traffic analysis

Friday, October 11, 2013


This post should've been written in time for this year's Baguio Day but I had another 'writing assignment' that needed to be submitted first. I have been back in Baguio since last quarter of 2012 and my love-hate relationship with the city of my birth is at its strongest now. Allow me please to vent some of my frustrations/observations. I have no solutions to offer except those that I practice already. (And please do not think I am being self-righteous). Anyway, here goes...

Baguio's population is bursting at the seams. I refuse even to google the latest census update on the city's population. Overpopulation is felt, seen and heard. Well, economists and other social scientists have predicted at the turn of this millenium that people from the rural areas will flock to urban centers. It is happening around the globe. Baguio is no different. Expect Baguio's population to grow some more. Even if the RH Bill were passed and every child-bearing-aged person in Baguio would practice responsible parenthood, our population will still grow due to migration from the rural areas. Add to that longer lifespans in the future due to advances in the medical field. (Who knows, maybe stem-cell therapy 10 years down the line would be as affordable as a root canal). Yes, Baguio will be packed ten, fifteen, twenty years down the road. People will come here for job opportunities, education, etc.

With the little space Baguio has, buildings will be built higher to accommodate population growth. We see these happening with our universities already. Also, condominiums and other development projects are rising higher and higher. I am just hoping they adhere to earthquake and other safety standards knowing the vulnerability of the city. Just like in Japan. It would be an added bonus also if they were aesthetically designed. Again, just like in Japan.

My neighborhood in Yangco has seen such transformation the past years. And it will happen to other parts of the city. When properties belonging to old timers (who may or may not have migrated), or those summer residences belonging to out-of-towners, will be sold to developers -- expect more high rises. Gone will be the days of white picket fences, gardens and bungalows/cottages. 

We cannot stop anyone from selling his property especially if offers are good. And of course developers have a totally different mindset altogether. They will need to recoup their investment and make a profit. Ergo, they will maximize the area of property they will purchase and yes, they will build taller buildings.

Clash of values is happening now. What one values may be different from the other. It will be a tough and even bitter battle between old-timers (those longing to preserve what little heritage Baguio has now) and between  the city government and developers. Forget John Hay and Burnham Park, the only green space in the future will be Baguio Country Club. I must learn to play golf...

I cannot help but wonder: when ancestral claims are granted to the vast open spaces we have left in the city (some of which are watersheds), will the claimants retain these as open spaces? Or will they and their relatives cash in and sell these once it is awarded to them?
 I haven't been to the Flower Festival's main attractions in the past years except during the evenings when downtown is closed. It was a surprise for me to hear that there was traffic gridlock along Leonard Wood Road all the way to South Drive, Gibraltar, Mansion, etc. in last February's parade. A taxi driver told me it took him 4 hours to take a lady from the market to Pacdal. (He couldn't let her down because she was very pregnant. Imagine if she labored that time?)

With the growing population of Baguio, expect that kind of traffic to be an everyday occurrence in the future. We can only widen our roads so much and I don't think there is any more space for more flyovers. I doubt an underground transportation system will work either. Yippee! It will be like Panagbenga everyday!

My solution: WALK. When the weather is fair and you don't have much stuff to carry. WALK.  Or BIKE. Like some of my friends do. And please no more colorum FX's. We have more than enough. When it's not rush hour you see all these FX's parked along Yangco, Kisad, Gen. Lim, etc. (These are the daily routes I walk, so I see them everyday).  And I'm not even going to talk about the pollution from all these vehicular emissions!

 No need to pester City Hall to make Session Road strictly for pedestrians. It's going to happen inevitably. With the looming population growth and terrible traffic scenario, expect downtown to be like Divisoria. From Bonifacio, Bokawkan, Legarda, Kisad, Leonard Wood Road, Gen. Luna, Gov. Pack Road -- people will start walking to town. Because it will be faster for them to do so.

With foot traffic occupying the streets, expect enterprising vendors to take over. After all, most of these migrants have come up for the 'economic' opportunities this urban center has to offer. With these will come trash. Allow me please to be a bit nostalgic. Ang linis, linis, linis, linis, linis, linis, linis, linis ng Baguio nuon. In elementary we were taught to pocket our candy wrappers and other trash and throw them in receptacles once we got home or when we got back to our classrooms. But never to throw them in the playground or in the streets. With the migrants now, especially the students who are not from here, what do they care? Hindi naman sila taga-Baguio eh. They will graduate in four years' time and leave the city anyway. Ngayon, ang dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, dumi, ad infinitum ng Baguio. 

Oh don't you just love the future? TRASH!  And muck. For those who've been to Divisoria, you must've noticed that the streets are covered with some mush-like 'substance' -- must be bits of paper, plastic, mud, vegetables, etc. mixed in with the rainwater and trod upon by pedestrians and vehicles alike, only to be re-mushed again every time it rains.

Session Road as Divisoria? It's not far-fetched.  It's happening in Harrison Road now that Ukay-Ukay is allowed during the evenings. That is only the start.

Let's say global warming will be abated in the future. Let's say our average rainfall will remain the same. With the growing population will we still have enough water for everyone? Especially when our watersheds have given in to high rise residential and commercial buildings? Not to mention the numerous private water delivery services with their own deep wells, but, essentially siphoning from only one main source? A lawyer friend illustrated it to me this way: Imagine Baguio's water source as one large soft drink bottle. BWD has the largest straw supplying most of Baguio's water needs. All these private water delivery services are like little straws dipping into the same soft drink bottle! Egads!

Will we get our water from the northern provinces, say,  Kalinga? The way California gets its water from the Northern States? Can we afford such infrastructure? Will the cost be passed on to us consumers? Hello, will the province of Kalinga even allow that to happen in the first place?

Adda pay kuma ti danum in the future ta haan nak met nga agininum ti sopdlink!

There is hope, dear reader. Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba (I heard they added Tublay) or BLIST should be enacted. If our leaders sit down and really think of the region's future, and not only Baguio's, BLIST is the only way to go. Of course it will be a tough and lengthy debate. Some may feel shortchanged. There will be clashes. There will be those who will not budge. (I am somehow reminded of Uncle Benny Carantes' recent tirades in his Baguio Midland Courier column). But in the end, it will be for the future generations. And a bright tomorrow is the best legacy we can give them.

In the book "Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed" by Jared Diamond, he prescribes that mankind should get out of the 'It's Someone Else's Problem' mindset (ISEP). ISEP'ers are those who are apathetic. They do not care about the environment. As long as they're comfortable, ISEP'ers will not budge to change the status quo. Or to question existing laws. Or to make a stand. Not until they feel the heat.

We should adapt instead 'It Still Is Possible' (ISIP). Mag- ISIP-ISIP tayong lahat!

ps: I advice the readers to read Jared Diamond's "Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed". The Chapter on Montana is, like, soooooooooo Baguio. And it inspired me to post this blog.
pps: I grabbed the photo from the internet. Whoever owns photo and wishes that I take it down, please tell me via comments page.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Hoda and Kathie Lee recently featured Cronuts (Croissant-Donuts) in their show and how these delectable desserts have been trending lately with hundreds literally falling in line for a taste of the new snack. The owner has decided to put a maximum on the number of pieces one can buy -- 6 only per person. He refuses to mass produce the cronuts to maintain quality and taste.

Here now is a list of Pinoy Dessert Mash-Ups which could one day appear in a stand in your favorite mall:

1. SIOMON -- A Mamon shaped like Siopao filled with asado or bola-bola.

2. HOPRUN/TUPIA -- Turon filled with sweetened mung beans (pwede ring baboy)

3. BUTA SEKO -- Burung Talangka spread over Puto Seko

4. GALLEMAS -- Galletas with Yema in the center

5. PACENSIOSO -- Pacencia Biscuit cradling a Siomai filled with Suso ( this should give the French a run for their escargot)

6. BILEY'S -- Bibingka laced with Bailey's

7. PAN DE SOL -- Pan de sal and Espasol

8. HAWLO-HAWLO -- A pitted longan sandwiched between two Haw Flakes

9. TIRAMISO -- Tira-Tira and Miso

10. UBE-GLAD -- (pronounced 'you-be glad') Ube with Ginadgad na Langka

11. LECHE PLAN -- Leche Flan with Plantains

12. CORNVENT BREAD -- Basically a Tortilla made from scratch by an angst-filled colegiala

13. KANO NI GO -- Any snack derived from an american brand now localized by Robina Gokongwei

14. SINTURON -- Singkamas, Tupig at Polvoron

15. PILITA -- Pilipit and Taho (served in a rock glass, the Pilipit used like a swivel stick)

16. KAYO GERMS -- Bukayo with Wheat Germ

17. COCO MARTIN -- Pan de Coco with Star Margarine in a Tin Can (de lata ito)

18. MANI PAKYOW -- Pakwan dipped in a spicy peanut sauce (mapapa 'YOW' ka sa anghang)

19. GUAPOE -- Guava Jelly/Jam spread over Sen. Grace Poe's fave dessert

20. IMELDA -- Iced Melon and Dalandan Sorbet

21. LEA SALONGAN -- Ube Jalea, Sampalok and Longan (wala nang glo-global pa dyan!)

ps: pasingit. pinilit lang talaga ako ni Frankie eh...

22. FRENCH CIMATU --Deep-Fried  Mahi-Mahi and Tuna with a cinnamon laced batter.


Saturday, January 19, 2013