This is how Baguio residents respond to Christmas weekend ‘carmageddon’

Frank Cimatu
This is how Baguio residents respond to Christmas weekend ‘carmageddon’
(UPDATED) One jeepney driver plying the Tomay-Baguio route decides to give free rides since starting Monday, December 23

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – During this holidays, there is a meme of former Miss Universe Catriona Gray, announcing, “Asan ang 104 million Filipinos ngayong Pasko?” (Where are the 104 million Filipinos this Christmas?) And then below it, “Nasa Baguio!” (In Baguio!) 

It may be a hyperbole, but Baguio City was held on a standstill during this Christmas weekend. 

In fact, many of the lowland tourists did not only come up to Baguio, but thousands actually spent their Christmas here. 

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio announced that all the hotels and inns had been fully booked since November.  

Many have decided to stay in Burnham Park and other public parks, using their vans and cars as their sleeping place. 

Baguio residents, used to tourists coming during weekends, endured the long jeepney queues. But they also became testy, as one Facebook video showed, when some tourists tried to jump the line. 

Baguio residents are known to be patient to a fault and hospitable. 

One jeepney driver plying the Tomay-Baguio route decided to give free rides starting Monday, December 23. 

Another Baguio resident, Roy Anaas, said that he was early for an appointment last Monday, and decided to post on Facebook to offer free rides to people with babies in tow along Session Road. 

Anaas said that he was able to ferry many of them. 

“I’m sorry but I have to refuse the cash you’re giving me,” he said. 

Other residents also volunteered to bring home tourists and residents, but they didn’t know where to park. 

The city also sent a tourist bus to ferry people along the City Hall area.

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong also welcomed the initiative of the Cordillera Motorcycle Riders Federation Inc to offer free “angkas” to passengers traveling within Baguio City from Saturday, December 28, to Monday, December 30. –  

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