"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

b is for...

biyahe tayo!
bakasyon time means biyahe time. last saturday, april 29, 2006, yoni and i went to victory liner's cubao terminal to catch our 7am ride to baguio city.

biyahe tayo!
7-eleven. cubao terminal. inside the bus.
background: cubao terminal scene

we were supposed to be on an earlier bus ride, however, when we got to the terminal the night before, we were told that all seats were taken. the earliest victory bus bound for baguio that could accommodate us was the 6am ride... but yoni and i wouldn't be seatmates for the said trip. hence, we opted for the next best sked on the list, the 7am ride! we spent the rest of the night comfortably sleeping in yoni's boarding house and returned to the very busy terminal the morning after...

bus ride
the road from metro manila to baguio is quite long. in between catching more sleep, we whiled away the time by abusing the camera and taking pictures of ourselves...

"anti-boredom" pictures: our self-portraits

everytime the bus stopped, i also took pictures of whatever was right outside our bus window: (1) somewhere just before pampanga. (2) paniqui, tarlac. (3) paniqui, tarlac. (4) paniqui, tarlac. (5) paniqui, tarlac. (6) binalongan, pangasinan. (7) urdaneta city, pangasinan.

along the road
"anti-boredom" pictures, too: the sights outside our bus window

our bus got caught in tarlac traffic for some reason. instead of getting pissed by the traffic, i just took more pictures of whatever without much regard for my camera's batteries.

after so many hours of sitting on the bus, taking pictures, trying to sleep, and waiting for baguio's rows and rows of pine trees to loom before my eyes, lo! our bus finally arrived in baguio city...

when yoni and i got off the bus, we were greeted by the amazing combo of warm afternoon sun and cool baguio breeze. we allowed this "baguio feel" to "sink in" as we took our seats under a shade and waited 'til my tita yenyen came to fetch us.

little boys
tita yenyen brought us to their home in ambiong, la trinidad, benguet -- a place of higher elevation. there, i got reunited with my favorite twins in the world: my three-year old cousins, raymart and raymond!

we of similar blood look cute together.
you better agree with me.

the last time i spent time with my tita yenyen's family back in may 2004, i knew raymart from raymond. however, when i saw them again, i found it difficult to tell them apart! they're so... identical! martmart and monmon are cute identical little boys. it's hard not to be fascinated by their mere presence. they're very adorable.

burnham park
yoni and i had a little adventure when saturday's very late afternoon finally came. we took a jeepney ride from la trinidad, benguet and went back to baguio city. we asked around for directions and reached burnham park.

boating in burnham park

we spent an hour boating on burnham lake. yoni did most of the rowing, i got busy capturing the moments by taking pictures. actually, i wanted to row and row. however, i got frustrated with my own rowing abilities, so i gave up trying to be good at it. just as well. yoni was so into it and she was doing a good job steering our boat on the lake. methinks she's quite a natural at manning the oars -- maybe she should be part of the national rowing team. hehehe.

it was already getting dark when we finally docked our rented boat and bade farewell to the boat station caretakers. then, yoni and i explored one side of the park and took turns posing for the camera.

burnham at night
burnham park at night

when we finally got tired of "camera whoring", yoni and i made our way back to my tita's house in benguet.

at this point, we've only been in baguio/benguet country for less than 24 hours... and we felt we've already accomplished a lot! ha ha ha.

the next morning, we woke up slightly shivering due to extreme cold... and to think we were fully covered by our respective thick blankets! sobrang lamig, ang sarap-sarap matulog. nakakatamad bumangon.

due to being on vacation mode and also due to the very conducive sleeping conditions, yoni and i slept beyond what should have been our waking time. i can't believe that we had the gall to ignore the benguet sunrise. hahaha.

bumangon na ang mga twins at naglalaro na sa labas, kami ni yoni himbing na himbing pa rin. buti na lang mabait ang tita ko at hinintay lang kaming magising at bumangon.

bumangon naman talaga kami

strawberry fields
at the strawberry farm

our first stop for the day was the strawberry farm in la trinidad, benguet. my tita yenyen and the twins went with us. our visit to the farm made me see for myself that it's not really "strawberry fields forever". the vast farm also has beds and beds of very pretty flowers, different varieties of lettuce, spring onions, etcetera. despite the presence of many people, i was still awed by the scenery.

baguio, baguio!
after our sight-seeing trip to the strawberry farm, we rode on a jeepney and headed for mines view park. when we got there, i had the feeling that all the people in baguio were there. it was difficult to get from one part of the park to another without bumping into people. there were just too many people, it was congested! we were quite lucky that we managed to have a bench all to ourselves. it was relieving that our bench was in a good corner, so all five of us were able to eat our lunch -- picnic style -- without people bumping into us.

mines view park
mines view park picnic

after we finished our lunch, we made our way out of mines view park and went to the philippine president's official summer retreat, the mansion! the twins loved it there. monmon got so hyper and kept running around, we had a hard time convincing him to stay put and pose for the camera. when he didn't pose with the military guards when we asked him to (thereby making martmart not wanting to pose, too -- *twins!*), yoni and i grabbed our own opportunity. hence, our picture with one of the guards.

the mansion
picture-taking outside the mansion

after we got out of the gates of the mansion, we walked towards nearby wright park. it began to rain a little and i silently prayed that the light rain would let up. the twins were with us and the day can't be over too soon because of rain...

wright park
baguio city's wright park

we spent sometime having our picture taken in front of the horses as the raindrops fell. after that, we hailed a taxi and headed for camp gen. gregorio del pilar, which is better known to you and me as PMA compound.

on our way to PMA, we passed through camp john hay. my jaw sort of dropped when i saw the place. it's so vast and it looked very beautiful even through the rain, with all the natural greens and the pine trees! i instantly got convinced that i would love it there!!! then, too, when we saw the liquor shop and the nearby establishments, the place looked very posh and ultra expensive! then, i got the sinking feeling that the place was not for me... after all.

the rest of the road to PMA compound was quite long and winding. there were rows and rows of pine trees and more blessings of natural greens. my eyes did not run out of beautiful things to see and i did not run out of things to think and feel about. when we got inside the compound, the sun beamingly shone for us and there was no sign of rain. that warm "afternoon feel" was just right for us... yoni and i went on a "picture-taking galore" trip once again.

inside the PMA compound

the place is well-maintained and breathtaking. it seemed to me as if everything there was meant to be put into pictures. even the flowers in their beds and planters are worth admiring.

pma, too
inside the PMA compound, too

...and the philippine flag! i already forgot what it's like to see our national flag flying so unfurled and really ace high in the open air... but when i saw the flagpole inside the PMA compound, i instantly remembered what a very good feeling's like when one has a sense of respect for and pride in our national symbol. from where i stood on the ground, i could still clearly see that the flag at the high end of the pole was made of nice fabric... it was far from being shabby and cheap. both yoni and i were able to get good pictures of the flag -- with nice-looking clouds and beautiful rays for background!

after our trip to PMA, we went to victory liner's baguio terminal to buy our tickets for the way back to metro manila. there was a long queue leading to the ticket booth. yoni and i had to stretch our very limited patience until we got our turn to pay for our "12mn-may1-may2" tickets. my tita yenyen and the twins waited for us (and with us). we were supposed to go to SM baguio after our business at the terminal but it began to rain again. that time, it seemed as if the rain was about to pour heavily. instead of walking to SM baguio as initially planned, we hailed a cab and went straight to my tita's house in benguet.

basa sa ulan!!!
when we got back to benguet, the rain poured oh so heavily... i found it very tempting to play in the rain.

well, play in the rain up there in benguet, I DID!!!

i hurriedly changed into the house clothes which my tita yenyen gamely allowed me to borrow and i ran outside to let the rain pour all over me!!!

i ran like crazy around my tita's front- and backyards. i loved the raindrops that fell on me that day. they were cold to the skin and they felt very clean, too. it was a great feeling being up there in benguet, getting soaked by the rain, running like a very delighted child under the benguet sky and being surrounded by the breathtaking sights of trees and nearby mountains.

yoni frolicked in the rain, too! when the rain suddenly stopped -- as in, it was weird that it just suddenly stopped -- we both said, "bitin!!! wala na'y ulan?!"

we both felt like carefree little children, jumping and walking around the "hillside", wet and shivering... wishing for more rain...

the next day, tita yenyen's husband, my tito ramon, accompanied us (tita yenyen, the twins, yoni and i) to burnham park. we had lunch -- picnic style, again -- at the children's area. i bought two balloons for the twins (because i promised them that i would and i know from experience that it's bad to break promises made to children). i also made the balloon vendor blow bubbles for them. then, yoni and i got what we wanted from burnham park that day: the opportunity to ride a bike again!!!

burnham park biking
let's ride!

we rented a bike and a trike for one hour. the bike that we got had good brakes and nice gears. the trike had a tropical umbrella and was quite dainty-looking -- we all agreed that it looked like a "float" especially with the twins' balloons!!!

yoni said she reacquired her "biking with speed and steering control" skills. as far as she could remember, the last time she rode a bike was way back in 1999, during one of our last few days in high school. for our part, i and my tita got to re-live those days in the early 1990's when we would go to places using the family-owned trike. *memories, memories!*

balloons and lourdes grotto

lourdes grotto
blue balloons, yoni and i at the lourdes grotto

from burnham park, we went to the lourdes grotto. on our way up, the twins asked for taho. we had to stop temporarily and take a breather while our cute little boys ate their taho. i used up the time by taking pictures with the twins' blue balloons as part of the background. feeling nag-ce-celebrate ng birthday, itsurang harassed naman. hahaha!

baguio city public market
after making our way down from the top of the lourdes grotto, we hied off to the "ever busy" baguio city public market to buy pasalubong and whatnots. then, we made our way back to benguet -- back to where you would find the sceneries shown in the following pics...

view from the backyard
the sights to behold from my tita's backyard

view from the frontyard
the sights to behold from (and near) my tita's frontyard

back to manila
then the time came for yoni and i to find our way back to metro manila. on monday, may 1, 2006, at almost 9pm, we got a taxi and left our refuge in benguet for baguio city. we stopped by SM baguio. yoni wanted to feel for herself what it's like to be in the veranda of the only SM mall we know that does not use aircon to keep the place cool. yoni had to satisfy herself with her view of the mall's veranda through the taxi's clear windows. as much as i wanted to be in that place again (forget that i lost a cellphone there almost two years ago, hehehe) and grant yoni's "i want to be inside SM baguio" goal, i was too tired to get off our cab and carry my bags around. we spent the rest of the night at victory liner's baguio terminal, talking, reviewing the pictures that we took and complaining about the cold... until it was time for us to board our manila-bound bus.

except for a near mishap (some of our fellow female passengers actually reacted by shrieking, wehehehe), our bus ride back to manila was very cold, boring and uneventful. it was dark outside our window so taking pictures of the places that we passed by was not an "anti-boredom" option. during the 5 hours of travel, we endured the extreme cold inside the bus. we also tried to get some sleep while a whole album of air supply songs blared in the background. anti-climactic? not really.

additional info on our baguio/benguet trip:
(1) it was yoni's first time in baguio.

(2) because we stayed with my tita's family in benguet, we did not waste money on accommodation.

(3) for this trip, we took 89 pics using my cameraphone, 25 pics using yoni's cameraphone, and 88 pics using my digital camera. go figure: 2 travellers, 3 cameras, 202 pictures (excluded in the count're the pictures that we decided to delete). no, no, no... we're not camera whores, we just love taking pictures, hehehe...

p.s. most of the pics included in this post're from my cameraphone. i actually have good rapport with it. thank you, sony ericsson!


  1. considering that i was able to buy a good pair of jeans for PhP180 and a jacket when we went to the public market, good as meron... :P

    for me, a baguio trip aint complete without a trip to baguio country's public market. hehehe.

  2. Oh my goodie ... after reading your post ... NASUUUUYYYYYYAAAAAAAA KOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    Nice nice nice at least naka-hangout mo for summer!!! hehehe ....

  3. lingaw kaayo mo noh. hehehehe. well, wala ko kauban. pero makalaag lagi gihapon ko. separate na laag. hehehe.

  4. wow, talk about serendipity! i was also in baguio last week. in fact, i also went home from baguio, may 1, via the victory liner bus. My bus's sched was the 11pm ride... who knows, you might have been that chatty girl behind me !

    such a magnanimous post by the way
    haha peace!

  5. trick, heheheh...

    sealdi, heheheh japun...

    krislan, hala, where did you wait in victory baguio? we waited upstairs. :D

  6. We waited downstairs, but i visited the second floor to browse the souvenir shops (and bought more of those baguio pasalubong, 3 for 100 goodies and to make a trip to the restroom. (They have clean CRs, don't you think?)

    But why is the Victory liner terminal not the same as their station in Cubao? Unbelievably chaotic, cigarette fumes everywhere, and the horrible waiting area.

    Perhaps the climate does really make a difference.

  7. yep, they have clean CRs and the facility is well-maintained. we actually made the same victory baguio-victory cubao observations. it's scary and very stressful to wait in victory's cubao terminal. we wondered why the relative order in victory baguio can't be implemented in victory cubao. the climate has to do with it, in a way... but i'd like to think it's more than the climate.

  8. UGH!!! I'm drooling! How I wish I was there--- all those lovely sights and I can just imagine the satisfaction!

  9. wow! may pa mo... makalagot lang ang baguio karon kay pirting daghanas tao. pero, it's good that you, guys, had fun!:)

  10. mao gyud, maayo unta kung tanan lugar pareha ka tugnaw sa baguio. :) well documented bakasyon. ayos!

  11. there are only three B's in the philippines:

    Bohol pa nuon ko. :D

  12. Bacolod

    also starts with letter B hehehe

  13. lahat yata ng lugar starts with a "B" ...

    "barangay _______"

    di ba?

  14. lolz tama si friedwater meron pa banyo,bodega,bakasyunan,bahay,bundok,bukal,bulubundukin,burol dami pa

  15. ripplemaker, babypink, and rudy man, the highlight of this long weekend in baguio/benguet was the opportunity that i grabbed to play in the rain (after a loooooong time of not being able to). imagine the rain and how cold it is up there in the mountain.

    true, daghan na ayo tawo sa baguio... makalipong na.

    gwapo_na_baktin, i'm sorry to disagree with you this time... :D

    there is only one ultimate B in the philippines for me: BATANES!!!

    that's my dream destination in this country.

    ...but i'd like to see bohol, too! my niece (my kuya's 5-month old daughter) is there.

    anonymous, f.r.i.e.d.w.a.t.e.r., rudy_man, hindi rin kayo masyadong makukulit noh :P hehehe...

    may maidadagdag din ako: basurahan. mwehehehe...

  16. kahilak pud ta sa comments oi. wa jud koy say maski "puro akong nawong ang naa sa post" (ingon pa ang ate ni gwapo_na_baktin) kay wala koy internet for the longest time.

    to think naa ra ko sa iligan karon. oh well. makabalik ra jud ko sa office bah. di ra gihapon ko ka comment kay tambak na akong paperwork...

    to all nga "nasuya", "drooling", etc: haha, too bad you weren't there, joke!

    dear tag-iya sa blog, regards daw imong amahan, haha. that has got to be the funniest parent's line ever!!!

  17. huli man daw at magaling, nakahabol din. hahaha :D


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