Baguio: Mines VIew Park

Ok, this is a post about Mines View, except that there’s no view. It was raining cats and dogs when we got there that it was quite impossible to see pass the railing. Needless to say, it was quite disappointing that I didn’t even glimpse the abandoned mines used by the Igorots many, many years ago.
Looks like a scene I captured on film a few years back in Caleruega; something straight from Hundred Acre Woods of Winnie the Pooh

Impossible to see because of the fog, unless you have x-ray vision.
Anyway, not much has changed from the last time I was there in 2005. The horses are still there – you just pay Php10 for a photo-op and choose which horse you want to ride: there was one with pink hair, another with neon green, but I particularly liked the plain brown mare (or stallion? Sorry, clueless about horses. I forgot how to tell a mare from a stallion and papa will kill me). I would have had my picture taken if it wasn’t for the rain; animals are notoriously stinky when they get wet and I wouldn’t want to smell like horse-shit on our ride back to Manila (we were commuting straight from there). 
Nice additions though are the many Saint Bernards dressed up for tourists to have their pictures with. I fell in love with the first one we saw – Boomer – and just had to hug him and tickle his big, fluffy ears. 
the downside is, I smelled like a dog!
 
A nice little trivia: back in the 90s, Igorot kids would climb up and down and perform death-defying stunts on the slopes off the viewing deck, asking the tourists to toss coins which they would promptly try to catch before it falls into oblivion. This practice has since been stopped and there’s only a memoriam marking the spot where they used to congregate; a wishing well has instead been put where tourists can still drop their shiny little coins. 
steep! that’s where the Igorot kids used to perform acrobatic stunts. Scary!

the wishing well and the “in memoriam” banner
The view is still quite nice though, even with the fog. And I enjoyed looking at the colourful souvenirs being sold by the shops inside the park. Honestly, the space allotted for the shops both inside the park and outside is much bigger than the actual viewing “deck” leading me to conclude the entire place is more of an open market rather than an actual tourist spot. 
There were lots of plants for sale at dirt-cheap prices! Had we brought a car, I would have filled it with pot after pot of those pretty roses and other flowering plants. 
the smell of freshly cooked corn wafts through the air – yum! Did I tell you my mom had corn cravings when she was pregnant with me? She says that’s where I got my “kulay buhok ng mais” mane and sadly, also my buck-teeth. haha!
 
The things I most regret not buying are the picture wood carvings, some depicting the last supper, some showing farmers sowing seeds. There was a very nice vendor who begged us to enter his shop, if only to draw good luck as we were the first people to venture out his way that day. Unfortunately, none of the shops accept credit cards and I don’t exactly lug around Php5,000 in cold cash when I go out. 
Ok, I don’t know what the obsession is about phallic symbols because I just don’t get it. Do you see what I’m referring to in this pic?
Outside the park is the Cordillera World, where you can see natives in their local attire and hear their music. There are also numerous silver jewelry shops (there are many silver mines in the area) and it’s cheaper here than in Manila; I didn’t get to buy though as we were already pressed for time. And if you’re on the lookout for that yummy ube jam, the Good Shephere is just a short distance from the park. It was kind of hard getting a taxi though as there were lots of people and traffic was a pain.
Up next: Baguio Cathedral and Indoor Escapes

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