Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Save Baguio Athletic Bowl

When I was young, my father took me to Baguio Athletic Bowl to go jogging. I would make my way around the huge ring, vowing to complete at least two and a half laps. My ten-year old legs would not fail. A few years later, I would sit in the bleachers, cheering with 200 of my City High batch mates. Dressed and painted in bright colors seen even from the far end of the field, we shouted battle cries. The silent drill, in particular, required intense concentration. We clapped our hands and stomped our feet in perfect unison, forming elaborate patterns that would have looked impressive had anyone been watching from the sky.

Over at Baguio Insider, Lisa writes that the mayor and city council have approved a 25-year lease of the Athletic Bowl to a Korean company. The Koreans will pay P100,000 a month for twenty-five (25) years with a 10% increase after five (5) years. The deal was brokered within a short period of ten days, the city council neglecting to call a public hearing for such a bogus major proposal. Mayor Peter Rey Bautista signed the Memorandum of Agreement on December 11, 2009 and the council confirmed it on December 21. Easy money.

As part of their development plan, the shady Koreans propose to build a hotel and driving range (god, more golf) in the area they've supposedly leased. The mayor and a majority of the city council have allowed a group of people who do not know or love Baguio to ruin an outdoor recreation area that has been around for nearly a hundred years. Once again, they have betrayed Baguio and its people for a fat sum. They pimped out a landmark for campaign money, or whatever it is they got.

Athletic Bowl has seen better days, but its current state of disrepair is just another reflection of bad governance. Nevertheless, it is still a public park, which city officials cannot just rent out to the highest bidder. I hope May will be an opportunity to begin rectifying the damage from a string of poor administrations.

A Facebook page has been created to "save the baguio athletic bowl from the koreans."

2 seen below:

Aubrey said...

Amen to that. The whole thing is just another ploy to get money. Euphemized as "development." I may not be from Baguio, but I sure lived there for four years, and I had archery classes on that area and NO I DO NOT THINK THAT IT IS RIGHT TO DO THIS. Although, I think they "made" it right. Which is a total disaster. And to "rent" the place to those--those "people"! 25 years! It won't be the Athletic Bowl anymore, obviously. It would be more like a Korean hub or something, bringing in more Koreans to Baguio.

Kubi said...

Hello Aubrey! Yes, it really is taking away from the people who actually care about Baguio. It's sad that the leaders themselves find it so easy to ruin our City.

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