Hey are you guys doing!?

I'm somehow finding my way back into the real world. Haha! For the last few weeks I've been sucked into anime world. Seriously, all I really do was read manga and watch anime the moment I get home from work. I got a couple of migraine episodes due to lack of sleep (perks of being an otaku!), and my blood pressure is pretty much dropping as well, but, I'm still alive!

I still try to go out and mingle with 3-dimensional people to somehow avoid being labeled as a 21st Century hermit.

So, last month, my friend Rhowena came up to visit for a few days. We spent about half a day at the famous Camp John Hay here in Baguio. That was just my second time to be at Camp John Hay. The first time was during our Christmas party last year. I didn't get a good view of the place since it was night time. Coming here in broad daylight was a different story. 

The cab driver dropped us off not very far from the Butterfly Sanctuary. 

We walked towards the picnic area and the Historical Core which is somewhere in the heart of Camp John Hay. There was a P60 entrance fee; they give 50% discount for students and senior citizens.

After passing by the Totem Pole, the next thing we saw on our right was the Bell Amphitheater.

Honestly, when I first heard about the 'Bell House and Bell Amphitheater, I was imagining a bell tower or church of some sort. Haha! I had no idea what it was all about and I didn't consult Google at all before I came here. The amphitheater was apparently rented as a venue for a wedding that day we visited, so, there were several people designing the place. 

The Bell House was just a few steps away from the Italian garden. The house and the amphitheater were named in honor of the man who designed them - James Franklin Bell. He was a former commanding General of the American Forces in the Philippines.

You can get a taste of American culture in this house-turned-museum. The furniture and the architecture of the house is that of a typical American home in the suburbs.

The welcome mat!
According to Wikipedia, John Hay Air Base (now known as Camp John Hay) "Was a major hill station used for rest and recreation, or R&R, for personnel and dependents of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines as well as United States Department of Defense employees and their dependents. It was last run by the United States Air Force. It was officially designated a communications station."

The place was named after President Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of State, John Milton Hay. John Hay was also President William McKinley's Secretary of State, but prior to that, he used to be a private secretary and assistant to President Abraham Lincoln. 

You can see his portrait hanging on the wall inside the Bell House. I was so amazed by everything I see inside this house. I just felt like I was in a set of an American drama or sitcom. The wooden floor, the chimneys and the screen doors were the best!

There were shops and stores around Camp John Hay, but we decided to just pack sandwiches to save time and money. Haha! There are picnic tables around, even at the History Trail, but we decided to chill at the Cemetery of Negativism (also known as The Lost Cemetery).

You're supposed to feel better after visiting this place. Again, the first time I heard about this cemetery, I took it literally. Haha! There were no pets, whatsoever, buried in this place. It's very entertaining checking out the 'tombs' though. There were epitaphs that are somehow meant for me!

We didn't go through the History Trail (which I now realize was kinda stupid!) because it was drizzling that day and my legs were already killing me one vein at a time. If I come here next time, I'd make sure to walk along this path and visit the Secret Garden here as well. 

We weren't able to participate in the Tree Top Adventure because I WAS WEARING A FREAKING DRESS and my friend was wearing shorts and people wearing inappropriate clothes were not allowed to go there. *hysterical sobs*

We saw the group of people being briefed about the do's and donts and we saw the sign about the proper dress code. In my defense, I was wearing sneakers! But even so, just like what Elsa said, I have to LET IT GO! At least now I know what I should do in case I wanna try that zip line thing up there.

After leaving the place, I was still satisfied and I still can't believe that I ACTUALLY LIVE in this town now! Every time I see or experience something I used to just dream of, I can't help feeling overwhelmed. I guess this town would never fail to amaze me. The pine trees, the cool breeze, the people, the rich history and simple way of living - they all make sense!


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