99th Baguio Charter Day Anniversary Issue
     
Supplements
99 thoughts on Baguio's Centennial
Esther someone else like her?
A tribute to those who care for Baguio
A pasture of hope:
Good Shepherd Convent
Through the barriers of silence & isolation
They're loved because they care
The man called morris
Teacher volunteers:
Pathways to Higher Education
My best teacher
Indigenous women and a cooperative
Two Baguio families are local visionaries
Top 10 reasons why getting a Baguio education is worth it
Conversations with Gaia
Winning Photos
99th Baguio Charter Day Cartoon
by: Ryan Bestre

There’s no place like home. And for me, there’s no place like Baguio. Yes, it’s not as beautiful as it used to be — no more pine-scented fragrance, no more cool foggy mornings, and you can no longer walk down Session Road without bumping into people. But despite all these, my love for Baguio still remains. I guess, more than the place, it’s the people and its culture that convinced me to believe that it’s worth staying here and that I’m quite fortunate to be a Baguio boy.

What really inspires me is the city’s sense of community. Amidst the advent of modernity, individualism, and apathy, I can say that most residents of Baguio still show how much they care for this place especially now that we are facing a lot of environmental problems.

We have worsening air pollution. As I can recall, years ago Session Road was apparently listed as one of the places in the Philippines with the dirtiest air. This may not be entirely true now but we can’t deny the fact that the fog we had then is now replaced by smog. With the closing of the Irisan dumpsite, we now have this crisis of where to put all our garbage. And of course, there’s the indiscriminate cutting of trees to make way for so-called development.

These and more problems plaguing this once pristine paradise seem endless. But all hope is not lost with the help of different groups and individuals who are proactive in bringing about positive change for a better Baguio.

This is a tribute to them…
This is a tribute to the Baguio Regreening Movement which continues to come up with activities aimed at bringing back Baguio’s glory as the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines. The eco-walk project, among its many programs, is truly remarkable as it informs the youth about the Busol watershed and involves them in its rehabilitation as they explore the forest, plant trees, and take care of reforested areas.

This is a tribute to JP Alipio, Ben Muni, and Doni Gonatice, and the other mountaineers out there who care not only for Baguio but for Cordillera as a whole. Their project “Padyak para sa Binhi ng Kordi” — a 24-hour mountain biking marathon meant to raise funds for the reforestation of Cordillera mountains — definitely deserves commendation. Indeed, nature enthusiasts like them make sure that in the future, mountaineers would still have beautiful mountains to explore.

This is a tribute to the “Three Witches” of Baguio — Gene de Guia, Leonie San Agustin, and Cecile Afable, who saved the decades-old tree in front of Baguio General Hospital when there was an attempt to cut it during the construction of an overpass. They are seemingly frail but their spirit is strong, never giving in to the money-driven and distorted perception of development.

This is a tribute to Baguio artists who continually get inspiration from Baguio’s diverse culture. They, who in turn, inspire us through their works advocating the environment and who have been supportive to different environmental endeavors.

This is a tribute to Baguio Midland Courier which is serving as the voice of the Baguio people. Their Environment page in par-ticular is quite helpful in informing us about important issues and is an eye-opener about what is really happening to our city.

This is a tribute to you who segregate your garbage… to you who decide not to litter… to you who refuse to use plastic bags when shopping… to you who choose to be informed and in your own little ways are doing something for the environment…

Finally, this is a tribute to you who cared enough to read this article…
 
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