There’s an exhibit of Philippine-made handicrafts at the Baguio Export Processing Zone. I took a cab from the hotel and ventured out into a place I have never been to before. The concierge told me it’s only 10 minutes away. It’s not, I think it took us more than that. The BEPZ is along Loakan Road, going down the mountain towards the direction of Kennon Road. It’s also zigzag but not abrupt.
Medyo malayo din ha. It’s not near-near and I was thinking, “Oh no, what if holdapin ako ng driver at itapon ako sa bangin? Eh kung panggigilan, halayin at pagpipisilin nya ako? Lulundag ako eh sa bangin ang lagpag ko”. When it became apparent that the driver has no interest in me, na kalma na ako. My worry switched to “O Lord how will I go back to the hotel? Where will I hail a cab?”
This is not an exhibit of several exporters. This is a once a year sale of Tara, a Swiss-owned company based in Baguio. They export embroidered linens, table napkins, pillow cases, ribbons, etc. to Switzerland, New York and Japan. Mostly in high-end markets.
Some call this dinner napkins. I don’t know what the difference is between a table napkin and a dinner napkin. Maybe a dinner napkin is only for dinner, you cannot use it during lunch. Pilosopo.
Tara also exports bed sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers. According to their staff, this P51,000 digitally printed duvet set retails in New York for $3,000 – $4,000. The most expensive set sells for $7,000 in New York.
Who buys P350,000 bed sheets? Let me guess. Beyonce? Leonardo di Caprio, Pres. Donald Trump? Rihanna? Oprah, Ellen de Generes and Simon Cowell? I wonder how it feels like to lay down on a 350 grand bedding.
When I came out, there was a couple who got off a cab right in front of me. Oh perfect timing ako. I told the driver to bring me to the Manor Hotel.
The radio was so loud. The taxi driver was listening to two guys on the radio. They were speaking in Ilocano, the dialect spoken in Baguio.
The volume was quite loud. For the first 10 minutes, I tried to be patient but after a while, para akong nahihilo. Ang hirap palang makinig sa radyo pag hindi mo naiintindihan ang mga pinagsasasabi. Nakakakulili ng tenga.
“Manong, pwedeng pakihinaan mo yung radyo?”
Hininaan nga nya ng katitik, parang walang nabawas sa volume. It was still loud. Hmm hinayaan ko na lang nga. Mukhang the topic he was listening to was of utmost importance to him. Pero ako, kuliling -kulili.
I changed my mind, I told the driver to bring me first to Mines View Park.
He seemed satisfied because that would double the distance of my trip.
I told him to wait while I buy a cup of strawberry taho. It was raining. I didn’t watch the vendor while he scooped the strawberry, naku puro arnibal lang ang inilagay, madaya. I told him to give me real strawberry fruit.
Taxi from the hotel to BEPZ, I paid P78. From Baguio Export Processing Zone to Mines View Park to Manor Hotel was P179.