Posted by: Laya Isabelle Garcellano Florendo in , , , ,

When I was old enough to venture out minus the parental chaperons, Baguio was the first place my friends and I went to. It was our first big adventure.

We weren't allowed jaunts like kids are nowadays and malling was an entirely new thing. But out of town, with only your friends to boot, well! That was something special reserved only for special occasions. As a high school graduation gift, our barkada spent weeks excitedly planning everything from what we would wear and where we would go. It was Our Coming Out Party! The Declaration of Independence! The First Big Step Into Adulthood! Oh, we even agonized about the days and nights we would be incommunicado from our boyfriends, but we all secretly reveled in the freedom it brought us.

We were still accompanied by one of our friends' parents who were also going to Baguio. We were lucky in that we had a van to ourselves and a driver to take us anywhere we wanted to go. Trying to go about it as adult-responsibly as possible, we planned the logistics as carefully as we could. We pooled our money for the gas and for our food. Our accommodations were taken care of by one of the girls' aunts who had a summer home (sosyal!) and was unoccupied at the moment. After unpacking, we hit the road again and did all the usual things with the extra exhiliration of doing it without parental control.

I know it sounds like we painted the town red. We would have loved to but we were really just kids and being a kid in those days was a lot tamer than being a kid now. The sweet air of Baguio was the sweet scent of freedom and it was all that really mattered to us!

We took turns with cooking the canned goods we bought and washed the dishes. We picked strawberries for our first breakfast together. Every so often, we hammed it up for the camera (no digicams yet, just film stock so we carefully doled out shots like gold). We shopped for silver in the city market. We ogled the scenery at Mines View Park. We rode horses and survived all the way to Marlboro country without getting thrown off though we were royally sore the next day. We were supposed to roast marshmallows and toast our collective frozen feet by the fireplace but none of us knew how to make a fire. All we managed was a pitiful little flame with paper and pine needles. (Don't laugh!) So we just ate the marshmallows, told ghost stories and slept huddled together in one room.

We also went to Spirits, THE disco back then! I remember wrapping up a bottle of Cali Shandy in tissue and inserting a straw to make it look like I was drinking a softdrink because one of the girls expressed horror at the thought of liquoring up. Now we all know Cali isn't alcoholic but try telling her. I was supposed to be the adventurous, devil-may-care type so I really didn't care much after the first bottle. I didn't think I was fooling anybody anyway, so I just ditched the tissue and straw and drank straight up, baby! I think the sugar rush was what got me intoxicated after that. (Said girl can now drink as many bottles of hard liquor as she would like to, so I hear.) We bumped and grind-ed to the best of the 90's disco music and managed to get up the ledge next to the DJ. We had the time of our lives without getting drunk or getting into trouble. Yes, it was clean fun.

Sadly, there weren't any cute boys. (We looked.) Not that we really minded, we were having way too much fun to play the flirting game anyway. At around 1AM, we decided to call it a night.

We spent the next few days going around Baguio, taking pictures and acquiring souvenirs left and right. Unfortunately, after fifteen years, I don't have single picture. All I have are memories of that time in my head. Still, it remains one of my favorite memories of Baguio where we went up as kids and we came home proving that we were responsible enough to take care of ourselves!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 and is filed under , , , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


HI there,

Gosh, Reading your scribbles about Baguio made me realize I have not been to Baguio since the earthquake. Am sure it has changed so much since the 90s. Anyway, do like reading your blogs.

Have a blessed Christmas!

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