Saturday, January 22, 2005
Session Road, Baguio City
While going through our old photos the other day, I came across this old post card. Session Road is the main thoroughfare in the previously small city of Baguio. This photo is of the area where at least three of the major streets converge, and it was literally the center of town. It was, and still is, where most of the commerce is located. The large building in the forefront looks like it was being used as a market place. The purpose to a large extent, remains the same to this day, but a shopping mall is now in its place. I am sure fellow blogger TingAling will have a better memory than I, she is a veritable walking history book of Baguio :) Her posts on her memories about growing up in Baguio brings back a lot memories to this old addled brain of mine.
When I was growing up, Baguio was still a small town where everyone knows who you are. When my sisters and I decided to run away from home, we couldn't get beyond a couple of blocks before someone who knew our parents spotted us and told us to go home. This is unfathomable now, in this day and age, but as young as 8 or 9 years old, we used to roam the city. The whole city was our playground, and parents had no worries because they knew someone was always watching us. The phrase "it takes a village to raise children"? That was apt then. When we get on a taxi, the driver would inevitably be one of our dad's many friends and acquaintances. Instead of paying the fare, we end up getting a couple of cents for a snack. When we decide to suddenly drop in on someone's home, we were guaranteed at least a snack if not a full meal. Most of the time we also got a ride home or at the very least cab fare. Everyone was an aunt or an uncle, although not necessarily biological. We just called all of our parent's friends auntie or uncle, out of respect.
My sisters and I haven't been to Baguio for over ten or fifteen years now; I hear things have drastically changed. I couldn't tell if it's for better or worse, but I will always remember it as that bucolic little town, the haunting grounds of my childhood.