Sunday, September 4, 2016

Baguio City on Rainy Days

Have you visited Baguio City on rainy days? If you need some adventure to perk you up, try it. You have to be extra careful during the trek up but many folks tell me taking Marcos Highway is the safest. Kenon Road is a definite no-no especially for light vehicles.

I've tried hiking around Baguio City on rainy days. One time was when I was almost stranded along Pico Road in La Trinidad so I had to seek cover in a mini mart while the angry thunderstorm raged. Another time was when I and my family had a 3 day stay on Engineer's Hill and the steep slope where we stayed really made me worry about landslides. Thank God nothing like that happened.

Two of my friends recently went up Baguio and I asked to have some of their pictures used for this blog article. Above, just look at that romantic "wet scene" at the Lourdes Grotto. It makes honeymoon stays in the City of Pines more exciting.

During rainy days, the temperature drops and you begin to crave for hot meaty foods like grilled porkchops (I remember the thick grilled porkchops we enjoyed there one rainy lunch at one popular grill restaurant along Session Road). Your appetite improves as you roam around the city on foot during a heavy rain.

Oh yes, we also went there when I was in high school during a rainy day and my appetite really tripled even if we were sightseeing in a car. When we got to the Baguio central market, we ordered lots of fresh and crunchy ginisang sitsaro---specialty of a very popular local eatery inside the market (not there anymore) and I ate most of it.

Sitsaro, by the way, is flat and short string beans popular in Baguio. They're always crunchy and sweet.

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Classy Baguio restaurants are good but sometimes I'd rather try local eateries serving Baguio veggies. There are carinderias serving ginisang sayote leaves and goat dishes near Burnham Park and Baguio City Hall. I often make it a point to eat at Sunshine Restaurant at the corner of Session and Magsaysay where I enjoy Chinese food dishes. During rainy days, these places are good options for meals.

One time we hiked to Mines View Park on a heavy rainy day and all we saw were thick gray clouds. Sometimes the distant peaks and the low hills and houses below would show themselves but clouds would quickly engulf them. But it was mesmerizing how the thick white fog would swallow up areas or shops around Mines View as we looked around for souvenirs.

There was also a time when we went biking in Burnham and then suddenly the fog rolled in and made visibility almost zero. The same thing happened when we went up SM Baguio---the clouds literally "floated in."

If you brought boots along, I recommend hiking long distances as you roam around Baguio rather than taking cabs or even public jeeps. The "feel" of the cold weather plus some sprinkling of cold rain vapor on your face will be memorable.

Staying around the city proper will keep you safe from land or rock slides. And anyway, staying within the perimeter of the city proper offers lots of excitement on rainy days---like, have you seen Burnham Park covered with white fog? Have you smelled the scent of pine at Teachers Camp or the Ifugao Village? Have you observed how fresh the environs of Mansion House are just after a heavy rain?

Or just walk leisurely up Session Road and nearby connecting roads, streets and alleys, window shopping or just trying to get "lost" to have an adventure.

Foggy like some mountainous country in Europe---that's what a hike in Baguio City on rainy days is like.

Curve up somewhere going to
La Trinidad.
Downtown Session Road.

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