Baguio City accommodations have always been expensive for me. We always end up staying at Hotel Veniz right across Burnham Park since it’s the cheapest one we can find without compromising quality and location. This time though, since the ticket given to me by J or the The Backpack Chronicles was also accompanied by a deposit to a backpacker room at the AKAP Dormitel, I decided to just use it for my whole stay in the city.
I’m used to staying near Session Road whenever I’m in Baguio, so having a hotel far from the city center was a bit of a jam for me, I simply do not know how to get there. With no other choice, I boarded a taxi and instructed the driver to drop me off at the AKAP Training Center along Quezon Hill. I found out later that I can simply take a Quezon Hill-bound jeep from the market and just walk a few steps to get to the place.
The dormitel is housed in a cream-colored four-storey building near the Bauang-Baguio Road. It is walking distance away from the Lourdes Grotto, one of Baguio City’s tourist crowd-draw.
I was quite curious as to what AKAP means, and one of their staff explained to me that it’s actually an acronym for Alay Sa Kapatid Foundation, a cause-oriented group that helps the marginalized sectors of Benguet and Baguio City. She further shared that my rental fees actually goes to fund their projects.
I arrived at Baguio City two days before the Panagbenga Festival. While most hotels near the center were already starting to be filled to the rafters with tourists, it seemed that they have yet to reach AKAP Training Center’s rooms. I was their one and only guest.
The room I got was on the uppermost floor, at the farthest end of the building. It was good for two persons and was priced at Php400.00. I managed to haggle it down a bit since I’m gonna be staying alone in the room (or at least I hoped so, the place was honestly giving me the heebie-jeebies).
I climbed along the silent stairwell, passed the empty halls of the second and third floors, and finally the last floor. I was flipping the light switches on as I went along since everything was turned off. I finally reached my door which was adjacent to another dark hallway with a faded mirror on its far end. I feel I’m gonna need to muster all my courage just to get to my room come night time.
There were no air-conditioning which was fine since Baguio’s chilly weather is more than enough. The problem though was the common dormitory-type bathroom which has no hot water. You can heat a pail of water though through their electric heater. The CR’s locks were all broken, which was again no problem since I was the only one in the building. But I think it would be an issue once the Panagbenga crowd start to pour in.
My creep-button was always on high alert during my stay at AKAP center, but my nagging fear seemed baseless. I slept without any sort of supernatural disturbance all through the duration of my stay.
The best part of AKAP was the view. My room looks out to a hill of houses, it doesn’t look that nice in the morning but the view gleams like jewel on a dark blue night come evening.
Would I recommend staying at AKAP Training Center? If you’re on a budget and in a group, yes I definitely would. It’s probably the cheapest room you’ll get in Baguio City; but it can really get creepy if you’re all alone. The rooms themselves are decent enough, you just have to really make do with their comfort rooms.
AKAP Training Center Dormitel
Address: 11 Artiaga st., Quezon Hill Road 2., Baguio City Contact Number: (0926) 165-0980 | (074) 443-4769
Room Rates: Starts at P300.00 per person (as of 2015)
How to get there: Board a Quezon Hill jeepney from San Luis Jeepney Terminal and alight at Artiaga Street. Fare is Php9.50
GPS Coordinates Map: 16°24'48.6"N 120°34'52.5"E