BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Baguio Bureau) – First, it was Boracay that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered closed for rehabilitation. Next up is Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines.
The annual Holy Week trek to this mountain resort has begun. Thousands upon thousands of lowlanders go up to Baguio to escape the summer heat and to experience a breath of fresh and cool air that the city is famous for.
But alas, many visitors may not find what they’re looking for. Gone is the scent of pine trees. Gone are the sunflowers that adorn the facade of the city’s mountains and hills. Traffic has become a nightmare, and pollution has become an everyday occurence. Visitors can expect a short supply of water and electricity. It’s an environmental disaster.
So today, Holy Monday, President Duterte ordered the closure of Baguio City and gave local officials 60 days to rehabilitate this once-upon-a-time R&R haven for the U.S. military.
The closure begins Monday after Easter Sunday.
So if you’re in Baguio now, make the most of it. Unless you’re a city resident, this may be your last chance to go horseback-riding, shopping for fresh vegetables and strawberries, and wearing the sweater that’s been kept in your closet all year round.