PETER Rey was what I was fondly called. Not Jun or Rey, that was my dad, although I was his junior.

I have always been known to do PR for Baguio. I have never said anything to the negative and to portray the city in bad light.

Of late it has been very difficult to do PR for the city. I am half-hearted to do PR since I do enjoy the way things are at the moment.

Who wouldn’t want to find a city all free from traffic and having a city all to themselves? Because of the flower festival, year after year, droves of tourists would be here just for this annual affair.

Baguio normally is that middle ground or stop over. Those that go to San Juan or further north to Vigan and Laoag, would find respite and tour Baguio first. Some would go to Sagada and Banaue before or after a stop in Baguio.

The last few weeks I had schedule after schedule changed from this corona virus. Some good, I spend time with family. Some costly, I had to forego of some schedule that’s been paid for.

An invitation to Boracay has changed a previous schedule to Singapore. Friends had to change their flights to another time till all is well, when? No Juan knows.

Boracay has been planned as early as October. A wedding I will attend. Bookings all done from that early time on. Until the wedding day itself, I will fly in to Boracay from Clark.

It just takes me two hours, I drive through Kennon Road, no problem, to TPLEX, smooth. Exit to Clark and just 109 pesos and to the airport it is. Checking-in, no problem. Just a forehead thermometer and a reading written in the boarding pass and I go. In the waiting area before our flight another reading before boarding. Upon landing another one. Just to be sure.

In the hotel check in was smooth. Microtel has offered for me to stay in a special room that they had, an apartment. Amenities aplenty. Good food and cold beer and refreshments and free flowing coffee.

I had a chat with the manager and a gift of raisin bread from country club. It was mentioned that these are difficult times for the island. A direct hit from a previous storm last December had almost cancelled my stay there.

Now this. Microtel has arranged for my transfers from the airport to the port and from the fast craft to the island and from there a van all to ourselves to Microtel. It is now customary for everyone to be listed and registered thru an accredited establishment. With no prior arrangement an entry to the island is not possible.

It was raining when we landed. The manager had mentioned that I had brought the sunshine in, it was raining the past week to the dismay of many. Weddings were the most hit from the rains. Not this wedding.

The ceremony was beautiful. The sun set perfectly. Hotel guests and foreigners all taking pictures from this wedding. Wedding guests too have come from all over the world. Their travels too, all a challenge. All had to change their flight plans. Those thru Hong Kong or Japan changed to another just to avoid any quarantine.

The wedding all made up for it. I sat amongst the guests from abroad and upon hearing their stories I felt pity. Boracay was their first place to visit in the Philippines, they were all impressed! Their thoughts about the country has immensely changed. They were all too glad to have made the trip despite all the issues regarding travel.

Boracay after the rehabilitation is definitely a better Boracay. It is cleaner and more organized. The storm that hit had destroyed many structures. I was not too sure if it was from a previous demolition or the storm but some structures look like a war zone. Roads are wider and less of the tricycles, now all electric.

I have offered myself to the management of Microtel to help rebuild and do PR and be PRB but not only for Baguio but Boracay too.