No matter how many times I’ve been to Baguio City, I would still feel super excited and kindled every time I schedule a visit to that lovely place. If there’s a place that’ll forever be my comfort pill, without batting an eyelash, I would say that would be the City of Pines.
Baguio brings a lot of wonderful, happy memories to me. It reminds me of that very first time I set my foot on this place, which was then a lot colder. I think I was only 5 or 6 that time. I went there with my Papa, his 4 siblings, and my two cousins. The image of the city was very vivid to me now. All I could remember was that we didn’t rent a transient house and just spent the entire time walking around the city and just sitting by the benches of the parks when our folks would feel the soreness of their feet. I believe that was a very tiring trip, but I know that it was also one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever had. From that same traveling experience I had as a child, I learned the beauty of ‘traveling on a budget’ and ‘backpacking.’ And did I say, I also learned to embrace the beauty of walking long miles because of that experience? Now, that ‘walking’ thing has become my trademark. My cousins would think twice now whenever I ask them to go with me to a certain place because they already know it involves a lot of walking.
My very first out-of-town trip with the Lopez clan also happened in Baguio. I was around 7 or 8 that time. It was a very remarkable and fun-filled vacation with my family. My Tito and his family who’s been living in the US for such a long time came to visit us and spent time with us in a house we rented in the said place. I think that was the only time that we were ever complete, ’cause the reunions after that saw us losing some of the members of the family one by one to death, including Papa. And that Baguio sojourn with the Lopez clan never happened again.
I was already in my teenage years when I once again set foot in the beautiful and chilly place of Baguio. My Tito from my Mama’s side happened to marry a local from the said city and there they built their family and home together. Since then, I saw myself visiting the City of Pines as often as I could, sometimes yearly or if I’m blessed enough, I could get to travel to Baguio twice a year.
Time and time again, no matter how many rants I’ll hear about it saying it’s no longer cold there, so populated, etc., Baguio City will always remain as my favorite destination of all–Sagada comes very close in the second place. The northern part of the Philippines really has a special spot in my heart. I could think of a number of reasons why but I’d rather save that for another post.
The city never lose its charm in my eyes. It has changed a lot since the first time I came here, especially that it was deeply ruined during the earthquake in 1990, but it still never fails to captivate me. More than the cool weather, I love that traveling to Baguio always gives me a glimpse of how God so love the Philippines to bless our country with abundance of nature. The zigzag road is scary enough but I always make sure that I’m awake when we pass through it because I want to just feast my eyes on the bellowing of God’s favor to the Philippines as shown in the fields of green surrounding us. In all honesty, I’m always teary-eyed every time I pass by that road because of so much gratefulness to the Father for letting me be born in this land which I know He holds dear in His heart–the Philippines.
Baguio City is certainly an equation of happy thoughts + remarkable memories for me☺