BAGUIO

Catajan: Session Road

Gripevine

ON CERTAIN times of the day, one would see different characters along Session Road.

In the early morning your favorite vagabond will be there to set up shop fronting the store of his choice, ready to take on alms for the day.

Then the crazies will appear from nowhere, walking the length of the road with the homeless waking up to flee the street and start their own day.

Then the road becomes just a normal road for the better half of the day with the throngs of people and, vehicles crossing its path.

In the early evening, the road will be home to resident buskers singing, playing the violin, a mime doing tricks and the regular guitar players with their own sound-systems in place.

It turns into a giant concert.

The uproar on the closure of Session Road has been a favorite topic of debate for years, with the upcoming experiment to close one lane of the road on Sunday’s causing anticipation and excitement for many who long wished for the complete pedestrianization of the city’s central main thoroughfare.

The quaint two-lane road is home to over a hundred businesses seen to be the hub for commerce of the mountain city, storeowners fight for space believing in the power of its magic to bring the business to the throngs of success.

There was a time when Session Road was just the main road of the city where you could walk around in, the place to be when you want to meet people.

There was also a time when there was just two stops in the entire stretch of the road. One stop would be Pines theatre and you would just tell the jeep “Pines” and another would be Session Theatre and of course you would just say the same to the driver or “Stop sign.”

Simple, as opposed to the complications time has burdened the quaint road with.

During the Panagbenga season, the road will see a push and pull of wills on how the Session Road in Bloom will be managed. A test of faith and patience on which side will succeed, year in and year out.

During parade season, the road is the stage for street dancers and floats bedecked with flowers in competition with each other in search for the best and the most graceful.

The crowds during the festival season fight for right to watch the flower spectacles from the sidewalks of the road, filling each nook and cranny with bodies all wanting to be part of the annual fiesta.

Then it will close for seven days and be home to a huge market trade center, where tents are set up and people maneuver their way around in.

This is what has become of Session Road.

If only the road could talk, it would have many stories to tell.


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