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