The Way into the Future

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What can we do ensure that the future ahead be well-secured, well enough for our children and theirs have something precious to enjoy, to cherish, and to hand over to generations next?

Voting for our next local leaders is a good starting point. Choosing well the right kind of aspirants, amid all the heat, hustle and bustle afflicting us these days, is the rightful next step. Getting to decide early on, at this time, with Election Day looming life-like in eight days, should just be about spot-on.

It’s about time too. Having chosen our own anointed, the least we can do is to stand fast on the choices we have made, before we succumb to the usual threats or temptations that can come between now and Election Day. After all, at about this time too, the usual machinations to confuse, to sow doubt, and to shake up voter’s resolve would all come to play. Those with ill motives will not succeed with you if you’d stand your ground, if your moral scruples are deeply embedded in your heart, if you ardently believe that change, yes the change that you’d been hollering since way back when now has huge chances of getting achieved and realized.

That is why it makes absolutely good sense to add our small voices for our political heavyweights to desist from dirty politics and keep our campaign activities immaculately clean. Baguio has always been a shining example of clean politics all through the years that elections have been held here. A small city, in contrast to lowland cities, Baguio has managed to be above the usual combustible political fray and in time has even cultivated a culture of enduring friendships even among political rivals. Election campaigns have generally been festive gatherings, enlivened by candidates and supporters just enjoying themselves while doing their usual hand-shaking, baby-hugging, and ever-friendly banter.

Yes, the banter that usually keeps every political talk animated wherever the contenders for elective mandate get to meet each other. My father, who’s been in Baguio politics since 1986 right after EDSA, used to regale us with tales of innocent mischief between him and his rivals. At a Session Road coffee shop now long gone, they would bump into each and jostle for the privilege of paying the bill, but no one beats Papa when it comes to that. And these were in the midst of a hectic campaign, loud and vociferous, joyful even, and he recalls that not for once did he observe any unwanted deterioration.

C’mon, why can’t we keep Baguio politics above the petty, even juvenile antics we’ve been hearing a lot these days? It’s sad, very sad, that nowadays “it’s anything goes” sparing no one from all the underhanded brickbats that are thrown all around. It’s even dismaying that honor and reputation are being calumnied, merely based on how well the spin is crafted, the lies piled up on top of the other, just to pillory the targeted candidate. Oh, and how adroitly the narrative is being woven to unsuspecting voters, in the effort to appear as just an innocent query.

Is it because of summertime’s usual stratospheric climes, the sweltering temperature spawned by the coming May 13 local elections? Is it because there’s nothing else to lose, even if it pillories the vaunted fairness that has marked Baguio politics since way back when? Instead of muck-raking, why can’t we just focus on what would make the voters decide one way or the other?

Baguio’s natural environment cannot escape being up there in our priority concerns. It should be easy for sincere candidates to roll out what he’s expected to do when vested with public approval on the strength of the shaded oval opposite his name. After all, if there’s a cause of legitimate concern that merits discussions and actions to be taken, it should be Baguio’s environmental situation that has hugged national limelight in recent years, given the unchecked over-development that has degraded much of our natural resources.

And because of our critical need, we need to know what plans there are to ensure that water, a most vital need, comes off many a household faucet more times in a day. Since way back when, water lack has been a foremost issue, as local water authorities grappled for years in battling the growing deficit. The city’s aquifers have languished far too long to generate more of it, no doubt resulting from less and less trees nestling our forest cover. Watersheds well-placed in many sites continue to be besieged by unwanted, but uncontrolled intrusions by the homeless in us just wanting to have a piece of Baguio property to their name, even if based on mere factual circumstance.

Of late, Baguio’s fresh air has come down to perilous levels, given the daily bombardment of toxic fumes from dirty energy-fueled motorized conveyances. Respiratory ailments have since afflicted the vulnerable among us, mostly the elderlies and the very young, exposed as they had been to the poisonous air. Strolling right in the heart of the city’s downtown area has in fact become a punishment, not because of the up-and-down trod, but mostly due to the bad air besieging the walkways, ejected uncontrollably by diesel-run vehicles on non-stop waiting gears.

Instead of bombarding the young ones and the once young of petty childish antics that merely stain our long-held tradition of wholesome, above board campaigning, why don’t we just focus on what we can do to lure back voters long dismayed by inaction, insensitivity and self-serving interests who have longed for Mr. and Ms. Right in their quest for the right and, for many, the only choice to make.

Time’s up, Mr. Candidate, or come voting time, we’ll just do what is right: Up yours down to where it belongs!

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