I NOTICED it after I talked about editorial writing to a group of high school students inside the St. Theresa’s College (STC) campus a few months back. I looked out of the window in a room at the back portion of the school and had to orient myself of the changes that I saw. A business establishment was visible in what used to be a quiet row of structures across the street.

The places that I frequented in my youth were changing fast. I knew this particular portion of the city because our place, Sitio Kawayan in Barangay Sambag 2, was once under the Redemptorist parish (it is now under the San Vicente Ferrer parish). This meant that we walked from B. Rodriguez St. to Fuente Osmeña to Mango Ave. to Juana Osmeña St. to Ramon Aboitiz St. then finally to the church for the Sunday masses.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

STC used to have houses of the rich for neighbors until those high walls were torn down, the old structures leveled, and in their stead were built smaller establishments at first and later giants like the Mango Square Mall. That it was only during that lecture that I found out the changes that have also been wrought along Don Ramon Aboitiz St. means I am no longer frequenting the Redemptorist Church.

Change always brings about conflict—-the conflict between the old and the new. The area surrounding the Redemptorist Church is becoming a business enclave, and woe to the old residences that used to dominate the place.

I therefore feel for fellow Sun.Star Cebu columnist Chinggay Utzurrum, who has been complaining about the disruption of what used to be their quiet life when an establishment along Juana Osmeña St. decided to host three resto bars that blast the eardrums with noise masquerading as music. Chinggay resides in an area fronting STC near Ramon Aboitiz St.

Chinggay “spoke out” about the issue in a letter titled “Noisy resto bars” published in the opinion section of Sun.Star Cebu on June 18, 2010. It was a sign that she was desperate for solutions to their predicament. Unfortunately, nothing much has changed since then and their ordeal continues.

I take it that Utzurrum and the owner of the establishment, Joy Benedicto, have already been dealing with the problem although a solution favorable to both sides is still to be reached. I also received a copy of a letter written by one of Utzurrum’s tenants, Alexander Gordon (a visiting scholar of the University of San Carlos) to Benedicto. It gave me a clearer picture of the said conflict.

I understand Benedicto’s predicament as owner of an establishment tenanted by noisy resto bars (called Cabanas) but that does not mean that something won’t be done to the complaint raised for months now by Utzurrum.

This situation illustrates the need for the Cebu City Government to rein in anarchy in the sprouting of business establishments that has sparked conflict between owners of some firms and neighboring residents. This is particularly true for noise-making businesses like karaoke and resto bars. That these conflicts continue to erupt could mean City Hall has been remiss in its job.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is currently busy fending off criticisms about the supposed gag he imposed on City Hall department heads (he denied this, though). Even then, I hope he will take time to look into such “mundane” concerns as resto bars making life miserable for neighboring residents.

(khanwens@yahoo.com/ my blog: cebuano.wordpress.com)