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Either Death or Discipline

Breathe. Heaven is a place on earth!

Wonderfully located in the northern mountains of the Philippines lies the sweetest melody of
nature. The roads might shake your way through; the heights might pull your guts… but as they say,
difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.

The mystifying City of Baguio is undeniably a desired destination among
tourists as it offers not only its relaxing hills, picturesque mountain views, or ideal weather, but it also
presents its uniquely rich culture. Homed by one-of-a-kind attractions, famous parks, unparalleled crafts
and folk arts, these amazing clusters are real proof that there is a real life promiseland… a heaven that
needs protection.

Upon entering the paradise, the first thing you should remember is the power of discipline. Baguio
as a small and cultural area that is visited by thousands of travelers, needs heavy security, conservation,
and love from visitors. Because it is only this time that you are gifted with a place that offers you almost
everything, thus, it implies protecting it. Just like how you take good care of the presents that are offered
to you, you must also shield nature’s finest bonus.

Well, undeniably, heaven needs angels. In other words, Baguio needs individuals that shall protect
its health and beauty. And who else could these be, but you, the tourists.
Along with the locals, you are also the real life angels of Baguio that are responsible for conserving
its entirety. With this, actions like not throwing wastes, not picking plants, not making fun of the people
around, and the like speak volume on how you embody your obligations as the angels of the place.
Respecting the culture in the place is also an extreme necessity. At the end of the day, travelers must learn from the cultures of the place, not change it.

As Baguio therefore requires to be fed with utmost environmental and cultural preservation, the
travelers must provide accordingly. Because eventually, if you do not satisfy the cravings of the kingdom,
it shall lead to hunger… deterioration.

True enough that heaven is a place on earth. Baguio is just in the Philippines.
However, the city can never be a paradise without the help of the tourists. This is because their roles are
considered as potent fuels to run the sustainability of Baguio. Thus, you must bear in mind that as one of
these people, your cooperation maintains the pristine premises of the so-called heaven.

Interestingly, just like the typical requirement of entering heaven, the only condition to witness the
realms of Baguio is to be a good visitor. Because certainly, it takes no coin to afford discipline in traveling.
Henceforth, there are two ways to experience the wonders of heaven. One is that sadly, you have to
die first. However, take a deep breath, because on the other hand … you just have to be disciplined.

Take a bold note that Baguio, a living heaven on earth, only needs you to be good!

Contributed by:

Abel Tolentino (University of Baguio)


There’s no perfect place, they say. Well, true enough there is none. But
remember, you always have the power to make one.

However rocky the roads are, however thick the fog is, behind the tough
journey is a paradise per se. Behind the heavy pathway is a little heaven — it’s me, a
home to seamless beauty, creativity, and culture.

From my roaring mountains and cradling winds to my vibrant people and rich
tradition, there’s no doubt that I, such a place, exists. Anything you want to talk

Nature? I will offer you my peaks and breeze. History? I will bring you to my
Camp John Hay and Tam-awan Village. Festivals? I will serve you my Panagbenga,
iBagiw, and Saleng. Food? I will take you to my Good Taste and Farmer’s Daughter.
Coffee? My Foam Coffee and Beanstalk are waiting for you. Architecture? I will let
you enjoy Burnham and Igorot Stone Kingdom. Crafts? I will provide you with my
Easter Weaving and Pilak Silver Crafts. Folk arts? I will lead you to BenCab and
Pugad Ni Art. Fun? I will locate you to my Session Road Sunday Pedestrianization or
if not, I will take you to Wright Park and just enjoy horseback riding. Shopping?…
Souvenir shops are everywhere, not to mention SM, Tiongsan, Centermall and
among others. Night life? I have my legendary “The Camp” and Curfew.

You see? Right, left, up, or down, from here and there — everything, but not
limited to the above-mentioned, is here. Imagine walking into a place where almost
everything you need is surprisingly of your reach. As perfect as I may seem, but
what are these if there is no one to enjoy? What’s a mansion when no one’s home?
This therefore is a letter of invitation. To you who’s reading this. I want you to
know that there’s an ‘almost-perfect’ realm in the mountains that awaits your
presence. You are welcome to make your own perfect place with me. I am writing
this because without you, I cannot be perfect.

My good friend, (yo)U are my missing piece.

Contributed by: Mr. Abel Tolentino (University of Baguio)

Experience Local, Experience Baguio

It has been almost 3 years since the pandemic struck and the tourism and hospitality industry is doing exceptionally well in recovering from the negative impacts brought upon the pandemic. After years of being cooped up inside our homes due to the pandemic, the rise in traveling continues as the world slowly goes back to normal. The term “Revenge Travel” is the act of traveling within or outside the country to seek for leisure, relaxation, and to experience different cultures and traditions of various places as a way to make up for the lost time that we should have been traveling. And now that traveling is back, Baguio City is still one of the most sought after destinations in the country.

 From introducing new innovations with upcoming technologies, to coming up with new kinds of creative activities, establishments in the tourism and hospitality industry are indeed focused on further improving the overall tourist experience. With this, one of the emerging trends in the industry that plenty establishments are promoting is the love for local culture, arts, and traditions. The City of Baguio is currently in the process of continuously improving and developing infrastructures and tourist attractions in order to entice more tourists to visit. Examples of such improvements are the new installations such as the orchidarium, and picnic areas located both at the Centennial Park and in Camp John Hay, where they can also enjoy a short hike. However, apart from visiting popular tourist attractions, one can not say that they have truly experienced Baguio unless they immerse themselves with the city’s local culture which involves its authentic practices, traditions, crafts, and cuisine. 

The Cordilleran culture can be defined as unique and colorful through its arts and crafts. For instance, through weaving as it is an important part of the locals’ everyday life, its vibrant colors and unique patterns are one way to distinguish the different tribes in the Cordillera Region. Traditional weaving practice is passed on from generations to generations and to protect these, advocates started weaving schools, one of which is the Easter Weaving Room where people could get to see first-hand how these aesthetic woven products ranging from bags, rugs, ornaments, and many others are made traditionally using the loom. As far as jewelries are concerned, one could make their experience memorable by visiting PILAK Silver Craft and Gift Shoppe which houses various silver jewelries that are handmade and uniquely designed by local artisans.

To dive deeper into the authentic culture of the Cordillerans, one could experience visiting the Tam-Awan Village as tourists can see locals perform the traditional dance of the Cordillerans, and can even have the chance to join in the dance with the performers. Aside from this, tourists may purchase paintings and souvenirs made by local artists and souvenirs at their souvenir shop. 

To indulge in an authentic Cordilleran cuisine, the Farmer’s Daughter restaurant is a perfect place to visit as they serve local dishes such as the Pinikpikan, Dinakdakan, Pinuneg (Blood Sausage), and many more. Another must-try activity when in Baguio is seizing the opportunity to unleash their creativity during Sundays as the Session Road is closed for vehicles and is open for everyone, such as buskers, cosplayers, and basically those who want to draw using chalk or shop in the different stalls that offer a variety of food and local products.

It is true that Baguio City has a lot to offer, from unique cuisines, intricate arts and crafts, fascinating culture, and memorable scenic views. This is proof as to why the city is also known as a “Melting Pot of Culture”, because this is where people with various cultures come together and with every visit comes a new experience which would surely be memorable for both the locals and tourists who are always welcome all the time. 

Let us Enjoy, Immerse, Learn, and Experience Local, Experience Baguio City.

Contributors: Edith Jane Chloe T. Elegado, Jubal Kurt C. Salbino, and Lyra Megan C. Marrero


Even throughout the entire course of this pandemic, there are no visible signs of coffee shops slowing down in Baguio. Yes, the taste of your favorite coffee blend may remain unchanged but the experience has not been quite the same as before. However, there are multiple factors as to why coffee shops remain popular today in the City of Pines despite the dawn of COVID.

First off, people love coffee. The first thing that comes to our mind on a foggy and rainy day is a cup of coffee. It may not apply to all, but the reason why these people keep coming back to their favorite coffee shop is because of their love of coffee. Some even come back two or three times a day just to take a sip of their favorite blend. And that’s where the quality comes in. If the coffee wasn’t good, there would be no reason to come back. And with the different customization and variations available today, people can enjoy their coffee in so many other ways. Caffeinated, decaffeinated, and even non-coffee products have greatly changed people’s experiences in coffee shops. Because a good coffee shop will not only accommodate you to your liking, but it will introduce you to a whole new world and level of taste, giving you the best one-stop shop to recharge your energy.

Because of these variations, the culture of brewing and creating coffee has grown, along with the demand of the public for not only good but great coffee. It has led to the creation of specialty coffee where people are more than willing to travel to different coffee shops in order to try a new experience. As more and more options become available, the culture of artisanal coffee has seen a fine line across what seems to be just a latte. It has been proven that a certain trend of people is turning towards what they call to be ‘healthy coffee’, especially when they are free of cream, milk, and added sugar. This has contributed to the addition of coffee as an essential part of a person’s health routine.

Another thing why coffee shops remain so popular nowadays is because it serves as a hub for the community and has proven to be a workplace for some people. Most coffee shops are located around an easily accessible area and just seemingly provide a peaceful, feel-at-home type of vibe. It gives a warm, homely type of feeling with the benefit of having relative privacy in order to finish work. It also makes an ideal spot to create relationships and serves as a place to strengthen bonds among people. Unlike the common digital connection that we experience because of the modern era we are currently living in today, coffee shops provide a more classic approach where people will greet you not with an emoji, but with a genuine smile.

There is more room for the industry of coffee shops to improve and I guarantee that sometime in the future, it will continue to mature. But with the current state of coffee shops, it would seem that it will be sustainable and it will continue to provide the public with an ever-growing experience of great coffee.


Contributors: Benjamin Jhylle P. Mararac, Juliane A. Ragudo & Lorraine Kate Lazaro

Photo by: Benjamin Jhylle P. Mararac @ Mana Cafe

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A lot of people say that a picture paints a thousand words. Not only does this prove that a single picture can express our feelings, but it also proves that photography does speak. With the modern generation that we are in today, photographs can be considered a digital universal language. I have them, you have them, everyone has them. And since there is always more than meets the eye, there are also things that you can only be able to see through the lens of a camera.

Baguio City is known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines and a UNESCO Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts. These designations even make numerous tourists eager to experience strolling around the picturesque city. With its new tourism tagline #BreatheBaguio, it has always been one of the top destinations for tourists because of its chilly temperature, pine-dominated landscapes, and overall romantic atmosphere. The refreshing mountain sides and appealing views are the highlights in the city which you will appreciate and enjoy. This mountain city has attracted not just domestic tourists but also foreign tourists that can be a world-class topography for many travelers all around the world.

The City of Pines is a place that could offer a variety of needs to different travelers and most of the tourists are looking for a place to travel around that can have a scenic view and could provide them a good portrait as if they are in a paradise or moreover in a different place. Baguio can offer that kind of place, they can have beautiful scenery, colorful culture, creative artisans, and brilliant attractions that would captivate tourists. The flowers are Baguio’s most special asset with its kaleidoscopic flowers that will allure travelers’ attention. Different attractions complement other remarkable attractions as well with their picturesque view, especially the parks that include the broad and unique culture of Baguio!

Although every shot and every photograph has its own true meaning, there are a lot of reasons why people click on the shutter button in all of their travels. Some people just do it out of a hobby, some do it for their memoir. But what photography means to most people, is that it allows us to create moments to capture and hold memories to preserve. It’s almost as if photography can make the time stop. You can keep a memory of the people that you love, preserve a moment in history for future generations to see and become a witness to both joyous and sad moments in life. People are drawn to visuals which depict life before the present. It documents everyday life, and what seems to be dull and boring, can become a reflection for the future generation.


Contributors: Benjamin Jhylle P. Mararac, Juliane A. Ragudo & Francel Mae Pintucan

Photo by: Jaime Singlador

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