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September 5, 2013

Why I Pine for the City of Pines

People always ask me what I love most about my beloved City of Pines. Like with my children, it is impossible to choose. So allow me to count, or in this case, state the many reasons why I love Baguio.

The coolness of weather is definitely one of the main reasons why I made this place my home some 20 years ago. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, Baguio’s weather provides a welcome respite for most city dwellers stuck in the doldrums of urban life. The lovely scent of pines coupled with the lush greeneries welcome the weary urbanite into its all-natural embrace – a chance to commune with nature, if you will.

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Baguio is also home to wonderful locals with arresting smiles and warm greetings freely given to both residents and visitors alike. From the proprietors of simple ukay-ukay stands to the staff of world-class hotels, the people of Baguio will always have a warm smile to beam your way and a helping hand to offer you assistance should you need it. As cliché as it sounds, the people of Baguio give a whole new meaning to the phrase “service with a smile”.

The local food scene, on the other hand, is considered a nirvana by even the most discerning and critical of palates. Allow me to shower praise on Camp John Hay’s very own Chef Billy King of The Manor’s Le Chef. This gastronomical genius freely shares his taste for great food and fine wines with anyone who walks through the doors of his beloved restaurant. The balance of food and wine complimented by the musical bands in the hotel lobby gives you an experience for all of your senses.

For those who just wish to lay back and enjoy a truly relaxing vacation, Baguio offers you world-class spas to rid you of your aches and pains. For the weekend outdoorsman, playing on The Manor’s Jack Nicklaus-redesigned golf course will surely be a great practice for your putting skills.

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So why do I love Baguio? It’s simple really: the Yin and Yang of comfort and luxury make you feel like you’re having the greatest of vacations right at the comfort of your own home. Baguio is truly home to everyone. Mi casa, su casa indeed.

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