I am on the second day of my Baguio vacation. I panicked when I woke up at 8:30 this morning, until Dale reminded me we were on vacation. Vacation! Imagine that. I have been feeling places and events closing in and suffocating me these last few weeks. I have truly needed a healing change. Now here I am, re-discovering this lovely city. We walked around this morning and images and smells of my childhood came rushing through, warming my heart.
I first returned to Baguio in the early 90s, at the threshold of a love that would reshape my heart for life. That trip ended in my first (unfortunately, not my last) automobile accident. Then I came back again a few years later, now a mother of a chubby little baby. That was the last I saw of Baguio as a young woman. That little baby is now 10 years old, kuya to a 7 year old!
My first trip back as a fully-grown, now awake adult, was last February, as part of the PAGASA team, answering a call from a group of Baguio residents who love Baguio so much they want to preserve and restore it, because Baguio is no longer what it was. It is a city ravaged by modernity, politics from hell, and the usual materialism that has invaded all of humanity. I was never able to see the city during the workshops because of our perennially hectic schedule, but felt the need to reconnect again, and I am so glad I did. The Baguio of my childhood is not totally lost. I see and feel it still, though much has to be done to keep the city from dying.
I have met many special people here and was privileged enough to have had a meal at Eve’s Garden (thanks to the generosity of our homegrown guides, PAGASA graduates Grace, Prudence and Chastity)–a place actually outside of Baguio, but as owner Eve puts it, “…is like Baguio in the 50’s.” We overstayed our welcome by taking our fill of this breathtaking view of pure, unadulterated nature.
We sat with the family and had a most beautiful, tasty and healthy meal. Have you ever seen a salad this beautiful? Organic, life-giving and simply delicious. It’s in the quality of the food and the love with which it was prepared. Thanks Eve, Anna and Ed!
Baguio has many secrets to show me still and I am glad and enlivened to be here again, after all these years. And the best part is, I didn’t even need to get on a plane and get stuck in an airport to get here. Yahoo!