Obvious (and the Not- So Obvious) Reasons Why People Come to Baguio
by: Christian Aligo
When you ask your friends who have not yet stepped on Baguio soil about their ideas about the city, you will probably get answers that prove the popularity of the city in the tourism industry.
In fact, an average of 100,000 tourists comes to Baguio weekly after the Panagbenga Festival in February. During special events like Chinese New Year, tourist arrival may range from 500,000 to 1,000,000.
Why do people love coming to Baguio City? Let us start with the obvious (if not boring) reasons that you know for sure.
1. Baguio City is a perfect retirement haven. When you go to SM City Baguio, you will find senior citizens from the lowlands shopping. They love it here because there are health institutions within and near shopping malls. They love the cool climate and the fine dining restaurants that give them a perfect combination for a retirement settlement.
2. In Baguio City, you can launch your career! It provides a wide range of career opportunities in the fields of real estate, English as A Second Language (ESL) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). In short, there is “bread and butter” in Baguio!
3. Because education is the key to succeed, Baguio City is here to offer success. Tertiary education at an affordable price is at hand in the City of Pines. Top schools found in the city’s central district include Saint Louis University, University of Baguio and the University of the Cordilleras. Agricultural school Benguet State University is just half an hour drive away from the metro center.
However, there are other not-so-obvious reasons why people do not miss putting Baguio on their bucket list.
1. Baguio City is for religious people. People who have special wishes come up to Baguio to offer their time and devotion to God. They climb the Lourdes Grotto Hill, spend a minute offering prayer at the Baguio City Cathedral and end the day by visiting the Pink Sisters Convent.
2. There are places in Baguio City that are a good venue for ghost hunting activities. Paranormal stories of tourists and locals involving corners of Camp John Hay and the ever creepy Diplomat Hotel are always the star of conversations during All Saints’ feast. History has it that Baguio was once a center for American soldiers, bombed during the World War 2, devastated by an earthquake in 1990. Are those major events justifying the idea that there are ghosts in the city?
3. If you want an original Chanel bag or a pair of original Levis pants, all you need to do is to pack a bag of patience and go to ukay-ukay shops in city. A daily Night Market along the Harrison Road near Lower Session starts at nine in the evening where you get to pick a long line of vendors selling second hand yet original brands from abroad.
Thus when you ask your friends about their ideas about Baguio and they mentioned about the latter not-so obvious reasons, acknowledge them for they must have used Google Search very effectively.
by: Christian Aligo
Baguio City’s pride Philippine Military Academy (PMA) does not always give the city a good reason to be mentioned in national newspapers and news shows. Sometimes, it’s a gloomy day for the school that trains the country’s next top patriots.
Last week, the academy held its graduation rites despite national controversies involving one of its supposed-to-be-graduating student and alumni.
Two Top Students Are Cordillerans
Among the top students of the PMA Siklab Diwa Class 2014 are proud Cordillerans.
Billy Casibi Codiam, top three, comes from Tanudan, Kalinga while Alvin Kantala Balangcod comes from Kapangan, Benguet.
Both had similar stories before joining PMA.
In his essays, Balangcod expressed that he was once a working student. He started to take a degree in Criminology as a scholar of former Benguet congressman Samuel Dangwa before taking the entrance exam for PMA.
On the other hand, Codiam finished a degree in Political Science as a scholar of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) before deciding to push through with military studies.
The two will join the Philippine Army.
It’s Final: Cadet Cudia is Not Graduating
It all started when the sister of PMA cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia posted a picture of the cadet on Facebook with caption pointing out PMA’s alleged unfair judgment on the cadet’s case.
The post says that the cadet was not permitted to graduate after a two-minute late. The post became viral, capturing national headline bringing the attention of the Filipino masses to Baguio’s own PMA.
Even if everyone was talking about it and everyone seems to put sympathy on the side of Cudia, PMA still decided not to reverse its earlier decision against Cudia.
According to PMA, Cudia violated the Honor Code by lying on the real reason why he was late in November.
Cudia lost and left the PMA compound afterwards.
Remember the Pabaon Officials and Other PMA Alumni?
Before Cudia was the star of headlines, many alumni of the academy already won national publicity for negative issues that directly tainted the reputation of PMA.
After the Cudia controversy set aflame, a PMA alumnus furnished a letter to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs Office.
Retired Brig. Gen. Jesus Dizon, who belongs to PMA Class 1951, wrote:
“May I appeal to the entire Filipino people to remember that the Philippine Military Academy is your institution. It is the primary source of professional military leaders who are sworn to lead and sacrifice their lives, if need be, to protect our country and people against all threats, including to respond to natural calamities and disasters.”
Dizon scored to not tamper with PMA’s honor system which is in line with the principle of human rights.
However, netizens still question the credibility of the Honor System when in fact PMA alumni have been charged with serious offenses that may be considered violations to the set of principles soldiers should abide with.
Recently, one of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) member was allegedly caught cloning automated teller machine (ATM) cards. The accused Raphale Marcial, a Navy Officer and graduate of PMA Class 2008, was arrested by cops in Makati.
According to Malacanang, there will be no special treatment for Marcial.
Moreover in 2011, AFP officials and other high-ranking military officers were involved in the “pasalubong” and “pabaon” allegations. This led controversial official Angelo Reyes, one of the accused, to commit suicide.
People try their luck within the territory of PMA. Some finish with flying colors; others come home with sad stories. If there is one thing that makes headlines created by PMA students and alumni teach us, that would be the realization that patriots- whether under the Honor System or not- are also human beings who commit mistakes.
According to our Philippine Law, foreigners are not allowed to be a land owner in the Philippines. We, Filipino citizens are the only people who have the right to legally own a lot in this country. However, there are ownerships that a foreigner can still take advantage of. They are allowed to purchase a condominium unit provided that the ownership will not exceed 40% of the total number of units in the Building. But here is the trick, if you are a foreigner desiring to own a property more than the allowed number of percentage of ownership, all you have to do is to enter into a lease contract. You may rent as much as you want and as many units as you can up to fifty years. Thereafter, you may extend it for another twenty five years and do the same process over and over again. Have you seen the point? Isn't it the same as you purchased the property? Besides, you will be very lucky if you are still alive by the time of renewal of contract after fifty years.
An Ideal House – How Should This Mean To You
By Michael Sta. Ana
When you hear the word “Ideal”, there must be a clearer and a bigger picture that usually pops up in your mind—whether this is something that you want to achieve or might be dreaming about. This may sound subjective though—what’s “ideal” for you might not sound right for others.
This time, we’ll think about the objective part more as we tackle a specific topic—your ideal house. You might say, “Ahh, I already know what you are about to discuss here”. And yeah, you start to imagine how this should look like. But I’m concerned because you might be missing some things that are very important.
A house is the physical foundation of a healthy family life; thus, one must put in his greatest efforts in achieving what should be the “ideal”. In this article, I came up with some relevant factors that you might consider in buying or building your ideal house.
An ideal house should have enough space to promote good health and well-being
Due to the country’s problem with overpopulation and overcrowding, this factor has sometimes been overlooked by house owners and house finders. In lieu of the city life, they might end up choosing a dwelling place that could be affordable yet provide a small space for the family to move around. Inadequate living space commonly results to poor ventilation (that may speed up the transmission of communicable disease), inadequate lighting, increased indoor heat, and increased humidity that can trigger the growth of molds that can be harmful to the family’s health.
An ideal house should be safe and accident free
Secondary to health promotion, safety regulations and standards should also be considered in building a house. A house that is poorly designed and constructed may result in accidents like slips and falls, burns and scalds and even drowning and electric shock.
An ideal house should be away from environmental hazards and pollutants
Houses that are built near factories, industrial plants and near a busy road can also be a threat to the residence’s respiratory health. The toxic combustion from these environmental pollutant contributors that one might inhale can result in many cardiopulmonary diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary diseases (COPD), heart ailments and even cancer.
Houses that are built near contaminated rivers, lakes or any location which has a poor water sanitation system can also be hazardous. An individual can be at risk for any waterborne diseases like typhoid fever, dysentery, and diarrhea.
An ideal house should be equipped with amenities that promote growth and normal family life
An ideal house should not only provide a place where the family can sleep or eat. It should also include a room for social activities and recreation. A living room to receive guests and a room dedicated for family gatherings and activities could be excellent. A house with a garden where you can grow some vegetables, fruit trees and flowering plants can also be a great source of relaxation against the stress of day-to-day living.
An ideal house should always have a stable sense of privacy and security
A house that is situated within or near a place that harassment and crime rates are high, can be mentally and emotionally traumatic for both women and children. If a house in case is not located inside an exclusive village that is guarded by a strict security system, it should somehow be situated within a neighborhood that has a good community record when it comes to maintaining safety and security within the area.
A house which lacks privacy can also be stressful. In living conditions where some facilities are meant to be shared with strangers (e.g. public bathrooms) can be disrupting and very uncomfortable too.
Finding an ideal house to build an ideal family can be so hard; however, it’s going to be more complicated when these factors are not being taken into consideration. Real estate companies are now becoming more concerned about how should an ideal dwelling place must look like. For an instance, here in Baguio City, Real Estate Baguio focuses more about their costumers’ housing needs, making sure that all these factors are not being neglected. They visualize a happy home for each customer that they are serving, while focusing to their mission of providing the best choices of houses that are available.
Some of the great, affordable, ideal houses that are available here in Baguio City
Baguio City is one of the Philippines’ most ideal places to live in. And Real Estate Baguio could be your best guide in finding and building your dream house here.
Stewart (2003) Housing and Health, Environmental Health and Housing (1)
Balchin et.al (1998), Environmental Health and Housing, Housing: The Essential Foundations (1) p. 209
Clark (2002) Environmental Wellness, Health Promotion in Communities: Holistic and Wellness Approaches (1), p. 262