Issue of December 2, 2018

71th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Dark side

Star Wars fanatics like this near-sighted Ibaloy writer are familiar with the “dark side” of the Force led by the asthmatic Darth Vader (his mask happens to be a high-tech nebulizer) as opposed to its “good side” headed by the menage a trois or threesome of Princess Leia, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. I’m not sure if this concept comes from the Taoist philosophy of balance claiming that for every good is an equal amount of bad or evil. Something to that effect.

Anyway, the good side of living in the Summer Capital is due primarily to its temperate climate while the dark side also happens to be its climate since everybody wants to live in this land of vanishing Ibaloys. Can’t blame them. Thus, a city that was once planned for only 25,000 residents now has more than 10 times that number making Baguio one of the most congested, highly-populated areas in this nation of delicious coconuts and smiling carabaos.

Usually, we take a decongestant tablet when suffering from congested nasal passages, but what do we do for a congested melting pot like Baguio? The best solution, I do believe, is the fulfillment of the BLISTT (Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay) development plan that aims to encourage visitors and development to visit and spread to the city’s neighboring areas. However, just like our justice system, the BLISST program seems to be moving at an ageing snail’s pace. It’s been more than a decade now since the plan was proposed, nganga pa rin. I guess it will just be another campaign promise in next year’s elections. How sad.

Good news: The City of Pines is a breeding ground of world champions especially in mixed martial arts and other combat sports.

The city council passed a resolution congratulating Stephen “The Sniper” Loman of Team Lakay for successfully defending his Brave Combat Federation bantamweight world title during the Brave CF 18 at the Khalifa Sports City in Bahrain on Nov. 16.

Authored by Councilor Arthur Allad-iw, the measure states that Loman is the first-ever Brave CF bantamweight champion and the youngest champion on the Brave roster. He successfully defended his title against Brazilian challenger and 2017 Knockout of the Year winner Felipe Efrain.

“Stephen Loman is a pride of the city of Baguio and the Philippines as a whole. He also serves as an inspiration to be emulated by everyone, hence, this commendation,” the resolution states. Cheers!

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

Here’s “Windowshopping” by Cirilo F. Bautista: “The sign says, ‘You are here.’ Right enough I am./ Where else would I be? I cannot be carrying/ the world’s weight in sin across the Burmese jungles/ or counting coins in Peshawar with my legs/ rooted to the ground. Everything in the right/ directions-the corridors, the halls, the spoon and fork,/ the escalator rehearses the orderly mind/ to find existence shining like a jewel, left, left,/ round the corner. My slip-proof shoes follow the cadence/ past Chinese clothes without heads and sad-eyed canines/ in steel cages. I stop to pass my handkerchief/ against my face. The juxtaposition has disturbed/ my balance somehow: empty humans/ and unhappy dogs disrupt life’s easy commerce/ with values invisible, brand names/ and discounted sales included. Fill in the form./ Contemplation repeats understanding,/ even as a condition for high fashion,/ and excellence defies mass production./ Speaking for myself, I do not like leather goods,/ automatic watches, plastic wares,/ and chocolate candies. Old and sick, I like the sound/ my pants make as I limp across the floor-music/ to my ears, the faint eternity.”

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

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