25 October 2004

Teacher's Camp stories

There is a place in Baguio City that's quite well-known even by non-residents: Teacher's Camp. This place is a form of retreat venue originally for teachers who attend seminars and at the same time have a relaxing vacation there. This is now open to non-educators.

The place was originally the headquarters of the Philippine Military Academy, where aspiring high school graduates enter military school and eventually serve the country. The World War II came and went, with PMA moving to Loakan and the facilities turned into what it is today.

There are lots of cottages you can choose from, and is fully booked whenever there are long weekends and holidays. This is because of the clean facilities, relatively inexpensive lodging, and you get a cottage all by yourselves. There's no radio or TV, by the way/ Who needs these when you will be out most of the day anyway? But the kitchen utensils and cookware (including a ref) are complete, so you can cook your dinner to save on expenses.

Plus, you get really calm surroundings and lots of pine trees!

Well, Teacher's Camp is also famous for something else: ghosts.

***

Around 4 years ago, I reserved a cottage with 4 rooms to fit 8 guests. I brought along my friends there for a weekend vacation. They were ecstatic when they heard that we were going to Baguio! But when they heard that we were going to stay in Teacher's Camp, their faces were clouded with concern. "Isn't that the place where ... lots of ghosts stay?", they'd ask. But the prospect of going to Baguio overcame their fear.

When we arrived in the morning, everybody was very happy with the place. They loved it! Everyone chose a roommate and reserved their rooms. Then off we went to enjoy the sights and sounds of Baguio.

That night, we cooked sinigang for dinner and promptly stayed at the living room for small talk. Whoa. Time flies when you're having fun! It was already past 12 when I finally noticed that they were afraid to go to their rooms!

Of course, we can only stay in the living room for so long, so everyone tried to see who has the biggest place, dragged their mattresses, and all 8 of us slept in one room! And with 8 people trying to sleep and not get excited by the noise outside, it was quite some time before everybody called it a night.

Hmmm... no ghost in that story. I'll relate another Teacher's Camp story in my next blog. :-)
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