Baguio is my home
At some point in my life, I left Baguio City to pursue my dreams. A few years later, I found myself back in my home. Baguio City will always be my home. With everything that is happening right now, I can’t help but ponder, what’s next Baguio? Here’s my short blog about our city. It’s going to be a lot of reminiscing and dreaming.
A Baguio Girl’s Short Background
For those who don’t know me personally, my elders came from La Union and the Quezon Province. My grandfathers and grandmothers from both sides settled here in Baguio City. My parents reminisced that there are such a few houses here before. My grandparents from the father’s side decided to live here. They put up one of the first tailoring and barbershops in the city. My grandparents from the mother’s side met here and settled. My grandfather was a Baguio artist (Baguio Arts Guild and Tahong Bundok Group) who also helped to design a few spots here. His day job is a radiologic technologist at the health center while my grandmother served all her years as a public school teacher. Then, of course, my parents met in this city wherein their courting stage includes long phone calls. LOL! So, that’s why I became a Baguio girl. Hehe 😊
The tourism sector has suffered a lot especially the hotel industry, the artists of Baguio, the small businesses like vendors in the key attractions of the city. A few days ago, Baguio Tourism Officer Alec Mapalo sighted plans for reopening activities in the city but only for locals. This includes activities in Burnham Park like boating and biking. I don’t know about you who are reading this. What’s your take on this? To our fellow “Baguio people,” are we finally going to enjoy our own city? Will the businesses still flourish with this setup?
As for me, if ever activity at the park shall be reopened with perfect safety protocols, I would love to get back on my rollerblades at the skating rink again!
Baguio City Eats
What I love about Baguio is that we have so many cuisines and food trips to choose from! We love to eat, don’t we? Since this pandemic happened, most locals are already establishing food businesses. I am glad that there has been much support to local businesses right now and I hope we all help each other more! The delivery services are on an all-time high effective these days. Are you loving it too? The convenience of the food being delivered to you? Don’t forget to always sanitize also the exterior food packaging! As much as possible, hand over the exact amount of the price to pay and store it in a paper bag or an envelope.
Christmas in Baguio
Well, it’s already BER-months! Christmas in Baguio City is very festive and very “home-y”. I love the vibe as it is colder in these months. All the more that we’ll experience that “Baguio-feels” that many Baguio people and tourists understand! One thing I would surely miss this Christmas time is the annual lantern parade which is hosted by my alma mater, Saint Louis University. I doubt that this event would push through this year! I’ll be leaving a video from 2 years ago for you to check out!
For those who are curious, did you know that Baguio City was called “Little America”? Yup! Americans lived here and set up a military base. Here’s a super a quick history notes published by Esquire:
“In 1909, Baguio was proclaimed a chartered city and official “Summer Capital” of the Philippines. The Mansion became the official residence of the American Governor-General. The Philippine Commission held its first session in Baguio City and this explains why there is a street called Session Road.
The Americans were obsessed with making their mark in their newly colonized lands and they thought that the best way to do that was with architecture and urban planning. Their thinking back then was that anything local is primitive and savage.”
So, what’s next, Baguio?
Today (September 1, 2020), we are celebrating the 111th Baguio Charter Day. It is with a heavy heart that we can’t even celebrate this properly this time. I miss the old Baguio. I miss the interactions with people even when sometimes it gets a bit suffocating because, in this small city, everybody knows everybody (almost). I miss just walking up and down session road. I miss just being carefree, not having the need to wear masks or any protective gear. I hope and I pray that this pandemic would end soon. To my fellow Baguio friends who are reading this, I hope you are staying safe and healthy! Happy Baguio Day!