Beyond Carrot Man: Issues that matter to Baguio and Cordillera

Rappler.com
Beyond Carrot Man: Issues that matter to Baguio and Cordillera
Netizens who admire the 21-year-old farmer from Bauko, Mountain Province talk about local concerns including agriculture, environment, and culture

MANILA, Philippines – Carrot Man, the newest Internet sensation to sweep the country, is unwittingly bringing the issues of his region to the fore. 

Netizens who admire the 21-year-old farmer from Bauko, Mountain Province are now talking about local concerns including agriculture, environment, and culture.

In a Twitter conversation facilitated by MovePH on Sunday, February 28, netizens shared how other indigenous farmers like Carrot Man are dealing with poverty in the region. 

The conversation also tackled how Baguio City, which is geographically within Cordillera, is being threatened by rapid urbanization.

 

Baguio is known as the Summer Capital of the country because of its inviting weather loved by both foreign and local tourists. Cordillera, on the other hand, is known for its rich indigenous culture, heritage, and natural resources.

 

Disintegrating culture 

Netizens noted how infrastructure and commerce have drastically engulfed the city’s green landscape over the years. Poor city planning and weak implementation of environmental laws have also contributed to Baguio’s fading beauty, netizens added. 

Instagram user skylarmcv cited another example – the case of Tamawan Village, which is located on the outskirts of Baguio.

“What happened to the pine trees, greenery that the tourists came for? There should be a long-term plan for urban development alongside maintaining the tourist (attractions) and traditional spots like in Korea or Japan,” she added.

Worse, various indigenous communities across the region and their ancestral lands are being threatened by destructive industries like large-scale mining.

Netizens who joined the conversation echoed the same sentiment, adding that these issues extend to the rest of the region. 

Parking lot in Banaue

Meanwhile, Twitter user Neen Sapallo specifically complained about a pending proposal by the municipal government to build a 7-storey parking lot.

Aiming to strengthen the town’s tourism industry, the project proposes to replace the old two-storey trade center building in the town.

According to Sapallo, projects like this are implemented at the expense of the region’s culture.

But Mon Corpuz disagreed, saying that the project could be viewed as a positive initiative.

“Major infrastructure (projects) are underway in Banaue-Batad-Mayoyao. Haven’t seen this in 8 years of visiting Ifugao,” Corpuz added.

Corpuz, however, stressed that it is important to involve affected communities in consultations and inform them about the impact of tourism on their communities.

#PHVote

With elections just around the corner, netizens who participated in the Twitter conversation stressed the importance of discussing solutions to the problems affecting Cordillera. They also challenged candidates to offer a clear vision and platform on tourism and environment protection. 

MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, will be holding a #PHVote forum in Baguio to discuss these issues that matter to voters in Baguio and Cordillera. (READ: MovePH brings #TheLeaderIWant forum to Baguio!)

Join us. Get your tickets here– Raisa Serafica/Rappler.com  

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