Baguio City has achieved its summer capital fame thanks to the scenic greenery, historical landmarks, delicacies, and its enviable cold climate. Tourists also flock the City of Pines for its rich cultural traditions like the month-long Panagbenga Festival, in which colorful flowers cover the streets with floats and parades. Besides these, the two other best pictures of Baguio: fresh vegetables and, of course, ukay-ukay shopping.
The popular local summer destination pulsates with so many attractions that its streets come alive night or day. If you’re planning a trip to the wonderful city of Baguio, don’t forget to add on your itinerary the chance to visit the ubiquitous public markets and ukay-ukay shops around Baguio.
Ukay-ukay hotspots, halukay ‘til you drop
Since the late 90s, Baguio has become an ukay-ukay center where you can find thrift stores selling secondhand apparels at almost every nook and corner in the city. Winding streets sprawl with mountain-like piles of pre-owned goods: clothes, bags, shoes, toys, and all sorts of knick-knacks being sold for dirt-cheap.
What makes ukay-ukay an exciting experience is that it can be a gold mine of great thrift finds. Just think of the possibility of scoring authentic signatured and designer items that cost half the price than a brand new one. And since everybody loves a good bargain, with ukay you can still haggle for a much lower price, unlike in malls where prices are fixed.
ICYDK: “Ukay-ukay” is a play on the Filipino word “halukay” which literally means to “dig sloppily,” giving a literal meaning when you do ukay shopping: You have to dig in a jumbled pile of used clothes until you have found a rare gem in mint condition and the right size for a low price you won’t find elsewhere.
Baguio locals call it “wagwagan.” “Wagwag” means “to shake,” because literally, you have to shake the dust off these secondhand items.
These shops in Baguio City can give you the ultimate ukay-ukay experience:
• Baguio/Harrison Night Market – along Harrison Road, near Melvin Jones Grandstand, right after main traffic intersection near Maharlika Center
• Skyworld Ukay Center – Lower Session Road corner F. Calderon Street, fronting Prime Hotel and City Center Hotel
• Bayanihan Lodge Commercial Center – #51 Otek Street, Baguio City, northwest of Burnham Park, back of Veniz Hotel
• Baguio Hilltop – behind Baguio City Public Market
• Shops along Abanao St. – building across Abanao Square on Abanao St.
• Old Mido Inn – at the foot Session Road
• Bookends Baguio (secondhand bookshop, artworks) – near UCPB Building, F. Calderon Street
• Shops near Malcolm Square (some shops secluded)
Rummage through the racks. Sift through all the hangered clothes and sundries. The best bargains await those who are brave and patient enough to enter these labyrinthine stores.
Cheap fruits and veggies to fill your palengke basket
Baguio’s strategic location of being close to different vegetable plantations and farms make it one of the country’s top producers of agricultural goods. Baguio is home to city markets that paint a chef’s kitchen with a colorful array of the freshest fruits and veggies.
The “palengke,” local term for “market,” is where you can buy organic produce at relatively cheap prices. In Baguio, most people would recommend Baguio City Market as the best place to buy anything from a whole range of fruits and veggies: lettuce, cauliflower, potatoes, radish, Baguio beans, and zucchini, among others.
Swing by this public market at the base of Session Road on Magsaysay Ave. near Burnham Park to grab the best produce and products of the Cordilleras. Baguio City Market is probably the only market in the Philippines considered a top tourist attraction for being one of the cleanest and cheapest. Here, you can bag a kilo of Baguio-signature strawberries for only P200!
Navigate the place and discover the best bargains from the complete and overwhelming variety of items for sale, from wet and dry goods, industrial items, to native handicrafts and souvenir products like the famous barrelman. Course through areas of the wet goods for fresh or processed meats and seafood, and reach the central area of fruits and veggies.
Head home while imagining on your way the delightful dishes you can prepare out of the goodies you’ve collected in your palengke basket.
Where to stay?
Let’s say you have already planned out which places to go in Baguio—which thrift shops to buy ukay from, and which public markets to swing by to get the freshest, cheapest veggies. But where do you stay? Make your Baguio experience cooler at Azalea Hotels & Residences Baguio.
Your holiday haven, Azalea Hotels & Residences is Baguio City’s first and only 4-star serviced apartment. With a magnificent mountain lodge exterior, Azalea lets you experience the cool breeze of Baguio with your loved ones while getting cozy inside one of its tastefully-decorated modern luxury suites. Each unit is well-furnished, with its own kitchen, living, and bedroom areas.
This sizeable deluxe hotel in Baguio has the full services and amenities of an upscale serviced apartment. The intimate property nestles in the heart of the city on Leonard Wood Loop, near Teachers’ Camp. Only 10 to 15 minutes away from SM Baguio City, it has become a holiday hotel favorite.
Guests who love to tour around would definitely enjoy its location. Exploring attractions like Session Road, Mines View Park, and Camp John Hay would be a cinch. With modern hotel facilities replete with kitchen equipment, dining, and entertainment spaces, you’ll get to have the luxury of a hotel along with the comforts of home at Azalea Residences Baguio.
For a tropical country such as the Philippines, a destination to beat the heat during the summer season is a necessity. Because of its continually cooler climate, Baguio is among the top places for vacations and weekend trips. Tagged as the country’s summer capital, this city has a plethora of attractions up its sleeves so you won’t run out of things to do.
There are heritage sites and cultural spots to see, museums, exhibits, and famous other landmarks. Yearly festival and traditions make the streets come alive. If there’s any place in the Philippines where going to the market and ukay-ukay shopping are both a pleasant experience, it’s got to be Baguio.
And when it’s time to call it a day and you have to find a place to have a rewarding stay, come to Azalea Residences, your home in the City of Pines.
Azalea Hotels & Residences Baguio is located at No. 7 Leonard Wood Loop, Brgy. Manuel Roxas, Baguio City 2600, Philippines. Book direct online at www.azaleabaguio.com.