Saturday, January 17, 2015

Aris Enconado

"Sitio La Presa" is Mount Santo Tomas' Latest Attraction

When I first visited Mount Cabuyao/Mount Santo Tomas with my fellow QAs a few years back, Sitio La Presa does not exist yet. What existed before which was unknown to many is Sitio Pungayan. When ABS-CBS's teleserye "Forevermore" became a hit nationwide, Sitio La Presa has come to rise as well - to an extent that it has now become one of the latest attractions in Mount Santo Tomas. Sitio La Presa is a fictional town created by ABS-CBN.

One more shot before we "go up." In this photo: The car for hire that will bring us at Mount Cabuyao and my lady buddies, Priscilla, April and Ritchell. We paid Php150.00 for one-way car ride.
My friends and I decided to visit "Sitio La Presa" a few days back although my main purpose in visiting Mount Santo Tomas is to visit Cafe in the Sky and  to witness "some sea of clouds." We left Baguio City past twelve noon and we took a jeepney going to Donna's place. We arrived at their house around one in the afternoon. I was a bit surprised when food was served when we arrived. (Thanks Donna and Moana for the hospitality.) After eating, we had some rest and after we've gained enough strength, we left the Taqued's house. We hired a private car going to Sitio La Presa. We paid Php150.00 for the fare. (This is cheaper compared to other cabs.)
"This way please to Sitio La Presa." Oh well, I'm just pretending that the ladies said this. If you're going to visit Sitio La Presa, take this narrow road. 
We arrived in Mount Santo Tomas around two in the afternoon, and we were greeted by the cold breeze and some fogs covering the whole mountain. It was cold. It's quite unbearable so I wore my jacket. There's nothing much do to in Sitio La Presa aside for "picture taking" so that's what we did in most our our stay. There's no taping on that day as well so we didn't get a chance to see the forever most and crew. Despite these, we still had fun.
The sign says "Welcome to Sitio La Presa." In this photo: Yours Truly, April, Priscilla and Cecilia.
We stayed at Sitio La Presa for an hour or two (well, I couldn't recall well). Knowing that the twin Radar and the View Deck are just a couple of minutes walk from Sitio La Presa, I invited the ladies to go there. Fortunately, they agreed. It took us around 20 minutes to reach the Radar and another 5 minutes to reach the View Deck. Because it's was foggy, the ladies didn't have a chance to see Baguio City, the Loakan Aiport, SM City Baguio, Green Valley, etc. These can all be seen from the View Deck.
"Bawal ang maingay sa taping the Forevermore sa La Presa.:
After our stay at the View Deck, we dropped by Cafe in the Sky. We didn't eat there given the fact that we need to go back to Baguio as soon as we can. What we did there was sit (for a few minutes) and have another batch of "picture taking."
The house of Agnes in Sitio La Presa and the other tourists, or perhaps fans of Forevermore. 
We stayed aty Cafe in the Sky for a few minutes and, afterwards, we decided to visit the water reservoir. Unlike when I first visited the place, it's half-empty which is probably the impact of the summer season.  On our way back, the Manong Driver, Francis, picked us up and we went back to the Taqued's house. We paid another Php150.00 for the return fare.

Here's an oveview of out expenses during out recent Sitio La Presa escapade:

Fare (Baguio City Proper - Green Valley) - Php15.50/head
Fare (GReen Valley to Mount Cabuyao/ Santo Tomas - Php150.00/5 heads = Php30.00.
Food - free courtesy of Donna and Moana
Total Expenses: Php45.50

I heard and read that other cab drivers charge from Php350.00-Php800.00. We only paid Php150.00 roundtrip. We hired Manong Francis car. He was kind and he often throw jokes to us. For affordable fare gong to Sitio La Presa, please contact him at cellphone number 0921-560-8000. (Tell him that I recommended him to you.)

Here are the other photos taken during our recent Sitio La Presa escapade:
A scenic view at Sitio La Presa. In this photo: Priscilla, Ritchell, April and Cecilia.
"To the View Deck." The mountain was covered with fogs so we were not able to see Baguio City from above. 
Priscilla and I on our way to the view deck.
The "Radar." In this photo: Yours Truly, April, Priscilla and Cecilia.
A closer view of the "radar." Amazing, isn't it. 
At the fog-covered View Deck. In this photo: Yours Truly, April and Cecilia. 
Cafe in the Sky is now open to serve Baguio City and Benguet. Check them out!
Please note that Sitio La Presa is not part of Baguio City. It is part of Benguet. Claire Prudencio, Benguet tourism officer, said Forevermore was able to correct the misconception that Mount Santo Tomas is in Baguio. The hit telenovela has helped identify the area as a Benguet destination.

Aris Enconado

About Aris Enconado -

I am a wanderer. I live. I love. I travel. I climb. I eat. I like to go to places I don't know and I love meeting strangers. I believe that everyone falls in love and love is the only thing that doesn't hurt in this world.

Subscribe to this Blog via Email :

Feel free to leave your comments. I'll be glad to reply to you anytime soon.