Chi Balmaceda Gutierrez on the Uglification of Baguio

Chi Balmaceda Gutierrez gives us some background on the “uglification” of Baguio. Chi has a blog here and a photo site here. Thanks Chi for sharing your thoughts on this issue.
Chi Balmaceda Gutierrez:
When Steve Hamada coined the word ‘uglification’ for the Skylandnews — (which was popularized later by his cousin Jack Cariño, Skylandnews publisher, for the 2007 elections) — the term didn’t at all pertain to the congestion of Baguio per se.

What was being alluded to, first and foremost, was the proliferation of kitsch (objects/realities/ manifestations borne out of taste worse than “baduy.” Bad-uy, take note of the etymology. Ha-ha).

Precisely, both of them meant it as “the over-commercialization of every single square meter of land in the city.” (Go figure the implications, greed, even corruption…).

Moreover, the basic challenge relies in the sensibilities of people governing the city for the longest time. Dominant among those elected are lawyers irredeemably steeped in legalese.

Just ask yourselves Jack’s election ditty: “Where have all the flowers gone?” and re-think your own roles in the life cycle of a single bud of flower or tree.

It’s a shame that lowland La Union’s Botanical Garden and Ilocos provinces plazas are better off than Baguio’s. That’s how most Baguio residents have taken for granted the mountain town’s splendid natural gifts.

Just because the prototype Metro Development models are creating blunders doesn’t mean the same experiences would be replicated. The Hundred Monkey Phenomenon would be put to shame if that happens again and again.

The bottomline at the end of the day is the kind of consciousness pervading the so-called critical mass.

RELATED POST: On the Uglification of Baguio; Anonymous Reader on the Uglification of Baguio. PHOTO CREDIT:

15 thoughts on “Chi Balmaceda Gutierrez on the Uglification of Baguio”

  1. It’s also a shame and deplorable that CBG (Chi) compares the Botanicals of La Union/Ilocos and Baguio. True IBaguio’s knows the biggest and unending problems it’s facing is migration.
    In a very simple laity’s term, without these poor uneducated people trekking to our city, add these thousands of students, and the Korean invasion, it’s chaos especially they don’t give a damn about the city’s ecology. Now, move these groups of people to the lowlands and see what happens.
    Most Baguio residents care about their city, don’t take those sentiments away from them and don’t blame them.
    Let’s direct our focus to local politicians who can help. Stop the migration! Goodhealth….

  2. Should we then also stop the migration of Filipinos abroad? Cordillerans stay in cordillera, Ilocanos stay in Ilocos, Filipinos stay in the Philippines, Caucasians give back Australia and the Americas to the natives??

    If these migrants apparently don’t give a damn about the local ecology, it’s because we locals have been complacent…We’ve lost a sense of social responsibility and both sides have been at fault.

  3. For me uglification of baguio lay on the hands of can’t say they are un-educated..this squatters study all their rights before is as simple as ABC and 123 pag nakahanap ka ng butas para manalo sa squatting then you are the ace..look at upper pinget which is considered water shed is now a living haven for the squatters.

  4. And i couldn’t deny that we bought some land in pinget which cost 250 thousand at that time and now? 1.5 million..gustong bilhin ng instsik pero “Tuyo Ka” squatters already in pinget are being awarded the land just like Gibraltar before in 2004 which president arroyo gave them the “titulo”

  5. No more this and that, if you ask me.

    Just Think Baguio City in the year 2020. What do you want it to look, feel, hear,smell, like?

    From there work backwards on what key things you want to convince others to commit towards…

    Assess what can realistically be done TOGETHER to move forward in the next two years, five years…

    What must be sacrificed and what is worth sacrificing for?

    Other places maintain what they have by the process of gentrification, others by dictatorship. What can Baguio afford for a process?

    Others just leave … and look for that “kasla-Baguio” fix elsewhere.

  6. Migration of Filipinos abroad is centered based on economy, big cash for both RP and host country, countless number of fees, visas, passports, flight expenses, etc….
    Host countries can deny anyone entry also.
    Migration to Baguio is FREE! That’s the big difference. A poor husband and wife with six, eight or 10 kids with nothing on their back can simply trek to this once Great Looking Mountain Resort. Find a cozy place, build a shanty, and presto. A certified Baguio resident na, and mostly likely will not be caught.
    Just look at the sorry ass state of the Lions head area of Kennon Road, there’s about 20, 30 shanties alone in that vicinity alone.
    The suggestion that Cordillerans stay in Cordillera, white turds give back their countries to the natives, why not?, If I had the magic wand, I’ll do it. Same as the Ibalois and Kankanaeys keeping Baguio and Benguet, let them have it. It’s the Carino’s land anyway.
    How they acquired such vast of land is beyond me. Never heard of any family in the whole cordilleras
    claiming, that bilig is mine, this bilig is mine, that hectares of land is mine, only in Benguet so something is remise in that part of history.
    As far as being complacent and laid back, I think only a fraction is in that group, and most are pissed off, that’s why they will be voting different mayor who does not deliver.
    To me, migration is the root cause of most of Baguio’s problems. And as Mr Bilig always say, we just have to agree and disagree. It’s only commentary nothing less.
    Ooohh, one more thing, Sagada resembles Baguio in many ways. Local officials better be vigilant as to who is building their “kalapao” sa tabi-tabi or secluded areas. Cheers. Manana es utra dia…..

  7. Well, the bottom line is we are overpopulated kasi. Wherever you go in the world, the pressures of population will be knocking on your doorstep.

    I´m waiting to be deported back to Baguio under this immigration scheme of yours. 😀

    Otherwise, I take the approach that humans have the right to live up to their full potential anywhere in the world. If the Cordillerans only stayed in the Cordilleras, the world will have been a boring place etc. etc… Cultural and economic migration is important.

    And as citizens, we have a responsibility to help these poor people. Imagine nalang if you were in their shoes. They come to the cities also for economic reasons the same way that nurses go abroad.

    But I agree with you. Anyone who comes to one place as a migrant then fails to respect the laws and culture of that place or doesn’t work hard to contribute to that place’s growth is a leech.


  8. Yes, Baguio is quite populated and if the local gov’t doesn’t take a hardline stand on this issue, it will get worst. The town of Rizal, Kalinga is a reality check.
    I don’t dispute the notion that anyone has the right to live anywhere but must be done legally.
    Believe me, I grew up constantly rooting for the underdogs in life and the plight of the less fortunate is living in me. Wish I can do something for all of them but I’m just a very helpless Mother Teresa.
    But the lack of sanity by these poor parents that continue to have many children knowing they can’t afford
    their welfare is just mystifying. I had the privileged before of asking a couple “apay ngay Manong nga nagadu ti annak yo?” There was no hesitation, in fact, both had the audacity to tell me “naimas ti luto ni apo dios ading!” Like it was a joke to them not knowing the grim reality ahead should one of their kids get really sick. How many of these kinds are actually living in Baguio, to me, thousands!
    In my final analysis, most of these downtroddens should also help themselves, less children, find work and not be a burden to the city. This is where local elected officials must step in and do something, these people are already in our mountain resort. Spend the money for the people and huwag namang bulsa ng bulsa. My two cents became a short story again. Sorry Sir Bill. One last note: Mag-Mayor ka na ng Sagada, sikat kana sa blogsphere, so Sagada will not become Baguio. Cheers and goodhealth…..

  9. Yes, mahirap talaga pag walang population control and the church always blocks any practical efforts to educate everyone.

    As always, kahit deny to death pa ang simbahan, we Filipinos love to fuck a lot. Tingnan mo nalang yung mga members ng couples for christ na mahigit tatlo ang anak..D

    Ni lakay Bill, mayor ti sadaga? mabalin ag pa-appoint?

  10. Hi Trublue, Nats, Nashman, and Anonymous
    Great discussion you have here. Hindi na ako nakisawsaw hehehe. Anyway, to quote Trublue quoting me (quoting someone else), let’s just agree to disagree.

    Hey, Trublue don’t give me foolish ideas. Besides, I’d rather be a philosopher than a king. Naks hehe.

    Nashman, yup we are living up to being flips (f… little island people), a derogatory term imposed on us by those GIs. i learned the meaning of that term from Wil, by the way.

    Sika ketdin ti agtaray ti Mayor ti Baguio. Matatakot si Peter Rei sa inyo 🙂

    To quote Trublue, cheers everyone.

  11. Ha? I nevers knews that. I don’t take “flips” as derogatory. I think we’re past that stage….I kinda like being Flipinoy kasi naman, “flip” is cool and hip while if I stuck with “Filip”-ino parang colonial dahil nga King Philip…

    Ganyan naman ang civilised society, we agree-disagree but we dont kill or hurt each other…maganda nga na merong disagreement…

  12. @Nashman, my post on the use of the term “flips” is found here. You are, of course, free to disagree with my opinion, as always. Cheers!

  13. I use flip the way i use the term ‘chinks’ or ‘tsekwa’ to my chinese friends.

    I use it as a term of affection and self-deprecation

    If other people use it in a derogatory way, that’s their problem. I can’t feel sorry for their ignorance diba?

    It’s the same way when someone is openly racist against me not in a humorous context, it reflects on the racist rather than me. (I love it when non-Pinoys do pinoy humor! It means they are paying attention. When Howard Stern or Silverman does it, I laugh so hard because tama naman observations nila…)

  14. Hi Kris,
    My apologies but I have to delete your comment which you yourself admitted is a racist one. Racism whether practiced against us or practiced by us has no place in this blog.

    I don’t think we can fight racism by becoming racist ourselves. It is very tempting to fight racism with our own version (reverse racism) but this will only create bigger problems. More importantly, and in relation to the discussion, it will not solve the problems of Baguio which, I think, are much too complicated such that I don’t think it is fair to put all the blame on our brothers and sisters from the lowlands.

    Anyway, as I mentioned when I deleted the comments in the Julia Campbell post (where a commenter was making racist remarks against Ifugaos), I really would like the discussions here to be free flowing but I would not hesitate to delete comments if they cross a line. Racism, for me, crosses that line.

    Again, my apologies. Rest assured that I continue to value your participation in the discussions here.

  15. Note: Above anonymous comment was deleted because it is a direct personal attack against someone. I might tolerate those kinds of comments if directed against public officials but not against private individuals. And if you do have valid gripes against certain private persons, it is best to take it up directly with them. Please let’s keep the discussions here civil.

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