Session Road has always been special to me. I love walking along its covered chilly sidewalk, dodging both locals and tourists garbed in sweaters, boots and bonnets. I love the many shops and restaurants inside both new and old buildings. I love how during rainy Baguio days, we’d hole up on a second floor veranda of a certain bar and simply watch the passing cars along its slick roadways, beer in hand, stories passed around.
That certain bar, 108 Session Road Café, is located at the old La Azotea building, the same one where celebrated filmmaker, Kidlat Tahimik’s quirky Oh My Gulay! can be found. But we go here, not for OMG’s leafy offerings, but for a few hours of beer and acoustic music.
|108 SESSION ROAD CAFE IN BAGUIO CITY|
We found this place purely by chance. We were on the hunt for a watering hole in Baguio where we can actually chill without being confined inside smoky interiors. From the sidewalks of Session Road, the jangle of an acoustic guitar and the trill of a country singer beckoned us to look up to a warmly lit balcony fringed with pink blooms of bougainvillea. It eventually pulled us across its dark hallway, up the wide wooden stairwell, and finally to the balustraded corridor to the 108 Session Road Café.
It eventually became our watering hole of choice in Baguio City.
|HANGING OUT AT THE BALCONY WITH A VIEW OF THE ACOUSTIC BAND’S BACK|
The bar opens late in the afternoon, perfectly timed after running around Baguio’s tourist spots. We’d sit at the balcony, a bit away from the speakers at the corners, with a view of the acoustic performers near the double sliding doors that remain perpetually open.
|SESSION ROAD BALCONY AT DUSK|
We’d order a bucket of Red Horse beer, which by the way is served in six 500ml’s for only PHP270.00 during happy hour (PHP350.00 during regular hours). Quite cheap, considering the bar’s location. And it comes with a small plate of peanuts to boot too!
|LUMPIANG SHANGHAI AND FRENCH FRIES PULUTAN|
The food here is quite average, but we rarely order from them except for a few occasions. We usually just buy a few bags of chips from a sari-sari store right inside the second floor of the building, or sneak in a pack of chicharon or two from the nearby Baden Powell bus terminal—where we also head to for our Goto BP fix right after our drinking session.
|ONE OF THE CHEAPEST RED HORSE BUCKETS IN BAGUIO CITY|
But yes, we’re here to drink. That and chill out to the acoustic duos that frequent the bar.
One particular artist we look forward to every time we visit 108 Session Road Café is this middle aged bald guy who dishes out folk rock sets. Sir George, as the staff calls him. He’d simply sit there, tune his acoustic guitar and launch off into a bluesy guitar solo before singing a string of songs from the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton.
|SIR GEORGE AND HIS BLUESY FOLK ROCK SET|
After several visits over the years, we’d see this guy do his set at this same bar, and every time, we’d cheer him on and ask requests, which he’d promptly play and sing with his signature tremulous voice. He might not be the best of singers, but his character more than makes up for it.
And as with this last visit, we found he’s quite popular with the crowd, both with the millennials and the titos of Baguio City, which was a surprise since what he sings, you’d usually just hear on the FM radio during Sunday shows.
And this is what makes this place even more special to us. Us singing our lungs out to the songs our parents grew up in as the cool Baguio night breeze waft through the bar’s open balcony—a very cold bottle of Red Horse beer on our hands.
108 Session Road Cafe
Address: 2/f La Azotea Building, 108 Session Road
Baguio City, Benguet
Open Hours: 5:00PM to 1:00AM Daily
Contact Number: (074) 423-5417
GPS Coordinates Map: 16.411811, 120.598128
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