Traveling with parents out-of-town is, in my opinion, highly underrated. I know I have the best groups of friends who happen to be awesome travel buddies as well, but hey, my folks are pretty cool, too! 🙂
For instance, we went to Baguio City to celebrate my Mom’s birthday:
They look good, don’t they? And they’re very game throughout the expedition. We took the six-hour bus ride from Quezon City, the longest, I think, that I have ever traveled with them, and not a moment of boredom — probably because we spent half of the time eating. 😀 The three of us enjoyed every stopover from Metro Manila to Tarlac to Pangasinan.
When we saw our first glimpse of the mountains and started the climb along the winding roads of Benguet, our enthusiasm increased tenfold.
A few short hours later and we we’re greeted by the chilly, fresh air of Baguio City. The mountains are gorgeous!
As I marveled at the hand-craftsmanship, I wondered if my ancestors wore something similar, or if I came from a long line of foreigners who introduced the new clothing line. 😛 I wondered about the time when those costumes were the norm, and what a colorful crowd we will be if it still were.
I wondered and wandered as off we went on our hike around the best tourist spots. Thank God they are all clustered in a walkable vicinity, otherwise, our two-day vacation won’t be enough. So we walked and walked after our visual feast at the Mines View Park and saw this most amazing tree:
The tree is a 200-year old Benguet pine, declared dead last year, that now stands as a monument to the city’s remaining pine forest. Cordillera woodcarvers have worked together to create this amazing piece of art. (More info here)
Unfortunately, its beauty is overshadowed by the knowledge that the pines in the City of Pines are growing old and dying; their roots struggling to sustain a life that can only go for so long.
On a positive note, we enjoyed our walk all the way down the slopes to Ukay-ukay haven! We shopped til my Inang reminded us that she’s about to drop from exhaustion. She’s not getting any younger and her weary bones are complaining. No complaints of tiredness from my parents — see how cool they are? 😀
Still, we had to finally go back to my Tito’s house where we spent our couple of nights. The adults (I’m not included as an adult when older adults are present) cooked a humble meal for the birthday girl, then I downed lots of fresh vegetables I almost decided to be a vegan. To tell the truth, two days ran short of experiencing the whole of Baguio’s pride — I am definitely coming back. But I guess we’ve been busy enough in those two days to make every minute worthwhile. 🙂