May 19, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Midland Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on April 29, 2012.)

Old friends from Manila that I have not seen in quite some time are calling me up asking how the weather is here.
It seems the summer heat is getting to their kids who are often irritable and beyond consoling. Children hate being cooped up in the house, especially not in summer, and any kind of break is welcome to them.


What better place to be than in Baguio, even if the weather is not exactly cool but warm, albeit bearable? Why, Tagaytay is said to be sweltering, but it is the proximity of the place from the big city that makes Tagaytay an alternative vacation spot, Baguio being a five or six-hour drive away.


But nothing beats being in Baguio in hot April, where families can go picknicking, biking, skating, boating, horseback riding, or just plain shooting the breeze, promenading around the Burnham Lake or in John Hay, or going up and down Session road.
And there is always SM for a taste of good old Manila, which features four movie houses, and a good number of eateries, including a food plaza where prices are within pocket range.


But no less affordable than the carinderia joints situated next to the wagwag stalls, still another reason why tourists trek to Baguio, summer or not. Slick city folks love looking fashionable, but imported signature clothes cost a pretty penny. But not at the wagwagan, where a Gucci or Prada bag sells only for a thousand or two, or even less, depending on your haggling abilities.
Ogling the sexy chicks likewise provides relief from the heat, as they prance and walk around in shorts and skimpy blouses, baring their pedicured pretty feet encased in sandals or slippers, giggling endlessly. Competing for attention in similar get-up are the fair-skinned Korean girls, who seem to be everywhere night or day.
Ah, to be young again.


Sometimes I wonder if Cordillerans have any fashion or weather sense at all, not setting aside their leather or Eskimo jackets even in the lowlands. Underarm sweating can be very uncomfortable or unhygienic, but they don’t seem to mind.
On the other hand, Cordillera women love wearing expensive clothes and shoes, even if their color combinations occasionally border on the hilarious, matching the hue of their hair with their nail polish, deep red or halo-halo mix.
Smelling good is also a must.


Oh, if you are thinking there is still a full month of summer left, think again. Fiestas and santacruzans are May events and hardly fit into the summer free as a bird aura. Too many rehearsals for would be prinsipes and sagalas, and all those prayers – balay a balitoc (house of gold), “Santa Maria nga babassit (miniature Saint Marys), a whole litany that you can recite before you go to partake of the food prepared by your host for the day.
And why do the hottest days of the year fall in the merry month of May, so sings Guinevere in Camelot, getting all hot for Lancelot. Someone should have told poor King Art never to trust the French when it comes to women.