Issue of September 19, 2021
     
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Council backs Session Road History and Heritage Festival

The city council approved through Ordinance 89, s. 2021 the institutionalization of “Session Road History and Heritage Festival in the City of Baguio” to be held every 3rd Sunday of April until the 2nd Sunday of June of each year, subject to adjustments depending on the schedule of other city activities.

The celebration aims to inculcate among residents, specially the youth as well as visitors and tourists of the rich cultural heritage and unique events and achievements that happened at Session Road and have played and contributed important roles to the formation and continued development of what Baguio is, which are worthy to reminisce and celebrate with pride and joy.

Authored by all the councilors through the initiative of ViceMayor Faustino Olowan and Councilor Elaine Sembrano, the ordinance stated Session Road was originally called or referred to by locals as “campeo” or “kampaw,” which means social gathering.

It derived its official name from historical account that it was once where the delegates of the “Taft Commission” or the Second Philippine Commission led by Governor-General of the Philippines Luke E. Wright, who succeeded first Civil Governor-General William Howard Taft, that walked or paraded up the old Baden-Powell Hall and held sessions from April 22 to June 11, 1904 where 74 acts were passed and 272 resolutions we approved.

Such historic legislative event was credited to the initiation of the use of Summer Capital of the Philippines as nickname of Baguio and the passage of a law that paved the formation of Philippine Senate in 1916 with Manuel L. Quezon as the first president until 1935.

The ordinance said the festival would draw more tourists and serve as an avenue for the constituents, especially the younger generation, to learn and research more on important legislative actions that transpired during those sessions, the transformation of the former site of the old Baden-Powell Hall, and other stories about Session Road, which have been forgotten and unknown to most residents but are noteworthy and remarkable.

Among these significant events and stories in Session Road to be recalled and retold include the delegates of the Commission composed of Wright and commissioners Henry Ide, Dean Conant Worcester, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, Benito Legarda, Jose de Luzuriaga, James Francis Smith, and William Cameron Forbes; the Post Office, site which was then the location of a constabulary barracks and later a convent; a penal colony site of at least 500 prisoners replaced by the former Session Theater and now the site of modern commercial buildings; among others.

Walk-free along Session Road, Educational History of Session Road, culture and arts events, and other activities determined by the working committee to be chaired by the city mayor are among the highlights of the celebration.

The ordinance was submitted to the Office of City Mayor Benjamin Magalong for his signature.

In Resolution 447, s. 2021, the body requested the regional and district offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the City Engineering Office to include “cut curbs and ramps” in their sidewalk renovation projects to cater to persons with mobility difficulties in addition to the tactile pavement on sidewalks for visually impaired persons.

Curb cuts allow easier sidewalk access for people in a wheelchair. It is made by cutting into the sidewalk and creating a sloped incline, which is considered compliant with accessibility standards slope of no greater than 8.33 percent.

It is for the benefits pedestrians using a walker or cane, pushing a stroller, a pram or a buggy for babies, pushing or pulling a cart or hand truck, or walking next to a bicycle; as well as anyone riding a bicycle, roller skates, or a skateboard.

Through Resolution 448, s. 2021, the Baguio City Market Authority and the City Treasury Office were directed to hold in abeyance the bidding/awarding of all stalls previously declared vacant and/or scheduled for bidding, pursuant to Sections 8 and 10 of Ordinance 86, s. 2021, which grants a three-month amnesty program for violators of the provisions of Tax Ordinance 2000-001.

In separate resolutions, the body commended young individuals for their exemplary achievements and performances that brought great pride and honor to the city.

Among them are the seven Saint Louis University graduates who topped the August 2021 mechanical engineer licensure examination: Nathaniel Beaver Apostol Mendoza, first place (90.05 percent); Christian Justin Musni Sese,second place(89.90 percent); Jayshey Wanag Baguidudol,third place(89.70 percent); Marvin Louis Sison Ferrer, fourth place(89.65); Emmanuel Fernandez Villasin,sixth place (88.50 percent); Jezreel John Portuguez Sannadan, eight place (88.25 percent); and Mario Alambra Ibay, 10th place (88 percent).

The council also commended Crystal Mae A. Punzalan, a student-journalist from the Mabini Elementary School for winning 3rdplace under “Pagsulat ng Lathalain” category-baby bracket elementary division in the National Campus Press Olympiad 2021 with emphasis on the importance of multi-platform campus journalism in the new normal.

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