Baguio frontliner recovers from COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 6, 2020   •   354

Doctors, nurses, and other staff at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) erupted in cheers as a frontliner was discharged after recovering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The victory is even sweeter when they have to celebrate the recovery of a colleague, a fellow frontliner, a friend.

Jonover David, 33 years old, is among the frontliners who had to face the same virus they are fighting against.

“Ito iyong graduation na hindi ako nag-aral, pero ito iyong graduation na iniyakan ko talaga (This is the graduation I did not study for, but this is the graduation that brought me to tears),” he said.

Jonover is a CCU nurse at BGHMC and has been caring for people in the frontlines. He tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted on April 15. He said his personal battle against the virus was not easy, but he was glad to have faced it with his colleagues.

“Hindi ko na-feel na pinandirihan ako. Hindi nila pinaramdam sa akin na kailangan akong i-blame. Bagkus ay inalagaan pa nila ako, (I never felt discriminated. They did not make me feel that I was to blame, instead they took care of me),” he said.

For Jonovan, the battle for him is not yet over. Once he is given the clearance, he would gladly return to the frontlines. AAC

Baguio City welcomes 2021 with light show

Robie de Guzman   •   January 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Baguio City held a drone show featuring different formations and light display to usher in the year 2021.

The city government said it held the drone light show on the evening of December 31 as an alternative to the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, which was earlier banned by the local government.

The drone light show was held at the Melvin Jones Grandstand with limited number of allowed viewers and strict adherence to the health protocols. It was also shown live on the city’s Facebook page so that other residents can view it.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier said the show would cost P6.1 million but the organizer did it for free as their way of helping revive the local tourism industry.

A live band performance was also held to entertain the limited number of people who went to the grandstand to physically watch the activities.

Meanwhile, most of the hotels in the city closed down on the eve of December 31 due to low tourism arrivals amid the pandemic.

According to the City Tourism Office, only around 5,000 tourists visited the City of Pines for the holidays, which is lower than the 100,000 visitors recorded in 2019. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Grace Doctolero)

Baguio City to reopen night market Dec. 11

Robie de Guzman   •   December 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Baguio City is set to resume the operations of its night market on December 11, Thursday with stricter safety measures, the city government said.

The local government said Mayor Benjamin Magalong has approved the reopening of the night market along Harrison Road, a few days after he ordered it shuttered due to lapses in crowd control.

To better manage the crowd this time, the city government said it has divided the night market into four sections and 60 uniformed personnel will be deployed to enforce crowd control and health protocols.

Only two entry points will be opened in the market area.

Baguio Market Supervisor Fernando Ragma Jr. said police officers in the area have been tasked to strictly monitor and apprehend those who will not abide by the health standards such as social distancing and the wearing of face mask and face shield.

“By this time severely we will implement na, kaya sabi namin sa mga vendors huwag na lang kayong magbenta kung hindi ninyo kayang displinahin ang inyong sarili at ang inyong mga costumer kase pag nahuli, P3,000 po ang first offense niyan, tapos kapag indibidwal P500,” Ragma said.

The night market’s reopening is part of the city government’s attempt to revive the local economy and tourism, as well as restore the livelihood of those heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Kapag bukas ang night market, maraming magta-taxI or may sasakyan, kokonsumo yan ng gasolina or krudo so mabubuhay din yung energy sector. Kung maraming nagtitinda jan tulad sa foods, bibili sila sa market,” Ragma said.

“Maski ‘yung mga porters, ‘yung mga comboy’s na walang trabaho babalik ho diyan makikinabang din po sila. Marami po binubuhay ang night market aside yung sa turismo natin na gustong gustong puntahan yan dahil mura ang mga paninda diyan,” he added.

The city’s public information office said the night market will be open from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Marvin Calas)

Baguio City suspends night market run due to crowd control lapses

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 2, 2020

The Baguio City government has suspended the operation of the night market after apparent lapses in crowd control.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong already ordered a post-night market assessment to evaluate the incident. The night market was reopened on Tuesday (December 1) as part of the city’s plan to reopen the economy and restore the livelihood of the displaced vendors affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Magalong, however, stressed that reopening businesses should not mean sacrificing the health and safety of the people.

“We must strike a balance between reopening the economy and safeguarding the health and safety of the people. This is our new normal direction,” he said.

City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias and Market superintendent Fernando Ragma Jr. are set to identify weak points and vulnerabilities in the night market area and discuss solutions. AAC

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