My Victory Liner First Class Deluxe Experience to Baguio, Cafe by the Ruins Stopover and the Road to the Benguet State University in La Trinidad, ATI-CAR Dormitory & Canteen

I was invited once again for an Organic Agriculture (OA) tour experience this year and this time, I made my way to the north on my own! It was also my first time to try the Victory Liner First Class (Deluxe) going to Baguio. I'm so excited to share about this because it was super worth it to add-on just a little to the regular fare. hehe. Because my tour mates were still in Manila, I managed to sqeeze in a little "me time" in Baguio at Cafe by the Ruins while staying on route to get to the Benguet State University - where our host the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI-CAR) of the Department of Agriculture is based and where we were supposed to stay for the night.

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Guide for Buying Victory Liner Deluxe Tickets 

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I made sure to buy my ticket around 2 days before at the same Cubao terminal of Victory Liner. Even this early, the 10 a.m. trip for the next next day was already fully booked. Take note - you can book at a minimum of 8 days in advance online and pay through their site for Victory Liner tickets! :) You can also refund your tickets but subject to a deduction. Like for mine, the total for one way was P720, I think you'll be deducted around P70+ - which is not bad for cancelled tickets. I went to the terminal personally, got the 12:25pm trip and requested to sit in "single" (no seatmate and isolated from the two other adjacent seats in my row!) and "opposite the driver" side (if my theory was correct, then the sun wouldn't be on my face and side for this afternoon trip hehe).

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I wanted to find my way to Benguet from Baguio while there was still light outside since I was traveling alone. I also wanted to sleep earlier from a long day LOL. I was at the Cubao terminal by 12 p.m. so as not to risk losing my seat to chance passengers. 

First Class Bus to Baguio 
Here are the things and perks included in this trip: newspaper, chippy, cupcake, mineral water, restroom in the bus, no stopovers, english-speaking bus attendant, tablet, updated english movie, bigger seats, legspace, free Wifi. Ahh... 5 hours of bliss! Note 8/2013: According to a Victory Liner tweet, you can only ride a deluxe / first class in the Baguio route =D

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Cafe by the Ruins Stopover
I managed to grab a quick stopover at Cafe by the Ruins ( Address: 25 Shuntug Road) in Baguio. From the station, I went there via metered taxi P57 since I didn't know the way. I initially wanted to go directly to BSU (Benguet State University) but the driver told me to take a jeepney from Shuntug Road near City Hall instead because of the traffic and it was cheaper. He said it will cost only P10-20 via jeep from this point. I had always wanted to spend a few days on my own exploring Baguio since my first blogging adventure and there always seemed to be no time to do it. I finally gave myself an hour in this place. =)

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I loved the ambiance and that moment of peace (and Wifi haha). This OA trip was going to be 5 days after all and this was already a long Day 1.

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I saw two of my favorite things too in the menu! I couldn't believe I could find Kesong Puti (white cheese) with Basil and Scones in Baguio of all places.. The biggest shock of all was it all cost less than P100.. O_O hahaha.

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The Road to Benguet State University
Just outside (right side) of Cafe by the Ruins near the Otek Square if I'm not mistaken, I found a jeepney labeled Bokawkan (later on I found out this was the Red Light District). Benguet State University (BSU) was in its route. I arrived at the gate 30 minutes later and I walked just a few steps away to the right to get to the dorm.

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The ATI-CAR has a dormitory inside BSU - where we stayed for 2 nights.

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This compound is where the Agricultural Training Institute trainings are conducted in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). There's also a cooperative selling the products from Benguet and a canteen which serves yummy food AND coffee.

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The rates are pretty decent and anyone can stay here, just depends if there is an available room or space.

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P150 per person for the 4-person (or 5-person or 6-person) room like ours. No TV and no aircon (but it's cold here anyway).

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There's hot water in the hand-held shower.

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You can watch TV outside in the common area until 10 p.m.

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I got to peek inside the private rooms.

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Rates for the ATI-CAR Dormitory and Capacity below:

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As I said, there's a food hall / canteen at the ATI-CAR. It can accommodate lots of people (maybe around capacity of the dorm).

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After that filling snack at Cafe by the Ruins, I managed to eat some more here for dinner because the food was actually good. The Soup turned out to be Mais (corn) and the flavor was so nice - perfect for that rainy night too.

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This Plate of Veggies was also a nice surprise. T'was fresh Broccoli mixed with softened Chicharon =)

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The Coffee was also the best I've tasted so far (I don't drink coffee, but I did here during every meal).. No bitter taste, only yumminess for a few more meals here at the ATI-CAR dorm!

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While eating, I was reading this very big pledge on the wall Panatang Makapalay for 2013 and it actually reminded me to get only what I can eat. The plight of our farmers should be appreciated every time we eat and I acknowledge that I tend to eat mindlessly and independent of any thoughts about the farmers who worked hard for every grain of rice and products I consume. The others were still in Manila and I was starting my OA journey here already at the ATI-CAR canteen table =)

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4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this feature.

    Humbled that I am from La Trinidad. :)

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  2. if only this post posted before May may idea sana ako how to travel Baguio alone. Gusto ko pa naman sana i-explore din ang Baguio alone. So coward of me. :-)

    we started memorizing and reciting Panatang Makapalay in support of National Year of Rice.

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  3. ok po ba ang first class bus nila? we want to try. :)

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