HomeIDEYA: Journal of Humanitiesvol. 11 no. 1 (2009)

Imaging and Imagining the City of Pines: A Tour of Baguio’s Poetic Landscape

Ralph Galán

Discipline: Humanities, Philippine Literature



This paper presents a cursory “poetic landscape” of Bagiuo and situates this landscape as an “authentic” means to experience the city. The said poetic landscape constructed by this paper draws from Filipino poets who have visited or briefly resided in the Summer Capital, and presents many facets of the city as imagined not only by the poets, but also by the people of both Bagiuo in particular and the Philippines in general. It showcases Bagiuo as “A City with Many Names,” “A City of Parks” and “A City in the Sky.” The paper showcases both positive and negative landscapes of the city: “Lover’s Lair” and “Season in Bloom” explore the festive ambiance of the city, while “Earthquake Zone” and “Burnt Out Hearts” present the wounds in Bagiuo’s imaginary geography. Bagiuo as a “Writer’s Haven” for Filipino poets is also presented. But most of all, Bagiuo is presented as a city in flux—a City defined by journeys: “The Journey Upward” and “The Return to the Lowlands.”