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Love Dumaguete


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I have made Dumaguete my home since 1956, when I came to study at Silliman University.

This City is a far cry in many aspects, compared to Davao City where I grew up since my family moved there from Iloilo City after World War II in 1947.

With the passing of the years, and the changing of the guards at City Hall, a lot of good (and bad) changes have since happened. There was a time when this City was clean, peaceful, and beautiful.

However, I cannot say the same thing about it right now.

Try taking a tour of the City…what do you see? From the airport, the wharf, or the Ceres bus station, what do you see along the way that sparks joy in your heart?

In some cities like Davao, you can see a gardener tending to the plants on the island of the road, a street sweeper cleaning (in Davao, work in the streets start at 10 in the evening to get them ready for the next day), or bougainvilleas and orchids in bloom.

Traffic in other cities is orderly because they have traffic lights — which, until now, remains a dream in our City — prompting a visitor to comment: “Ano, wala kayong traffic lights dito?!” (Tanjay City, 30 kilometers north from here, and Bayawan City, more than a hundred kilometers south, have beaten us to it.)

Have you tried walking around the City streets? In some areas, there is an overgrowth of trees, vines, and other plants, you can’t walk on the space intended for pedestrians.

Some electric wires are weighed down by overgrown bougainvilleas, vines, and trees.

Stray dogs roam freely, endangering the motorists, especially motorbikers. And several more even roam the main thoroughfare downtown at night. I don’t know if this bothers the City Pound located in barangay Camanjac.

In short, there are a number of things which affect the health, happiness, and well-being of the citizens of our City, which the Dumaguete executives need to look into urgently.

What can we in the community do to help the local government? We can start taking a second look at our home and our surroundings.

I remember there used to be The Four o’clock Habit wherein the proponents encouraged the people to start cleaning their yards by 4 in the afternoon, or after siesta. Maybe we can resume such habit?

We can also beautify our respective front yards and  lawns. In Bohol, even small nipa huts have a clean yard and blooming flower garden… like there was a contest in the barangay.

We can be responsible pet owners by keeping our cats and dogs inside our compound, and by having them vaccinated against rabies.

We can help improve Quezon Park by adding flowering plants, a butterfly sanctuary/garden, or a collection of orchids in one corner.

Is it too much to expect Dumaguete’s Chief Executive and the Barangay Captains to make the rounds of the City, and mandate and lead in the clean-up?

We need discerning eyes filled with creativity that can envision the kind of clean, peaceful, and beautiful Dumaguete that we all desire.

Can we help the homeless in our City? I have yet to read a report of the National Housing Authority providing public housing for the homeless.

Can we also help the seniors who can barely help themselves? I see senior citizens in a dismal state begging around our City. Does the City have a feeding program? Some people are not able to have three meals a day, and I am sure the malnutrition rate of children poses a serious problem as well.

I hope these observations can be taken seriously by those who are in power, and in a position to do something for their constituents.

Because of my deep love and concern for Dumaguete, developed through 67 years of living here, I cannot continue to ignore the various unfortunate instances anybody can observe around here. May God bless all of us!


Author’s email: [email protected]





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