Baguio continues to surprise me. Even though I lived there for four years, every time I come back, there’s always something about it that makes it interesting all over again. I see new things in the places that I’ve been to and feel I know so well.
I discover charming nooks and crannies in a road that I pass by many times.
I taste something new and enjoy the freshness that somehow only Baguio and its nearby provinces can give.
Baguio over the weekend. It wasn’t a tourist visit. Then again, when has going to Baguio been a tourist visit for us? Den wanted to go to PMA for “research,” while I just wanted to find some binatog.
We ended up doing that, and more.
We left Manila at 3:30 AM. All trips were filled and that was the earliest one we could get. So a good two hours was spent at 7-Eleven, gorging on whatever we could to keep us awake. Once on the bus, I immediately tried to sleep. Too bad the conductor decided to show Rush Hour 1 & 2 for the whole trip. I don’t think anyone appreciated it. Not that I don’t love Jackie Chan, but I’d rather be sleeping.
Ching’s brother and sister (both who were studying in UP Baguio) met us at the station and took us to their boarding house, where we left our things. After having lunch at Cathy’s (hello lechon rice!) we went to University of Baguio to watch my sister dance for their school festival. She lost her phone though, and whoever took it will suffer my wrath *fume* They performed great though, and I realized that I may not be as fit as I used to be. Climbing five floors in Manila is easy. Climbing five floors in Baguio makes me dizzy.
View from the 4th floor of UB
We then went to PMA. The last I was there was sometime during my 3rd year, when my groupmates for a journ class covered the PMA graduation (probably 2001). Prior to that it was at my friend’s debut and several open houses. Open houses are fun. You get to see how the cadets live and maybe swipe a thing or two off their personal belongings.
The thing with PMA is that going out is rather tricky. There are jeepneys, but it’s pretty sporadic, and getting out by 5 PM is a must or else there’ll be a very long walk in the dark for you. Luckily, a cab passed by and with a little prodding, the six of us got in.
We arrived in town, where my sister & I went to her dorm so she could wash off the paint they used for their costumes. I fell asleep for a few minutes and woke up with a lovely headache. Still, it felt good to be burrowed underneath a warm comforter. The weather in Baguio is always lovely.
We went back to town for dinner at Steaks and Toppings, then walked towards Burnham for the market encounter. I finally found a binatog vendor, and excitedly bought some binatog for me and my sister.
Binatog in Baguio is different from the binatog in Manila. For one, it’s not sold by men in bikes, banging some metal bell. Often, it’s pretty much in a cart like fishball, often stationary, waiting for the customers to come by. For another, it’s main flavoring comes not from salt, but from sugar and evaporated milk. The first time I ever tried one in Baguio I was so surprised, but I loved it. It’s still P10 per cup, but the cup is smaller now.
Market encounter is much like a tiangge. There are a lot of stalls selling all sorts of things, from the usual Baguio paraphernalia and memorabilia (t-shirts, keychains, bonnets and scarves) to toys (there were several stalls with decent anime figurines) and of course, food.
Having a low budget, I didn’t buy anything, except for a pack of pink marshmallows and a P10 flashlight.
Get your glooves on!
Lighting up at the Melvin Jones Grandstand
We headed off to our respective dorms: Ching was going with her siblings, while Den went with me and my sister. Upon arriving, I changed into sleepwear and went to sleep.
We were supposed to meet up at 9 AM but when we woke up, it was already 9! It took us an hour to get ready (try to take a bath without hot water), by which Ching was already done with her shopping.
Baguio market always fascinates me. Even though sometimes I hate the crowd, there’s always something interesting to see there. Today, there were a lot of people, locals selling their goods, tourists flocking to buy them. Being neither a resident or a tourist, I stood mostly there and let Den and Osky look around. I did buy some strawberries, splitting the loot with my sister. She bought a rope bracelet.
One of my pet peeves is rudeness, and boy, did we get a good dose of that at the market. See, while my sister and I were talking to the saleslady where we got the bracelet, this girl butted in to ask the saleslady something. Um, hello? Can’t you see that we were talking? And it wasn’t just that. Den said that while she was looking at some keychains, the same girl grabbed the one she was looking at. Den’s not the type to argue so she gave the girl a look, and the girl turned away to talk to the saleslady again. Den later said the girl had bad breath haha.
Later, we saw the girl with a group of her friends who were all loud. I get that you’re on a trip with friends and enjoying each other’s company, but for the love of all that’s good and holy, please be mindful of your surroundings and respect the people who live there!
We had about three hours to go til our trip. My sister was feeling tired so after taking us to the station, she went back to her dorm. Not knowing what to do ’til we had to leave, we went to Ching’s boarding house. After a few minutes of doing nothing (except that I ate strawberries and bread), we decided to head to town to buy some cream puff from Dane’s. We even had time to look at ukay ukay! Yeah, I love Baguio.
Bus is empty, everyone went to eat
The trip down was uneventful. Bus showed “Night at the Museum,” which made me really dizzy. I slept through “Universal Soldier” and woke up in time for “Avatar.” What sucks is that we arrived at our stop just before the movie ended. Yeesh. Even though I know how it ended, it still grates.
Stepping off the bus, I want to go back. ASAP.
P.S. The ironic thing was, the three of us were finally together in Baguio many years after our graduation, but we never set foot in school. Haha. My personal accomplishment: I didn’t go to SM! 😀