I woke up at around 4:30 in the morning. I was excited because my family experienced memories for a 5-day vacation in Baguio. I took a bath while the rest of my family were busy preparing. I already packed up my things the night before. My parents cooked for our early breakfast such as the "itlog maalat" with tomatoes, daing, sardines with egg and pandisal. Hmmm the food was yummy and delicious! We happily ate together while sharing our thoughts and expectations for our trip to Baguio. My siblings helped in packing our "Baon" for our trip while I started putting on comfortable clothes for our travel and for the cold weather in Baguio. Then, we went straight to the Victory liner bus terminal station in Cubao.
While riding a taxi going to the bus terminal station, I saw my mother was praying silently. We were all silent and praying too for our safe journey. We waited for a couple of minutes because of our delayed trip. I was a little bit uneasy and tired of waiting. Then, I heard the bus conductor calling for the passengers to start alighting inside the bus. The bus conductor ushered us to our best viewing part. I was listening to a song for a while as the bus started departing from Cubao. I fall asleep. I suddenly woke up when I heard noise of passengers get in and out of the bus. That was our stopover. Together with my mother, we went out of the bus. What caught my attention were the carabaos pastured nearby. Along the way of going to Baguio, what also amazed me are the fog that covers the greening hills and mountains, the vast tracts of land planted with rice, the huge fruit-bearing trees, with their leaves dancing, the blooming colorful flowers, the children playing and the farmers busy planting. The scenes were indeed great and magical!
At last we arrived at the bus terminal station Baguio City. It was a cold and windy day even though it was 11:00 in the morning. We went straight to the hotel, took our lunch and rest for a while. The hotel family room was spacious, comfortable and perfect for our vacation. At 2:00 in the afternoon, we were moving to our first tour area, the strawberry farm in LA Trinidad, Benguet, the salad bowl of the Philippines. For the first time, I experienced carrying my own basket in picking fresh strawberries of different varieties. In the middle of the farm, I was a normal farmer! Then we weighed-in the freshly picked strawberries and paid for the price. After the picking, we bought a hot "taho" (snack food made of fresh soft tofu) sweetened with fresh strawberry. That was delicious!
On our second day in Baguio, we devoted our tour in visiting to different churches, museums, markets and shopping malls. Since it was Sunday, we first visited the Grotto dedicated to our Lady of Lourdes and we climbed several steps to reach at the peak of the mountain. Then, we went to the Baguio Cathedral to attend a Eucharistic Celebration. Outside the church were the colorful and festive "banderitas" (small flag-shaped pieces of paper/plastic arranged on string and hung up). To know the history of Baguio and the arts and crafts designed by Baguio artists, we visited the BenCab Museum in Asin, Benguet. In the afternoon, we bought "pasalubong"(traditional gifts) at the Baguio market. Handmade souvenir items such as ethnic bags, baskets, slippers, brooms, t-shirts printed with Baguio scenes, preserved foods and delicacies, fresh fruits and vegetables, keychains, wara sculptures, etc.
On our last two days, we visited famous historical tourist areas and parks in Baguio such as the Mines View Park, Mansion House, Wright Park, Botanical Garden, Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Burnham Park, Tam-awan Village, Good Shepherd Convent, Bell House, Camp John Hay, etc. One of the amazing and memorable events on the tour was the family's picture wearing Baguio's ethnic traditional clothing and carrying with us ethnic instruments and materials. Indeed, I kept the picture, framed it and treasured it forever. The last day of our vacation was also the celebration of my 11th birthday. That was a gift to me by my family. Our vacation was indeed fun-filled, exciting and with so much full of memories.