September 28, 2021

8 thoughts on “My First Trip to the Philippines

  1. UJ You did’t buy any wood carvings while in Baguio. In 68 this was capital for wood carving, could not leave with out buying several, still have to this day. When I went for a week and stayed at Camp John Hays, you could rent a car from special services on Naval base with driver to show you around. I don’t think it cost that much back then, my wife made the arrangement, she had friend whos husband drove for special service. If I am not mistaking the road up to Baguio at that time was a gravel road. The cottage that we rented was pretty nice then but I don’t know now. Have been trying to talk wife into going back to see changes.

    1. No George we didn’t buy any wood cravings, not the first trip up there. We did buy one the 2nd trip. It was one of those little guys with a barrel around his body and when you pull the barrel off he he displays his big “hot dog looking thing”. In ’68 I was only 10 years old and didn’t know a thing about the Philippines, nor did I care. Well I think that if you go back to “see the changes”, you won’t like how it has changed. I know that the downtown area was way too crowded for me and it seems to be getting more and more people all the time. I would like to go back again though because I want to try a few restaurants to put on the website. Maybe even stay in a couple of different hotels while there so I can put those on the website also.

  2. Camp John Hay is a private resort now and I hear the investors are having cash flow problems. We went to Baguio for the Panagbenga Flower Festival in February 2010. We hadn’t seen each other in a few months so we didn’t do as much sightseeing as we normally would, if you know what I mean. Frankly it was a scouting trip for our future residence. She complained it was too cold (70 and sunny) and wore a sweater. I didn’t like the smog but I liked the downtown and the huge market there. We bought strawberries of course and souvenirs from the Mines View park folks. The bus ride down was thrilling to say the least. It was midnight on the way up and I don’t remember seeing much of anything and frankly don’t mind that. I’ve posted some photos on Facebook if you want to share. I’d like to go back there sometime because it was so nice just don’t relish the thought of that bus ride again though, lol.

    1. Yes Mark I’m pretty sure I understand what you are talking about. Cheryl would not be the only Filipino that complained about it being cold. Almost all the ones that were with us on our 2nd trip up there, did. I actually thought it was really pleasant, except a couple of mornings I did get a little chill. We went up there with about 15 people and stayed at the Teacher Camp because Mar and Bebie are both teachers and could get us in. I didn’t like the downtown area so much as before. There is way too much traffic for such a small place. We did go by Mines View Park though and places outside of the downtown area are still just about the same.
      When did John Hay go private? Does that mean we can no longer stay there or even visit there?

      1. It’s a privately run resort. Some outfit leases it from the Govt. You can rent a cabin for the night. It seems pretty nice but they weren’t getting enough business to pay the bills. I’m not sure how that’s panned out. We stayed at a Microtel. Nothing special but close to the mall and just beside the Victory bus station so conveniently located. Free Continental breakfast, too. There was a giant mirror at the head of the bed. We were more than a little intimidated by it at first, lol. Anyway for us to share photos on your website?

        1. Maybe if we go back, we’ll check it out. If nothing else we can see if the Lone Star Steakhouse is actually still open.
          As for sharing photos on the site, I’ll check into it, but it’s not possible at the moment that I know of. You can always send the photos to my e-mail and I can get them there and place them on the site.

      2. I went to Baguio near Xmas time in 2003. This was with another Pinay before I met my wife to be so mums the word. LOL. Anyways, it was a quick two day trip. We had a van with a driver so the trip up wasn’t too scary. The thing I remember most was being in the park area where they had a lagoon with paddle boats and such. Near the lagoon was a lot of shops selling trinkets, souvenirs and food. It was early evening and the temperature was probably in the upper 60’s. I was wearing flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt and I saw people wearing down jackets, stocking caps and gloves. I was amazed. We ordered some food and the girl who delivered our food, and was about 13, asked me if I wasn’t cold. I told her I was from Montana and that was a summer day for Montanans. Of course, I didn’t want to admit that I was a bit chilly. We also went to the market in the morning for fresh strawberries. They were big and delicious and I was hit up by beggars the entire time. We also went to someplace where there were some gypsy looking women who wanted to have their pictures taken with us. I readily agreed only to find out afterwards that it would cost us money. I don’t remember the price but it wasn’t bad. We also had our pictures taken in front of the Summer Capitol building which was nicely decorated for Xmas. Baguio is nice and Jen and I have talked about going there many times but have never made the trip. Now that George is 4, I think it is time we make the trip.

        1. The times I have been up there I got chilly, but we don’t have Montana weather in Texas either. That “park area” sounds like Mines View Park. Those “gypsy looking women” those are probably the same ones I mentioned in the story. I forgot to mention that you have to pay to get the pictures with them. I don’t remember the price either. I didn’t have many beggars come up to me, but I was surrounded by Filipino relatives that 2nd time. The first time was so long ago (1984) and there were no so many beggars back then. Whenever you get ready to go and you need someone to carry your bags or something, stop by here to get me.

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