Issue of October 1, 2017
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Memories of old Baguio
Much has been written about old Baguio City and its idyllic environs, pine trees, and cool climate. Old pictures of Baguio are now circulating in the Internet.

We shall write about the collective memories of the people who call this city their home wherever they are now. These memories have remained private in their family albums and family history and stories. This column will bring these memories to light and reveal the uniqueness of the pioneers of Baguio, the original inhabitants of Baguio and even the migrants of early years. This column shall show the “quirks” of Baguio people that distinguishes them from other Filipinos and communities.

Let us share their stories and pictures from our great grandparents, our own stories, and that of our parents. We welcome your stories from before the Americans made Baguio City their hill station and before the Baguio now.

After the end of World War II, our folks were busy working and picking the pieces of their lives to give a comfortable life to their families. The children were left at home to keep house and play. We didn’t have money for snacks and toys. The neighborhood kids and relatives had to make do with their wide, open landscape in our place.

We gathered old carton boxes, flattened these and got candle sticks and squares (sperma wax) and rubbed in on the cartons. The place we lived in was grassy with a thin, reddish grass of the bamboo family. To the top of the hill we lugged our cartons and made a contest on who would reach the bottom first in one piece. Our treat to the winner would be boiled camote. Down the hill we slid on our cartons, had many spills and bear scars to this day on our legs and hands. We had fun and cured our scratches with marapait.

The downside was there was a blackout and our parents would look for the candles. Lying was out of question; so before admitting to the lost candles, we would position ourselves near the door, ready to fly to the hills, our vast playground.

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