Baguio City recently took action to remove a car from Session Road in response to community complaints. This decision has evoked a range of reactions among residents, including humor and genuine concerns, while also sparking discussions about the city's regulations and potential future changes.
The Decision and Community Reactions
Mayor Benjamin Magalong made the call to remove the car, which had a satellite provider's logo, after people in the community voiced their concerns. Many residents found the car unsightly and believed it was out of place on Session Road.
"Paki-check yu kuma apo daytuy lugan... Ta agpaysu man nga kanayun ijay Session Road. Eyesore daytuy ijay. Kababain. Nakadung-dungrit pay. Minsan whole day yan dyan," as one resident put it. This can be roughly translated as, "Could you please have a look at this car? It's always there on Session Road, and it's an eyesore. It's embarrassing, unattractive, and it hogs the space all day."
Concerns about Discrimination and Among Car Owners
With the removal of the car, concerns have emerged about potential discrimination. Some residents argue that the car's owner was earning a legitimate income and may have been paying for parking. These concerns underscore the importance of balancing the city's appearance with the livelihoods of its residents.
Car owners with less fancy vehicles, endearingly called "karag karag" or ugly cars, also share concerns. They fear that they might encounter challenges when parking on Session Road in the future, amid worries that only fancier cars will be permitted.
Humorous Comments and Concerns
In response to this decision, Baguio residents have playfully nicknamed their city "The Eyesore Capital of the Philippines" and coined the term "City of Fines." These humorous monikers reflect the diverse range of opinions on the matter. Some have even added a whimsical twist to the famous tourism slogan, proclaiming, "It's more Fun in the Philippines, yet 'It's more Fines in Baguio.'"
Historical Eyesore Ordinance and Future Regulations
Looking back, there's a suggestion that Baguio City might have introduced a set of rules known as the "Eyesore Ordinance" sometime between 2000 and 2010. These rules had unique aspects, like discouraging the parking of cars with "for sale" signs and the display of products for sale. If these assumptions hold true, these unconventional rules could have significantly shaped how the city managed its appearance.
Notably, discussions have emerged about a specific section of Session Road. In this area, cars were used in an atypical way. Rather than being just vehicles, these cars were transformed into makeshift shops and stalls for selling various products. Furthermore, these cars apparently served as mobile displays for merchandise. It's possible that these practices and the ensuing discussions influenced the creation of the "Eyesore Ordinance."
And now, with talk of a potential "Eyesore Act" on the horizon, one can't help but wonder if Baguio City is taking its quest for a pristine appearance to new heights. Could this Act turn the city into the "Perfection Capital" of the Philippines, where not a single stray leaf dares to fall on the sidewalk?
While we appreciate the drive to maintain aesthetics, it's important to keep the charm that makes Baguio unique. Perhaps in the future, we'll see cars adorned with "For Sale" signs in museums, preserved as relics of a time when cars had more to offer than just transportation. After all, every "For Sale" sign told a story, and every car-turned-shop had a tale to tell, and we wouldn't want those stories to be history.
The diverse range of responses, from humor to genuine concerns, underscores the necessity of adopting a balanced approach to Baguio's urban aesthetics. This ongoing dialogue reflects the city's commitment to the well-being and satisfaction of its residents, while navigating its unique set of rules.