Thursday, March 2, 2017

Walking in Baguio: Mines View to Session Road

"This is suicide," I said to myself as I stepped out of my building on Sunday.

The area where I live--Mines View Park--is usually crowded on weekends, but that weekend was exceptional because it was THE Panagbenga weekend. The annual Baguio Flower Festival brings in thousands of visitors from all over country, Manila mostly, and it's expected that the traffic would be more terrible than usual.

Right after the Grand Float Parade in the morning, Session Road would be closed to vehicular traffic to make way for the stalls for Shawarma Session Road in Bloom.

I've already resigned myself to walking to town and making a photowalk project out of it. So here we are.

Since my work schedule extends to the wee hours of the morning, I woke up on Sunday a couple of hours before noon. After fortifying myself with a breakfast of oats, I set out with one of my film cameras (the plan was to use up the entire roll), turned on my MapMyWalk tracker, and strolled at a leisurely pace to town.

The walk included photo-taking, stall-perusing, and checking out the goings-on around Session Road.
View the details of my walk here!

What wasn't surprising was the number of people going to Mines View and Good Shepherd. The stalls were lined up all the way past the Veteran Pine. What did surprise me was that past the area of Sierra Pines, there was hardly any traffic going all the way to town.

I made a shortcut when I got to Wright Park. Instead of going down the road past the Mansion House, I turned right toward the pool and the steps going down to the riding stable. On my way there I tried this:

The code led me to this page:

I wonder how many people actually take the time and effort to check these things out. 

Baguio City was the venue of the 8th National Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

Here's something I learned recently. One of the 24 Philippine scouts who died in a plane crash on their way to the 11th Boy Scouts World Jamboree in Greece in 1963, whom many folks in Manila would probably recognize as a street name, Sct. De Guia, is from Baguio. Victor De Guia Jr. was a son to the late Virginia Oteyza-De Guia (Baguio's first woman councilor, vice mayor, and acting mayor) and brother to Eric De Guia, aka Kidlat Tahimik.

In 2016, Mayor Mauricio Domogan declared Oct. 1 to be the Scout Victor O. De Guia Jr. Day. The Philippines also celebrates National Scouting Month every October.

I hurried past the riding stable and the pony boys shouting "Horseback madam!" and went toward Leonard Wood. Didn't stop for photos until I saw:

A few more meters and I'd be in Session Road. I didn't know what to expect. I assumed the Grand Float Parade was already finished by then, so they're probably setting up the stalls.

Yup, they were. The usual Baguio weather: cloudy and foggy at times, then the sun would unhide itself and make you curse for wearing a fluffy jacket. Then things would get chilly again. I love it.

I couldn't resist wearing the mask Jollibee (Session corner Assumption) was handing out. Of course I had to take a selfie with the kids and the mom with the (very bold) statement tee.

[I didn't get to finish the roll in my camera on Sunday. I went out on Monday again instead. After my camera rewound the film I headed over to Fuji to have the film processed and scanned, and I got a pleasant surprise. I wrote all about it in my film blog celluloid shots.]

Walking from Mines View to town was nothing new for me, but what made it such an accomplishment this time around was that I did it in the afternoon when it was hotter, and that I really plunged myself into the Panagbenga crowd. Will I do it again? Probably. Next time though, I'm eating ice cream.