HomeFEU English and Literature Journalvol. 6 no. 1 (2012)

Baguio Vanishing and the Poetics of Unfolding in “Old World” by Luisa Aguilar-Cariño

Ferdinand Lopez

Discipline: Literature



Fog-bathed Baguio vaporizes in time because of rapid urbanization, inward

migration, population pressure, environmental degradation, and natural calamities

revising mist-borne Baguio ethnoscape before materializing in the hinterlands of

the unconscious as melting pot of cultures, artist’s lair, Summer Capital, Colonial

Hill Station, Ibaloi homeland, fruit and vegetable paradise, flower hub, and ukayukay


In the 1992 Preface of “Cartography: A Collection of Poetry in Baguio,”

Maria Luisa Aguilar-Cariño (now Ma. Luisa Igloria) wrote, “The older generation

who remember what Baguio was like before urbanization speak of the special character

that the city had, which old photographs still have the power to evoke. (However),

subdivision planners have taken over many of the remaining spaces in the city, cutting

down more pine trees each year, and totally changing the face of the city. I want to give

my children and others, through my poetry, a sense of what it was like before.”

This paper examines Luisa-Aguilar-Cariño’s poetic refraction and imaginative

representation of Pines City, Baguio by employing Gaston Bachelard’s “Poetic of Space”

in analyzing Cariños “Old World,” I argue that the transitory images such as tongues

of smoke, rain of fire, September sunshine, canopy of breasts, etc. associatively evoke

the city’s fragility.