ON AUGUST 21, I went to the Irisan dumpsite which is now being eyed as an Eco-Park by the city government to check on the developments being undertaken by both government and the local residents. I noticed that the junk-shop owners are now starting to clear the recyclable items and are also preparing to relocate at the waste transfer station at the DA property along Marcos Hi-way.
I checked the dumping area to observe whether the sloping area can be re-developed into a tree park of sorts but definitely not the fruit bearing ones to avoid possible health problems in the future. I am looking at the possibility of planting it with Sakura or Cherry Blossom trees like what they now have in Benguet since we can tap our two sister cities in Japan.
Cherry blossoms is now becoming an attraction in a place in Benguet through its cooperation with the officials of Kochi prefecture in Japan.
Baguio can likewise initiate a joint undertaking with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) as it was through Jica that the planting of Sakura trees was made possible.
As a former Jica scholar myself, I believe that this idea can be taken positively by the Japanese Government once it is channeled thru its embassy in Manila.
Recently, a group of volunteers stormed the Buyog Watershed to plant hundreds of pine saplings while the city is experiencing intermittent rains. Buyog is the small patch of green sloping land between Quirino Hill and Tam-awan that can be seen along Bokawkan Road and from other vantage points of Baguio City. Its surroundings are heavily built up with residential houses and concrete structures.
What used to be part of the Carabao Mountain, the area is being protected by the city government and Baguio Re-greening Movement since it is a major source of water for the residents of Baguio particularly its surrounding areas such as the Pinsao Pilot Project, the Dreamland Subdivision, Dizon Subdivision and BPI Compound. Atop the watershed is a six meter cylindrical tank of the Baguio Water District that deposit pumped water for distribution.
Earlier documentation shows the place as grassy and barren thanks to the tree planting activities of various organizations and schools that adopted parts of the watershed for their social obligation and corporate responsibility. The place can be an ideal venue for coordinated Eco-tour, Eco/Warriorship programs, Forest Bathing and tree planting as part of a corporate social responsibility environmental programs.
The whole of hill accordingly used to turn yellow when sunflowers bloom and since we can no longer see such thing because of the thousands of houses that literally mushroomed over the place, any effort to make that patch of land green, orange or lavender is good enough.
Now that the new mayor noticed the long ignored clamor to preserve and bring back the glory of the old postal office across the Baguio Cathedral, I foresee positive developments like the removal of the unsightly sari-sari stores that practically covers the PO. Thanks to the unwavering support of Baguio lovers who have seen the best of Baguio when there were lesser cars, no pollution and more trees.
We now hear more and more suggestions of transformations like putting a postal museum and re-shaping the skating rink to its old open air look. Well, I simply wish that there is enough open space for breathing, playing and place for incident command system because Baguio today is really crowded and God forbid, we do not want to have another strong earthquake like what we experienced in 1990.