I can vividly recall my earliest visit to Baguio’s famed Mines View Park. I was a young girl back then, around 8 or 9 years old, standing at the side of the ridge watching some tourists throw loose change down the ravine where young agile children are waiting with cups they use to catch loose coins. I remember feeling disgusted and so sorry for these kids doing a dangerous job and all just for easy money maybe hoping they can catch enough money to buy food. I feel that way because it tarnished a wonderful background that shows a glorious picture of God’s wonderful creation, complete with majestic mountains and the fresh scent of pine trees wafting with the cool summer breeze. The feeling was a bit tragic…I didn’t want to venture in that area again.
I didn’t get the chance to do so until just recently. And so, I was resolute in my decision to check out if there had any been changes to that scene. And thankfully, there had been. Sure I’ve been hearing news the local government of Baguio City banned that practice and centralized and improved the area to make it one of the most famous tourist destinations in the Philippines’ summer capital. But I wanted to see for myself. To see is to believe.
I made a “quick inspection” of the place when the opportunity came up late last month. I’m so pleased to see what it has become now. Theres now a 7-11 near the parking area and some coffee shops. Unfortunately, there are so many things to see, but so little time to explore. I’ll make sure to extend my sightseeing tour the next time I visit this place. But at that moment, I took advantage of the time when all my travel-mates were busy buying souvenir items at the row of shops near the entrance to the park. I immediately went inside and walked down the steps to check out the newest facets of this park.
I spotted this selfie area where one can pose for souvenir location shoots…I think this is just one of the latest structures in the area.
I started going down the stairs on the right side of the park. There are now little shops lined at the sides.
As I went down, I spotted several vendors selling fresh strawberries. I took the chance and bought 3 packs.
It’s comforting to know that the area is a lot more organized and ‘touristy’. Visitors can have a wide array of activities to do to while enjoying the scenery. One can ride a pony just for picture-taking, or wear traditional Ifugao costumes while roaming around the park grounds. Or you can buy potted plants, and some flowers and shop for clothes at the stalls just before stepping into the viewing deck. Or you can just eat your way out with a number of street food being sold also inside.
I’m so sorry that some of my photos are awkwardly taken. As I said, I was in a hurry, mindful of the little time we have in the park ‘coz everyone’s raring to go back to Manila. I can remember that this was the spot where I witnessed the coin-throwing activities before. Thankfully, that is no longer featured in the park.
After taking a few more shots, I started walking back up the winding steps on the right side all the way to the entrance again. I was a bit breathless but I enjoyed the crisp cold air. I spotted some stalls selling boiled corn on sticks and some grilled squid and pork barbecue. It honestly made me hungry even though we just had lunch. But I consoled myself with just a photo…
Oh how, I wish I can go back soon! I miss Baguio already, especially now when the weather is hot and Manila is sweltering at 39 degree Celsius! 😦