Life in the Fast Lane


Taking Me Back to Simpler Times

By 8:52 AM , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Baguio has always been a special part of my growing up years. In fact, when I was younger and people would ask what province my family was from, I'd answer "Baguio" even if that wasn't true.

To a certain extent, though, that's how it felt. After all, there was never a time my family and I didn't go up to the mountains at least once in a year.

Baguio holds too many memories to count: bike rides, horseback rides (I always rode the same horse, El Paso, for many years and was devastated when I learned that he had died), visits to the American Library in Camp John Hay, playing Street Fighter in the arcade, milkshakes at Scout Hill, roller skating in the rinks of Burnham Park and John Hay (my mom actually sprained her wrist during one of these roller skating escapades), pine cone hunting, getting lost in hiking trails, golf lessons c/o the Baguio Country Club, mini-golf tournaments, New Year's parties, family reunions, trips with friends, lazy summer days, my sister's allergic reaction after having eaten several balut, and the list goes on.

Yours truly at six years old in Burnham Park.

Now, Baguio means something else to us: it's where my brother, Chuck, and his fiancée, Anna, plan to get married. Coincidentally, Anna's family has just as many memories of Baguio as ours does; plus, her mom grew up there.

Two months ago and just last weekend, our families went up to consult with event coordinators, do hotel oculars for the entourage and guests, and align on certain details (flowers, the motif, etc.). We've already booked the venue for both the ceremony and the reception and things are on a roll, so to speak.

Amidst the flurry of wedding planning, though, I would find myself stopping to smell the familiar scent of pine; something I really miss whenever I have to go back to Manila. Whenever I inhale it, it takes me back to simple days. 

Of endless summers. 

Of the simple joys of childhood. 

Of a much slower-paced, stress-free life. 

Of having no care in the world. 

Of quality family time.

Of childlike excitement and innocence.

Within the Philippines, we'll never run out of beautiful places to visit and things to see. In fact, I have a bucket list of must-go-to's that I've yet to plan. 

But for all of the reasons listed above, this is why, no matter how congested Baguio has become, no matter how many people tell me that it's "boring" and "there's nothing to do there", no matter where life takes me, I'll always find myself going back up. 

And after Chuck and Anna get married this November, we'll have even more reasons to keep going back — with the future in-laws.

With the Hernandez sisters last Saturday.

Saying good night to the sun during my Friday afternoon run.

What I said goodbye to during my Sunday morning run.

On a personal note, this recent trip to Baguio also gave me something to remember: it was where I received really good news related to my career. Thank You, Lord, for this unexpected surprise and blessing!

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