Quantcast
Latest Stories

Second chances under the pines

By

The pine trees in Baguio City are like national treasures. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The pines of Baguio are like family. They have been steady through the seasons and through the ups and downs of life.

I planted my first tree with my mother Mercedes in the garden of our home at 40 Kisad Road. It was one-foot tall, with a burst of bright green pine needles at the top. It was in this garden that I spent many mornings with my grandmother Antonia, tending to her roses in shades of macopa and magenta. Ah, the smell of pine and roses will forever be entwined for me!

My first kiss was a stolen one from a Baguio boy. I was 14. I found him terribly handsome, though I never admitted it. And I pretended to be horrified.

My first joint was shared with childhood friends at a concert under the pines of Teachers’ Camp.

In my 20s, I got engaged. I fled to Baguio with my brother Marco and my sister Bianca when my fiancé and I fought. Laughter lifted my spirits as we slid down the pine needle-strewn hillsides of John Hay, on cardboard boxes in lieu of sleds.

When my engagement was called off, I went even deeper into the mountains, seeking comfort in the pine forest of Sagada. I married, but the union did not last; after the separation, I returned to the mountains of Baguio to find myself again.

 

New love

The pines of Baguio were witness to the blossoming of a new love years later. It was on the deck of our home in Quezon Hill, beneath a golden sunset sky, that another man kissed me.

The day after that first kiss, I came home from the market to find a bouquet of pink starburst lilies on the bench beside our front door. A garland of everlasting flowers bound the lilies together with a giant wooden rosary.

A few days ago, that man named the WiFi network in our home, “Crispy Mountain Air.” “That’s how I know I am a mountain person and not a beach person,” my husband said. “I love crispy mountain air.”

My heart leapt because I realized that being mountain people was something we had in common. He grew up halfway around the world, in the mountains of Mexico City. But last summer was the first time we spent an entire month in the mountains together—in Mexico and Colorado.

My mountain man

This year, we celebrate our 10th anniversary, and he suggested that we celebrate somewhere “with crispy mountain air.” It took me a decade to realize I have found my mountain man.

Then again, appreciating what you already have is a gift that comes from the space and clarity of being in the mountains. That our first kiss was under a pine tree should have been a sign.

(A mother, writer and teacher, the author thanks her mother for the gift of growing up among Benguet pines. This article was written for the book, “Philippine Native Trees 101; Up Close and Personal,” a joint project of the Green Convergence for Safe Food, Health Environment and Sustainable Economy; Hortica Filipina Foundation Inc., and the BINHI Project of the Energy Development Corp.)


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Baguio City , married life , Pine Trees , Relationships , Sagada , Single Life



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. How to enjoy Buntod
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  7. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  8. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • Smooth Edsa ride up in 2 years, but…
  • Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  • Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Name names, Lacson told
  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
    Marketplace