Baguio City – A mysterious secluded city in the Philippines

I went to Baguio in search of a peaceful place to rest on my journey through the Philippines.
I wanted to discover some of Phil’s more traditional sacred tribe cultures and mountain landscapes.

A six hour long bus ride from Manila took me through mountainous terrain and ghost like villages which had very little development, just few churches and children playing on the side of the road. As we got closer to Baguio the drop in temperature was very noticeable, a nice change from the constant heat you experience in most of the city’s in the Philippines. I arrived very late and caught a cab straight to the “Hotel Supreme Convention Plaza” where I had a room booked.
I was met with a warm reception in the hotel lobby and retired to my room for the night excited to start the new day in a place I knew very little about and was very excited to explore.

The next day I stepped out from the hotel lobby onto the street and was surprised to see I was not in a peaceful place. It was traffic chaos! Another overpopulated part of the Philippines filled with intense polluted air.

Baguio is a city originally designed for 100,00 but now has a population of 300,000 and seems the traffic system is failing.

I hopped in a cab and asked the cabby to take me to a nice market. Getting anywhere via taxi or Jeepney at times seemed like mission impossible. So I spent the first few days just walking around the city on foot exploring every nook and cranny.

Now when it came to food Baguio is place dominated by Fried chicken and Balut (egg with duck embreo! ? but I actually discovered the most amazing vegan restaurants I have ever been to in my life! See this blog HERE

My search for something peaceful first lead me to the outer parts of Baguio the first being Trinidad to a place called the Bell church. I walked down a small lane that led me up to a temple filled with Buddhist and Warrior statues and magical ponds filled with Lotus flowers. Children performing a ceremony with a Chinese dragon, running and jumping in formation. I sat and watched in a while in awe and then climbed the staircase past little huts and statues until I reached the top to view the entire city and temples below me.

I looked out over the city. Baguio is such a secluded city, its a far away place, like another world, so far from my home in Australia. I felt like a tiny spec in this place but sitting high above the Bell Church I felt a great peace and enjoyed the moment and what I was experiencing.

The following day I set out to my next destination to deepen my meditation. It was a place I had read about the Brahma Kumaris meditation centre.  A long taxi ride this time to the other end of the city to the peak of a mountain to a little white building.

I received a very warm greeting by a lovely Lady and man in white robes and they invited me in as if I was a son returning home from time away.

The Lady took me to a meditation room. At one end was a large painting of colours and in the centre was the point of light an image the resembles the point of which all beauty and peace emanate from. We sat in meditation together guided by some peaceful sounds where I found a deep feeling of love and gratitude for all the experiences the Philippines were showering me with. After that the lovely Lady sat and gave me her wisdom on life, meditation and the history of the city. They took me into there home and prepared a lovely vegan meal and cup of tea for me and we sat and ate together and shared stories. It was one of those magical moments I experienced while in Baguio.

Baguio city is surrounded by magnificent hills. Looking out from the chaotic centre of the city you could see the beauty of nature that was within reach. I had to get there somehow, I had made friends with a local taxi driver named Rimel and requested if I could hire his services to be my own private shoffer for the day and drive me out of the city and far up into the hills.

 

Rimel was a lovely guy and we had much to chat about and learn from each other coming from different worlds, he was happy to spend the day with me.
As we drove high into the mountains the beautiful clean air filled my lungs and being at such a high altitude was almost euphoric. The roads ended and we were now driving off-road, luckily Rimel had a 4×4. We eventually reached our highest point and pulled over to take in all the beautiful surroundings. It was Breathtaking as we were so high up the clouds were passing below us. I’d never experienced anything like it. The land was lush and green with traditional rice farming terraces carved out in the hills.

Id found what I was looking for.

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