Surprised and Saddened

Philippines
September 19, 2009 9:05am CST
I just finished watching a TV show that featured Baguio's 100th anniversary as a city. The City of Pines has always been a favorite summer vacation spot for Filipinos. Baguio was first built by the Americans in 1909 and it was originally built to hold a population of 20,000. Now Baguio is bursting at its seams with people. The last time I was able to visit was in 2007 before my mother became ill with cancer. I considered Baguio as my adopted province since I don't have one. But the news saddened and surprised me because it showed Baguio in it's current condition. One of the most alarming is the garbage problem. I have always stayed in hotels (small hotels that are budget friendly) so I don't really see that much trash literally strewn in the streets. Then, there's traffic. I usually stay within walking distance of Burnham park and only take the cab to go to other sites within the city. But most of the time I walk. One other feature that I feel that I am so blessed because I was still able to see it was the view from Baguio Cathedral. It is a breath taking view from the top and I believe this is one of the main attractions of the city. Now, it is a parking lot and you can no longer see the view. I will try to find my picture taken in 2001. I wonder for fellow Filipinos living abroad, if you would go visit Baguio again, would you be disappointed? I haven't gone back, but after seeing how it is now I am definitely sad.
1 person likes this
8 responses
@minimoyz (277)
• Philippines
1 Jun 11
Good for you! i have been born in baguio,been raised in baguio,went to school at saint louis university from kindergarten until college. i saw how baguio developed. i was in the third grade when the july 16, 1990 earthquake hit the city. i saw how baguio city fell from that disaster, likewise i saw it rise. like from other cities here in the philippines, baguio is still the best city i have seen, not because i was born here and all that. but because its the truth. i know about the problems of the city, like about the traffic conditions, the garbage, the population growth etc. thats a sign that a certain area is growing. i'm not saying that im happy about it. all im saying is the fast development of the city. the city is also not just a tourist destination but also a place for academic excellence. the city has some of the best schools here in the philippines and i hope that will still be like that in the future.
@sweet_pea (3326)
• Philippines
31 May 11
I grew up in Baguio although I am currently living in Manila for the past 2 years. Sadly but Baguio has become so commercialized. Houses replaced mountains. And the usual fog now being replaced with smog. The streets used to be safe then, but now the crime rate had increased too. Yeah the garbage problem is an eyesore not only in Baguio but here in Manila as well. Except for the cool weather, the fresh and cheap fruits & vegetables, the fresh cut flowers and the honest taxi drivers, I don't miss Baguio at all.
@jashoaf (298)
• United States
23 Sep 09
I do not know this city, but can relate to your feelings. The small town I grew up in was a rural area with forests, creeks, farm land, and lots of running room. I went back to visit after being gone for twenty years. All the woods are gone and huge houses have filled every square foot. Such a shame! I loved my woods. Cleveland, Ohio was once a pretty, well-kept city with a large river running through it. Back in the late 1960's the river became so polluted from factories dumping their waste that it actually caught fire and burned for several days. the shorelines were filled with garbage and the whole area was crowded slums. The fire made national news, and got a lot of attention. Soon after some citizen groups began marching on the shorelines, picketing the factories and refusing to buy goods from them until they cleaned up their mess. Churches got together and began clean-up campaigns on the shorelines. Soup kitchens and other aid to the people there got them better living conditions, and they started showing some pride in their own neighborhoods. It took years to rebuild the area, but it is once again a beautiful place, with a clean river and green parks and play areas on the shorelines. So take heart! Maybe there are some things you can get involved in to be part of the restoration of the city you love.
@rsa101 (13336)
• Philippines
21 Sep 09
I am also in love with that place and it has been sometime that I haven't visited that place. I am quite sure that the placed has changed since I last went there. I also seen the show that showcased that place Baguio and I am saddened that part of the place where the view was fantastic is now blocked by a parking lot already. I think this is the price of developing the place. I really think that there is no other way Baguio can prosper if there is no development in the place. Population will continue to grow as the place would become more densely populated as it grows. I really think there is no stopping it if the economy grows with it and opportunities would continue to grow in that place. I have seen many jobs opportunity in that place and you would expect many more will go to that place as job seekers and would add to the population there. This are things that a city would need to sustain their existence as a City. By the way it is noteworthy that Baguio is a city not a province. Their Province is Benguet.
@sandymay16 (1619)
• Philippines
20 Sep 09
Hi, I've been to Baguio three times and the last time I visited was in 2002. I hope to visit again and experience the Panagbenga Festival. The last time I visited, there was already traffic and garbage but not as alarming yet as the one you mentioned. I have noticed too that there were more smoke-belching vehicles. I just hope this is not the case anymore. Yes, it's really disappointing to see places of interests that are spoiled by irresponsible developments.
@offlimits (601)
• Philippines
20 Sep 09
Hi there anne25penn! I am a Filipino and I could totally understand what you are saying. Seeing one of our tourist spots become like that makes me sad too, considering that it is one of the best places here in the Philippines that many people go to. Before, my family usually go there once or twice a year for vacation, but for these past 2 years we haven't been there again. I was kind of disappointed that it was starting to have so many establishments, and that explains why the atmosphere became so hot like Manila. I totally agree about the garbage problem, because I've heard comments about it from my other relatives. I also have friends who study in Baguio. Maybe I could also go there sometime to see it myself.
@ayenacsi (911)
• Philippines
20 Sep 09
Accepting changes is difficult especially if the changes are not good and it could have been avoided in the first place. Changes in development especially are hard because we can't do anything about it, tourists are very much welcome and they do need parking spaces. So it's hard to weigh and balance the two: progress and preserving the good, old Baguio. I hope that the city's government and the people of Baguio help together to keep the city as a city that will still attract visitors, foreign and local alike.
19 Sep 09
Hi anne, I have never been to Baguio, but this goes for a lot of places, that have been spoiled, with new businesses, or housing developments going up. There has been a lot of it where I live, and it sure can take the natural beauty out of a place. That is a shame about the view, now being a Parking Lot. i can understand your dissapointment, and i am sure others who knew the place before, would agree with you.