072412 The Urban Tracker (In La Trinidad): Street Rush After Balili's Bell Church Stop-Over

Sagada bags, Mountain Province's native find

agada bags are one prized item proudly hailed by Sagada's of  the Mountain Province. 


This merchandise was just hanging ordinarily that morning around  Pico Market. The psychedelic bags could fetch between 150 to 350 depending on the cloth works. Owning this hand-woven bag made out of native dyed thread meshed together with a splendid unique work of art is a wishlist worth.

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Dragons over the top entrance to the Balili Bell Church
From walking out the Pico Market going to the Balili stretch, a head-turning temple sat among the hillside - an invitation to enter the Bell Church compound. From the streets, the pagodas and temple works were visibly appealing and one couldn't help but wonder what's inside this Chinese architectural domain. The entrance with dragon emblem served as the gateway to the fortress that led to more scenic surprises.

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Level up to the temple's series of imprints
The inviting calmness was immediately imbuing leveling up into the compound. A stair that led to the grand temple entrance with all the Chinese prints on the walls transported me at once to a garden with stationed kiosks.

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Balili's Bell Church belongs to mixture of Taoism, Buddhism, Confucian order
In between the dragons was a bell hanging from the temple, part of the main sanctuary of the Bell Church. It's not much a question which religious order it belonged - Taoism, Buddhism, Confucian but one thing came clear - it's a proud testament of Chinese religious activity that has existed here for so long.

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Temple stations on the hillside. A call for reverie
The gardens, well contoured and pocketed. The kiosks, stationed as I wound into the elevating alleys. The rains despite rendering the climb slippery were bearable amid the engaging call to whisper awe in one's pursed lips. The fortress a throbbing force speaking and joining to one's soul.

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Lotus blooms  amid the sprinkling of rains
What loomed to be another good thing in this stopover was a lingering look of the lotus flowers in full bloom over the pond plus a smell of the fresh air too and harking back in some Chinese history that this place came to resemble.

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A Chinese dynastic figure is celebrated in one kiosk
One of the venerated Chinese figures stood in the kiosk. Getting inside the pagodas, priests could foretell your destiny where they hold rituals with the lighting of incense and bamboo stick tossing.

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Marcosville hillside towered by high-rise homes. Care for the earthquake!
When the rain finally ceased, it's time to retrace my steps to Bonifacio St. Layering above the hills were houses and concrete structures in Marcosville. Baguio city engineers, I guess needed to figure out how to build safety structures as a reminder of 1991 earthquake that flattened the city as flats and condos were in a boom here.

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Baguio Central University in the twilight and mad street rush.
Going further to Magsaysay Ave. in Upper Magsaysay, streets were in a mad rush as the mass of school folks heading their way back home. Colorful jeeps teemed up to snatch commuters with FX taxis.

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Nap of the old woman waiting for the rains to pacify in San Jose.
Once more the rains pounded and yet this time I sought cover in this gloomy waiting shed. An old woman was napping while astride overlooking the busy avenue, perhaps a lullaby in wait before the rains pacify. It's then I realized I reached the territory of Brgy San Jose - the place popularly referred to as the slaughterhouse.