After another chaotic time shooting the Panagbenga Float Parade, I was again on the hunt for some peace and quiet. I took out my phone and checked the map for interesting places nearby. I found that the Wright Park was only a few minutes away by foot from the Azalea Residences. I packed my things and set to go.
I bade farewell to my fellow travel buddies and proceeded on foot towards the park. I passed the infamous Teacher’s Camp in Baguio City and was almost tempted to spend the remaining light of the afternoon there. But I was all alone, and so I chickened out.
Vehicles swooshed along the curving Leonard Wood Road as I walked on. I knew I was near Wright Park when my nose began to twitch. Horse manure. I passed a wooded area with horse riders following a well-beaten trail.
Horses with pink hairs, crowned with flowers and other colorful doodads line a stable. From there, tourists can hire them for an hour of fun either at the horse trail or around the surrounding roadways. The horses vary in sizes, convenient for kids wanting to try a little bit of real-life horsing around.
The area is managed by the Wright Park Pony Boys and rates are at Php300.00 for an hour and Php200.00 for half an hour. One can simply ride around the park, gallop all the way to the Mines View, or ride all the way to Mount Sto. Tomas (which can take up to five hours). There is however an additional Php300.00 guide fee for places other than the park.
I’m not really into horses so I moved on. I slowly clambered up the hundred plus stone steps that connect the riding area to the upper part of the park. The seemingly never ending steps were beautiful bathed in golden hues from the retreating sun. There was no reason to hurry though, so I took my time, enjoying each and every step upwards.
A couple of elderly Igorots dressed in traditional clothing asked me if I wanted to have a picture taken with them. I’m really not really fond of having my photos taken so I simply asked if I can just take a snap of the colorful garbs they let tourist wear for photo ops. I made sure not to include the elders in the image as I know they charge a small fee if you do.
At last, I reached the top! The sun was now ripe with color but I was too exhausted to find a good vantage for a sunset photo. The only thing I wanted to find was a place where I can sit my ass down and drink a very cold bottle of soda.
The last rays of the day painted the upper portions of the gigantic trees lining Wright Park’s famous Pool of Pines. I remember seeing photos of this place as far back as my aunts’ teen days; definitely one of the most enduring and picturesque Baguio icons the city has.
The reflecting pool stretches for 100 meters and terminates at the ornate black gates of The Mansion. Tourists flocked the expansive front lawn of the white Spanish Colonial Revival-styled building. I recall my mom jokingly saying that this serves as the house for our country’s president when it was too hot to stay in Manila. My mom is never wrong so let’s leave it at that haha.
According to some online sites I’ve seen, a museum containing presidential memorabilia can be accessed inside by the visitors. But the guards I spoke with said that tourists are only allowed up to the front driveway of the villa.
Evening was slowly descending as I snapped my last photo. The sun had completely retreated down the horizon and it was starting to really get cold. I looked back at the pines reflecting at park’s infinite reflecting pool and surmised how this might not be the place for travelers looking for something new and exciting. But for regular tourists (me included) simply looking for a quiet place to unwind with their families and friends, the Wright Park is the right place to be.
Address: Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City
Entrance Fee: Free
Address: Romulo Drive, Baguio City
Entrance Fee: Free
GPS Coordinates: 16.415431,120.618714
View Location on Google Maps: Click Here