Baguio urban legends that baffle even locals-A A +A
Friday, September 2, 2011
URBAN Legends in Baguio City are stories, oddities, habits and perceptions that visitors and locals carry with them when they trek to the mountain haven or you get to believe when you live in the boondocks for some time.
These stories have been passed from generation to generation and for the longest time perceived to be a truth however funny and insane. Here is a collection of myths, facts, half-truths and half lies:
The Lady of Loakan road
Yes, there is a white lady there, no doubt about it, ask the tough guys.
Grown cabbies and hardened Philippine Military Academy Officials will attest to it and even give you a tip or two to avoid seeing this apparition in white.
An Air Force Captain and I were once driving toward the length of the legendary Loakan road and started talking about the lady in white.
The manly captain attested to the stories of PMA bus drivers who tread the road early in the morning and late at night who get the jitters every time they pass the long and winding road where the white ghost resides.
Lo and behold, the young captain then took a detour to Camp 7 and said he wouldn't dare pass the road after talking about the lady in white.
No amount of military training would sway a military man to drive along the fog filled road in fear of a ghost.
The Loakan road tree
Number 1 and number 2 are somehow related.
Decades ago, a tree decided to grow in the middle of Loakan road, making vehicles dodge the act of nature all together and somehow prevented the DPWH from cutting it.
It is said the tree is haunted. Why?
There are a lot of stories and yes, you guessed it, it is related to the white lady of Loakan road, it is said the lady lives in the tree.
It is also said the lady will have revenge over whoever attempts to cut it.
This lady was rumored to have been raped decades ago and yes, gorily hung on the tree or left there to die, the stories are sketchy and even veteran reporters will get the runaround.
Well, here is where facts will separate the myths.
The DPWH finally cut the tree and the according to the research of sprit questers, the man who cut it died; a tree fell on him.
Yes, he was an employee of the DPWH and after he cut the Loakan road tree, months after an actual tree fell on him and he died.
The local Spirit questers interviewed the family of the unlucky man who cut the tree and it is true, he is dead as a tree did fall on him.
Now, when you traverse the length of Loakan road, there will be no tree, only the stories of locals who remember the curse of the lady in White and the memory of the deathly tree.
Strawberries grow on trees
It's true, visitors still think the luscious gifts grow on trees, can you blame them? For people who get excited when they see pine trees, it's easy to think a strawberry tree is within reach.
Well, well, well neither do strawberries grow on trees nor are they found in Baguio. Sadly, most strawberry farms are in nearby La Trinidad, Benguet and people usually get confused with this fact.
The ghosts at the Hyatt ruins
A lot of people died in that hotel, that is a fact, but there are no more ghosts at the Hyatt ruins; there aren't even any "ruins" there to speak of.
According to Dion Fernandez, a trusted spirit questor, spirits roaming at the Hyatt ruins have mercifully moved on.
Ghost hunters who still try to get a cheap thrill stalking the area for ghoulish finds will encounter a different ghost.... Who might go straight for your wallet.
When locals get tired of traffic, they walk
Home-grown locals will not tolerate traffic and simply get out and walk.
This is reminiscent of times when walking was the way to go around these parts, before people brought in their cars to the skimpy streets of the city meant to be an American resort.
SM killed the stargazing site
Kids of today won't know this but the site where the great mall stands was the best area in the central business district to go stargazing.
The thrill then was to dodge the guard to get to a spot inside the former Pines Hotel, lie on your back and look at the stars.
Not even the P5 telescope the mall has could recreate the experience.
The bakery is famous for raisin brea. Only locals knew this fact and for some time, the small bakery along Scout Barrio was patronized by only a few until the word was passed around.
Now, visitors are seen in queues waiting for freshly baked items.
If you hurdle the steps at the Lourdes Grotto, your wish will be granted
It's a sort of pilgrimage for devotees to trek up over 100 steps of the grotto.
It takes a patience and healthy pair of knees to do this especially with the mountain thin air not to mention the temptation to take the short cut.
The grotto is an offering to the original Lourdes Grotto where the Holy Mother Mary performed miracles to a group of siblings.
Most locals do not have a photo at the Kennon Road Lion
This is a fact...most locals are content in seeing the yellow, black, brown [or whatever color it is now] lion when they pass by the stretch of Kennon road. (Ma. Elena Catajan)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 03, 2011.