Saturday, November 10, 2012


You stare at the board and analyze the situation - if only you can get that bishop in position. You realize that there's a way, but you will have to sacrifice a precious rook. You think about it longer before finally making your move.

One definition of sacrifice, according to Merriam-Webster, is "destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else." One thing for another. Benigno Aquino risked his life, and lost it, so did Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Macli'ing Dulag, Gomez, Burgos and Zamora, and others. Around two thousand years ago, a man was crucified.

And the world, despite all that is wrong in it now, is a better one than the day before each one of them breathed their last on that tarmac, in Bagumbayan or up in the mountains of Cavite or the Cordilleras or on a cross in Golgotha.

We all are faced with the same opportunity to make sacrifices to make this world, our country, our community, our home, a better place. And it doesn't always mean laying down one's life - it could be as simple as sacrificing a few seconds to let a pedestrian cross the road safely and without fear, or a few extra steps up the road to get to the garbage can.

I believe that Baguio needs, and is ready, for a paradigm shift. It needs to change the path it has been forced to take in the last two decades - the path that leads to environmental destruction, and from there, to urban decay. And from there, the end of Baguio as a fully developed city in harmony with its natural environment.

And there are people who can make that change. But sadly, the same people who can make that change are the very same people who can prevent the dream of a better Baguio from being realized. 

A lot of people have asked us, why only Luneta Hill? Why are you singling out SM City Baguio expansion issue when there are so many others that effect our city today? Why they don't realize is that the Save 182 movement came to be because of the trees on Luneta Hill. Individually, we have different views, persuasions, aspirations - but in those 182 trees we found a common ground, a common cause. That common cause is what bound us together, what caused us to set aside whatever differences we have and unite to do what we can to save the trees on Luneta Hill, and along with it our city's welfare, heritage and dignity. and that's why we're still here.

In the case of two persons whom I believe can make that change in the city, I am hoping that they can find it in their hearts to set aside what separates them and focus on what unites them. Apart, their supporters will continue to hurl mud against each other, all that mud in fact directed at both of them, weakening both their chances. Apart, they will each cause their individual campaigns to fail, and their failure may be the failure of Baguio to rise up from the ravages of the last two decades.

They each believed in each other at one point, otherwise they wouldn't have joined forces not so long ago. Each one of them knew deep in their hearts what was good for Baguio, and that it's them who can deliver that good.

They may keep the status quo and give reason for the vision for a better Baguio slowly fade away with each slander, lie, criticism, etc. hurled by their respective camps at each the other. Keep a divide between those two supporters, and they both lose, and Baguio loses with them. But together, united by a common cause, they can lead Baguio on its way to recovery come June 30, 2013. 

They don't need to stand beside each other and raise each other's hands in an awkward photo-op. They don't need to become friends again. In fact, they can remain enemies - but enemies with decency, honor and respect for each other... and for themselves.

What really is the sacrifice needed here to give hope to this once beautiful city that's been ravaged by greed and a corrupt political system? Nothing much... nobody needs to face a firing squad nor be nailed to a cross. Just ego - the destruction or surrender of it for the sake of Baguio.  

At the end of the day, what's a rook when in the end it results in a check mate and you win the game?

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