Gutierrez: “How often does the world turn?”

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By Dennis V. Gutierrez

Talk to Me

Monday, December 12, 2011


THE AD began with, “For sale: kitchen and restaurant equipment, TV sets, shawarma stand with machine, single burner stove, wooden furniture, batibot chairs, linens, mattresses and pillows.” You never thought it would come to this. It could, but you never really thought it would. The ad continued, “For more details, visit #250 extension, Ambuklao Road. Please call (0927)758-0778.” You never imagined that one day you would sit down and type these words. You were not just selling stuff, you were letting go of a way of life as you knew it…

How often does the world turn?

Scientists say that the world turns approximately 365 times a year. Each day, we are given one sunrise and one sunset. In between, we fulfill the needs of the day. We survive because we are built that way - surviving each day as the world turns…

I am sharing with you a true story about how the world turns – a reprint of some portions of a narrative lifted from a social media post by Dr. Might Gupit about the final bow of a family-run and operated inn, bar and restaurant, as part of our modern heritage. To some, it was just a supervised turnover. To others, it was just a regular job to do. But to those who were part of the living history – those who were born and raised in Baguio and those whose lives were touched by the mystery of this city… it was the end of a generation.

“There are lots of stories to tell,” the doctor begins, “It was 26 years of adventure here in Baguio City. I was only 23 years old when I came up.”

“Every piece of material, furniture and linen were placed with love, joy and sacrifice. I remember when dad and mom had to travel 3 times a week just to bring the needed cement and materials for construction. As most of us know, that was before the snap elections and the economy was really bad. I remember taking the bus with my cousin, Elaine, to bring the wood carvings for the walls and there was a landslide at Kennon Road. We had to walk and I slipped and lost my grip, almost sliding down the deep ravine. So if I’m feeling down and broken now, it is because I have truly loved working and living here in Baguio. Though for 26 years, I can only speak and understand few Ilocano words. It is a beautiful city. People I met from the market, flower gardens, street vendors, became instant friends.”

“I also met a lot of wonderful and fascinating friends, whom, after what had happened… they have remained supportive, caring and trustworthy.”

“For 26 years I experienced a lot of high and low moments - true lessons that would never defile me as a person.”

“I cared and contributed to the community with whatever help we can share. We've been through the flower festival, Tossed Salad, competitions, earthquake, typhoons, meningo scare. Simple things like a bed to lie down on or a free shower, free food, lugaw, were given out of joy. Exhibits from unknown artists and music playing from amateur bands. Simple gatherings that made the heart warm. We have opened ourselves to the fact that since God has given so much then we have to give as much in return.”

“Now while I’m sitting and staring at the sunflowers and pine trees outside the window, remembering how much fun I had working side by side with our employees whom I consider as my second family, I feel no regrets. There is so much joy and love that I feel now.”

“Baden Powell Inn, which was awarded as the most tourism oriented inn in 1988-1989, is a HOME. Goto Baden has warmed and fed a lot of cold hungry stomachs. And Feliz Restaurant/Ayuyang, I believe, has embraced the music/art scene in Baguio.”

“I am very appreciative for all the guests who have stayed and remained loyal to us and have become friends. For all the musicians who played, artists who performed and students and teachers who hang around, maraming maraming salamat.”

“We have shared ... We have loved... And we have to say goodbye for now.”

The battle subsides for a while. Perhaps, stone cold for a moment. But the war still rages on in the distant skyline. Saying thank you and saying goodbye is not the end. There are people who are waiting for you to begin a new life with them. The work may have been altered, but the artist remains - until the world turns again…

And so, the waiting begins.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 13, 2011.

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