I always wanted to go to places like Manila or Boracay in the Philippines, but I never thought of going to Baguio. Baguio also known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines is located at altitude approximately 1,600 meters above sea level in the province of Banguet in Luzon island with population around 300,000 people.
Traveling to Baguio from Dau Terminal (bus terminal near Clark Airport) takes about 4 and half hours in average. The bus from Manila will stop at every major town to drop and pick-up passengers via winding and very scenic mountain road before arriving at final destination in Baguio. Baguio has very pleasant subtropical highland climate with temperature between 15-25 degree Celsius.
Main economic activities in this city is education and tourism. There are many universities, colleges and academies including the prestigious Philippine Military Academy located in this city. I also noticed a Korean community living here. After a few conversation with the locals, I learned that these Koreans actually came to Baguio to learn English at English Language Institute before they settled down here. I can see why this city popular with the immigrants.
Although I didn't explore other part of the Philippines, in my opinion this country is not much different compare to Malaysia except they have less infrastructures and I don't feel safe here because they conducted body search before I enter shopping malls and employed armed security to guard 7-Eleven and Starbucks.
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The first and last I did this race was in April 2008. I had very bad allergic after the race and MC for 2 days. That's why I never take part in the race any more after that. But this time around Fiza registered for me. Five months prior to the race day I only had one training session in the pool with 2km distance and after the bicycle accident my arms hurt badly if I do repetitive strokes. How am I going to finish this?? My target is to finish it, don't care about the timing. However, with minimal training I got minimal result, I managed to complete the race but missed the cut off in just 2-3 minutes after caught in the strong current. As expected, I was MC 2 days due to skin allergic. :(