Of Parks, Weather, and Food: A Baguio Experience

By: Eden Pabalan

Of Parks:

Botanical Gardens, Mines View Park, Camp John Hay and Burnham Park are the main attractions of Baguio City. I enjoyed myself most in Camp John Hay because it is serene and quiet. The horses in Camp John Hay are also more well-groomed than Wright Park’s horses where there are horse poop everywhere and it stinks. I took a 30 minute horse ride and I was so shocked to realize that it was difficult to do horseback riding! It was fun albeit it almost made me wonder if I’ll still live after being shaken thoroughly by the horse.

Camp John Hay is located near Baguio Country Club where there’s a world-class golf course and the best raisin bread in Baguio. Yum! It was mouth-watering. Baguio Country Club requires membership to enjoy its amenities and facilities, and the most common hang-out place of Baguio’s well-off people.

Meanwhile, Mines View Park,  doesn’t seem like a park at all for me. It was full of shops where you can buy, of course, pasalubongs! T-Shirts, keychains, toy puppets, pens, hats, and other things which tourists can bring home and brag just to prove that they went out of Manila. My parents bought each of us a shirt, Baguio caps, and Baguio keychains.

Later in the afternoon after lunch, our family went to Burnham Park, where there are boats for tourists who want to just float in the water without getting wet, and go sightseeing even if there’s nothing much to see. My sister and I took a swan boat which can be run by just stepping on the pedals which can be tiring to the legs. I almost had cramps after an hour of pedalling on that boat. Then, after tiring out our legs on the boat, we rented bicycles for 40 pesos an hour to tire our whole body out and pass out. Luckily, I didn’t pass out. I didn’t even sweat the whole day we were out on the streets of Baguio. I just freezed in the cold despite the fact that I was biking at 1 pm in the afternoon. Imagine doing that in Manila and people will laugh at you tremendously.

Of Weather:

Speaking of weather, the temperature of Baguio is also the best and worst experience for a tourist, especially if you’re a Manileña. Walking and running on the streets won’t give you a sweat, you don’t need a refrigerator to have cold water, and you won’t die of heatstroke, which is very common in the the metropolis.

But this is where the problem occurs: sleep freeze, brain freeze, body freeze, soul freeze, food freeze and all types of freeze! My legs and ankles had this weird cramps whenever the weather is cold, and yes, for three straight nights I had a hard time sleeping because the cramps repeatedly haunted me. Every morning instead of looking for cold water I looked for coffee and it was very difficult to take a shower. I think I can live in Baguio forever without taking a bath. Kidding. I thought I’d like to live in a place where there is snow. But thank God for this tropical country. I could not ask for more.

Of Food:

I’ve already mentioned the raisin bread above, right? Baguio Country Club has the best raisin bread, and Mommy (my granny) has a friend in Baguio who also orders the best sylvannas in the world! Of course I’m exaggerating, but sylvannas is really one of my favorite desserts. For tourists, the infamous peanut brittle, the ube halaya (purple yam), and strawberries (love it!) are still the ultimate pasalubongs. I also like a certain brand of choco flakes in Baguio named Mikasan, and their veggies which are really fresh.

In totality, Baguio is a place of escape for people who want to chill (literally) and relax. The flowers, food, weather, and quiet parks of Baguio are the reasons why vacationers always make Baguio their hideaway place from all the hubbubs of the metropolis and the pollution.

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