THERE’S this link being shared on Facebook, featuring the 10 “Best Places to Live in the Philippines”. First thing I saw the link was sometime in December, and I read the whole article until I reached the top spot, which names Benguet as the best-est (!) place to live in the Philippines. I was really happy to see it. When I started reading, admittedly I did not expect Baguio (Benguet) to be one of the top 10, given all the negative feedback we’ve been getting for the reported overcrowding of tourists, waste (and stink) problem in our main thoroughfares, and horrible traffic especially on weekends.
The report claims to be “backed by research” (http://tectumo.com/the-10-best-places-to-live-in-the-philippines-backed-by-research/), although as a (former) web content writer/ editor I have to admit that when it comes to marketing blogs you can say (write) pretty much anything and if you’re good enough you can really convince and entice readers to patronize something. Well, skeptics can protest all they want, in my heart Baguio is really one great place to live in. Let me count the ways...
It’s cool, it’s calm, it’s cozy. Baguio City is not hailed as the summer capital of the Philippines for nothing. We have “air-conditioned” climate almost all year long. Even when it is being claimed that Boracay or Palawan has already surpassed our city as a tourist destination, I think millions still love to visit and re-visit our cool city because of its old charm. Those who come up do not even have to endure the traffic; some of my friends say they could stay indoors and still enjoy their Baguio weekend just chilling and sleeping and enjoying the 24/7 cozy feels.
It’s a foodie’s paradise. Baguio boasts of culinary feasts everywhere you go – whether you opt for fine dining, home-cooked meals, cakes and other sweet treats, or for adventurous palate finds in unexpected places. What’s amusing is that everything – and I mean everything – seems to taste doubly amazing here, even just a cup of brewed coffee (with brown sugar and evap milk!) or a steaming brew of relaxing tea (while enjoying the view of lush greens and the scent of pine trees).
It’s where you find the coolest bunch of people. Ok... now this, is probably a super biased statement, but I will stand by it with all my heart. It is probably owing to the cool weather that keeps us calm, but really, we seldom come across mean, harsh people, or those with road rage (thank heavens) here. Instead we have friendly cab drivers, amiable vendors, pleasant by-standers more than willing to help or just offer their warm smiles.
Baguio is indeed one of the best places to live in, and I am thankful every day that fate brought me here. (firstname.lastname@example.org)