“Who wants a free ticket to Baguio tomorrow?” a fellow traveler posted at one of the many online groups I frequent. Interesting, I said to myself. Half an hour passed and there were still no takers. I was now actually entertaining the thought of getting it and going to Baguio City at a moment’s notice.
It was almost a year ago to this date that I packed my bags, readying for an impromptu three-day trip to Baguio City with nothing but a free bus ticket and a day’s stay at a backpackers inn somewhere in the city. The Panagbenga Festival was just a few day’s away and it electrified me to know that I would at last be attending the city’s flower festival.
I have just resigned from a seven-year day job and I was still quite unsure as to how my financials would hold up to all the traveling I’ve been doing. The key to this upcoming trip would be to keep the budget as low as possible. No fancy restaurants this time; absolutely no unnecessary spendings. I will walk all through Baguio and dine on nothing but fishballs if I have to.
The next evening found me on a cold Victory Liner bus, a medium-sized backpack beside me and the dark lonely night of the North Expressway staring at me from the window. My mind was playing images of pines and cold mornings as I tuned in my iPod to Ryan Adams. I adjusted the volume to a murmur and proceeded to a dreamless sleep.
Five hours later and I was alighting at the familiar bus depot in Baguio City. The sun was still sleeping along with the populace, the streets were empty and the weather was freezing. I decided to start the day early and walked from the station all the way to Burnham Park. With nothing but the lonely street lamps as my companions, I reconstructed the streets of Baguio in my mind as I went along.
Burnham Park’s lagoon was misty with the coming morning. I laid down my bags and took a breather. I bought a cheap coffee from a roaming vendor and sipped the familiar brew. I always like starting my Baguio days with a hot cup of caffeinated drink at this park, at this very same spot.
The incoming rays of the morning broke through and reflected on the lagoon’s water. I almost cannot believe that I am at Baguio City again. I have absolutely no plan or itinerary and I’m not sure what’s in store for me in the coming days. My first day still has not started but I’m feeling a great adventure coming.