Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Baguio: Frequently Visited Destination

Dubbed as Philippines’ summer capital, Baguio City stands amidst the mountainous region of the Cordillera. It is one of the few places in the country blessed with cool climate because it is situated 1,500 meters above the sea.

Because Baguio is so close to Manila and can be reached by land transportation, I think I have visited it more than 30 times already and had sampled every “bests” and sightseeing “musts” from January to December, year after year. For me, there are just so many reasons to be in Baguio - whether for shopping for that cardigans and sweaters, enjoying the cool climate when you can't take the heat in Manila during summer, delighting on freshest vegetables and strawberries, visiting friends and (even boyfriends then), enjoying the Panagbenga festival, or simply resting from the ordeal of a city life, Baguio is a destination to be.

My very first trip to Baguio was in November 1988, exactly two decades ago now. I was a delegate of our school, Pres. Sergio Osmena High School, in the National Secondary Students Conference at Teachers Camp. Our class Valedictorian, Elma de Jesus and our teacher Ms. Teresita Santo Tomas were with me at that time. I can still remember how I dreaded taking a shower in the morning because the water was as cold as “ice” and Teachers camp did not have hot showers. But the majestic sites of Mines view and other exciting places such as Burnham Park, Wright Park and The Mansion elicited great excitement for me to overcome the cold water.

Baguio’s splendor beauty was unexpectedly and extensively devastated by a killer earthquake on July 16, 1990. For almost four years,I took some kind of a Baguio hiatus.

In 1994,I was again able to visit Baguio as a participant to the Tripartite Conference of the San Sebastian Institute of Law. Tripartite Conference is attended by a faculty adviser, president of the student council and the outstanding academic student from all year levels. I was then a freshman and happened to be the number one student in the Dean’s List.

During that visit, Baguio again presented a beautiful scenery, different from what I have seen on tv during the quake. I went to the Strawberry farm in La Trinidad, Bell Church, Lourdes Grotto, Botanical Garden, and danced my heart out at the Spirits Disco!

That started my yearly visit to Baguio except for another hiatus in Nov. 1998 to April 2000 when I was on mission in San Pablo and in 2002 when I was in the US: 1997 - with Sister Davis (from Hawaii) and her family; 1998 with Matthew Mori and family; Nov. 2000 with Ate Dearie, Jean Palapala and Angie Launico;December 27-May 2001 bi-monthly visits to my then boyfriend Josh; February 2001 with parents for the Panagbenga Festival; June 2001 with Bureau of Immigration Makati staff and Dave Shaw; 2003 with Dana Cummings and Hanni Miller; 2004 with Steve Allan and my family; 2005 with Fairview Stake Single Adult; March 2006 OGC visit; April 2007 OGC visit; June 2007 with Leily, Phil, Jean and May 2008 with my sister in-law Juries.

Some recent pictures of Baguio:

Mines View Park

Club John Hay

Philippine Military Academy

The Mansion

1 comment:

  1. It's good to see your blog! It's very informative especially that I haven't gone to Baguio myself! Crazy huh! You gotta take me there when I go home :) Love all the posts and pictures!


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