Friday, April 1, 2011

Baguio. So far....

Because of five faces I see in this photo, I am strolling around Baguio right this moment while J. Bond works. Decades had past since I've been on a road trip to Baguio. The last time  I was here was with Mother, a few days after I  graduated from College.  A lot has changed since then. The presence of a humongous MALL signifies that commercialism has paved its way for the benefit of "financial gain". Streets are narrower and clogged by traffic and pedestrians alike. But with these so-called economic boosts came the neglect of preserving the true Baguio I once knew.

Except for its cozy cool weather, Baguio has simply deteriorated :( 

Yet, I am glad to re-discover that the landmarks I knew as a child are still around--Cathedral Church, Victory Liner Bus Station, the Market, St. Louis University, Sunshine Bakery, Wright Park and the stall that got me started with my Archie Comics collection. 

But I am still at the midst of discovering and re-discovering more.  So far...

Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).  The recently opened alternate route that cuts travel time by an hour or more.  Really amazing, plus with sprawling farm lands to see. But boredom may set-in mid-way. It's all about the the same sights throughout a 90plus kilometer stretch. The yet-existent old route, on the other hand, leads travellers to pass through a multiple of busy towns.  Livelier but with hurdles like traffic and slow moving vehicles.

Still at SCTEX.  Mount Arayat behind the rice field. Within my sight's reach yet so far. I talked about its legend in this blog.

The narrow, winding road of Kennon Road.  With road signs all mixed up, we landed in Kennon Road instead of Marcos Highway.  At least, a reminisce of the road my family and I  took on summer trips to Baguio back then.  But with zigzags seemingly sharper and blind corners under repair,  I was a nervous wreck who thought that walking way up to Baguio would be safer.  I almost did.  I never thought and felt this way as a child.  I was fearless.  A sign of aging!

The famous lion's head under renovation.  A symbol that Baguio-proper is within arm's reach and the end tail of Kennon's winding road.  Gasp!

A relatively new sight within the compounds of Camp John Hay.  The Manor, our accommodation while at Baguio.  A few meters away is the yet being constructed office building of J. Bond, scheduled to be operational in May.  J. Bond must return for the turnover, and so am I! 

If I had a choice, I would pack my bags now, leave behind the harsh and stressful environmental reality of living in Manila, and live in peace in a mountain for the rest of my life. *Haha. The cool breeze and the scent of pine trees make me happy.

And, this is how my mountain abode must look.  Minus "Cantinetta" (an Italian resto).

Dinner at Cafe by the Ruins. I am a buff for quaint cafes with artworks of local artists displayed on walls.  Food, in reality, comes secondary.  The ambience makes me tick :)

Interior dining area of Cafe by the Ruins and the painting that I am still thinking of.

Kamote Bread of Cafe by the Ruins. Bought two for consumption on the road back to Manila.

My order, shredded tapa with Ifugao rice and fresh salad.

Dined with gusto!!!...

...and thought of stashing the kettle in my bag, which apparently is available in Manila as per the waiter.  And so is my necklace which I purchased  from Papemelrotti, Glorietta 3 before departing for Baguio yesterday morning.  Talk about last minute shopping!  *Hahaha!

In 30 minutes, I'm off to this place to browse ... and to shop more! 

But best part was J. Bond's brush with Pacman at a private party with media at The Manor last night.  I tagged him as "gate crasher", but he claims that seeing Pacman in person with the rest of the entourage comes very rare. Ergo..."So what! I will seize the chance!".  And he's right :) 

Happy weekend everyone!

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