The facade of mountains right on your backyard. The color of green pine gleaming through the fog and drizzle that drops on your shoulders when you’re on your way to school. The soft and cool breeze of the north wind that touches your face when you walk on the streets of the town. The healthy, fresh and delicious vegetables from your neighbor’s farm on the side of a hill. The pretty smiles of the native wrinkly faces that tell you to scoot over inside the jeepney to make room for everyone.
How I remember my Baguio would not be how tourists would experience it.
I was born in Manila but I spent almost my first 24 years of my life in Baguio and I had thought that I would never leave it. When the day came that I had to, it wasn’t easy and not a day goes by that I have not missed my hometown. Not a day goes by that I have not dreamed of coming home again.
The windows covered with fog in school makes it feel like the building is floating in the sky. The winding roads that go up and down and makes jogging more extreme than on flat ground. The sound of rain on the roof with hot chocolate or noodle in hand during the rainy season. I’m just smiling as I remember and write down everything about my Baguio.
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You can say that I am a Baguio girl for it is the only town I have known to call my home. Even though I am not a native of the mountains and my roots come from the lowlands, my heart is up on the rocks and hills and the cold breeze of air.
The taxi drivers calling out to say you left something in the backseat makes you believe that chivalry is not dead. The young people waiting on the side of the street for the red light to turn green. The vibrant colors of flowers in Panagbenga that lasts until the end of summer. The affordable lifestyle that’s healthy, happy, and fun.
My Baguio is none like other. Then again, I’m pretty sure you’d say the same about your hometown. But my Baguio is my Baguio, and for me, it is compared to none.
This is my story to tell as a girl who grew up in the city up in the mountains. This is my Baguio.
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