BAGUIO CITY—Temperature may not yet bring the chill to the summer capital’s December mornings, but the mercury dropped to 11 degrees Celsius on Monday, delivering holiday vibe to residents and tourists on Christmas Eve.
Visitors, who drove up over the weekend or who commuted to this city for the yuletide holiday, pranced around the downtown area in discordant attires of shorts and fur-lined sweaters and coats because the noontime heat competed with the cold breeze.
Efren Dalipog, weather forecaster here, said temperature readings since last week had showed temperatures dropping steadily, and the mercury should consistently fall until February, when Baguio is at its coldest.
Records from the weather bureau here showed that the temperature on December 21 was 14.4 degrees Celsius, 13.2 degrees on Dec. 22 and 12.5 degrees on Dec. 23.
Monday’s minimum temperature was the coldest recorded for December, although the coldest reading that had been documented so far in 2012 was on Feb. 3, when the mercury dipped to 10.4 degrees.
Salvador Olinares, senior weather specialist, said the tail end of the cold front and northeast monsoon, and cold winds from Siberia and China that blow towards northern Philippines, will bring back the seasonal nippy mornings and foggy afternoons here.
Since Friday, traffic along the major roads leading and exiting Baguio had been jam-packed up to midnight and had eased only on Sunday.
Many Baguio travelers during the Christmas holidays use the city as base for further trips up north to Sagada in Mt. Province or the rice terraces in Ifugao, according to the city tourism office.
One group of tourists planning such a trek through the Cordillera from Baguio complained that they could not reserve any bus seats on Sunday because all the trips bound for the city had been booked.
Roads leading to Baguio’s frequented destinations, such as Burnham Park, Mines View Park, Wright Park and Camp John Hay have been crowded with families and vacationers.
From 9 p.m. to midnight daily, tourists have also been crowding the night market on Harrison Road to shop for sweaters, jackets, bonnets and slightly used bargain clothes, shoes, bags and other products.
President Benigno Aquino III and members of his Cabinet are expected to spend the Christmas week in Baguio.