Raining in Baguio

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By Linda Grace Cariño

Baguio Stories

Friday, August 1, 2014


LAST weekend, on an oft-crowded commercial balcony, my family and I sat in empty, shaded space as it rained. We enjoyed the rare peace and quiet in a spot often teeming with people eating, walking around, being in town. After supper, we took in a last full show and enjoyed it perhaps more than usual because the theater was, like the balcony, without its usual crowd crush. Outside, it rained as it does in Baguio in July.

This whole past week, there have been no crowds teeming everywhere, mainly because the student population in school this month has been at a low number because of the August calendar adapted by some schools. Eating places have had a lot of empty tables; streets and sidewalks have likewise been comfortable. The rain has been quite constant, and Baguio has somehow been Baguio again – rainy, not crowded, easy on the thoroughways, refreshing to the spirit.

Because of the rain, our greens are greener and lush looking, soothing our eyes. Yes, it’s rainy, but that’s what Baguio truly is, a place where rainfall records remain high, though the past week has had no really strong downpours. More than once this week, I’ve been reminded of our old concept that Baguio in the rain should be a marketing ploy itself, though not one I ever followed through on because Baguio in July and the rest of the “off season” is crowded enough with students and I am among those who believe that their number in town is too high as it is. But this past week, that number has not quite been in town yet in usual droves, and it’s been nice to have some peace and quiet.

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As this piece goes to bed, the soft rain pitters and patters on the roof.

The soft pitter patter could turn stronger as the day goes by. On a day like today, it’s wise to dress in a sweater and other sensibly warm clothes. It’s also wise to pack an umbrella, though hard for some of us to do – easier to just slip through the raindrops... In your boot clad legs and feet.

On a week like this in Baguio, the fresh air is fresher, the rain is welcome, the sounds are muted, and the whole place is just lovelier. It remains romantic, and one drinks in all this romance, all this beauty with gratitude, also for another year gone by so quickly.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 02, 2014.

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