Thursday, July 06, 2006

Baguio In My Mind

As mentioned in the previous post, I made a short trip to Tarlac and Baguio last week. It was a pretty brisk trip but I had loads and loads of fun nonetheless, especially with the great company lead by Daisy.

Right after my shift last Thursday morning, I rushed home to pack my stuff for the trip, making sure that I had my cam, a jacket, and lip balm with me. I couldn't have survived the trip without these. A short ride took me to the Victory Liner station where I met Daisy, her daughter Kim, and July.

A few hours later we were in Tarlac where I had the pleasure of meeting Daisy's family. It was fun meeting Russell finally coz Daisy had been telling me about her for the longest time. And I was still groggy from lack of sleep when we were sitting around that table having chitchat so I can hardly remember what I was talking about or if I even spoke at all. Too bad she had to leave for Iloilo the next day so I never had the chance to recover from my lackluster "performance" (may ganong factor?).

Early the next day we caught a bus to Baguio, which is a short 3-hour ride away from Tarlac. I dozed off in the bus but was lucky enough to wake up just when we were nearing the city. I had a good view of the mountains and the plains stretching just at its base.

Baguio was disappointingly crowded for my taste. Urbanization has indeed crept all over the mountains that you could see one side of a mountain completely covered by houses. I hardly remember the urbanization rate in Baguio when I first went there some twenty years ago, but I'm sure it was not as crowded as now. Fumes from too many cars hung in the air, which is an anticlimax to the cool breeze that I hoped I would somehow enjoy. But I'm talking about the center of the city.

The "tourists" that we are, we immediately escaped to Mines View Park and the vicinity where the essence of what Baguio is all about seems still preserved - pines, horses, breathtaking views and all. I could not help shrieking with delight when we reached Mines View Park. And oh, I so loved the wooden cocks perched on ashtrays (but I did not have the temerity to buy one).

I was also so amazed by SM Baguio. Great view of the city, stupendous design, lovely people!

The Baguio central market was a delight. I love, love, love the pasalubong area. And fruits and vegetables galore! And the knitwear... oh, the knitwear... yum yum yum. I had to drag the entire group to the second floor of the large market to buy a turtle neck sweater. I swear that sweater was worth all the trouble. I also purchased a green scarf, perfect for the cold office.

Dinner, at this lovely restaurant far from the city center, was courtesy of Ryan. Merci!

Thanks to Ging (the "lagu", which means pretty in Kapampangan) who welcomed us to their house with a great view. I was disappointed not to see the Red Lady though. Hehehe.

The next day I made a quick cold shower (sans any hot water), which until now I'm suffering from *sniff*. A few hours later we had a quick stop at the Pink Sisters' Convent and back to Manila we were.

Thanks to the generous Daisy for making that trip memorable.

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