On September 1, Baguio City will be 100 years old. Below is an editorial, entitled ‘A dream for Baguio’, printed on the March 18, 1958 issue of the Baguio Midland Courier. After reading it, I marveled at two things: (1) Wow, 50 years ago the city was referred to as ‘brimming’ already and yet today it is still alive albeit worse (2) What in the world happened in those 50 years, why is Baguio still not better?
Also, going through the archives, I found out that Japan gave Baguio City cherry trees in the 1950s. And that the city had a zoo (at the Botanical and Zoological Park, now just Botanical Park, soon to be Baguio City Centennial Park). But the trees and some animals (a bear and a sea turtle) died because of alleged neglect.
(I have to digress though, personally I think this city is still heartbreakingly beautiful, but yes it needs help, so there.)
Anyway, here is the editorial.
There may be some plan or design which the growth of Baguio is following. We know only of the old Burnham plan, so-called. Perhaps in some secret file, or in somebody’s head, there must be some such plan or design.
It is helpful that a young architect, Baguio-born, though not forthrightly and positively, keeps reminding us that there should be some outline or program, a vision now, of the Baguio to be. For, aside from the Burnham plan, which to all appearnances is simply ignored, there is no other plan. And yet Baguio is growing every day, this way and that, without direction.
Were there such a concrete plan, definitely adopted, then some order would be followed in the approval for the application of public lots being distributed. There would be some order in the approval of applications for building permits. As it is, there is only confusion.
Joseph Alabanza is doing a yeoman’s job, calling public attention to the real and serious need of city-planning for Baguio. We have a local planning board. There is a proposed building code. But no plan yet. We need one in a hurry and we do not know where to pull it out.
Let us get busy about this thing, or we shall wake up one day to find a city bursting in our hands because we did not know what to do with it in the first place.