Allan: The Congestion

A walk in the rain

The Central Business District is lit up with Christmas lights while promotion of “Christmas in Baguio” continue to bring good results as we see more visitors coming to Baguio at the start of the Season.

Recently, every declared holiday changed Baguio tremendously with traffic, congestion, the voluminous garbage, water shortage and the noise pollution. People have been complaining and yet nobody seems to have a total solution resulting to a peaceful co sharing of residents and visitors of the city.

During the First Wednesday prayer meeting, this became a prayer point and a discussion. We pray that our local people will continue to be tolerant, persevere to find solutions, and never stop becoming a blessing to others. We pray that the visitors will not abuse the hospitality of the people, observe courtesy and honesty. We pray that our visitors will come to appreciate our parks, flowers and other tourist spots, never vandalizing and taking nothing with them except photos and memories.

Baguio a literary a big market and if people want to take home anything, they can find them in the shops found in the parks and tourist spots, instant traders in front of their hotels, stalls and carts along the sidewalks which legally or illegally competes with the City market, the departments stores and other business establishments.

There is real need to keep a balance and an understanding of the residents and the visitors and not only that, share a common vision for our city and our future.

And as the problems escalates, a lot of us who were born and raised in Baguio feel nostalgic and wish we can turn back the ages and recapture the time of our youth. Where space was enjoyed and the green trees seem to connect with the clear blue sky and flowers bloom freely on the mountain slope and our front yards. And vegetable gardens are a reality in every home.

When the mist and rain showers were clean, the smell of pine trees mingle with the smell of flowers including dama de noche. When one barely hears a honk and the six o’clock Angelus brings everyone to a stop.

I missed the times when it was common sight of school children walking to and from school, one arm around the shoulder of another and “luglog” in the puddles of water after the rains.

Missed those times when children freely, without fear walk to the central business area which we then call “Baguio” at that time, as if it was far and a different place. That while walking home from town, we will nibble on balikutsa or the hilltop “hotcakes” with margarine and sugar never worried of sanitation because the air, the water and the ground was clean. Those days are gone and sweet memories gets pulled out because of its demise.

And when the rains come, we sit by the window and mothers will tell stories of long ago. When the rains come the children have free showers as they bare themselves and run the empty streets giggling or in peals of laughter to see who can run the fastest or withstand the rain the longest.

But as we grew to be teenagers, we walk the rains because we do not have umbrellas and rain coats, or we want to be wet because we were crying over a heart ache or a frustration.

And as adults, we walk under the rain because we were stupid enough not to bring an umbrella, and we do not have P50 to buy those Chinese throw away umbrellas. As adults, we cry under the rain because of what our city has become. The lament is great and not even the rain can shield us in our sobbing.
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