Nomad Managing / Wi-fi Hunting in Baguio feat. Hill Station Part 1
While I got a lot of rave reviews from my temporary Baguio Satellite Office when I blogged about it and posted pictures on Facebook, my dreamy office did have its setbacks. Difficult wi-fi. And so, began the search for wi-fi in Baguio City.
I’m a bit stubborn about favoring homegrown cafes or restos (especially when I’m travelling outside Manila) vs. Starbucks (which apparently, in Baguio, provides free wi-fi to patrons - unlike in Manila), even if this means going out of my way or walking / commuting a little more.
On that fateful Friday morning, my journey began at the top of session road. It was around 8:30 a.m., so I decided to go to Zola Cafe first (which I read was open 24 hours). I remembered seeing it when we were driving around town the day before, so I was convinced I could easily spot it.
So I walked the whole stretch of Session Road and when I reached the bottom, was perplexed that I hadn’t seen it. I had gone back up, mid-Session Road, saw the building housing Oh My Gulay, went in to find it closed, asked the neighboring shop what time they opened, was told they opened at 10:00 a.m., decided to go back there for lunch (because I love the place) but work at Zola Cafe first.
So again I sojourned out to Session Road, this time asked for directions to Zola Cafe and found out it was situated practically where I got off at the top of Session Road. Nice one, Jen. And this was my workstation there:
Zola Cafe seems like an all-day drinking place, probably catering to people working at call centers, which I assume are present in all major cities in the Philippines. Zola Cafe provides free wi-fi and an ample number of outlets (very freelancer-friendly), which was especially necessary to me because I bring around not a laptop, but a portable desktop, ever since my 2nd laptop battery died on me over a month ago (?), and I did not get a replacement for it because I’m holding out for a new laptop.
I stayed there until just before 10:00 a.m. (I just found it a tad too noisy and cigarette smoke-y — so yeah, it’s a smoker-friendly lace), got my bill, and left for my much anticipated working day at Oh My Gulay!
When I get to Oh My Gulay! a little past 10:00 a.m., I find that the door leading to the resto was just open a crack, hinting that the place was not yet open. But I stealthily made my way in, like a ninja! Not. But anyway, yeah, I went in, and asked the staff if they were open already. Staff tells me they open at 11:00 a.m. Meh. Fail, neighbor!
But anyway, I asked the staff if it would be okay for me to take pictures and hang around while waiting for them to open (so I didn’t have to look for another place to stay), and he said that would be fine. YES! *fistpumps* So I take a million pictures, then after selecting a spot from all of the wonderful seating options, I finally settle in here:
*Fistpuuuuuump!* I was so excited by the prospect of working there til mid-afternoon. Not soon after I had turned on my laptop, one of the waiters comes up to me, and I think, yay! They can take my order now. Instead he goes, “Ma’am, sorry bawal po magsaksak (Ma’am, sorry, but you can’t plug in your electronics)”. Given that I had no working battery, it would be impossible for me to work without an outlet.
So again, began my journey. I whipped out my handy dandy Kindle Keyboard 3G, which serves me more as a map / guide rather than a reading device (shame on me, I know), and checked what else might be available in the area. I remember Karlo’s sister Maria telling me there was wi-fi available at Hill Station, so I headed over there.
After the walk up Session Road, I get there and the first thing I ask is: “May wi-fi ba kayo (Do you have wi-fi)?”, followed by an immediate, very moocher-sounding “Meron ba kayong outlet (Do you have an outlet)?”
When I got an affirmative on both questions, I rejoiced in the knowledge that I finally found a place to stay and park my heavy-ish bag. Huzzah!
Granted, I went through further lengths than would be recommended for looking for internet (because there were internet cafes and Starbucks)…buuuut yeah. Let’s just say it wasn’t the ideal scenario, but I discovered more! (Like which places I could NOT work) LOL.
From Baguio to Boracay,