After careful research of yellowing Baguio ordinances since the time of Eusebius Halsema, it’s pretty obvious that from the start, Baguio is not like other cities: you can’t – and you don’t – simply pour cement anywhere. For one, Baguio is a mountain city: the geological design and make-up of the city should consider ecology, safety, and efficiency. For two, Baguio is a planned city: development does not come here by way of cement trucks and haphazard blueprints.
Lisa’s reliable sources say that the City Government is planning on making for more overpasses, underpasses, and a vehicular tunnel underneath City Hall. There’s also a P200-million multi-storey carpark in the works at the vacant lot behind Baguio City National High School.
I’m 22 years old: if anything, I have a lot at stake when it comes to these “development projects” furthered by the City. I personally think that the site for the carpark is better used as a place to build a new P100-million City Auditorium, and the remaining P100-million can be used to rehabilitate the Baguio Athletic Bowl. You can easily resolve the parking problem by issuing less franchises for public utility vehicles and general public discipline. Moving the bus terminals out to Baguio’s peripheries would greatly alleviate traffic congestion, and the flyover near the Baguio General Hospital would have been completely unnecessary.
Of course, the Mayor has sort of neglected the youth (save for ubiquitous, omnipresent posters advertising the University of Baguio) and what’s at stake for them in terms of development. The youth of Baguio have almost forgotten about their culture and their heritage. I’d rather have an Auditorium, where Baguio musicians and artists could build up on the cultural capital of Baguio, than a parking building. Here are a few reasons why:
- Self-proclaimed gangsters could do better than to loiter around in public spaces.
- Investing in the cultural heritage of Baguio is cheaper than investing in a flyover or a tunnel that nobody but a politician with a government-sponsored car will use.
- The Auditorium will always be open to generate revenue from plays, musical acts, and art exhibitions.
- We can resurrect the Cordilleran Epic and not allow it to descend into low-class hip-hop posturing.
Heck, you give me a small amount of money one-fourth of what a Councilor’s car is worth, a group of committed actors and actresses, and six months of practice and Biag Ni Lam-ang will come alive in an Auditorium. We can’t do that in a carpark.