BAGUIO

Cariño: Baguio Connections 132

Baguio Stories

THIS week, more about women. And they are close to home.

First, there is Joy, whose Facebook call name us simply DL Joy. She is from Puliwes (San Vicente), that much I know. I have seen her maybe twice, but her impact is quite strong. She is part of the organization and management of a movement called Market to Home Delivery, which is exactly that, and was started simply as a welcome initiative last year, when the country -- and Baguio -- were in stringent lockdown mode. So Joy is part of the management team of that movement, which has amped up, expanded, and thrives.

The initiative was ramped up by Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan, who chairs the Baguio City Council's Committee for Market, Trade and Commerce, and Agriculture. We must say again that the good councilor has come up with not just the Market to Home Delivery program, but also the Rolling Market, both of which bridge the gaps between vendors and buyers in times when it is simply safer to stay home.

Which brings us to the current discussions about the "mallification" of our City Market. Rather than pursue the "mallification," this column stands for the mollification of the market, which has become overcrowded, quite disorganized, and... well, I just wonder about its carbon footprint, which surely could be bettered into a fruit print. And I have said no to a mall in the market forever, since forever. Rather, let the market cooperative/s and the Baguio folk work together to upgrade our market in a manner that is sensible, sustainable, culturally and historically acceptable, and yes, artistic. I am glad to hear of talks that travel in this direction.

As for the supposed race to get at some gold left under this and that building, well... really? A reminder: mangala nga mangala dayta.

My beef is this. There are reportedly some 4,000 vendors who need to be placed in a new market. Hence, all the mall, high-rise, mega-grand ideas. There are also a good number of vendors who are not the real consignees of market stalls, and the real ones are somehow nowhere to be found. The situations need to be addressed firmly by management, whom we think should also already just as firmly cut down the number of vendors who can be accommodated by the new market, set up satellite markets already outside of the Central Business District, and transfer some of the vendors already. Three alreadys in a sentence, I know already. There's a fourth, to punctuate even more.

Let us also make mention here of a restaurant-cum-supplier-cum delivery service that is called Farmer's Basket, run by Arlene Mentez Cipriano. Arlene is a highly experienced business manager who works to get Baguio-Benguet farms productive, provides them with marketing services too, to their benefit, put up a resto so none of the unsold vegetables go to waste, and delivers cooked food, uncooked food, and even groceries.

Ah, the women around are formidable.


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