“I miss the cold”, I told myself as I was forcing myself to sleep. My room was filled with silence from every corner and the emptiness I feel deep down just keeps getting stronger. There is no escape. I don’t know of any other way, but to depart from this mess and start looking for myself again. Wherever it may be…
It only took one random day; a day that everyone thinks is special. Birthdays. How I dread that day. I never celebrated mine. Not once since I turned 13. Society expects more and more from you as each year in your life passes. The counting means nothing more than you being able to be the person everyone expects you to be. It’s just draining. And the pressure’s just heavier now that I’m 26. I somehow seem to have lost myself along the way… Which I guess is pretty normal most especially in your quarter life, but thankfully, at the very least, I received a guitar center promo code on my birthday!
They say that life is a never ending quest and the best moments happen on random occasions. Unplanned. A few full moons back, my friends and I decided to go on a random roadtrip to the north where everyone just seems to be looking for themselves or their “tadhana”. It has become the go-to place for many who wants to escape the busy city life. A quick escape from the harsh reality we are faced with everyday. Somewhere up in the mountains of Benguet, I somehow found a place that’s very comforting. A place where I easily find happiness by simply sitting by the park with my hot cup of freshly cooked tsokolate de batirol at hand. A place that just takes all the pain away.
I’m not a newcomer and it’s also not my first time to go soul searching, but everytime I am up there atop its hills and majestic mountain views, everything just seems to feel right… Allow me to share with you the TOP 10 Things I usually do when I visit Baguio.
1. People watching. I usually find a quiet spot in Solibao restaurant at Burnham Park and order a freshly cooked Tsokolate de batirol and enjoy the sight of different people passing by.
2. Stroll around. Camp John Hay is the best place to walk around just before the sun sets and of Session Road of course during the night. Exploring the city never gets old. It’s always a new experience.
3. Eat. Vegetables. Yes! Nothing beats the freshly grown and picked vegetables in Baguio. I suggest that you go semi-vegan when you’re up there. It feels lighter in the stomach and it’s a healthy break as well from your usual diet. Visit Oh My Gulay in Session Road, Good Taste near Burnham Park, and the Ketchup Food Community just right across Wright Park. A good food and a cold beer is all you need!
4. Sleep. I know this sounds a little absurd, but sleep if you must. Enjoy the time you spend away from the city to be one with nature. Relax. Find time to regain your life’s rhythm. Sleep all you can in the comfort of Baguio’s natural cold weather. Tuck yourself in a comfortable blanket and kiss all your worries away.
5. Party. Yes you definitely can! There are new places to go to in Baguio just in case you’ll somehow miss the Manila scene. The Camp in Teacher’s Camp is so far the best place you can go to, Spade Superclub in Crowne Legacy, and of course, if you want to see how Baguio locals party, you can drop a visit to BCS in Magsaysay Road.
6. Go on a Random Joy Ride. It won’t hurt, trust me. The cab fares are at a minimum and the drivers are very honest. If you want to explore the rest of the city, hop on a cab and let the cab driver take you around the city! There are wonderful places and establishments to explore! Go on a joy ride!
7. Meet-up with friends. If you have time to spare, go and meet a friend who’s also there on vacation! It will make a lot of difference in your friendship! Conversations are far more meaningful and fun compared to when you are in the city, stressed and full of worries. Rediscover each other in a totally different setting!
8. Get a massage. Take advantage of your free time and pamper yourself! There are a lot of nice spas in Baguio where you can treat yourself to an hour or 2 of relaxing massage and body scrub. Try North Haven Spa in Avelino or Himaya Spa in Legarda!
9. Go up the Grotto. Find time to reconnect. Go up the Lourdes grotto, take the 252 steps as a challenge. It’s not exclusively for Catholics, but if you are, find time to offer a prayer. After climbing the steps, try to light a candle, close your eyes, listen to your breathing, and start your own personal moment of silence.
10. HAVE FUN! ENJOY YOUR ART! Which is of course the most important of all! Never allow yourself to worry. Enjoy the adventure with the people you’re with and make sure that you’re worry free. Go up broken, come down fixed! Make it your goal! Your adventure is an art and make sure that you make it beautiful! Visit the Ben Cab Museum of art also if you want to see things in a different perspective!
“I miss the cold”, I told myself so I decided to hop on an adventure together with some of my closest friends. We went to the bus terminal on the wee hours of the morning hoping to find the missing pieces of us lost somewhere along our 2015 journey. We were disconnected from our sanity, albeit near crazy as others may think of us, but we had fun and that is something no one can ever take away from us.
Baguio took all our pains away and cleansed us of the stresses we encounter in the city life. Sometimes it only takes a crazy mind coupled with a group of crazy friends to put some sense back into your life. Life is so full of surprises and the only way to stumble upon those is to search without really looking for it. Let things happen, allow yourself to question, to hurt, and to feel pain because it is the forefront of discovery. It is where you get to know yourself and others more.
I am 26 and undergoing a few challenges in the quarter life, but I can say and claim that I am definitely 101% happy. We all simply need a break sometimes. Find time to make your random get away happen and make the most out of it when it does!
Happy new year everyone! 🙂
PS. Watch the short film we shot on the side in Baguio! Written and read out loud by yours truly (the voice over parts only).
Tags: Aivan Reigh Vivero, baguio city, Bakla ng Taon, Burnham Park, Camp John Hay, lloyd cadena, lloyd cafe cadena, Lourdes Grotto, summer capital of the Philippines, That Thing Called Tadhana, The Camp