Maddening March

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Air and water have been the bane of urban life since way, way back and this month of March may well bring us into the local campaign season. So why aren’t we agitated enough to demand what is in store for Baguio in at least the next 3 years.

To be sure, our local candidates have been rounding our barangay and sundry gatherings since October 2018, when they submitted their respective bids for various positions up for grabs in the May 2019 elections. Their sorties, in groups or in clusters, have been naively called re-introduction, a kind of
getting to know activity that’s obviously a misnomer. After all, for those who have been in public office that long, getting to know them seems out of synch.

Just the same, everything’s forgiven. Old folks have in fact been telling us that the period from candidacy filing till March 29, when they can harangue us as official candidates, is much theater about nothing. Just the same, everyone didn’t mind all the premature campaigning since then. Everyone’s doing it and the voters, they who have been at the receiving end of all the premature blessings, just won’t mind at all.

Truly, it’s a maddening march into verbal mayhem in the next 45 days. Considering the summer heat now beginning to be felt in these parts, we can only wish that amid the craziness engulfing us, no one among our wannabes get to forget just what are they offering should the mandate go their way.

Yes, dearie, it’s about the Baguio environment that we’d love to hear being talked about in more serious demeanor. The air we breathe, how do we get to invigorate it to safe, unpolluting levels? The water we take or we use as a vital need from moment to moment, where do we get the added supply?
Our dwindling forest cover, are we just content in tree-planting activities whose end result can only be discerned in their majestic thrust skyhigh in the next decades?

Yes dearie, we ought to be planning and designing now a Green City in the making. Green after all holds a more paramount importance if we’re talking about the Baguio’s beckoning future, not just what it will be by reason of how any one person should go. Whichever color agitates whichever side of the equation anyone is, Green remains the paramount color that should command greater attention, greater seriousness, greater resolve.

Yet, amid the cluttered landscape that our city will be in the coming days, April should be the first of the two vital months leading to Judgment Day when political faces are finally unmasked, when political voices become shriller by the day, when political actuations get to unravel the kind of public service-seeking leaders we’ve got. The economic issues will certainly get centerstage attention — the runaway blitz that gas prices have behaved, the spiked up commodity prices, these have been the gut issues that mean much to voters scared of what an economic future will bring about. Surely, when income just couldn’t reach the desired outcome, that’s when housewives will pester husbands for the extra buck that may provide a breather of sorts, whether earned without rhyme or reason.

About time we ask Dear Candidates some solid questions for us to know what’s in store for Baguio. Are we doing enough for Mother Nature to give us earthlings the needed respite from the onslaught that harsh weather systems have been inflicting on our daily life? How are we faring in scaling down by 2 degree C the toxic content of the global temperature which over 200 nations on earth have etched on granite stone to be achieved in 3 years time. Close to home, where we have had Climate Change-induced insufferable landslides that snuffed out over a hundred lives, are we close enough to prevent similar tragedies from even occurring after convincing evidence that we are amid danger zones just waiting to happen?

From a maddening March to an aberrant April, we should all be paying a more serious, sober heed of what’s troubling Mother Nature, why she’s acting in so insane a way, misbehaving at whatever fancies her, wherever, whenever, and whatever. Being Green in all finality, surely that’s not a pipe dream that needs Mr. Piper to lead us through. Any election season, stripped of the built-in Pinoy jest that routinely comes from any downtrodden day-to-day experience, should be all about what we can do, by way of shared effort, to scale down the continued toxic bombardment of our shared atmosphere, from the motorized contraptions that we rev up to the industry machines that we run.

Decidedly, it’s all about clean, safe and healthy air that we ought to be having and we even have a law mandating it everywhere else. But how can we take that kind of air when our own economic activities continue to remain beyond the nose of government policy makers who should have been stern in enforcing the use of clean, alternative energy for everyday use? Sure, government insists that the way to go is for the clean energy use, but how come in two years time, about 20 more coal plants are set to spew more of the toxic fumes into the air?

In sum, Green Baguio should be about accepting the shared role that each one should be doing in these times of climate-influenced way of life. Fine, let’s talk and listen to one another, with each side willing to understand what sharing and caring are all about. Obviously, when communication lines are blurred by emotional responses, not much appreciation of good faith can come about. At this time — lest we get treated again by sudden malicious events — it’s never too late to get us going, not just back to basics as it were, but back to earth, as it should be. We all know what must be done and how. If we like, there’s always a way; if we don’t — or are too indifferent about it — there’s always a reason.

Better to be green about it, than simply to grin and bear it. After all, we’ve been doing just that these recent years.

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