No longer the Baguio we used to know

Baguio is no longer the City of Pines. The trees have been replaced by malls, tall buildings, and condos. Are we trying to copy Manila? Manila of all places! Remember how trees were cut to make way for a “green” Sky Park that features environment-friendly facilities. Really?! How smart! Very, very smart, indeed!

I’ve joined a protest walk to stop this madness but sadly, corporate greed prevailed. In a funny twist of fate, the mall’s roof was blown away by a typhoon, not once but twice!

Then came another “brilliant” proposal of constructing a podium car parking at Burnham Park.

Baguio is no longer the “Clean and Green City Hall of Famer” it used to be. The city is choking. Choking in smoke, garbage, and plastic. There’s an ordinance that bans plastic and Styrofoam but the transition to eco-friendly or reusable bags is not so evident.

Baguio is no longer the Summer Capital of the Philippines that we knew. This title, in fact, has been abused to justify putting up more hotels, more establishments, more cafes. Apparently, there’s almost a hundred registered cafes in the city! Far too many of everything if you ask me.

Blame doesn’t only fall on big corporations, businessmen, and realtors. Baguio residents have allowed the invasion of houses on mountains which appear nice at night but look like garbage piled on top of each other at daytime. It’s easy for us to put the fault on tourists for garbage and too much traffic but we also contributed to these.

Sigh… the rant just goes on.

But the real question is where do we go from here?

Author: Ryan Bestre

Environmentalist. Teacher. Writer.

10 thoughts on “No longer the Baguio we used to know”

  1. So true it actually hurts. I sometimes cry just thinking about how our home is being desecrated. I’m fine with having no tourists or malls…
    I just want to breathe in fresh air again. This is where I grew up in. This is where my grandmother, my gradmother’s mother, and their families before that have lived. I’m a proud native. Minsan naiiyak ako whenever I pass by some old place that had closed down because I feel like everything’s going waaaay too fast. I just want the old Baguio back. I want to feel like I’m home again. I’ll never trade this city–my home for anything else. Not for some tourism project. Not for infrastructures. Not for technology. And not even for all the money in the world. Fuck that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everytime I go back home, after a couple years of being out of the country, I find Bagiuo in a different level of disappointment. No, let me correct that, it’s not Bagiuo that disappoints me. It’s the people living in it, and how they allow these to happen to our city.

    Liked by 1 person

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