“THERE is no place like home.”
This cliché truly depicts reality. We may discover destinations to relieve our stress; a place to relax and unwind but in the end, we will still look for the place where we often stay and sit and the bed where we have pleasant dreams.
This feeling is what Ating Tahanan wants to invoke in a weary traveler or maybe just someone wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind of work.
Ating Tahanan, located along South Drive, is a campsite originally for Girl Scouts.
However, it is now open to the public wanting to feel at home away from home.
This tract of land was bought by the national president of GSP Pilar Hidalgo and was registered to the Girl Scout of the Philippines on February 18, 1959.
Doing my research on the place, I was pleased by the images and was excited to visit the place.
As I entered this paradise surrounded by trees and fauna, I heard the chirping of birds, the cool breeze touched my skin. Pine trees abound and blooming colorful flowers such as everlasting, poinsettias, anthuriums, star clusters, bougainvillas, bromiliads, salvias, marguerites, honeysuckles, orchids, cosmos, roses, petunias and begonias all over the place blend perfectly with the “historific” guesthouses.
This is where one could go to feel the true Baguio ambience.
Another thing that dazed me is the sweet smile of Miss Esteria Alvarado - center director of Ating Tahanan National Program and Training Center.
She made me sit in her office and we talked about the history of the place. In the middle of the conversation, she offered snacks. She even excused herself in order to inform one of her staff members to serve us.
In just a few minutes, they served us pancit - one of the best pancit I have ever tasted; next was lumpia matched with a sweet and sour dip; then came the fruit salad and the cold soda.
Laughter covered the four corners of the room as the talk continued. One thing Ma’am Esteria shared is the food that they serve. It’s really lutong bahay. They prefer this fare to make their guests more at home.
Before we ended the conversation, Ms. Esteria gave me the opportunity to look around the place and this was the time that I went to the famous guesthouses in the campsite and took a peek of the facilities.
Guesthouse 1, the former house of senator and actor Rogelio de la Rosa; Guesthouse 2, the former house of Ambassador Carlos Valdez and other houses can accommodate 32 guests in private rooms and 123 guests in the dormitory-type rooms.
Other facilities include two function rooms good for 20 people, a conference Hall that can contain 100 guests and a multi-Purpose Hall with 150-seat capacity.
I also saw an amphitheatre and a camp fire ideal for different indoor and outdoor activities.
Ating Tahanan is indeed a nice place to unwind, relax and refresh.
Packed with its affordable room rates Ating Tahanan is the best place to be.
“This place may not give the ambience of a hotel but this place can make you feel at home,” Ma’am Esteria ended. (Deborrah Jane O. Chengay, CDD–Intern)