Cariño: Baguio Connections 75

Baguio Stories

LAST week, we ended with the gold that was Gina Lopez. This week, to keeping clean the environment that she loved so exemplarily, and that we love dearly, too.

This very week, Baguio joins World Cleanup Day on September 21, 2019.

On its second year, World Cleanup Day (WCD) is now a global movement that began in homegrown acts of people cleaning up their surroundings to combat the solid waste problem that exists everywhere. Though the first WCD was on September 15, 2018, it is said to have been built on previous cleanup efforts by local communities themselves affected by earthquakes, tsunamis, and other catastrophes, including war.

The objective of WCD 2018 was to involve five percent of the world’s population of some 380 million people. The objective was not met, but managed to directly mobilize some 18 million people worldwide, according to

This year, four cities in the Philippines are officially part of WCD 2019. The said cities are Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, and Baguio. Yes, Baguio. In this our fair city, Rehabilitation Action Baguio (RAB) partners with Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc. (JVOFI) to clean up the Baguio City Market itself. Thus, on WCD 2019, said organizations and market vendors will clean up the whole market beginning at 4:00 p.m. This column is informed that JVOFI will provide cleaning materials for the endeavor.

This column is also reminded of a post 1990 earthquake endeavor to begin cleaning up the city that was for weeks wallowing in debris, with local government seemingly unable to muster up normalizing activity, like cleaning up. So yours truly went on radio, and called for volunteers to clean up city hall. Oyes.

After which we volunteers then proceeded to ask for cleanup materials from downtown establishments that had somehow opened. I don’t remember where exactly we got brooms, and rubber gloves and big black bags to put garbage in, but I do remember that the proprietors of Pohumull’s and Valiram’s on Session Road gave us some of those materials. And I remember that one of the volunteers was a friend of my brother Matty; her name is Ruena Rodriguez.

We began cleaning up the City Hall area, got featured on radio and whatnot, and a few days later, found that the city government had taken over. Maybe we jumpstarted the cleanup, huh, Weng. Am pretty sure we did, smiley. Anyway, from such homegrown cleanup histories did WCD 2018 base its maiden year. So it is now 2019, and here we are Baguio, this time cleaning up the market area. It only makes sense to choose the market for the activity; a clean public market is of course vital to public health.

It also only makes sense to join the movement from wherever we are on WCD 2019.


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