Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines, is only an hour ride from where I live here in Pangasinan. When I was a young kid, I frequent Baguio City together with my family, especially during summer vacations. There were lots of fun places to visit then. Places that speaks of nature, beautiful flowers, and clean and green environment. And I loved Baguio so much because of the many pine trees and the cold wind it is so famous of. Just sitting around Burnham Park and enjoying the cold breeze was enough reason for me to urge my parents to go back every now and then. I even dreamed of having my own place in this once beautiful city.
When my firstborn was just a toddler, I brought him to Baguio for him to see the real beauty of nature. But I already noticed then that it was so different already with the Baguio I fell in love with as a child. From then on, our trips to Baguio City lessened and we only went go there when we need to buy something from SM Baguio. Instead of touring around the city, Baguio City for my kids is SM Baguio.
When my son Raymund had his operation last week in Pines City Doctors Hospital, it was a chance for me to look at the city once more outside of the malls. And I was shocked of what it has become. The city and its neighboring towns is now overpopulated. The picture above which was taken from the window of the suite room where my son stayed shows this very clearly. There are no more pine trees. The mountains are full of houses. I also heard from local news that building permits had been under regulated. And worse, there are garbage everywhere.
I hope that with the coming elections, people in this once beautiful city will choose good leaders who will and can bring the city to what it was – the Pines City we are proud of.