Remembering Baguio

For all the urbanization and crowding of modern-day Baguio, the summer capital will always be special to me because I spent every summer there until I hit college when other things started interesting me after the regular schoolyear ended.  My brother Nikky and I took a short trip there after I heard mass at the Shrine of our Lady of Manaoag the first Sunday I was in Manila. The van depot is easy to find if you ask around — P60/person and you get a ride to the City of Pines.  You get dropped off along the way or at the van depot at the back of Burnham Park once in Baguio.

It looked different but it felt the same.  Too many vehicles (hence the accompanying pollution), SM has found a perch in what used to be a beehive of the elite, The Pines Hotel.  I had fun mostly because it was a great bonding opportunity with Nikky.  No matter how different Baguio was, I had a thousand and one memories that made that short trip truly meaningful.

Nikky wanted to walk to SM which was visible from Burnham but I cautioned him that it was deceiving.  We chose instead to take a jeepney ride and he was graceful later that he heeded my warning because it would’ve been a walk and a climb.

Before anybody chides me for going to SM, let me make it clear I didn’t go there to shop.  I needed load for my globe SIMcard.. LOL.. But was I glad I went there because SM Baguio will afford you a vista of two sides of the mountain landscape you cannot afford to miss.  Thanks to Bad Copy Pro, here’s a sampling..(All pictures are thumbnails.  Click on them and larger versions will open in a new window..)

 
 

Breathtaking, don’t you agree?  It was muggy then but it was awe-inspiring nonetheless.  It made the trip worth it after all..

 
 

Mines View Park is now a maze of stores to get the cliffside — we finally did but I didn’t dare venture to where everyone was crowding to.  It was enough to behold this.

 
 

My and my fascination for photographing things in motion.  On Kennon Road on the way home — I call this a ghost on the highway.

Having Cab on a Tuesday night

Sometimes Alan gets the craving to open one of our wine bottles on the rack, and since we were having a steak dinner tonight (nothing fancy, just had it with some baked macaroni on the side), we opened a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.

I am not really (and never was) a drinker — but I’ve learned to appreciate wine and its attributes by association with Alan.  I personally prefer the Reislings which are fruitier in taste, but I cannot indulge myself too much because my tolerance for alcohol is rather low.  (This from someone whose favorite cocktail is a Weng-weng.. LOL)  Seriously, I’ve gotten drunk on guzzling merlot one time at a dinner party, one time Alan and I went out, I passed out on him the minute I lay on the bed, with all my clothes on.  Thankfully, I haven’t done anything scandalous, and I have never gotten drunk to the point that I no longer knew what was happening.

Tonight, I’m relaxing with my second glass.  (And that’s it for me — I have work tomorrow, you know..)  There was a time a cardiologiest recommended I drink a glass with some light aspirin every night when my heart felt like it was getting ready to conk out on me.  We ran a gamut of tests down to the very expensive nuclear stress test, but they didn’t find anything beyond an extra heartbeat which another doctor detected just by listening to my pulse.  (Thank God for insurance!)

But back to drinking my wine.  It used to be that it was just red and white wine as we know it and refer to it in Manila.  Here, I learned the distinction not just between red and white, but the different kinds of red and whites, and I have even experimented with varietals. 

One of the favorite getaways Alan and I indulge in is to go wine tasting here in the New York area.  There are wineries in the North Fork area of Long Island (near our favorite outlet) and we discovered a bunch up at New Paltz area (very near Woodstock of the hippie mega concert fame).  There are even more further upstate but we haven’t gone that far yet.  (And yes, I do plan to write about going wine tasting one of these days.) 

Wine is likewise an essential part of dining — and we are very grateful to the restaurants who have their own wine-pairing suggestions as they recognize that the proper wine, paired with a certain dish, enhances the gastronomic experience during the meal. 

I’m no oneophile, Alan is a budding one — I drink for the pleasure of drinking.  It is always a pleasure to sip a glass with a taste to your liking, but like sashimi or oysters, it’s an acquired taste.  This one I’m still getting used to, but I like the way I’ve grown into it.

Precious Pictures

I had lost a good chunk of my pictures from the Baguio trip last April 23, and I didn’t get to retrieve it until an hour ago courtesy of BadCopy Pro  software which I purchased to be able to re-read a rewritable disk that wasn’t working right.  Of the 200+ pictures it read, 93 were from the batch I had “lost”.  Photographs can be so precious.  I’m still smarting from Alan’s memory stick pro which I somehow “fried” in between downloads — thankfully, I managed to take 75% of the photos stored there before it held back the 25%.  The biggest loss were photos of Angel’s first hair cut. =( I have tried to see if the pictures we lost are retrievable through a similar software to BadCopy, but it seems the data has been corrupted beyond recovery.

A memory card reader I bought from CD-R King seems to be the culprit, because after I tried to download the rest of the card from the card reader, that drive no longer functioned and is no longer readable.  I guess that was false economy working against me.  It was a cheap card reader, but it did more damage than good.

I had promised my siblings a picture VCD of all the pictures I had taken, and I have a ton!  It’s just so beautiful to see my niece, nephew and Angel so alive in these photographs.  While there are hardly any pics (is there even one?) of the three of them together, I have beautiful photos of each one or at least two of them in the frame.

The scrapbooks will come in time. =)  I want to concentrate on Mom’s scrapbook of Angel’s first six months and photograph that for my own records, then I am working on scrapbook/journal for a very dear friend of mine.

Meanwhile, I’m going to burn file CDs of the digital pictures now that I have them all before anything happens to the digital media I’ve had them stored in.  USB keys can get lost, and this hard drive might crash taking memories with it.