As the sun goes down and the last embers of its wake fades to blue, tiny lights flicker on one after another from the houses that sits on across Baguio City’s hills. Evening arrives and everything starts to glow; the hills, totally illuminated by houses twinkling like Christmas lights on December nights.
Fanciful as these seems, these light display has a not so good side to it. It is an indicator how urbanized the city has now become. The hills that were once lush with pines are now replaced by rows upon rows of houses. And their destructive growth seemed unstoppable.
Come morning, what was magical just a few hours ago reveals its true colors. Residential houses, towering buildings, stacked one after another, totally overpowering the greens of Baguio City. The city had indeed paid the price of development, I just hope that it is not too late and the government’s doing something about it. Proper zoning, green architecture (albeit unconventional and expensive), and development moderation are all part of the solution for this crisis, but rehabilitation would take generations before the city is brought back to its old green-covered state.
Like a Mecca of sorts, Baguio City is almost always spoken with reverence among the Filipinos; let’s hope measures are taken for it to stay that way.