Balweg: Baguio City and its new mayor

Snapshot Focus

Once upon a time, a military top man was made the mayor of a city. In the earlier course of his term, he was kept delighted in receiving the endless congratulations of friends, constituents and city visitors.

As time passed on, however, his mental set towards that congratulatory greeting changed to the opposite.

The reason was not clear to those around him until he was heard to remark, “Maymayat pay idiay Air Force ta no adda ibagak maaramid ngem ditoy!” (Better it was in the [Philippine] Air Force because when I told something it was [promptly] obeyed than here!) The matter even reached the point when he started getting recourse to the momentary comfort from a friend named after the Spanish of the English name “St. Michael.”

The above barbershop story, which was not merely barbershop because it was true, came around again because our new mayor in Baguio City is a former military man.

So, my first impulse was to give a professional condolence rather than congratulation, but then a good reason for reversing that impulse sparked out in my mind’s eye.

“Apo Benjie (He prefers to be called simply “Benjie” rather than by his sounding formal name “Gen. Benjamin Magalong;” he chooses that, most probably, to be identified with the “hoi poloi” (common tao) than with the “oligoi”, elite; yes, Apo Benjie, we do congratulate you for reaching your new position.

It was and is people-given. We congratulate you for accepting the hard job of governing a sharply multi-cultural and multi-lingual constituency.

For your consolation, your name as a new executive server is well received in the six provinces of the CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region).

You can be sure of that, including in both the northernmost provinces up north, Abra and Apayao. As a former well-performing Police Officer, you were observed as one who can “catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a barrel of vinegar.”

May your exemplary demeanor in handling the sensitive SAF 44 case be transported to the realm of the civilian citizenry.

In a “fortiter in re” (strictly in the thing),” suaviter in modo” (pleasantly in manner). Would that that quality flow from City Hall down to the city barangay officialdoms! With the performance of that mission, with you at the helm, there will be no reason why the vision in-crafted in Nars Padilla’s “Baguio City My Love” will not be experienced “by peoples” residing in or visiting Baguio.

The acrostic lyrics as encapsulated into a melody, tinted with Cordillera hue composed by yours truly and supplied and with a coda also composed by yours truly, hereinbelow follow for recollection during our coming celebration of Baguio Day on September 1, 2019. Thus:

Baguio City My Love

Lyrics: Narciso Padilla

Melody & Coda by: Prof. B.M. Balweg

B-aguio City my love

A-bloom with motherly care and sharing spirit

G-ifted with peace, unity and solitude

U-nique and universal and all awhile moving forward with

I-ts natural beauty and splendor across and

O-ver its pine-clad mountains crowned with gems of flowers of every shape hue

C-ome, dear friends, and enjoy this cloud-kissed wonderland

I-namorata for everyone from far and near seeking to be a part of

T-he summer capital of the Philippines,

Y-ear round paradise of joy and pride for all peoples.


Baguio City my love

Baguio City old Kafagway

Baguio cloud-kissed wonderland

Baguio City old Kafagway

Baguio cloud-kissed wonderland.

Baguio City my love

Baguio City old kafagway

Baguio cloud-kissed wonderland 2x

Kafagway was the pristine name of Baguio, which in turn was an American derivative from the Ibaloy word bagiw, a greenish growth that thrived on the barks of jungle trees and on the surfaces of watered rocks in the brooks. The present Baguio City roads, like Session and Harrison, were once the paths of flowing forested brooks try listening to them during typhoons especially Harrison and Magsaysay.


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