Upon entering John Hay, I was flooded with alot of memories from when I was a kid. My parents used to bring us here during weekends and special occasions. It was a place to escape the Philippines and to have an “american” experience. The ice cream parlor served an american brand of ice cream (don’t remember which one), the scout hill cafeteria served real american-style food, and there were vending machines which served colas and chocolates! Now that John Hay has been turned over to the Philippines, it has lost much of its allure. Don’t get me wrong, it still is a beautiful place…. but its small town, USA charm is alsmost totally lost. Much of the area is now closed to pedestrians because of the “subdivisions” they put up inside the camp… and well… the food isn’t just that special anymore…. Still, John Hay is part of the last bastion of the old Baguio… where the roads are asphalt, pine trees abound, and the people are friendly….
This is now the part where my course deviated from what I had planned. I was supposed to exit John Hay then run through Loakan Road… however, along the way… this little sign piqued my interest…
There was an ecotrail! So instead of just continuing my run, I turned a corner and decided to see what this trail had to offer. During the olden days, John Hay had many trails that amateur adventurers could attempt to traverse. There was the white trail, red trail, yellow trail etc. What you did was to follow trees that were marked with their specific color…. the new ecotrail on the other hand, had a clearing which you followed. It was a tough and fun trail since there were alot of uphills and the terrain was semi rugged… there were a lot of trees, giant ferns…. there were many varied bird sounds all around… I ran some of the parts but decided to walk some of it. I was afraid I might step on a root or land my foot the wrong way and I was trying to avoid getting any injuries… It was about 1.5km long, but since the end doesn’t open up to anywhere you can rest or hitch a ride, the only way to return to “civilization” is to go back (which could be very tiring to some people… me included!)… for those who are fit and would like to try a different form of “fun,” I highly recommend you try the trail….
Since it was the holy week, they also used the trail for the stations of the cross… but at this point, began to feel butterflies in my stomach as a rush of slasher movies flashed through my mind…. the lone runner running through some forest suddenly jumped by a knife weilding psycho!
After the ecotrail, I continued my run. Exited John Hay, run up Loakan Road and stopped in front of Forest House cafe (judged as one of the best restos by the Phil Tattler for 2007)… I then contemplated whether to stop and go eat or continue and somewhere else… since I still felt strong, I decided to continue my run and eat somewhere else (cheaper!) in the city.
So where did I decide to eat… I ate at this quaint little resto called Jack’s cafe in Magsaysay avenue (I was surprised to find out they already had alot of branches in the city). I had the perfect post run meal….
It had everything! There’s carbs, protein, a little fat, vitamins and minerals! There’s a cup of rice, one egg, a quarter of chicken, vegetables… and beneath all those greens is a sliver of liempo! All this for just 65p! So when you’re in the city, go look for this place.
After stuffing myself, I then went home. Took a nice warm bath…. rested a bit. Packed my bags, and prepared for my trip back to Manila… hoping that I can go back and run the city once again soon….
distance ran: 17km in 2:38:19