Saturday, October 26, 2013

Commending Domogan

This might come as a surprise to some people, but I do want to commend our mayor for a job well done at the public market, which has always been my favorite place to visit in Baguio City. I have been away for most of the last couple of months and couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I went to market the other day.

First stop, the fish and meat section and I was surprised to see the road going down towards the Baguio City Market Superintendent’s Office completely cleared of illegal vendors. Market goers walked around easily, not having to squeeze themselves in between Divisoria wares and ­ukay-ukay garments spread on the pavement.

From there, I walked up towards Hilltop, usually stopping briefly at that side-street on the left, the only place where I can get salmon. My children dread entering that street when they come with me to the market – aside from salmon, that’s also where one can find meats that perhaps not even a seasoned chef would be able to identify. I always thought that perhaps after the choice cuts are delivered to the meat section, all the other parts go to this area. And while I did miss the out-of-this-world tableau worthy of a scene in a macabre film or novel, having so much breathing space and clean walkways blew me away. Even the passageway at the ukay-ukay alley had much more space now.

I turn towards the new blocks on the block – were those blocks 3 and 4? – which were really nicely laid out and organized. Plus I discovered a new place where one can stop for a quick bite or even a full meal that looked really clean and the sight of igado, dinardaraan and dinakdakan almost made me forget that I had to get home in time to cook dinner. I walked on down towards the hangar market to get my fresh highland produce, reminding myself to return for that pickaxe I saw at the tools section, I need that for the garden.

Not much salad leaves at the hangar the other day, and the ones available didn’t look very good and were very expensive. Still, I got a handful each of ice lettuce, lollo rosso and romaine. Stocked up on garlic, onions and tomatoes too and got a bit of fresh basil and some coriander.

We still had coffee, so I walked past my suki to get some chicken for pinikpikan, and after that, a coconut for gata and unsweetened peanut butter for kare-kare. And with my bayong full of ice cream containers that I use to put meats and fish, reusable bags for the vegetables, I walked up the pedestrian overpass to cross towards Malcolm Square to wait for my jeep home.

With that, I have to give it to the man in City Hall, Mayor Mauricio Domogan, for doing a good job of cleaning and clearing up the market. I surely hope that we can keep the market this way. See, Sir, I simply write about what I see around me – bad or good. This time, it was something really good, and you deserve to be congratulated.

It took me more than an hour to get a ride home, so now I hope that instituting positive reforms in the city’s public transportation system is also in the mayor’s plans. Let’s talk about that next week.

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