Blast of chilly amihan greets third wave of Yuletide tourists in Baguio

Frank Cimatu
Tourists catching the tail end of the holidays are not discouraged by online horror stories of paralyzing carmaggedon

ANDAP. Frost covers vegetables in Benguet. Photo by Divine P. Dulnuan-Philip

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – No one expected this third wave of Yuletide tourists in Baguio.

And no one expected the blast of frigidity which dipped to 11.4 degrees Celsius at 5 am Saturday, January 4, according to the  Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Baguio Synoptic Station.

As a result, many of the tourists were stranded in malls and on the streets. After the massive number of tourists arriving days before Christmas (first wave) and after Christmas and before New Year’s Eve (second wave), stressed out jeepney and taxi drivers decided to take a vacation after New Year.

As it turned out, a fresh number of tourists arrived starting January 2 up to this weekend. Many were warned of the carmaggedon from online posts when traffic was at a standstill and decided to come by bus.

As a result, shoppers waiting for taxi in one particular mall had a waiting list of 3 hours at 10 pm, Friday night, January 3.

Many of the tourists who decided to walk were met by the cold amihan wind which dipped to 15 degrees that evening.

Hindi naman kasama sa plano pero kailangang bumili ng jacket at pantalon, (It was not part of the plan, but we needed to buy a jacket and a pair of pants)” said Rogelio Bustamante from Pasig who was buying at the Harrison St night market.

Tourists and photographers who went Saturday to Paoay, Atok, Benguet said that temperature dipped 7 degrees, although this may already have factored in the wind chill.

Frost, known as andap, has already invaded the crops there. –

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