Baguio City is, for most of us, the City of Pines or the Summer Capital of Philippines. Baguio is also the gateway to the Cordilleras primarily because most travelers opt to start their adventure to the highlands by spending a night (or day) in this urban mountain city.
Baguio is about 247km north of Manila or a 6-8hrs trip depending on your chosen mode of transport. There are plenty of options on how to get there. There are several bus lines that ply the Manila-Baguio route. Victory Liner is one of the most popular bus companies.
I am from the South and I usually take a flight to Manila first and start my Luzon adventure from there. If you start from Manila, it is recommended that you take the bus trip from Pasay. Traffic in Manila is notorious and oftentimes unpredictable. Most travelers would rather take the late evening or early morning trip to Baguio City to avoid being stuck in EDSA or NLEX.
Travelling from NAIA to the Victory Liner Bus Terminal in Pasay was a challenge in itself. But after a few hours, I got into an air-conditioned bus and slept for almost the entire duration of the travel.
I never quite remembered well where the bus stopped for either a pee break or a quick meal. I think the bus stopped at Urdaneta and Sison in Pangasinan and Rosario in La Union. The bus then took the Marcos Highway. For a few hours more, I set foot in Baguio once again.