I N T R O D U C T I O N
A Dream of Mountains Owned by Lilies
Like nearly all the contributors in this book, I have a carry-on, invisible-to-the-human-eye bag of Baguio memories from which I continuously draw strength as I live what seems to be the last quarter of my life.
Although I've never experienced using a cardboard sled on a downhill race over beds of fallen pine needles nor have I heard the musical ticking of pine cones as they dry under the sun, I can easily reel in the early feeling of panic when, as a child of six, I watched my slippers being borne away by the fast currents of a brook behind a loved grandmother's house
Or, decades later, as my young family took up residence in that same house, I can recall the feeling of strange peace descending as I paused from the drudgery of housework and looked beyond the tall glass window at the top view of grandmother's jacaranda tree, abloom with purplish flora and with zipping sparrows flying rings around it.
The time came for the house to be vacated and sold. Still I continue to carry it like that bag, trotting it out when the going gets rough, allowing it as much space in my unconscious as it can occupy. I still dream of the grandmother long gone, of my daughters as children filling the rooms with their laughter and make-believe play.
This city has been kind to people like us who came up seeking a fresh start. It is inevitable that a city with this much allure would also draw or spawn trolls of a sort who have defaced and degraded this "Brigadoon." Nevertheless, the dream of a once and future Baguio remains within grasp just as that image from someone's childhood of "mountains owned by white lilies." And maybe, within the time left for this restless spirit, I can go home again.
F O R E W O R D
by Aurora Bautista
Baguio Memoirs was inspired by a book published in 1951 by Ayson Gutierrez Publishing House, where the people they depicted within the book's pages were the ones the authors perceived to have been the "Baguio Builders."
Since there are so few copies of the book that exist today, we would like to share portions of its fascinating contents with the reader. In these excerpts there are names familiar to many of us. Our connections to the past are deeply rooted in the stories of the people who lived, and loved in this place we call home. Along with these gems, we have compiled a diverse collection of new essays on Baguio.
By no means is this a comprehensive book: one volume is not nearly enough to encompass all that has flourished in our city in the past century. However, it brings me great joy to have been given a tiny glimpse into Baguio's colorful past. Hopefully this book will give you the same pleasure.
This book is dedicated to the men and women who came to Baguio and decided to live here, bringing with them their hopes and dreams, and allowing both to suffuse this once bare expanse of land with the stories that have shaped our lives.
Baguio Precious memories
Leonides and Aurora Bautista
Ferdinand John L. Balanag
Aurora T. Bautista, Jenny Cariño
Glenn Factor, Raymond S. Jimenez, Reinnel A. Paragas
Book Design and Layout
Copyright: Iggy's Inn Publishing
25 South Drive, Baguio City