All I remember is that we graced the stage, got the Team Spirit and Team Performance Awards for Quarter 2 then eventually became the wanderers who braved the winds of Baguio.
We picked the famed Summer Capital of the Philippines as our destination just in time with the metro’s rising temperature. Hitting the road for six hours straight from Friday shift (stopovers included), it’s an accomplishment on how we still managed to crack up and joke around.
Baguio’s topography is more like a labyrinth and just by looking out of the car window, one will have a glimpse of its rich culture and colorful tradition.
Tiptop Vacation House
A transient house in Ambuklao cradled us for the night where we cook our own food and shared stories while letting the time pass. The room is situated in the woods overlooking the mountains and the city lights of Baguio. I’ve never seen such a picturesque view and ‘surreal’ is the perfect word to describe the countless Pine Trees dominating the place.
Mines View Park
I woke up early the next day to make the most out of my stay in Baguio. While others were asleep, some of us went to Mines View Park. It’s a small park packed with stalls selling vibrant everlasting flowers, roses, succulents, fortune plants and medicinal shrubs.
At the back of the Park lies another wonderful view of an old mining site. I overheard that mining there is now being moderated to preserve the city’s mountains.
Almost all of my pasalubongs were bought from The Good Shepherd Convent which is steps away from Mines View Park.
There’s nothing much to do but to take pictures with The Mansion’s lush pasture as the background. The challenge is taking a picture perfect shot sans the photo bombers who, same as us were also aiming to capture their own picture perfect photos.
Camp John Hay
Camp John Hay boasts thousands of trees which give a Twilight movie vibe. We took lots of pictures and pioneered terms for certain poses like the “moment/sentipose”, “candid pose” and the “ngiting star magic pose” which I believe, all of us nailed. Just a knack for acting and voila! we now have our “team portrait”.
Night Market at Harrison Road and The Conclusion of Panagbenga Festival
This is where being used to the night shift is an advantage. We’re energized during the night and open eyed for the “wagwagan” (ukay ukay here in Manila). We divided ourselves into pairs and set a meeting place just in case we separated due to the overwhelming crowd.
While wandering the longest road of stalls selling cheap flowers, clothes and souvenirs, a 15-minute fireworks display blanketed the sky. The display marked the conclusion of the Panagbenga Festival 2017.
It was just a quick weekend trip and as a first timer in Baguio, I know that there’s still a lot to discover. I enjoyed how we spent the fruits of our labor and we’re motivated to achieve more so that we can bond again in the future.
Not only was I able to discover the beauty of Baguio but also the goodness in my teammates. I realized that as countless as the trees in Camp John Hay, we’re bounded by a common root and that’s called teamwork which, I believe makes us worthy of the Team Spirit and Team Performance Award.
(This article is also featured on RS Chronicles, our company’s newsletter)