At the height of the storm, I left my comfort zone. Why not? Do adventures need to be around perfect weather condition all the time? Into the heavy rains, which flooded the Metro, I hopped in the bus headed to Baguio City.
Out the window was thick darkness. Morbid thoughts crossed my mind. I whispered a prayer that the passengers and I make it until dawn. That the bus arrive in Baguio, the City of Pines, the summer capital of the Philippines, a place in the archipelago where I had plenty of memories to celebrate and mourn about.
“I will seize the moment and collect a happy memory,” I told myself as the bus zigzagged the slippery highway to Baguio City. I would love to roam around the city like it is my first. The thought of relishing on strawberries, and savoring its known strawberry-flavored taho, ice cream and wine excited the delicacy-enthusiast in me. Artifacts and relics artists adore in the museums gave me sense of equal ground. What about saying a prayer or two in the Marian grotto and repeating the same in the cathedral? I sighed. Would my inclination to arts be a vanity? Let it be. Let it be a useless subject of scrutiny in the eyes that fail to see. Would my devotion to Divine Providence be a folly? Let it be. Let it be my redemption and consolation. I believed. I survived the night travel.
By the way, how do you adore Baguio City like it is your first, yes after the nth times? How do you take photos of a place, which welcomed you both on business travels and personal getaways? They were my dilemma. The Mansion. The Mines View Park. The Botanical Garden. The Wright Park. The Marian grotto. The Cathedral. The avenues of Baguio City. They were all the same except that they were under the heavy clouds and around embracing fogs. The museums were closed. It was planting season in the strawberry farm in Benguet. I roamed around until my feet could bear no more. I waved at cabs, which are the usual transportation in Baguio City, to save me from my heroism.
What caught me though in hitch-hiking a crowded solitude is the plight of animals I passed by. How they labor without much reciprocity is simply disheartening. As I sympathized with them, I remembered Wilbur in E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. They drew me to a reflection. As long as there is blood on our plates, world peace will remain an altruistic dream.