Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Philippine Military Academy, Baguio City

On our recent Christmas Holiday at the City of Pines, we visited Philippine Military Academy at Fort Gregorio Del Pilar, Loakan, Baguio City.

Becoming an officer in our Armed Forces by studying at PMA was one of my ardent dreams during my high school days; several of my classmates tried their best but it seemed they weren’t lucky as well. In my case, since I am wearing spectacles as early as my elementary days I knew my chance of getting selected was nil so I ended up as an OFW like my father.

Because of this, a few days before our trip, I was quite excited in stepping foot inside PMA. In addition, I would be breaking-in our newly bought family SUV thus doubling the thrill of our yearly family road trip.

Long story short, we drove to PMA from our hotel beside Burnham Park; the place is approximately 10 kilometers outside the city proper. We followed the Loakan Airport road passing Camp John Hay, Texas Instrument compound and several residential areas. You need to drive carefully since there were several blind curves sloping downwards. The view going to PMA is truly mesmerizing for city dwellers like us; pine trees lined our left side and mountain views on the other side. It took us more than 30 minutes to reach the place.

Prior to entering, you have to leave a valid government ID at the gate and the best thing is, admission is free.

We stopped for a while to have some photo-ops with old tanks and armoured personnel carriers. A couple of Howitzers were also on display.

Soon afterwards, we drove to the main building; from here we trekked to some souvenirs shops and small eateries. Along the way, we met cadets having their morning jog. I got a strange feeling seeing our future military officers running on their short.

We strolled around the area and had some picture moments among Philippine Air force and Navy’s vintage hardware.

For our 2015 Baguio Road Trip, see: Road trip to Baguio - 2015

Within the area, the view of the mountain ranges is truly awesome. Likewise, we saw the most famous tree-top “bahay kubo” in Baguio filled with kids.

A hundred meters away is the famous parade ground where the yearly graduation rite is being held. We didn’t bother to explore the vast parade ground since the wife was a bit tired.

By the way, you have to pay before you can use the smelly toilets.

All told, PMA is an ideal place to visit especially for car owners. Your family or group can have quiet and solemn moments while savouring the magnificent view of the mountains that can rival Mines View Park without the rude crowds and vendors. If you will visit this place using public transport you may find it inconvenient to roam inside PMA compound by foot.  

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