In writing about this, I have decided to leave out a lot of details. A very simple reason: it is already difficult enough that I have to write about a quiet place without calling too much attention to it, hence drawing more people to it.
The quietest place in Baguio is on top of a hill.
It dates back to the time long before the Americans, seeing that the Spaniard who founded this settlement in what is now Baguio had the right idea, decided to develop this into a second seat of government for the summer. In fact, there was until recently a stone marker into which was carved the visage of the Spanish monarch who happened to reign when the settlement was founded. It was found on the side of the hill one ascends to get to that place.
The place in question has a good view of Baguio, on a clear day. But on a rainy afternoon, when I visited it, I felt once again what made Baguio memorable 22 years ago. A rolling fog obscured the view, and the temperature fell below 20 degrees. As a gentle shower fell, I thought about what to write at that moment. All I could think of was the story of someone who would spend his days helping other people find God in their lives. That story may well be mine, if God wills.
An update from two years ago: there are more trips for the deluxe bus Victory runs, and the price has gone up to 600, without insurance. But the cool thing is that the buses that run from Cubao, if one is lucky, are the brand new ones, which have much better bathrooms, better seating, and less shaky chairs.
One other big change: the traffic has been rerouted almost everywhere. It gets confusing. One should not bring a car unless one wants to spend time taking longer routes to almost anywhere. And a sign that Baguio is changing: the new People Support building is being completed. It can be found on the way to Session Road.
My vacation went well, thank you very much. I finally had a chance to eat at Pizza Volante on Session Road and I can attest that the pizza is as good as some have reported. I also had a chance to meet an old acquaintance, the former Dean of St. Andrew’s, Henry Kiley. He lives in the Guisad area, not far from Easter College. In a sign of how many Mormons can be found in Baguio, Easter is the only Anglican place I know where a Mormon meeting-house can be found right next to the school. In fact, the other one I know is not far from where I stay, somewhere in Legarda.
And as usual, SM is as crowded as heck. I decided to avoid it except for essential business. I also got to see the place where the most famous broken promise in recent Philippine history was uttered. I passed by it thrice on the cab.