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Full Circle

Day 90: Baguio

Baguio, Philippines 
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Psychic surgery. Reverend Segundo draws blood.
Michael Palin - Full CircleThe Reneca Hotel in Baguio, self-styled 'Summer Capital of the Philippines' has very noisy neighbours. Dogs bark on and off for most of the night, but at around six in the morning, when I'm at last sinking into sleep, a talking bird wakes up. After a lot of muttering in Spanish it begins a series of piercing wolf-whistles.

Baguio is a Philippine hill-station, a cool, piney retreat from the heat and humidity of the plain. Up here at five thousand feet the edge seems to have been rubbed off the demonstrative brashness of Manila and replaced by American small-town orderliness. Fire trees and native three-needle pines fringe well-kept parks and picnic areas aglow with poinsettias. The grass is green and healthy and the city signs are sponsored by Macdonalds. The city was designed and laid out by an American called Daniel Burnham, apparently for nothing, and a huge park is named after him. (A much smaller park is named after Rizal, the Filipino writer and patriot executed by the Spanish in 1896.)
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 90
  • Country/sea: Philippines
  • Place: Baguio
  • Book page no: 134

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