June 3, 2023

It may come as a surprise to many of our countrymen in this basketball-crazy archipelago that the most popular sport in the world is not basketball but football or soccer.
In fact, I read somewhere that more people watch the World Cup than the Summer Olympics. No wonder football has been described by one of its greatest players, the Brazilian Pele, as the “beautiful game”.
By the way, the world’s most famous athletes are football players like Ronaldo and Messi, not Lebron James.
Although this near-sighted Ibaloy writer is a racing fan (F1, Nascar, MotoGP), I am saddened that our beloved Philippines does not have a team that qualified in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. It would have been great to see our flag fly proudly at this epic sporting event keenly followed by kings and presidents down to the most humble of individuals. If there is one sport that can bring people of all classes, races, creeds and nationalities together its football (soccer).
I have often opined that one sport that Filipinos can excel in and may even become international contenders is football since height is not a huge factor. Just look at the great success we continue to reap in boxing and other combat sports, bowling, billiards, chess, athletics and even amateur baseball. These are the sports our government and private sponsors should support and not just basketball.
Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, we have fallen head-over-heels over basketball, a sport more suited to “giants” since great height plays a vital role. Whether we like it or not, most Filipinos are vertically-challenged and hopes of winning international events may only occur if most of our players are imports or naturalized athletes. It may sound harsh but that seems to be the fact. This is not to say that we should stop watching or playing basketball, of course, but we should not dream of winning an Olympic gold medal in basketball in the near or even very distant future.

Baguio is now anchoring its own Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) that has brought new infrastructure to the city supported by an institutional framework built with stakeholders. This was the conclusion reached during the FEWS final meeting held virtually, Nov. 29, at the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) conducted by representatives of the ASEAN Australia Smart Cities Trust Fund (AASCTF), Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Adfat), and Asian Development Bank (ADB), the city’s program partners.
The meeting was led by City Mayor’s Office Chief of Staff and CDRRM Council Action Officer Felipe Puzon and CDRRMO head Antonette Anaban.
Anaban said CDRRMC knowledge and capacities must be maintained and improved through testing of the FEWS during the upcoming monsoon season.
The city’s push to establish its own FEWS program was initiated in August 2020 and aims to improve community disaster preparedness and awareness and to ensure ownership to enhance urban resilience.
The program is part of the city government’s current smart city initiatives such as the smart city command center; digital innovations to speed up the delivery of government service; the smart city twinning program with Perth, Australia; and the establishment of the national government data center and digital transformation hub. Its key focus areas are enhanced capacity-building and on-the-job training; climate change assessment as input to modeling and design for enhancing city resilience; and gender transformative approach for strengthened development, application, and replication of the city’s FEWS. The program is implemented under the AASCTF supported by the Adfat and managed by the ADB.

Starting Dec. 1, you can now use the Baguio In My Pocket (BIMP) online payment system to pay your business and real property taxes.
Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the BIMP application and input your log-in information.
  2. Click the e-government transaction button.
  3. Select the business permit or real property tax button.
  4. Click the search payment dues button and input your business permit number.
  5. Input your email in the lower box and click submit.
  6. An OTP (one time password) is required and will be sent to your registered email address.
  7. View payables and select quarters that you need to pay.
  8. Select the payment options to settle the transaction/s
  9. An OTP will be sent to user’s email to verify the transaction.
  10. Stay on the page until a pop-up notification will direct you back to the BIMP app where you can view your temporary official receipt number.
  11. When the transaction has been processed, a confirmation will be sent to your email.