Sangil: Going up Baguio?

SO YOU want to go to Baguio City because the expressways provide smooth ride. But please read this article before you pack your bags. In the early days of Baguio we were taught that it is the summer capital of the Philippines. It was branded as the City of Pines. Not anymore my traveling friends.

Last Friday of last year, Crispulo Icban Jr., editor-in-chief of Manila Bulletin who is the current chairman of our Capampangan in Media, Inc. (CAMI) related to me how he suffered a seven hour trip from Manila up to Baguio City. He left Manila at 7 in the morning and the ride up to Prozorrubio, Pangasinan was fast. Smooth ride passing the NLEX and SCTEX freeways. The ride to Baguio from the end point of the expressway can eat up more hours. And once in the city, all roads are all choked by the heavy traffic, mainly caused by vehicles of visiting lowlanders.

Baguio City in the ber months you can still feel the breeze and experience cool weathers that can drop to 12 degrees. Because I was lodged in one of those quarters inside John Hay you can still marvel on the many pine trees which luckily remained untouched by commercial progress. But in the downtown area, it is a pitiful sight. Even the popular destination Burnham Park lost its glory. It was one playground in my youth where I learned how to skate and bike. Session Road, the iconic street where visitors loved to walk and stopped for breakfast lost also its mystery and beauty.

We go up to Baguio City and the intention is to escape the uncomfortable heat. While you’re snaking on the Kennon road you start feeling the cool mountain breeze. But once you reach the downtown area the smell of pollution pushed away the scent of the pine trees. EDSA has no match in its traffic situation.

This I wrote this sometime ago. It is about the dinner with my long time friend Baguio born Cesar Fianza in one of those restaurants along the Kizad road near Burnham, and I pointed to him the terrible traffic confronting the city. All roads, primary and secondary, are clogged due to park vehicles on both sides. Him, being a friend of Mayor Mauricio Domogan, I suggested through him the possibility of putting up a multi-level parking on one side of the football field of Burnham. I explained that there is one mode of procurement which the city government can avail, and that's the unsolicited proposal that will lead to what they term in business circle as Swiss challenge. And there are other list of actions to be done, minor things.

A letter proposal (not intent) that will detail the number of floors, the number of slots, the features like elevators, drivers' lounge, the number of lease years, the sharing of incomes etc.etc. I hope some Baguio businessmen will make a proposal. It is about time.

And this can be adopted also by urban centers, like Angeles City, San Fernando and in the town of Guagua. While a simple ordinance can carry a provision to collect payments for parking on roadsides, the more if they can build multi-level parking and change fees. It is better if there will be a private partner that will manage the park buildings.

Every new year, there must be new ideas. I hope executives of local governments will not remain traditional, worse static.


+ Thanks to the following: Tony De Jesus of Arrowhead Construction, Peter G. Nepomuceno of Calibu, Mabalacat City Mayor Cris Garbo, Noel Manankil of CDC, Ricky Buencamino of Clark Electric, Rox Pena of TIPCO, Alex Del Rosario of Oriental PX store, Rico Guilas of Betis Best, Levy Laus of Laus Group and to many Facebook friends who sent me the holiday season’s greetings.

+ Congrats to Dennis Uy of Converge. He is the hot item in the BIZZ BUZZ column of PDI yesterday. He was named as the third TELCO player.

+A congratulatory pat in the back on the people of Minalin for keeping their tradition Aguman Sanduk on its 86th year. It was founded in 1932, according to Mayor Edgar Flores.
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