Baguio City is the Filipino’s fav destination for a summer retreat. Foggy, mist-clad mountains, forests of pine trees, luscious strawberries and winding mountain trails are the main draws for the visitor.
But overpopulation, unplanned housing development and rampant deforestation are among the modern ills that have encroached and tarnished the reputation of Baguio as an idyllic summer retreat.
Still, this mountain-top city offers pleasant surprises to both local and foreign visitors, particularly its colorful main Public Market where traditional handicrafts, ethnic food and wares are to be found. Fresh flowers and vegetables are also well known products from this city, with a surprising range from sturdy and fragrant rose varieties to luscious examples of asparagus and broccolli.
The way to (and from) Baguio is also something for the adventurous with its narrow highways that snake down past steep ravines, cliffs and zig-zagging mountain roads. For the casual tourist avoid a trip during the rainy or typhoon season when road blocks are common occurences.
But for a quick retreat from the oppressive heat in the lowlands of Luzon, or simply an escape from urban stress, Baguio can still offer some pockets of solitude, and a glimpse of what could have been a serene Philippine mountain-top city if only modernity has not reared its ugly head.
Mabuhay ang Baguio!