The municipality of La Trinidad in Benguet province is the humble friendly neighbor of Baguio City; often denoted by tourists as the same or a part of the City. Thanks to the internet, media, and the efforts of the local government's tourism, La Trinidad is now increasingly becoming recognized with its distinction.
Every municipality in the Cordillera has its fair share of uniqueness when it comes to the experiences of the residents. If you are from La Trinidad, you can surely relate to the following.
You are from La Trinidad if:
1. You have been asked if you are from Baguio several times that you sometimes answered "Yes" because you are tired of explaining where La Trinidad is.
Telling about where you came from is always a part of getting new acquaintances. Way back in college, saying I'm from La Trinidad called for follow-up explanations. I often had to do a mini-lecture on geography. But at times when I wasn't in the mood to explain, I would just say " Yes, I'm from Baguio!"
2. Your relatives from the lowlands or other Cordillera provinces call you "taga-Baguio".
They won't tell you "agpa Trinidad ka?", instead, they will say "agpa Baguio ka?"
3. You or someone you know still calls BSU ilang/ MSAC.
My dad calls BSU ilang, I think because it was the former name of the elementary department. On the other hand, MSAC stands for Mountain State Agricultural College, the former name of BSU.
4. Speaking of BSU, you tried walking from Kilometer 6 to Km. 5 through the BSU campus, vice versa.
BSU has served as a safe route to go home for students, a place for fitness activities, and even a dating site for many La Trinidad residents. Thanks, BSU!
5. You climbed at least one of the mountains surrounding the valley.
In my case, I climbed some parts of the mountains in Puguis, Mt. Kalugong, Mt. Yangbew, and the mountain behind BSU's College of Forestry. These mountains are now the favorite spot of couples for prenuptial pictures.
6. You know that La Trinidad jeepneys are more "handsome" than Baguio jeepneys (sorry Baguio folks)
La Trinidad jeepneys are often custom painted and furnished. There are even some with stop buttons.
And they don't stop so long to wait for passengers too!
7. Your favorite meet-up place in Baguio is in Centermall, and the waiting shed in front of Petron in La Trinidad.
"Ada akun sangu ti Mc Do, CM, wer na u?"
8. You tried coming out from your house in full rain gear due to heavy rain (furry jacket, boots, and giant umbrella) just to arrive in a super shiny Baguio City; or the opposite.
You should always be ready when the unexpected happens!
9. You know that there are two swimming pool resorts (with freezing cold water) in La Trinidad.
One is in Km.3 and another in Bineng.
10. "Town" refers to two different places to you.
Baguio City and the intersection part in Poblacion are both called towns.
What else did I miss? Let me know in the comments!
About the author: This article (revised) was shared exclusively by our friend Donnabeth Tolano-Aniban with the Igorotage team. Donnabeth is a licensed Filipino nurse and a former teacher. She now works as an academic writer and also writes on Medium. Her work has been featured in Her View From Home and When In Manila. You can get her book "50 Ideas For A Great Life" on Shopee.