Thursday, February 28, 2013

THE BAGUIO THAT I USED TO KNOW


good shepherd

"But you didn't have to cut me off... Now you're just somebody that I used to know!" - GOTYE

Yes, we don't need to cut the trees (mostly the Pine trees) of Baguio City, and end up being the summer capital that we used to know. The first quarter of the year is the time for festival celebrations, and where many go to Baguio for the famous Panagbenga Festival. 

I was part of that percentage of tourists who spent one of their 1st quarter weekends in Baguio. And how did I find the vacay? Well it just influenced me to write this post I guess. I don't usually blog about my travel experiences, unless there's something that struck me to share it online.

 

I was like 7 or 8 years old when I first experienced Baguio, and this is just my second time. My companions' last visit to the place were also during their elementary days, thus making us compare it to how it was years ago. 

I recall falling to a horse's sh*t after my horseback riding; stepping on this paddled duck boat ride; renting some bicycles at the burnham park; and wearing those thick jackets and boots.
(old baguio - taken from the net)
(old baguio - taken from the net)

I didn't experience the horseback riding and bicycles during my present visit, the paddled duck boat ride on the other hand is under renovation. 

Going up to Baguio already gave me that idea that this place I'll be visiting won't be the same as how I remembered it on my childhood days.

The Burnham Park became ordinary to me, just like the usual very early morning run in U.P., green and cold.


The Bell Church can be good for pictorials, well Chinese themed pictorials that is. Not much activity here, unless you're a photographer and would like to pray for Buddha.


The Mines View Park somehow reminded me of my last visit to Baguio. Compared to the last 2 places mentioned, there are lots of activities to experience here.
Got to buy pasalubongs, dressed up as their native katutubo, view the overlooking, see an ombre hair colored horse, hoped on wishing wells, and have a picture with the famous St.Bernard in Baguio, Douglas!      
             
I just really pray that the dog is enjoying all of the attention (many celebs have taken their pic with Douglas). There are 3 o 4 (not sure) St. Bernard in the place into which you can take a photo with. 

Had some quiet time at the Pink Sisters too. And I thought they only residein Tagaytay!

Also another solemn moment was going up the 100 steps of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, with small rains and wind to make the climb more challenging. I don't know if I should include this but the kwek-kwek down that grotto really tastes a lot lot better than those here in Manila.

We stayed in one of those residential house for rent. We reserved the place prior to our trip, although I heard transients for rent are everywhere so you can be sure to have a place to book right after getting there. The place is great, with a fireplace and utensils.
They even have a bar where the visitors can put their liquor bottles with dedication or label to represent their group!

Cabs are everywhere in Baguio! The metro's cheaper by 30-40% because they don't use the air conditioner anymore. 
 

Among the place we visited, it is SM Baguio (they don't use aircon here either) that I am most bitter about. I can still remember how sad I am hearing the petition of cancelling the project of SM, and save the cutting of 182 trees. Imagine, 182 trees to be cut off just because of a selfish, non-productive establishment filled with Koreans? Ugh!  
  (taken from Rappler)

Made me go down memory lane when we visited the strawberry farm. In fairness, despite changes, strawberries would still be in the heart of Baguio. Vendors are selling strawberry taho and ice cream with the jest "Oh, pang-Instagram oh!". This made me smirk a bit, sign of times definitely! By the way, I had two cones of strawberry ice cream, it is so rich, filled with real strawberry bits, how can I resist!

Camp John Hay did evolve a lot, giving us tourists more activities to engage with.

Discovered that there is a Tree Top Adventure branch there already (started late 2010). Got excited to try the breath taking rides as soon as we stepped in the place. Unfortunately some rides are not available at that time due to the bad weather, so I ended up doing the Superman! I got to see Baguio's greenness, something that I wasn't able to view anymore when you go out to their busy streets. Again I tried Superman together with the wind and small rain, scarily liberating!                              
       
Of course we went to the famous Good Shepherd, where you get to buy Baguio's finest products for pasalubongs. Got the famous ube to bring at home (I bought the rest of the pasalubongs on the other places we went to).

Unfortunately we weren't able to go to Session Road and also try the famous Baguio ukay-ukay. Which is quite okay as it would just remind us on how urban the city has turned to be.

Leaving Baguio, we realize that it's not a place where we can still consider as summer capital anymore. Dude admit it, Bora has been one for the past years. Yes you can still enjoy the coooool breeze in Baguio and still giving you that fog breathe, but personally, I am contented with Tagaytay if that's just all that I need. I remembered as a kid, I was so amazed with the huge Pine trees of the place. Did I just grew up that I don't appreciate them anymore, or is it just because there isn't much to see anymore? 

We were also disappointed with how everything is so commercial already. We were surprised that when we asked to take pictures of the natives sitting near the Lourdes Grotto, they told us that we need to pay P10 first! Even the simple sculpture displayed in one of the stores, you need to pay P5 to take a picture of it! 
The "ombre" horse, having a picture of it consumes you P10 per shot! All of these, with the use of your own camera device, woah! I was actually delighted with the Tree Top Adventure, as I felt 'bitin' with the places we've gone to, although come to think of it, recreational activities like this is just one those scary moves of progress that may affect the humble, green and white Baguio City.

On your travel to and from Baguio would be a view of mountains situated by houses, this really alarmed me a lot!
 

I don't think I would go back there in the near future, personally, I didn't felt that I went out of town that much. It's like travelling for hours to experience a cold weather in a city not so different from Metro Manila. Baguio will always remind us of our childhood days. This is where families go to before, like a 90's kid testimony. I know changes are necessary for one place to develop, but preserving the trees that make up the very essence of Baguio City should always be an exception. Let us still feel the difference of Metro Manila without having to step on vast water.





1 comment:

lornadahl said...

Seryoso? The taho vendors said, "Pang-Instagram!" Ang kulit naman!

Yeah, I miss the old Baguio. Masyado nang populated and polluted. But aminin mo, maraming memories made so we still keep coming back. ;)