IT'S a new year once again. Similar to the dawn of a new day, the onset of every year brings with it fresh hope for everyone.

Unfortunately, the promise of a new beginning is usually taken for granted with the subconscious refusal to take lifes lessons from the past into account.

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I honestly find the adage, "learn from history" ironic. Though the saying tends to be overused in many ways, it does seem that history keeps repeating itself. I can't help but recall the words of a senior professor in the academe when he said, "the reason why history keeps repeating itself, is simply because people refuse to genuinely learn from the lessons of the past."

Considering the rather disorderly year that went by, perhaps it would be prudent for everyone to join hands in order to prevent uncalled-for situations from reoccurring.

On the loss of Baguio City's title

It is no secret, Baguio could no longer be proud of being the cleanest and greenest in the country. Due to lack of pro-active measures and insufficient administration, there have been times in the recent past when the City of Baguio was even coined as "the City of Basura (garbage)" instead of maintaining its honor as the "pine scented" Summer Capital.

Though millions of pesos in funds were allotted to arrest the concern, the solutions implemented remain temporary to date. No wonder the formulation and implementation of a permanent answer to the "stinking problem" emerged as one of the top "wishes" of locals this 2010.

Well, I for one do hope that our leaders would learn from the lessons of the past and be able to finally solve the embarrassing and stinking garbage problem of the locality this 2010.

On the traffic menace

Admittedly, the road networks in the locality are limited and could only "comfortably" accommodate so much. No wonder, the number coding and re-routing schemes proved rather futile to address the concern.

In relation to this, it may be recalled that certain suggestions were reiterated and noted in the past. These recommendations include: the establishment of strategically located multi-level parking structures proximate to the entry points of the Central Business District as to support a strict "no parking" policy within the city's center; the firm implementation of the "pick and go" policy for all public utility vehicles; the strict implementation of "loading and unloading" areas; the strategic construction of more flyovers or underpasses; and the firm enforcement of the regulation mandating all car or motor vehicle owners to have their own garages or carports as to avoid the abuse of city and barangay streets.

It truly is disappointing to observe one reality; poor enforcement of already existing regulations, ordinances and policies still add up to the current traffic dilemma in the locality.

Well unless political will out-powers the "ganyan na talaga yan - wala na tayong magagawa diyan culture," then history will just Repeat itself Again.

On unimpressive celebrations

Among all the celebrations observed during the past year, perhaps the most "glaring" is the unimpressive centennial commemoration. Yes, I do agree with the observation of many who claimed that the centennial was not enough of a come-on for tourists and locals. September 01, 2009 was barely felt as it came and went. In fairness, I guess the celebration was amply commemorated by the "selected few" who enjoyed dinner and parties at "well-known" locations that cater to the upper class. Unfortunately, the masses sort of felt left-out.

Not even the traditional gong-beating was heard, nor a grand feast for the citizenry partaken-in during the 100th birthday of our beloved city. It's just too bad that the next shot at the centennial would be 99 years from now.

On incoming leaders and officials

With the upcoming elections just around the corner, perhaps it is time for the voters to firmly exercise the power and right they truly wield. It is time to rid the official ranks of those "traditional politicians" and "political-vultures"who promise the citizenry "heaven and earth" during the campaign period then selfishly or greedily advance nothing but personal interests when elected to office.

Not only should the electorate select wisely, but also safeguard the public's interest and continuously fight graft and corruption after the elections.

Unless the lesson of history which states: "The culture of corruption and poverty must be eradicated to pave way for genuine progress," history may very well be expected to repeat itself and deprive the citizenry from truly realizing that a democracy is one which is ...of the people, by the people, and for the people.

The bottomline: "Let us all learn from the lessons of the past in order to take advantage of a new beginning this 2010."