July 16, 2010

Baguio Vacation

We are a lucky people inside of a lucky city for the blessing that tourists, local or foreign keep on taking Baguio vacations. It's good for the city and it's good for us. Although several sectors are saying that vacationers in the city have been steadily dwindling through the years, that shouldn't falter us a bit. It's never a good thing dwelling on the negative. Trickle or mob, vacationers are vacationers. They bring jobs, they bring money, they bring business, they bring attention. They bring good things. Baguio City needs vacationers to be Baguio City. The image of Baguio as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” is in part due to them.

So it's so disheartening to see before your very eyes as Baguio City's parks slowly deteriorate . It's a shame. Spray paints everywhere. Statue sign plates stolen. Lamps not working. Holdup here. Robbery there. The smell of human feces. Urine stains on the walls. Concrete choking the trunks and roots of trees. Slides threatening to cause your 6-year-old tetanus.
Are these the attractions we're offering to a family miles away who are planning a Baguio vacation?

It's no use blaming anyone for the steady downfall of our treasured parks. The act of blaming someone doesn't erase spray paint nor return a stolen bronze plate. This piece is written not to point fingers to who is responsible but to what needs to be done.

Taga-gobyerno ka ba? Taho vendor ka ba? Gang member ka ba? Member ka ba ng Dance Troupe? Igorot ka ba? Ilocano ka ba? Muslim ka ba? Pagano ka ba? Kristiyano ka ba? Matanda ka na ba? Nasa Grade 1 ka pa ba? Ikaw ba si Action Man? O kayay si Batman? Kongresman ka ba? Namumulot ka ba ng basura? It doesn't matter who you are. The burden of restoring the dignity of our parks lies on us all. Don't expect our neighbors to come marching out of the borders and clean the dishes after us. This is our mess. Therefore, it's our hands that get dirty.

Let us not allow Baguio City be demoted to being just another city. Our city is the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Our city is the City of Pines. Let us keep it that way. For us. For our children. For our Korean brothers. For our Muslim brothers. For a tourist from Canada. For a student from South Africa. For everyone.

Let us make a Baguio vacation as enjoyable to tourists as possible.


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