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By Linda Grace Cariño

Baguio Stories

Saturday, January 18, 2014

THERE’S this Ilocano bit of candy the name of which escapes me. It is cream colored, one and a half inches long and about an inch wide, its ends curled into its body, with lines. I dropped it into my coffee some time ago, and rather marveled at the resulting taste. So this morning of writing, I am ritually enjoying this candied cup of morning java.

The sun, like a poem this cold, cold morning, shines through dining room windows, and thus I sit at a rare breakfast (mine is usually at noon) to get warm, literally catching the sun. Where else but in Baguio can one sit like this on a cold morn, candied coffee hot and warming, thankful that even while I chase the sun, the cold actually trumps the hot flash, haha.

Outside, there’s grass and weeds and plants and other greens growing riotously wild in the yard, sunshine on them. Sunflowers are all over the hill, like happy faces. The neighbor’s poinsettias accent all this yellow and green with cheery, still Christmassy red. Whatta sight.


There’s a screen of mist shielding the blue sky, so that blue is just peeking through in some patches. Thank God I live in Baguio of the cold mornings where once and still sometimes you can blow into the air and be as a dragon, blowing smoke. But not today. Well, maybe in Buguias or Bakun or the Mountain Trail.

Land of cold and sun and misty sky. Land of sunflowers growing wild. Land the heart calls home.

Is it any wonder then that battles rage over who stays and who should go. Right now below SM there is one between the DENR and the NCIP and on both sides, powers that be. Right now, there are moves over properties labeled “211,’ that presidential order that played havoc over so many titles, sometimes to the detriment of honest owners. For a long time now, ancestral land in Baguio has seen many a shenanigan, many a landgrab.

With a sigh, I look to the still misty sky, deciding that all such matters I will face, after another half cup of coffee with that Ilocano candy.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 18, 2014.


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