Issue of April 15, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Staying home

One sure way of knowing that you are a resident ofBaguio, according to this near-sighted Ibaloy writer’s naughty barkadas, is when you stay home during the Panagbenga parades and other big events because of the expected influx of tourists and ensuing traffic jams on the city’s mostly single-lane streets. You just watch these events on TV instead.

A relatively tiny city in terms of land area planned for only 25,000 people by noted American urban planner, Arch. Daniel Burnham in the early 20th century, Baguio is now home to a population more than 10 times that number including students, workers from other places, and a few shy-mangu Ibaloys.

Add to this the multitude of local and foreign visitors, especially during long weekends and huge activities, then this tiny corner in the boondocks turns into a sardine can of people scrambling for breathing room and vehicles competing for parking space.

Don’t get me wrong. Having tourists is a good thing indeed for the income they bring to the local economy and much-needed jobs their visit creates. Baguio is a tourism hub and the country’s undisputed Summer Capital, after all. If only there’s a way to make the city much, much larger to accommodate all of the people wanting to visit, work or live here. Maybe that is where the still-to-be-realized BLISTT (Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay) conceptual framework could be of great help. Just maybe.

FYI: The Department of the Interior and Local Government has issued Memorandum Circular 2018-25 reiterating DILG MC 2017-20 entitled, “Enjoining all local government officials and employees to strictly observe and comply with the prohibition against entering, staying and/or playing at gambling casinos.”

The circular aims to immediately address the negative effect on the public of government service as a whole that a mere entry or presence of government officials and employees in a casino shall be considered as conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, unless the same was in the performance of official duties and functions.

It states that all local government officials and employees are hereby directed to strictly observe and comply with the prohibition against entering, staying, and/or playing in casinos.

The measure also directs local government officials and employees to remind their respective immediate relatives (spouses, children, and parents) not to play in gaming establishments around the Philippines in accordance with Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Circular 16-003.

Non-compliance with the DILG circular shall be dealt with in accordance with applicable civil service rules and regulations and other pertinent laws, rules and regulations.

We are on air Wednesdays, 8 a.m., over K-Lite 96.7 FM with Hillary Johnson and every last Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m. for “City Hall Hour” over Sky Cable, DZEQ Radyo Pilipinas, and Big FM. In this beautiful archipelago of delicious coconuts and smiling carabaos, it’s more fun and cooler in Baguio!

Here’s “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by William Wordsworth: “I wandered lonely as a cloud/ That floats on high o’er vales and hills,/ When all at once I saw a crowd,/ A host, of golden daffodils; / Beside the lake, beneath the trees,/ Fluttering and dancing in the breeze./ Continuous as the stars that shine/ And twinkle on the milky way,/ They stretched in never-ending line/ Along the margin of a bay:/ Ten thousand saw I at a glance,/ Tossing their heads in sprightly dance./

The waves beside them danced; but they/ Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:/ A poet could not but be gay,/ In such a jocund company:/ I gazed- and gazed- but little thought/ What wealth the show to me had brought:/ For oft, when on my couch I lie/ In vacant or in pensive mood,/ They flash upon that inward eye/ Which is the bliss of solitude; / And then my heart with pleasure fills,/ And dances with the daffodils.”

May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.

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