heartache_baguio_1

To nurse a heartache in Baguio

The yellow walls of McDonald’s in Session Road

Doon sa Maharlika. Masarap. Yung lalaki dun.

Inside the bus while cruising EDSA

Something didn’t sound right, that coming from the mouth of a middle aged lady vendor selling cigarettes and coffee near a jeepney terminal just beside Burnham Park in Baguio. But she was actually giving me directions where to buy binatog, that steamed corn kernels snack that is sold here, specifically from a male vendor. I was just too early, at around 0730H.

Binatog. That was just what was in my mind when I arrived early in this mountain city. 0600H, just a few hours ago and after praying for strength at the cathedral, went down Session Road and walked to the edges of the park. I needed something light yet filling and warm enough to warm the belly.

Balik ka mga 9. Nandoon na siya.

Come back 9 AM. He’s there. She continued.

At the overpass

Thru prayer, for strength

February 2013 Pinoy Travel Bloggers’s Blog Carnival

Baguio. I’ve been here countless times and I’ve always loved the cool weather, either during the summer months where Mines View Park can be a gigantic tourist trap, or even during the wet season which is as beautiful yet different.

While my primary purpose was to meet and do an ocular survey for a client shoot, I was more than willing to go up here, to nurse a broken heart. It’s just ten days since we mutually agreed to end five days short of celebrating our anniversary. But we had to do it. Problems are there and they proved to be irreconcilable.

I was wandering aimlessly from Burnham Park and went back to Session Road. Not knowing where to go. I want breakfast. But not in the usual fastfood chains. I visited a diner but didn’t like the food. People were passing me by, students in clean and crisp uniforms waiting for the traffic light to change.

Dane’s Cafe has cheap and filling steamed or baked siopao. It’s also known for great pan de sal.

Did I really made the right decision to end it? After the breakup, strangely, we were still together for the next four days. As if nothing happened. The sex was just great. As if nothing happened. The text messages, the talks were weirdly comforting. As if nothing has happened.

But yesterday was just stressful. I wanted to scream, silently. I cried buckets. And then, the full weight of the breakup started to sink in. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to go far away. I wanted to distract myself. I thought I was strong. I was in denial. I was hoping that we will be together again. But it was just wishful thinking.

And Baguio was calling.

Popular Session Road early in the morning

Travel is a palliative. And the long bus ride from Manila to here was something that I’ve longed for. The deluxe bus’s seat was wide, plush and ensconced me wonderfully. My thick jacket was enough to warm me from the chilling airconditioning.

Along Session Road

When does love die? Does it slowly wither if left unattended? Did I not see the danger signs? Or we were looking for something that both of us can’t fulfill? Was I blind? But it had to happen. Sooner or later. You enter a relationship with another person because you love that person so much and you find a future together.

There’s always that element of hope. But people are people. Each has different needs and expectations. Dreams are dreams. Sometimes they come true. Most of the times, they don’t.

Baguio is always wonderful in the morning. The mist. The scent of pine lingering in the atmosphere. The nippy weather touching one’s cheeks and nose and forehead and lips. But today was wet. It rained the night before and according to weather reports, a coming storm off in the Pacific.

Session Road is where I always gravitate to. This short and inclined strip of road is a magnet of sorts. Walking up, the sweet scent of sampaguitas wafted. After a few steps, an unknown perfume. And several steps more, the natural scent of pine.

…where no matter how crowded such a place may be, a space is clearly dedicated for you… where air breathes loneliness and happiness into one; where being a stranger brings you and many others to a new yet familiar ground. — i wrote this for something else, but this is what i feel every time i go there; walk with the crowd and let their shoulders soothe the heartaches.

– Daryl Leyesa on Session Road. She’s a Facebook contact who was an angel to me while I was doing this blogpost in Zola Cafe.

Zola Cafe, 24 hours open with free wifi

Breakfast and refillable coffee until 11 AM

I’m now in Baguio. My refuge to a weeping heart, even before in past relationships. Now, I just want to be alone here and probably distract myself with work. Later, I’ll be off to the pits of the earth, to the rugged and steep fastnesses of this part of the Cordillera.

For the meantime, while waiting for my client, I will just have to let this all out and unburden over coffee. Hope springs eternal. I will get over this. This is just part of living. Someday, someone will come and I will fall in love again.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

33 Comments

  1. WendellGlennDrWendsCagape
    August 13, 2012 @ 10:44

    and whatever you have just been through bai, find strength in the very essence you defined for yourself, your humanity. Walang matibay na tao sa mundo ng pag-ibig pero, merong taong tumitibay sa kalagitnaan ng pagsubok ng pag-ibig. Naks, bitaw bai, amping perme.

  2. estancabigas
    August 13, 2012 @ 10:47

    Doc, salamat kaayo πŸ™‚

  3. Gomi
    August 13, 2012 @ 10:51

    I always loved your Baguio-Session McDo shots hehe

  4. Pandelicious
    August 13, 2012 @ 15:29

    You will fall in love again, and it wouldn’t be as if nothing ever happened. But you’d feel like yourself again, only better πŸ˜€

    Good luck in finding warmth in chilly Baguio <3

  5. estancabigas
    August 13, 2012 @ 18:34

    thanx gomi!

  6. estancabigas
    August 13, 2012 @ 18:34

    hahaha… i’m looking for warmth here now πŸ™‚

  7. Mica
    August 14, 2012 @ 0:00

    Gusto kong bumalik ng Baguio. I went there on my own two years ago on a wet season. You’ll get over that heartache and fall in love again, Kuya Estan πŸ™‚

  8. estancabigas
    August 14, 2012 @ 7:15

    you should visit Baguio again Mica. maganda pa rin kahit crowded. hehehe… thanx πŸ™‚

  9. nathalie
    August 14, 2012 @ 10:10

    pastilan ba wiu gugmang giatay! hehehe
    You’ll get over it. stay strong! πŸ™‚

  10. dave
    August 14, 2012 @ 23:53

    Chin up old man. As traverlers we don’t fall in love or out of love, we go through love. The highs and lows of relationships that come and go are the colors that paint the memories of our journey through life.

  11. estancabigas
    August 15, 2012 @ 0:40

    thanx nath πŸ™‚

  12. Christine Fernandez
    August 15, 2012 @ 18:57

    Listening to music helps. πŸ™‚ Hope you feel better Estan. See you around!

  13. estancabigas
    August 16, 2012 @ 0:46

    thanx Christine. appreciate that one πŸ˜‰

  14. Tripsiders
    August 16, 2012 @ 1:14

    Gusto ko tuluy biglang bumalik ng Baguio.. hehehe!

  15. rebie relator
    August 16, 2012 @ 13:15

    “After the breakup, strangely, we were still together for the next four days. As if nothing happened. The sex was just great. As if nothing happened. The text messages, the talks were weirdly comforting. As if nothing has happened.”
    wow! almost on the same boat with that. πŸ˜‰ i will be going up there next week after so many years and just like you, with that damn pain of breaking up and wonder if Session Road will do same thing to my brokenness and leave as if nothing happened and i’m in love again. hahahahaha

  16. Bonzenti,Con Tour
    August 16, 2012 @ 19:42

    So far bai. mao ni ang pina ka heavy nga ako nabasa sa mga post nimo. I’d experienced this also during my single days. Cheer-up lang. Prayers can also help. Emperador? Gawin mong light…..Amping kanunay bai. lawas ray puhunan.

  17. estancabigas
    August 17, 2012 @ 0:57

    thanx so much for the comforting words Dave πŸ™‚

  18. estancabigas
    August 17, 2012 @ 0:58

    hahaha. you cheered me up Bonz! thanx so much. I haven’t tried nursing a broken heart in Bukidnon.

    Emperador? hmmm… ambot kung madayon ang inum ugma sa gabie.

  19. estancabigas
    August 17, 2012 @ 1:08

    I’m not healed completely Rebie. But Baguio did work wonders. Even if I was busy with work, I still found time to ruminate, to ponder.

    Will be going back there next week too. Goodluck and just let it all out. cry if you must πŸ™‚

  20. estancabigas
    August 17, 2012 @ 1:08

    even if maulan, maganda pa rin. maganda din mag emo dun. hehehe

  21. The Pinoy Explorer
    August 18, 2012 @ 15:11

    Good choice of a place where to mend a broken heart…cheer up man!

  22. » My Manila – Clark road of new beginnings | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    August 19, 2012 @ 13:20

    […] something was racing in my head. While I was not in the best of spirits the past few weeks due to a breakup, I was unusually lighthearted and bright eyed as a wonderful thought came to mind, something that I […]

  23. » 2012 Travels & achievements, Part 2 of 3 | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    January 2, 2013 @ 9:29

    […] like in a previous relationship, Baguio was a refuge, where my weeping heart found solace. Is it because of the weather? Or is it the anonymity that one has when one goes up to this […]

  24. Reiza Dejito
    February 2, 2013 @ 15:57

    That was truly heartfelt, Estan. I salute you for bearing yourself open and not afraid of it. Someday, love will find its way to you again.

  25. estancabigas
    February 3, 2013 @ 16:58

    Thanx Reiza πŸ™‚

  26. Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com
    February 4, 2013 @ 15:22

    I have chosen Bagiuo before, too, to nurse my broken heart. I don’t know what’s with that place!

  27. Ruby Batallones
    February 4, 2013 @ 18:56

    This is probably the most honest, soul-baring post I’ve read for quite some time now. Salamat sa blog carnival! 6 months later, I hope love has found you again.

  28. estancabigas
    February 5, 2013 @ 7:01

    Aleah, but im sure it helped you?

  29. Ron Cruz
    February 23, 2013 @ 9:39

    the shattered heart will always seek refuge to places that comfort us. leaving one place is like a big “walk-out” act that is cathartic and… and… uy hotdog and bacon!

    di ko kinaya si ate “Doon sa Maharlika. Masarap. Yung lalaki dun.”

  30. estancabigas
    February 23, 2013 @ 22:44

    Ruby, thanx so much for your uplifting words. I haven’t found love yet. But i will be closing this chapter with a talk with the ex. πŸ™‚

  31. Darwin
    March 2, 2013 @ 14:32

    Kuya Estan, If Session Rd is where you always find relief, this is where I found love recently. πŸ™‚

  32. estancabigas
    March 5, 2013 @ 18:57

    naks. sweet naman Dar. Congrats πŸ™‚

  33. Lovesick, love locks bridge Paris Pont des Arts
    February 16, 2014 @ 13:57

    […] I was there and, unfortunately, memories of a heartbreak came rushing in. Whew! I was in Paris, love capital of the world. I was in the middle of the love […]

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