I love traveling because it affords me the opportunity to be transported to unfamiliar environments. Being in a different natural or urban setting becomes an opportunity to realize conceptual photos.

My biggest goal in Baguio was to have my photo taken among towering pine trees. Yeah … pretty vain, I know.

I was looking for a good spot where I could pretend to be in the temperate zone of the world. It’s my dream to visit the pine forests of Alaska, New Zealand, the French Alps (or any alps for that matter), or Forks (Twilight fan here!). The pine forests of Baguio are as close as I can get since I don’t have enough money to travel to these places.

After a walking tour of downtown Baguio, I took a cab to the Mile Hi Center (P50+ metered taxi fare). I was hoping to find a good pine covered spot in this upscale part of Baguio.

Cozy interiors of Little John’s located at Mile Hi Center, Camp John Hay in Baguio

BBQ Ribs at Little John’s

Found out about Little John’s restaurant at PEX. One of the helpful members recommended Little John for its tasty and affordable BBQ Ribs. It was a good call indeed.

The food was delicious and cheap for a place this nice. I loved the cozy feel of Little John’s and the refreshing view of the floor-to-ceiling window at the back.

BBQ Ribs with rice (P145), Iced Tea (P40). No service charge

Refreshing view while dining at Little John’s

Spending P185 for lunch is NOT a cheap meal in the Philippines by most standards. I have no qualms with eating at carinderias or living off from instant noodles for weeks on end. I do it most of the time when I’m traveling but I also don’t like to scrimp out on everything all the time.

I could survive living at dingy hostels with the intention of saving enough money so I could indulge in a nice meal once in a while or go on a worthwhile packaged tour. Traveling doesn’t need to be expensive but when an opportunity to enrich my travel experience comes, I’d take it if I can afford it!

Mile Hi Center

The Mile Hi Center is located within the grounds of Camp John Hay. It’s also called the Camp John Hay Commissary. The place is known for its outlet shops selling branded goods at discounted prices.

Before, I’ve only known about Camp John Hay for its exclusive Golf and Country Club. I was a surprised to discover that it has grown into a sort of hang out place and residential enclave.

Camp John Hay Golf Club

Foot Trails

Camp John Hay wasn’t too exclusive, thankfully. Anyone could just go in and appreciate the relaxed views of Camp John Hay. Taxi and private vehicles are the only means of transportation. No need to have the taxi driver wait up since there are a lot of taxis passing by the main roads.

There were open foot trails and picnic grounds for everyone to enjoy. Spent the afternoon exploring Camp John Hay by foot.

Scenic foot trails

Picnic grounds

Liberty Park

Liberty Park in Camp John Hay

Miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty

“We Shall Overcome. Someday We Shall All Be One.”

Historical Core

The historical core of Camp John Hay is a growing tourist attraction in Baguio. The colorful history of Camp John Hay is preserved through historical landmarks situated in the Historical Core. Entrance fee at the Camp John Hay historical core was P50.

Admission booth.

Cemetery of Negativism

Designed by then Base Commander Major John Hightower, the Cemetery of Negativism is the symbolic burial place of negativism, said to be man’s greatest self-imposed infliction, his most limiting factor, and his heaviest burden.

There were many tombstones with funny epitaphs at the cmetery. It was a great way to lighten the mood before going on a tour of the historical core.

The Ampitheatre

Otherwise known as the Bell Amphitheater, this structure was designed by and named in honor of General J. Franklin Bell. It’s the perfect setting for weddings and intimate gratherings.

Bell House

The Bell House was originally the vacation quarters of the Commanding General of the Philippines. It was General Bell who essentially transformed Camp John Hay into a major military resort.

Today, the Bell House serves as a modern museum of colonial architecture and lifestyle. A portrait of John Milton Hay is set at the center of the living room, while the walls adorn images of Camp John Hay history.

Totem Pole

Made by Ernesto Dul-ang who was employed by the camp as a woodcarver, this hand-crafted wooden fixture used to adorn the scenic Scout Hill, near the premises of the Lone Star restaurant. This features the busts of leaders who helped shape the development and history of Baguio City, Camp John Hay, and the Philippines in general.

The figure heads include Admiral George Dewey, President Emilio Aguinaldo, President William Howard Taft, Secretary John Milton Hay, William Cameron Forbes, President Theodore Roosevelt, Major General J. Franklin Bell, Lt. Colonel Lyman W. Kennon, Mayor Eusebius Halsema, and General Douglas MacArthur.

History Trail

The winding path along the flower beds beside the Bell House has history boards that post the highlights of Camp John Hay’s story. The trail is a 30-minute stroll that ends at the Bell Amphitheater.

Secret Garden

Loved the Secret Garden. Totally what I was looking for! Spend a generous amount of time here :D


Take photo with Baguio pine trees crossed out from my bucket list :)