My recollection of Burnham-A A +A
Thursday, September 13, 2012
BRINGING my child to Burnham Park brought a lot of childhood memories in this recreational ground, probably the most-photographed landmark of the city. My father found work when the mines opened in the nearby towns of Benguet, and almost always, going up to Baguio for some leisure is a given. When I was of school age, I chose to go to school in our home province but a Baguio Christmas and summer vacation is automatic. And as usual, there were the usual weekends in the city where Burnham is never missed on the itinerary as I would always insist going to its Children’s Playground.
I assert on the Playground first because of the bike. Rent-a-bike for kids used to be within the perimeter fence of the playing field where road-like pavements were warped amid the swings, see-saws and other equipment for children thirteen-years under. Tickets then were issued to riders which serve as an official receipt and perhaps a kind of security control. The rider has to present it to the guard at a post in the middle of the biking area. The biking area for adults had always been at where it is now, at the road just outside the fence. My parents though were never fond of biking. They would wait for me on the thick green grasses under the canopy of the trees within the field usually occupied with the weekend newspaper and some shoe-shine boys busy on my father’s boots. That would be enough time for me to finish the one-hour biking, veer from one swing to another, join other children at the see-saw, climb those steel equipments and of course the concrete elephants which at present was moved from their original posts. When the carnivals are there, I would insist on at least one of the amusements, the cars or the merry-go-round for I fear the ferris wheel.
The aroma of corn being roasted somewhere would always be tempting that soon my mother often would relent to my entreats. Lunches were usually been either on some park table and benches or some flat terrain. The refreshing environment – the cool breeze, flowers in bloom, the grasses and trees – would make more appetizing the home-styled dishes bought from nearby turo-turo.
In my first boat ride at the Burnham Lake, my father had to force me. I was fearful of the water although towards the end, I wanted my hands on the paddle. The boats did not need the design of swans, seahorses, mermaids, and crocodiles to be have coasting at the lake enjoyable. But they are indeed a very good innovation to make boating more photographic at the present.
An escapade at the park would not be complete without picture-taking. Photographers were once plentiful then offering to shoot for the remembrance of the days. It was claimable after perhaps another round of stroll either from the photographer himself or at some shop in nearby Session Road or within the vicinity of once Baguio’s biggest mall – the Maharlika. I would guess most of the photographers shifted to other source of livelihood when the era came that almost everyone had a camera on hand. But their contribution to people’s memory of their romance with the park will never vanish just like the pictures I have now in my album.
I have never visited any other park more than the times I went to Burnham Park since childhood. In my how-did-you-spend-your-summer compositions in the elementary grade, I would always equate Baguio to Burnham Park. It is great that even if changes have to happen, the park still retained had the trees, the grasses (although going thin), the flowers, and most of all the wide open spaces so that today’s children can enjoy the experience the park offered since time. Baguio wouldn’t be Baguio if Burnham Park ceases to offer the picturesque and relaxing atmosphere.Kinnud: My recollection of Burnham
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 13, 2012.