Baguio City has long been the center of culture, arts, food, and beautiful sceneries. It is a place rich in traditional and modern cultures from both the locals and foreigners. The traditional customs were mixed with the modern and pop culture producing a culture solely unique to Baguio City.
Foreigners and locals alike go to this city in the mountains to see and feel the cold weather that only a few places in the Philippines can offer. Some have even chosen to stay and live in this city.
Due to the numbers of tourist coming in and out, some behaviors and cultures have the tendency to be integrated and used by the people living in it.
In fact, not just 15 years ago Baguio City was not as developed as it is now. Cultures of the tribes are the dominant things you will see among the people and places. Nowadays, you can see establishments with Korean, Japanese, and Middle-Eastern languages displayed in front of them.
Races and cultures in the streets of Baguio
People are now used to eating Korean and Japanese foods. People are wearing traditional clothes of the Koreans and even celebrating special occasions to honor the Koreans. We even have a National Korean Day that we celebrate each year.
In schools, you can see Middle-Eastern people coming and out of the gates. Arabic, Nigerian, Sudanese, Africans in general, and even some European ones, you can see the lot of them talking and walking the streets as if they have been living for a long time there.
Streets and supermarkets are filled with families of different races and culture bumping shoulders with everyone.
Kimbap and Ramen have been a staple for most restaurants now.
In short, it is now a city of mixed races and culture. People are adapting quickly to the changes they are not even aware of. But if you are a resident, you know that in some way this bound to change or affect the real dynamics of the places.
The adverse effect of the advancement
Changes to the places and adaptation to the cultures may not have been a problem, but unseen to the public there are is a real danger to letting other races and culture to proliferate the city.
Some of them are as follows:
- Locals are being displaced off the properties that have long been theirs for generations.
- Trees are being cut down in favor of establishing buildings to cater to the growing number of tourists who are opting for an extended stay in the city.
- Food staples are being rearranged.
- Peoples’ behavior is being affected.
- Schools have to teach and use more languages in order to cater to the growing number of foreigners who are studying locally.
While all of these are good for business and exposure, in the long-term it will be bad for the environment and the local community. There is the hidden fear of people forgetting the truly local and traditional customs which will be replaced the more modern and international ones.
There is also the problem of overpopulation and weak waste-management resulting from that overpopulation.
But, it is even more heartbreaking to see the pure-blooded Igorots being used for tourist attraction. Because of the demand caused by the changes even the locals have become a commodity which should not be the case.
It might become much worse for the years and generations to come if not mitigated and a solution was not implemented.
Awareness for a change
Baguio City is just a small city on top of the mountains that people found to be too beautiful. Unfortunately, that beauty might have some drawbacks in the form of drastic change in the environment and culture.
And now, it is starting to reap the fruits of such changes.
But not all hope is lost, because by letting people know of the problem they might consider taking care of the place and the treasured local culture to be preserved.
It is good that we took joy in other races enjoying our cultures and beautiful places, but let us also preserved what is naturally ours so that the coming generations can still witness the cultures and traditions that other races have fallen in love with.