Visit Baguio City this Christmas Season

Reinforcing its ‘Creative City’ status, the city of Baguio has recently unveiled the City Christmas Tree at Rose Garden, Burnham Park and the Lights and Sounds Show at Malcolm Square.

The Christmas Tree of the City was unveiled last December 1 was presented by several public officials of Baguio City. There were also tons of performances from different groups before the big reveal.

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Photo from Facebook: Mia Magdalena

Measuring 23 meters in height, the tree is adorned with red blooming flowers and woven abaca balls in different sizes. At night, it illuminates with various colors to provide a pleasing visual experience. During its unveiling, hundreds of residents and tourists flocked to get a first look of the highly anticipated Christmas Tree of the City.

During the last week of November, the city government closed down Malcolm Square to pave way for the making of a Lights and Sounds Show for the Christmas season. The show was finally under way last December 1 and it was worth the wait. Animals adorned with Christmas lights stood guard at Malcolm Square while the trees were beautifully wrapped in lights as well. A stage was made in front of Malcolm Square wherein performers would entertain the crowd with songs and dances.

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The best thing about all of this is that everything is free. The city of Baguio does not collect fees from all the performances and showcases. Visit Malcolm Square when you have a chance since the Lights and Sounds show begin during the evening.

Atop Session Road, the spot where the old concrete tree was taken down from years ago would always receive a makeover during the Christmas season. Today’s Christmas season is no different. Instead of your usual Christmas Tree Designs, a ‘Tinatik’ Christmas Tree was unveiled. Maela Liwanag Jose, the creator of the tree, uses a technique called “Tinatik”, taken from the Filipino term “tina” for ‘color’ and the Indonesian term “batik” which means ‘drop’. “Tinatik”, meaning “Color Drop”.

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Photo from Facebook: Mia Magdalena

Taken from WheretoBaguio.com’s article about Tinatik,

“The Story of Creation is the inspiration for many of Maela’s works, especially the Christmas tree. But she doesn’t just tell the story with literal images. Instead, she put a Cordilleran twist with careful research of Cordilleran patterns and symbols which are used in artifacts, fabrics, and tattoos. Which is why if you take a close look at the Christmas tree, you’ll see patterns of spirals, zigzags, curves, and lines – each having meaning, such as spirals for hills, zigzags for fish, and diamonds for day and night.”

We shall be replacing the photos from our own shots once we have the time to take pictures. For now these are samples and photos from WheretoBaguio.com and Facebook.

 

 

 

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Baguio chosen as Philippines’ First UNESCO Creative City

Baguio is Philippines’ First UNESCO Creative City

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In a  press statement, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said that the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” is one of 64 cities worldwide to be included in the Creative Cities Network.

Baguio City is included in the crafts and folk art field.

The UNESCO Creative Cities has highlighted its members’ creativity within 7 fields: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music.

From UNESCO, “The Creative Cities will join a Network at the frontline of UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for a more sustainable and inclusive urban development.”

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is one the agencies of the UN (United Nations).

Cordillera Tourism Director Maria Venus Tan, who was instrumental in Baguio’s campaign, wrote on Facebook, “I woke up today with the happiest news that Bagio has been declared as one of the new UNESCO Creative Cities in its network!”

Baguio, the gateway to the Cordilleras, was created as a hill station by the Americans more than a hundred years ago. The famous architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham set up the blueprint for the city, which was declared as the Summer Capital of the Philippines in 1909.

 

Crafts and Folk Art in Baguio

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National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera  Eric “Kidlat Tahimik” de Guia.

Benedicto Reyes Cabrera — or BenCab, as he is more popularly known is widely hailed as a master of contemporary Philippine art. The artist lives and works in Baguio City.

One of the most prominent names in the Filipino film industry, Eric “Kidlat Tahimik” de Guia has garnered various accolades locally and internationally, including a Plaridel honorarium for Independent Cinema. He is dubbed by fellow filmmakers and critics as the “Father of Philippine Independent Cinema.

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Cordilleran art of weaving has fascinated local and foreign tourists who visit the region

The local woven clothes are an instant hit among tourists, who purchase them as souvenir items. The purchase provides supplementary earnings to local weavers of the Cordilleras.

Nardas is a popular store started by Bontoc weaver Narda Capuyan, this flagship store carries a broad selection of high-quality, locally made items

Another place to visit is the Easter Weaving Room if you are interested in native fabrics and other handicraft. Here one can witness the actual process of cloth weaving as practiced by the natives of the mountain provinces for ages.

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Handicraft Souvenirs

The City of Baguio is one of the best places to buy souvenir for your families back home or souvenirs like wood carvings such as “Barrel Man”.

Notable handicraft items, which are often sold as souvenir items, include hand weaving, wood carving and metalcraft.

Souvenir shopping is one of the most awaited part of every traveler when on a trip or vacation. Everyone wants to share what they seen and experience during their travels.

Souvenirs vary from the local delicacies found only in the place that you are visiting or their specialty products such as bags, clothes, footwear and souvenir items like key chain, ref magnets, mats, bags and others.

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Ifugao Woodcarvers’ Village

The Ifugao Wood Carvers’ Village or Itogon Wood Carvers’ Village is a tourist site in Baguio where workshops of Ifugao wood carvers can be found. High quality wood carvings of various types and sizes are sold at the village, usually at considerably lower prices than elsewhere in Baguio.

A few kilometers away from in Baguio. Off the beaten path of the usual Burnham downtown crowds. The street is lined with woodcarving stores with some being carved on the spot. Wood carved products are 80% cheaper than that found in Manila or the stores in malls. It is worth the visit and shopping!

Items made from real Kamagong wood, Anahaw, or Molave.

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Igorot Culture

Igorot, or Cordillerans, is the collective name of several ethnic groups in the Philippines, who inhabit the mountains of Luzon.

Cultural elements common to the Igorot peoples as a whole include wood carving, weaving, metalworking, and rituals. The rich culture of the Igorot’s are what influences the design, materials, and practices of most arts and crafts in the city of Baguio.

The subjects of the carvings vary widely but are mostly motifs closely associated with the Cordilleras, such as bul’ul or indigenous people and animals.

Unwind at our own Monol Lounge

There’s always a room for improvement and by ‘room’, we mean literally.

The old SRD office has been completely revamped to make room for our Employee/Student Lounge which opened last August. The purpose of the lounge is to provide a tranquil space for students or employees to socialize, study, and rest before, during, or after classes or on breaks. It is located on the B3 floor of the campus just near the lobby. What is great is that food and beverages are allowed and the lounge provides comfortable furniture for students to relax on. The Employees lounge is also covered by CCTV Cameras for everybody’s safety.

Where we study or work usually has a big impact on our ability to be productive so here are some things you can benefit from the newly created lounge.

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Productivity

The lounge is provided for students and employees to use as a venue to study, or take a break. Some students find the lounge to be productive because of its quiet and serene ambiance. Students usually find new environments besides classrooms and dorm rooms to be helpful for their learning. The lounge provides just that as its adequate lighting and minimal noise level helps the student focus on his/her studies.

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Relaxation

The lounge was made for relaxation. The seats are very comfortable while the tables are properly picked to make it a relaxing experience. Everything within the lounge complements each other so that everybody could just sit and spend their time stress-free. This place is also good for employees to unwind when things get overwhelming. Employees and teachers can also use the lounge to unwind after classes or rest before going to their next class. This will reduce the stress to the employee that would lead to better job performances in the workplace.

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Refreshments

Most of our body is made up of water, so it is important   to maintain a good level of hydration to keep our bodies from functioning properly. Although water stations are spread across the campus, the lounge offers an alternative besides your regular water. 2 vending machines are currently installed at the lounge that offers Hot and Cold drinks like Milk Tea, Cappuccino, Mocha, Chocolate drinks, Juices, and Ice Tea. No matter how your day is going there are always hot drinks and beverages waiting for you. Drink up and revitalize yourself for your next class.

Socialization

We always need a place for socialization. The lounge serves as a venue for teachers and students to bond and socialize. Students can approach their teachers at the lounge casually and they could ask questions or talk to their teachers. When teachers or employees hangout with their co-workers, this would increase collaboration and deepen bonds within each other. The lounge is a great place to encourage interactions between everybody at Monol. Simple conversations go a long way in creating bonds made in Monol. Grab a friend now and head over to the lounge!

Safety

CCTV’s are placed in the lounge to ensure the safety of the students and employees. Although the students can go outside the premises of Monol, we provide the lounge as a safer environment for them.

Head on over to our lounge to study, relax, hang-out, daydream, socialize, or revitalize, for a day of happiness here at Monol.

Photo taken by Randy Benigno: https://www.facebook.com/jazztefy

Tips to Keep Warm during the ‘Ber’ Months

Cover Photo taken by: Randy Benigno

‘Ber’ Months bring cooler days ahead. ‘Ber’ Months (September, October, November, December) are your months ending in ‘ber’. Starting on September until December, Baguio’s temperature will start to drop and the wind starts to blow a bit colder. Fog will also blanket our city from time to time as cold air passes. The first week of September, Baguio has already been experiencing the effects of the ‘Ber’ Months. Rain was pouring at some point during the week, fog blanketed the valley, and the cold air breezed throughout the city.

The ‘Ber’ Months are also a reason why tourists flock to the City of Baguio to enjoy the cool climate that you can’t find anywhere in the Philippines. People enjoy walking in the morning to experience the cold air and take pictures of our city blanketed by fog.

To help you get through the cold climate, here are some worthwhile tips to guide you.

  1. Wear a hat.

You may have heard that you lose 80 percent of your body heat through your head, whether that is true or not, wearing a hat certainly helps keep you warm. The hat serves as an insulation against the cold air. Even if you are well clothed, you will lose heat from any part of your body that’s exposed. So wearing a hat even when you are indoors really helps.

  1. Layer your covers with the thinnest, densest ones on top.

Fix your blankets during bedtime. Fluffy blankets should be closer to your skin. Thin, dense blankets should be on top to prevent heat loss. This assures you of a good night’s sleep and prevents you from experiencing chills at night.

  1. Keep Hydrated / Visit the Cafe

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During the ‘Ber’ Months, dehydration is a real concern. Cold air deprives our bodies of moisture through the process of evaporation. People also do not naturally feel as thirsty during the cold weather as they do when the weather is hot.

Drinking plenty of water or hot drinks even when you do not feel thirsty will help you stay hydrated.  A cup of warm water or a hot beverage is your friend during the ‘Ber’ Months as it provides hydration and also warmth to your body. Visit our Coffee Shop and choose from a variety of local beverages to keep you warm.

But there are also drinks you have to avoid. One drink you’ll want to keep away from is alcohol. While a glass or two may give you a “warming” sensation, alcohol actually causes dehydration.

  1. Keep Moving

If you are more active in cold weather, your body will generate more heat as a result. But as students or teachers in Monol, who study, sit or stand for long periods of time you can wiggle your hands and toes every few minutes to keep the blood circulating and keep you warm.

Visit our facilities in the campus to learn more about our Yoga Classes, Sauna Facility, Fitness Gym, and Recreational Hall.

Check out our facilities in the link below: Monol Campus Facilities

  1. Bed Time

The body cools down during sleep, so it’s crucial to prepare carefully for bed. To warm-up you can do jumping jacks/push-ups or you can drink a hot beverage. The goal is to be warm when you climb under the covers. Also, invest in a quality insulating pad to sleep on; what’s underneath you is just as important as what’s on top when it comes to keeping things heated up right. Don’t be afraid to sleep with your socks on, the more layers the better.

 

Celebrating Baguio Day

You might get caught up with heavy traffic, some out of the blue performances, and parades along Session Road. Don’t get puzzled: It’s the 108th Baguio Day.

Friday, September 1 is indeed TGIF for the people of Baguio, including students of Monol because it’s a special non-working holiday.

For this year’s celebration, several activities will be held starting with the annual opening program conducted at the Baguio City Hall, city-wide parade immediately after the said program, and sports contests,  photo contest, performances, as well as pageants such as Little Miss Baguio and the much looked-forward to, the Miss Baguio pageant which will be held within the month of September.

Given yet another long weekend is a great opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Baguio and/or explore the lowlands. For starters, here some links to give you ideas on what to do here in Baguio this coming long weekend:

The Cafe You Should Probably Visit Today

Summer Itinerary: A Glance at the Aesthetics of Baguio City

BAGUIO IN A DAY

Burnham Park: Baguio’s classic tourist spot

The Place I Came to Love in Baguio

This Special Holiday is annually celebrated to commemorate the transition of Baguio from being a provincial mountain to a charter city on September 1, 1909.

 

 

5 Beaches to Explore Away from Baguio

The Philippines boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Surrounded mostly by water, going to beach is always on the top list on the itinerary of tourists and travelers who are visiting the country. On the weekend, you might want to explore the lowlands and hit one of these destinations:

San Juan

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Photo courtesy of Google Map

San Juan beach, also dubbed as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines” is one of the destinations where Monol keeps coming back to because it is an ideal package deal for a quick getaway. It takes only two hours to go there, so a day would be enough for a round trip back to Baguio. Make the most of the day by riding through the waves and surfing lessons which costs around 400 pesos per head or by just simply sitting along the shore, talking, and pigging out.

Patar Beach

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Photo courtesy of Google Map

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Photo from outoftownblog.com

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Photo from shoestringtravelers.com

Quick Facts
Travel time from Baguio City: 4 hours
Activities: Swimming

Patar Beach is located in Bolinao, Pangasinan a four hour-travel from Baguio City. This haven boasts crystal clear water and mocha-colored sand, as well as the serene atmosphere of unadulterated nature. Patar beach’s country side vibe, traditional huts, and warm-hearted people, overall, is a haven for your laid-back precedence.

Aside from the swimming activity, you can also explore some nearby attractions such as the Enchanted Cave, Bolinao Falls, and Lighthouse.

“Pagudpud”

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Photo courtesy of Google Map

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Photo from pagudpodshore.com

The municipality of Pagudpud is located in Ilocos Norte, an eight-hour ride from Baguio City. It may sound quite a long journey on the way there, but it’s all worth it upon being greeted by white sand beach and crystal clear shores thus gaining its title as “Boracay of the North”. Aside from this, you can also enjoy the Bangui Wind farm, light house, museums, parks, and waterfalls.

Hundred Islands

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Photo courtesy of Google Map

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Hundred Islands National Park is considered as one of the National Geological Monuments of the Philippines consisting of whooping 123 islands or 124 islands during low-tide where you can do lots of activities such as paragliding, banana boating, snorkeling, and canoe plus picnic and lots of photo-opts. It takes three hours and thirty minutes from Baguio.

Lingayen Beach

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Photo courtesy of Google Map

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Photo by shoestringstraveller.com

Lingayen beach is one of the nearest beaches from Baguio City. It would only take you two hours and a half to reach this serene and breezy place. Lingayen gulf is known as a military base during the World War II. Not far from the beach is the provincial capitol where you could drop by to have a background of its history. In between the beach and the capitol is a display of the actual military equipment used during the era. If you wish to spend your time at the shore, there are free cottages where you can chill, a pavement where you can stroll, and some food stalls or nearby hotel restaurants to grab a bite. Either way is a delightful experience to just sit around and unwind.

If you wish to explore some of these destinations, Monol conducts weekend trip every two weeks where you can enjoy doing outdoor activities with other students.

 

 

In Case You Need to Take a Break: Prologue to PUGAD

Writing assignments, tests, presentations, classes, home works – we know you’re busy. With all these jam packed tasks and the limited time in the academy, it’s almost improbable to take a break and replace these with activity filled breather outside Baguio, add to that the hassle of long hours of traveling and the curfew.

But what if we tell you that there is a haven, not so far away, where you can do bunch of activities all in one day?

Located at the Municipality of Pugo, La Union, Pugo Adventure or also known as PUGAD, is the combo meal version of rest, relaxation and adventures.

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Photo courtesy of Google Map

Within an hour of travel from Baguio City, this adventure hub would be a great escapade from the city life especially when you tag your friends along. For the adrenaline junkie, feel free to choose your cup of tea from several activities such as ziplining, ATV, wall climbing, rappelling, and water adventures such as kayaking, jet skiing, and others.

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If you are the slightly active type of person who finds pleasure through reading books, dipping into the water, or simply observing  nature, you can stay at one of the huts or kubo overlooking the swimming pool. Either way, the lush greenery would never fail to give you the break you deserve.

For more information regarding fees, refer to the image below:

PUGAD ADVENTURE PRICE LIST

Photo from https://www.facebook.com/Pugo-adventure