The character city-A A +A
By Nerie Bayan
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
BY DEFINITION, character means: a distinctive trait, behavioral typical of a person or group, moral strength, and reputation. Collating all these definitions, character is more of an evaluation of a particular individual’s moral qualities. It also involves a variety of attributes including the existence of lack of virtues such as integrity, courage, fortitude, honesty and loyalty, or good behavior. A person possessing a good moral character often pertains to the assemblage of qualities that distinguish the individuality of a person from another. The totality of the individual characters of the populace in a particular community or city determines the character that the community or city has developed all throughout the years.
One of the City Government’s advocacies is to sustain the Character City thrust to showcase and pass on the character that the city is founded to the next generation. Although character is defined as a distinctive trait or behavior of a person, it also pertains more on the moral qualities of a person, which is necessarily a composition of positive traits.
All throughout the years, various measures were undertaken by the city government through the executive and the legislative departments to come up with programs that would preserve and strengthen the people’s character. Among some of the actions of the legislative are enactments of ordinances that regulate or prohibit which it, as a council, finds a menace which would lead to the deviation to the moral upbringing of a child or a person.
Formally establishing the character program is through the approval of City Council Resolution No. 107, Series of 2003, entitled “Pledging Commitment to character and designating the city of Baguio as a Character City and formally launching citywide initiative to encourage character building in our schools, businesses, churches, city government, media, community groups and families, urging the leaders of each of these jurisdictions to support and contribute to this noble endeavor.”
Since the resolution’s approval, various efforts and activities have been undertaken to foster values in every citizen in all the sectors of the society.
For this year, giving importance to promoting the city as a Character City, the Annual Character City Week held from September 17–21, 2012 with a lineup of activities one of which is the Parade of a Thousand Character Umbrellas.
Hon. Philian Weygan-Allan, Committee on Ethics chairman, expressed that the purpose of the activity is to inspire, most especially local officials to integrate transformation activities in realizing Baguio as a Character City.
Leading the barangays, Hon. Joel A. Alangsab, Liga President and City Councilor expressed that the Character Week celebration is a momentous occasion, not only to parade on the street and join the activities, but also for the barangay officials and the participants to truly find the meaning of what these activities are all about.
The barangay officials, being the smallest unit in governance, and also the who have close interactions with the constituents are most likely to provide initial influence over their constituents, being the very role models in their communities, which is why it is important that they possess the characters of a leader, as well as the character that this city is founded on.
The Parade of a Thousand Character Umbrellas held on September 18 commenced at the Baguio Convention Center where a program was held to formally open the event. An awarding was likewise conducted to express recognition to some personalities and groups who exemplified character and traits that forms part of the city’s effort for character reformation.
City Vice Mayor Daniel T. Fariñas, during his message, urged Baguio residents to serve as good influence to others in the community by continuing to espouse positive character traits and values.
San Antonio Village Barangay, headed by PB Elizabeth Manzanero, was awarded for its outstanding character program along with other barangays that participated in the barangay transformation seminars conducted in line with the celebration.
While the city as a whole has advanced various efforts for the city to attain the qualities of a character city, the barangays have been alongside with it in achieving this goal.
Hon. Alangsab added that the barangays have always participated and supported city activities and programs to further promote the city as a Character City especially that they are in the frontline in addressing certain needs of the constituents within their respective areas.
Despite the constant changes, brought about by the fusion of cultures, origin, beliefs and other traits, a city’s character founded on a sturdy foundation cannot be easily shaken by these changes. And so it is a challenge for each individual to possess and continue possessing the character, the altruism, values and good traits, the morality rooted in our society by our religious, faithful and God-fearing predecessors, not for the city to prove its stance as a Character City, but for every individual who seeks to live in a decent, moral, peaceful and safe society that is deserved by everyone.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 27, 2012.