We went to Baguio City for the second time not really for leisure but because of the project I am currently involved with. Needless to say, we were not able to go to all the scenic spots. Still I enjoyed it very much because I was able to experience its refreshingly chilly air, see the towering pine trees, and visit the public market and buy ridiculously low-priced fresh produce (like lemon!).
It was very rainy (or rather stormy) on the first time we went. We crossed through the Marcos Highway because its safer, but despite that, we were welcomed by a zero-visibility fog and freshly fallen debris. I was only wearing shorts and slippers which was a terrible mistake, and so, I was really shivering due to the cold air enhanced by the storm.
On the second time, we crossed through the Kennon Road because the weather was very fine that day. The scenery is way, way better here than in Marcos Highway! The breathtaking gorges, mountains, rivers are ever-changing while you drove through. My humble camera can’t keep up though with the speed of our travel so I manage to snag only a few decent shots.
The majestic pine trees were also breathtaking. The forests look like a chase scene in Harry Potter and Twilight!
Due to its cold climate, Baguio City is also famous for beautiful flowers that are rarely grown in the lowlands. Like this bright pink hydrangea! It was my first time seeing it with my own eyes, nice.
Though the time was short, I was grateful to spend a relaxing time in Baguio City. I also challenged myself to bear the cold air as I will have to experience even colder temperatures in Japan!
I noticed some pretty flowers growing along the pathway in the place I am currently working at. It has a bright pink shade and looking very attractive among the greens. Attracted, I took some shots but they didn’t come out fine. So I practiced my editing skills with Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Since I have a pastime of browsing through pictures taken by such amazing photographers in Flickr, I got the hang and ideas of what looks good and what does not. So here is the result. I think it is much better than the original shot. I should really equip myself with a better camera.
We just went a month ago to Sibul Spring located along the highway in Abucay, Bataan. The unique thing in this resort is that the water supplied in the pools is the cold spring water coming from the mountains. The resort is also built along the mountainside where a nice lush forest provide a peaceful relaxation and a natural attraction to the tourists. There are three pools: two for the children and one Olympic-sized for the adults.
We had a picnic lunch first with mouth-watering crabs, and as soon as we had finished our meals, we went swimming to the pool located near our nipa-hut cottage.
After retiring from swimming, we walked around the resort area to see the other scenery. There was a Buddha statue upstairs which was a gift from the Chinese people.
You could almost see the entire Abucay up above here. The blue horizon just below the sky is the sea.
We attended a birthday party of my parent’s godmother last Sunday in a quiet and secluded resort. It was already lunchtime when we arrived, and so, we were cordially invited to dig in to the buffet as soon as we finished giving our respects to the elders.
The dishes were really wow. Main dishes were lechon, dinuguan, adobong manok (made from native chicken), hipon, fried chicken, shanghai rolls, barbeque, pansit guisado and probably more because I only picked the ones I like most. There were also mangoes, bananas, balot, chiffon cake, sansrival (my favorite), buco salad, potato salad, leche flan (made specially from duck eggs), puto, and a kind of coconut milk drink with pinipig and gulaman. I was so full that I could hardly take another bite.
There was also a swimming pool but I didn’t swim, only my younger brother did while I spent the rest of the afternoon taking pictures around.
Then we went home around late afternoon.
These are some of the fairest flowers in the world. I think they’re really lovely in their own ways. Source from The Grow Spot.
Starting from the heart-shaped flower turning counterclockwise:
- Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
- Cherry Blossom (Prunus)
- Hydrangea (Hydrangea)
- Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
- Lantana (Lantana)
- Rose (Rosa)
- Colorado Blue Columbine (Aquilegia coerulea)
- Begonia (Begonia)
- Canna (Canna)
- Common Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)
- White Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)
My favorite among all the flowers listed is bleeding heart, though I haven’t seen one yet, but I like the uniqueness of its shape and how it blooms. I think chrysanthemum and orchids should also be in the list, because they come in very nice varieties and colors.
I also admire Philippine’s sampaguita (Jasminum sambac). It may not be as gorgeous and colorful as the flowers mentioned above, but it’s gentle and pure with its sweet fragrance. No wonder it was chosen as the national flower of the Philippines, the sampaguita can almost be compared to a dalagang Pilipina or Filipina woman.
We had another retreat again in Angel’s Hills, Tagaytay. I enjoyed it more than the previous one, maybe because it would be our last retreat. We stayed at the mini two-story houses located inside the compound. The houses were nicely-furnished, and as expected, it was very cold; a perfect setting for relaxation and spiritual reflection.
We also had a lot of activities that required cooperation among the team. In the end, they taught us with moral lessons. For example, we had to guide by giving directional instructions to our blindfolded teammate as he crawls underneath a net without hitting the glasses of ketchup.
We also had another Palanca letter-giving. I wrote e a lot this time and made sure that they were extra special. I read the ones I received at the house alone, so no one would see my cry.
Of course, I also took a lot of photos of Angel’s Hills. The scenery inside the compound are beautiful, I especially admire the flowers, plants, and trees there. The weather was also nice, seeing the sky so blue is breathtaking. The only place I felt bad was the Meditation Garden because the sculptures look so scary.
We even had Benediction where Our Lord was taken outside the tabernacle. Of course we celebrated the Sunday Mass, and I was suddenly asked to be part of the choir. There were also a lot of talks, and I was glad that I met my ORI teacher there where I confided all my problems with her. All in all, it was a worthwhile retreat and I would definitely miss this place.