Sleep-ins, as all moms know, become something of a distant memory once a baby is born.
But today, I welcome my 8-month old’s wake up call, her whining to go outside.
Because today we are in the “City of Pines”—that lovely, cool climate escape called Baguio. I slip into some comfy strolling clothes, and then push her out into the sweet-scented open.
The breakfast buffet at the hotel’s restaurant smells of buttery croissants, homemade jams, and finely brewed coffee. That, mixed with Asian aromas from the giant spread: garlic-spiced longganisa, honey soy chicken, fish fillets and a large pot of steaming congee. I spy salted egg, banggus and ampalaya ensalada…
But we’re not up this early to eat—not just yet. We’ll wait for the sleeping boys and then pig out later. I’ve packed my camera, so we’ll go revel in this morning hour.
We catch mist rising; cascading streaks of early light. Hints of a perfect day awaiting us, its sun-showers spraying through a forest of impossibly tall pines.
More pretty things on the pathway: beds of flowers, decked with frosty Christmas beads and giant glass baubles, a wishing pond with dancing kois and invisible water nymphs. At its bottom, a thousand coins glisten.
Dare I make a wish?
And still more pretty things: Paved up-hills and down-hills, winding roads to travel on foot. Further on, we overlook a silent lake. There’s a sprawling golf course in the distance, nestled in this carpeted playground of vibrant green.
Baguio city, tucked away in the Cordillera mountain ranges, was once the recreation destination for US soldiers, when they held bases around the country. Because of its high altitude, the temperature is always pleasantly cool. Today, it’s just 17 degrees, a refreshing change from the usual humidity we’re used to.
My baby basks.
She is silent, enjoying, taking in the peace and stillness of this wonderland. Every now and then, she coos a little, and when the hotel staff greets her with a good morning, she eyes them suspiciously before breaking just a half smile from an upturned, pouty lip.
She’s a bit suplada like that.
I scold her for being unfriendly, but maybe she just needs to get out more. We turn down towards an open road, continuing our stroll until it’s time to sleep again.
And this time, I welcome her dreamy midday slumber with a nap myself.
As partial payment for a project I did for the Philippines Dept. of Tourism this year, I was given a four-day complimentary stay at The Manor. This charming luxury hotel is located at Camp John Hay and—besides other delicious things—serves the most amazing gourmet salads.