and was just actively listening. Kudos to you for exploring diplomat hotel alone although I don’t easily get spooked I would think twice before doing it. As for camp john hay it brings back a lot of memories for me when I was a kid.

    Reply
  20. Janice
    Janice

    Oh I can relate to how you feel. I’m an ambivert too but sometimes I do find it challenging to socialize among those so much younger than I am. It especially sucks when you’re traveling. But at least you got to see a lot of great places. Haven’t been to Baguio in years. Would love to go back soon.

    Reply
  21. Zwitsy
    Zwitsy

    The Hotel Diplomat looks creepy indeed. do they have night tours? hahaha I bet they don’t but if they have, I am sure no one will dare to visit the place. On the other hand, it’s nice to be alone sometimes. 🙂

    Reply
  22. Maaya Legaspi
    Maaya Legaspi

    Baguio is very classic. Always the best mini weekend get away. The ootd shots made me smile. Hahaha. Im not really a fashion blogger and havent seen one take their ootd shots but it just fascinates me that they prioritize it over the place itself. But like what you said, they’re fashion bloggers so what we expect. Haha. And the diplomat hotel on your photos is really like haunted place. Looks like you had a wonderful time. 🙂

    Reply
  23. Aldrick Agpaoa
    Aldrick Agpaoa

    There really are nice and “hidden” tourist spots here in Baguio! It’s also a good thing to highlight these to bring them to the spotlight. Baguio has still a lot to offer its tourists and locals alike! Thanks for sharing this one, ate! 🙂

    Reply
  24. Jian Marla Reyes
    Jian Marla Reyes

    Been to Baguio several times but I havent been to BenCab huhu. I’ll add this fr my future reference!

    Reply
  25. Mike
    Mike

    Being an ambivert relates to me though I have not taken any exams to really figure it out. HAHA I feel you. Anyways, thanks for this post! I haven’t been to Baguio and I haven’t researched about the city at all. All I know is that it has a cold temperature. Can’t wait to read your other posts 🙂

    Reply
  26. Odyssa
    Odyssa

    I like how you integrated your own personal story, and personality, into different destinations in Baguio. I do think that travel choices is mostly affected by our respective temperaments. By the way, this place is a favorite and worth coming back to!

    Reply
  27. Yū-chan
    Yū-chan

    I never knew there was a Chinese temple and shrines there! I have been to one in La Union, but not Baguio! I’ve never even been to Baguio! Hahaha! I have been exploring more places out of the country than in Philippines, that I forgot to explore here! Who knows maybe if I have a reason to visit Baguio, I will use this as a guide on some places to go! Looks so green and lush!

    Reply
  28. Emem
    Emem

    Will bookmark this, I’ve been to Baguio one too many times but tbh I have no idea where to go. LOL, thank you for this, this’ll be extremely helpful!

    Reply
  29. Suzanne
    Suzanne

    This blog totally relates to me in many ways. Im a complete introvert. Even though Im still in my 20’s I prefer to hang with mellow people simply because I don’t want to tire myself from talking. Its hard sometimes because I want to be involve and get to know people. Now Ive learn to live with it and accept that it is part of who I am. You are presenting myself in this story….and thank you for this blog.

    Cheers!♡

    Reply
  30. Joser Ferreras
    Joser Ferreras

    I’m exactly like this even when I’m with some of my cliques! The only thing though is I’m actually 69% introvert (I just took another test yesterday for a refresher haha) yet I would sometimes find myself actually longing for company during certain situations. Also, I couldn’t agree more with this line, “if you are shy, it doesn’t mean your experience would be less awesome than those with companions”. People don’t realize how being shy can be very powerful and more rewarding at times. It’s not a weakness at all if you look at it from a different perspective.

    Reply
  31. Keevin Fernandez
    Keevin Fernandez

    Too bad, I missed Bencab Museum when I was in Baguio a week ago. Nice write up!! Adding your website to my bookmark 🙂

    Reply
  32. Jeffrey Nerona
    Jeffrey Nerona

    Well yeah, there are just times when you don’t “feel it” with other people, even if you’re an extrovert. But don’t give up on millennials, I get along with some mellonnials, and not with some. I think it’s not really about the age, but personality and interests. 🙂

    Reply
  33. Princess
    Princess

    Hello there fellow ambivert ? just like you I’m like that too. As a solobackpacker i tend to join groups to lessen my expenses and ended up shutting them, leaving me alone in the tour haha.. it’s okay though, long as you’re happy with yourself and what you do then that’s all that matters. ^_^

    Reply
  34. Niks Mendoza
    Niks Mendoza

    Makes me want to visit Baguio again. You’re right, Baguio never fails, there’s always a reason to come back. <3

    Reply
  35. Darlene
    Darlene

    Being an introvert, I really try my best to interact with groups when I’m out, especially when traveling. It’s a small feat for me but it also saps my energy a lot. That’s why I prefer to travel solo or with a few people. And yes, definitely one disadvantage is there’s no one to take pictures of you! hahaha

    Reply
  36. Voyager
    Voyager

    Nice and candid piece of writing, I am with you on the Ambivert part, part extrovert and a major part introvert.(After all you do need time for yourself :), I am really taken up with your wanderings in the Diplomat Hotel, really what stories the walls would have witnessed.

    Reply
  37. Sally
    Sally

    I am a full introvert, so as much as I like group tours it is challenging for me 🙂

    Reply
  38. Marta
    Marta

    I would come out the same as you in the test as I can see a lot of myself in this group dynamic! But nobody ever called me a ‘mellonnial’ – that made me laugh! (I am actually a ‘generation x’, I am told ). i would have probably avoided the tree tops, like you, but the tour looks very interested: the temple would have been the highlight for me I think

    Reply
  39. Johna
    Johna

    We’re quite similar! Your blog was beautifully written. I too love to spend time alone sometimes people confuse it for loneliest but I always need at least an hour or two by myself hehe.

    Reply
  40. cathy
    cathy

    Hi Marge!
    Like what I’ve said to you before, I had lived in Baguio for a year but never been to some of these places. Diplomat hotel is kinda creepy tho, knowing that Baguio has many hair raising abandoned places. haha
    On the other hand, Camp John hay is one of my most like places, it’s clean and very refreshing. Looking forward to coming back to Baguio! Xx

    Reply
  41. Kate Barbosa
    Kate Barbosa

    I’ve been to baguio so many times but i haven’t visited the diplomat hotel and arca’s yard. I should visit them next time. Thank you for giving me some other places to visit 🙂

    Reply
  42. Angela
    Angela

    Well now I feel old and stupid because I had no idea what ambivert and OOTD were before reading your post!! Lol I really do learn something new every day. Cheers to you for being self aware and knowing what you need whether it be solitude or a social outing!

    Reply
  43. mark wyld
    mark wyld

    I hear you i think i fit into the same category. I am more than happy to spend my time by myself with occasional bursts of interaction when it suits me. Being from Australia we must really get to the Philippines soon since it’s so close.

    Reply
  44. Arni
    Arni

    We are kindred spirits, Marge. I totally get you. Borderline Introvert and Extrovert, here too. Are you INFP or ISFP by any chance? Acquaintances see me as flaky though. Only the closest to me understand that I hibernate and disappear despite being a crazy talkative buddy during a fun party just the night before. After days or weeks of silence, I re-surface when I am ready to come out of my shell again. The Diplomat Hotel is really creepy. I can’t help laughing at the term “mellonials. ” it’s my first time to hear it. But then I think I’d do the same and tour Diplomat Hotel alone as soon as someone from the van start extending their selfie stick. 🙂 Cheers to ambivert mellonials!

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      Hi Arni. To answer your question, I am the Thinker or an INTP-T. Cheers dear!

      Reply

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