We have lost our allure and Baguio is already likened to Boracay Island that is now facing environmental curing to remedy whatever that can be restored in terms of its capacity and soundness as a tourism destination.
While Baguio is still the acclaimed summer capital of the country, one thing that can be done to make our city great again is to involve artists, artisans or crafts people and empower them to be co-architects to boost the city’s creative economy. This is the collective message that I heard during the recent Kapihan press conference with tourism officials, members of the creative community and well-wishers from the corporate world.
Once again, it is the time of the year when we see people running for public office for an elective position and we hear the words “ay agtaray ka gayam?” but doubting at the back of our heads if they can make it to the halls of power.
In my recent social media blog, I reminisced my early years as a neophyte reporter saying that if only I can turn back the hands of time and run as fast as the period when I was chased by a bolo and katana-sword wielding guys because I captured them on film harassing fellow squatters. I managed to hurdle and climb a steep slope in Irisan Barangay about the height of the Lourdes Grotto stairs before my head was cut from my shoulder.
That ordeal paid off with a front page story that became part of my early portfolio as a newsman but I would have preferred more news clippings on the lighter side of Baguio.
Politics is a different race where players come from all walks of life from the obscure and unknown individuals to decorated generals not to mention the scores of lawyers that you meet at the slaughter house to the ringside of cockpits. Others file their certificate of candidacy (COCs) just for posterity and some join politics even if they know that they do no stand a chance but are there for a slice in the party campaign funds.
In short, they join the race purposely not to win but to make their presence felt and feel the value of self-importance by shaking people’s hands. I learned what is meant by “obnoxious” as it was the adjective used by some political analysts to candidates who obviously do not have a chance of winning but some people vote for them just to prove a point that none of the more popular candidates do not deserve their ballots.
Very few artists run for public office for obvious reasons that they do not have the so-called mass base and the much needed 3Gs or guns, gold and goons. We can only give our time, talents and creativity. We do not buy votes, pay advertisements and hire public relation firms that drums up our leadership strategies or even views of a good government.
Being part of the so-called creative community particularly in the visual arts sector, I hope that our silent voices and presence be heard and felt by the political leaders and election hopefuls who are running for public office.
The last time that I joined a race was probably that when I pulled a sack under my feet and jumped as friends and relatives watched in excitement if I can make it back where I came from. Life is indeed a race of sorts.
It is like beating deadlines to many of us in the quad-media. We often feel the adrenalin running in our system and sometimes it is what make things exciting like bungee jumping, rock climbing or even shooting dummy targets at the shooting range. Of all the competitions that I engaged into, it’s only in Cal.45 rapid pistol shoot that I emerged as the champion or No. 1.