February 28, 2024

How was your holiday?
Have you managed to plan a trip out of Baguio and escape from the carmageddon? Or like many of us who got stuck in traffic, did the Walk Happy Baguio aka Alay Lakad to go to work or school, or locked yourself at home during the holidays work? Before we lean on “that experience,” shall we look at the silver linings that occur during these times: The rise of unexpected heroes.
Let’s start with the “libre angkas” or free ride initiated by the Cordillera Motorcycle Riders Federation and other clubs. This changed the way I look at motorcyclists. Because of their flexibility to dodge traffic, they are perfect rides to get home. They have volunteered their time and fuel to provide service to stranded locals, getting them home safe and in significantly lesser time. Angels in two wheels to the rescue.
Carpooling is another trend that happened. You started going to work early as you expect traffic but you didn’t expect stillness, walking and running in your corporate attire might give you a chance to make it. There was a long queue at the terminal. It’s okay for you to walk home, it’s just five kilometers but when you have child with you, what are you going to do? Maybe wait for a miracle that there will be a vacant jeepney or cab? Some do not know each other when they see them waiting for a ride, but they know they live in the same neighborhood because the kid she’s carrying pass by their place every day during schooldays, stopping over, smiling and saying “Hi,” asking if they are heading home and inviting them to ride along, which creates a closer relationship.
It’s delightful for big bosses offering their spacious cars to their employees after work. Many have offered their extra seats to those who are familiar and in need.
Plogging and group cleaning were also conducted by different groups. Every year, increase in tourist arrival also increases the volume of garbage. But the people of Baguio joined forces to help clean up the city especially the tourist spots, which have been their leisure spots when they themselves want to enjoy Baguio, their home.
Those who collect plastic bottles and sell them are heroes.
While the waste management team got their work cut out for them, the volume of garbage drastically increased and they have to be segregated too. So remember to segregate your garbage.
To the dispatchers, jeepney, and taxi drivers who extended their operations to provide service, we thank you.
Those who walked also deserve a pat on the back for understanding, adjusting, sacrificing precious time, and giving way to the tourists.
The efforts, the sacrifice, the thoughtfulness, and the understanding of everyone make Baguio a better place to live in. In Baguio, we take care of our own. —Pinoan Picnay