It's my nth stay at ATI-CAR, the ATI training center for the Cordilleras. Located in La Trinidad, the capital town of Benguet, it is the first compound you'll see upon entering the campus of Benguet State University (BSU). I can't even remember now how many times I have conducted trainings there. I just don't seem to get tired of the place.
Here are 6 reasons why:
- The temperature. It is always comfortably cooler -- air conditioning is by nature, 20-17° year-round. But I was there too when temperature dipped to 13° while it was 15° in Baguio City. Up at Atok, Benguet it was then 10°! That was the time when crops there were hit by frost. Anyway, on an average day, you'll see fog enveloping the center around 4pm.
- The location. It is near Baguio. Need I say more? There's no need for a private vehicle to take you to the city. Take a jeepney and 10-12 minutes later you're up and about Session Road. There are 3 routes to choose from based on their last stops, but all have the same fare: Magsaysay-Baguio, Centermall, and Bokawkan-Baguio where the last stop is right in front of the city hall. Well, when returning to the Center, your best bet would be a taxi or you could always take a leisurely walk back to where you where dropped off, then ride a jeepney back to La Trinidad.
- The personnel. They are pleasant workaholics, just the kind of company I needed during my long-stay in the Cordilleras a year ago. ATI-CAR maybe a little under staffed but they get the job done. You can see them smile in their dealings with their clients, and that is always contagious. Perhaps because I know all the staff, but there are at least a couple of instances when people have thought that I was from ATI-CAR. I felt it was my honor to be counted among them.
- The dormitory. Not your average 1-star hotel but it serves it's purpose, all for an AEW-friendly daily rate. There is hot water and the sheets are always clean. By my last stay, more rooms have now individual toilets and baths.
- The vegetables. The Center is just a few meters from the trading post and the BSU's organic vegetable store. La Trinidad is the best place to get your veggies fresh and eat them too. As a result, it's always a balanced meal at the cafeteria.
- Lemon grass tea. This is a treat really. Because the kitchen staff sources this from the Center's own urban agriculture demo garden, you know it is always freshly brewed. It is available though, only upon request. More common of course is brewed mountain-grown arabica coffee -- always free flowing throughout training days.
Catch you in La Trinidad next time? Contact ATI-CAR.