An 18-year old’s thoughts on SMDC cutting down so many Pine trees in Baguio City
I have so many unposted photos from my travels up North back in December and a lot of them were taken in Baguio and I think now is the right time to post some of them. Ive been coming to Baguio every year of my life because it’s so close to my province, La Union. I used to live there for about a few weeks to a month for summer vacation because we had a house up in the mountain.
I remember waking up in the morning and just sipping from a hot cup of Swiss Miss looking at the breathtaking view of the sunrise. The way the sun’s rays highlighted the pine trees was just so beautiful. I used to not like the beach (scary sea, sharks, annoying sand, etc.) so I always loved going up North to Baguio because it had an entirely different view and atmosphere.
It broke my heart when I first learned about the construction of SM City Baguio years ago. My family and I were all, quite violently, against it. It not only cut down the trees but it also caused so many big ukay ukay stores and local stores to close because of the SM department store and the mainstream fastfood chains and more known restaurants conveniently located in the mall.
The wonderfully simple city of Baguio suddenly had a disturbing urbanized feel. It used to be a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila and promoted a simple countryside lifestyle but then there was this huge ugly SM mall that was built right in the heart of Baguio near the iconic Session Road. Heck, even Session Road is losing its old character and is slowly transforming into just another busy street filled with shops that could be easily found anywhere in Manila.
It would’ve been great if SM designed the mall to suit Baguio. I don’t know if SM is stupid but what they just did is make it air condition-free thinking that’s the only thing they should do to come off as environment-friendly. I’ve only visited the mall twice and swore to never step in it again.
They should stop trying to ‘beautify’ Baguio by putting up more big ugly establishments such as huge malls. Baguio does not need a big slab of cement on its mountains. Why not build more family parks or renovate existing ones? Last time I checked Mine’s View Park hardly gave a view of the mountains, now you could only see roofs of the hundreds of houses that were built. Instead of building ‘artificial’ attractions why don’t they show the real beauty Baguio has to offer? Such a shame how the local government of Baguio allowed this to happen.
[above are photos of the view you'll encounter while going up Kennon Road leading to Baguio City]
I‘d just like to clarify that I’m just an 18-year old who has an opinion on this issue. I may not have all the facts –I actually hate publishing my writing online because I know I am terrible at it– but I’m just speaking from my heart. I know they’re not building a mall but a condominium but if they couldn’t build a mall that was Baguio-friendly how could they build an environment-friendly condominium? High-rise establishments are, in my opinion, certainly not needed up in the mountains. Go to other countries and see how they developed their cities even the countryside, you’ll see how they incorporate the beauty of nature into their designs. Baguio is very dear to me, it’s my other home and I just don’t want it to become another ugly polluted city like many cities in Metro Manila.
Hopefully this time SMDC will try to make the lot a suitable establishment in Baguio. But seeing how many of these beautiful trees (that take so many years to grow!) are being cut down, I really doubt it.
**this is how I came across the issue: http://watwatworld.com/?p=2172**
*some shots were taken with film