Thursday, June 25, 2009

1984... Baguio... Thriller...

My son woke me up with the news that Michael Jackson passed on...

1984, a friend, Minco Fabregas, had just won a trip for two to Baguio at an Easter Egg hunt contest, he picked me to join him. At just 10 or 11 years old, we were quite surprised that our parents actually allowed us to go to Baguio for a few days on our own. But this was Baguio then, there were no nightly brawls at the Nevada Square or gangsters running after each other with knives in broad daylight in Session Road.

Photo as posted by nostalgiamanila in Photobucket
Transportation was courtesy of Sarkies Tours, and we were billeted at the Pines Hotel. Upon arrival, first thing we did was go on a boat ride at Burnham Park (where we left the wallet with all our money in a boat, we went back an hour later and luckily found the boat we took with the wallet still in it) and then blow half our pocket money at the pinball machines... half our pocket money for the next few days gone in a coupe of hours. Two nights at the Pines Hotel and then we moved to the Mountain Lodge for a few more nights...

Our days in Baguio that time were like this: Right after breakfast, we'd rent a bike in Burnham for an hour or two while waiting for Funhouse at the bottom of Session Road to open, though there were arcades too in Manila then, pinball machines weren't that popular. We'll be the first ones in Funhouse once it opened and all morning we'd play - pinball, Pacman, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Pong... Lunch would be at Shakey's on Session Road (until that day we finally blew all our money at the arcade, from then on lunch was at Mario's courtesy of Tita Mitos).

Photo by stevechasmar
as posted in his Flickr photostream
On our first night at the Mountain Lodge, while munching on our burgers, there was a special on Michael Jackson on TV - he had just won 8 Grammys that year and Thriller, Billy Jean and Beat It were all over the radio stations. We watched the special and later spent a good part of the night trying to duplicate Michael Jackson's dance moves.

The next morning, we didn't go straight to Funhouse, we just walked around Teacher's Camp and the Botanical Garden singing Michael Jackson songs, trying to see how many of his songs we knew the lyrics to (we also tried to freewheel on that scooter parked along the Mountain Lodge driveway, we crashed it on the first try. LOL. And managed to get ourselves a pack of cigarettes, I regret that day.).

Ahhh, 1984, that was a good year. I fell in love with Baguio that year. With Billy Jean playing in my head.


padma said...

Where's Minko now?

Karlo Marko Altomonte said...

Haven't had contact with him for a long time, but I've seen his posts on Facebook about his latest project, Urban Tribe, a TV show.