Road Revolution in Cebu Today

Missing Felimon’s “Suroy-Suroy” best describes Osmena Boulevard, Cebu City’s major road.

Ang kadalanan sa atong dakbayan

Gubot pa’s lukot basin ka’g maugmaan

One Cebuano friend once told me that Cebu’s streets are becoming the best place to stress our lungs, to drain our time, and perhaps to end our life.

But NOT today! In fact, Osmena Boulevard is the safest road in Cebu City today. It’s very safe for mother who crossed the road pulling her’s child’s stroller.

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Night Kids in Cebu’s Fuente and Mango Avenue Aren’t Safe

For several times, Cebu Fuente Police Station has become the refuge of adults who were victims of small boys and girls.

Yes, you can be become victims of children who at night time make the vicinity of Fuente Osmena circle down to Mango Avenue (Gen. Maxilom Avenue) as their playing grounds.

These kids are not just playing but also looking for their potential victims. Most victims are foreign nationals and unaccompanied women.

Kiddy Modus in Mango

In the November 12, 2010 editorial of Freeman Cebu, the ways of these children were described.

These boys and girls, aged anywhere from seven to 10, operate by ganging up and swarming around their victims, pretending to ask for alms. They grab the victims’ arms to immobilize and stall them. Then amid all the commotion, one will pick the victims’s pockets or bags.

These children should not be underestimated. They are as dangerous as the jeepney pickpocketers and main street holdupper in Cebu.

The same editorial described how these children counter attack!

In the few occasions that victims did try to grab or hit the kids, they would find themselves in far worse trouble because the kids would then launch a counterattack by stoning the victims with whatever stone or projectile they can lay their hands on.

Lately, we got a relief because news stories would say that victims got back their stolen wallet. Apparently, our Police know so well where to find these children once a victim reported.

Of course, because they are children, no case were filed. The next evening, these children would attack again.

In a society where we are very protective to our children, let us also give attention this uniquely Cebu kiddy modus. Even adults need protection.

A good place to eat, meet, and share

We never run out of topics on politics. And the quest to find good place to fire up political views continues. We hear moderate but heated arguments (read as exchanges of views) in cozy coffee shops but seldom in mall’s foodcourt.

But wait, SM foodcourt is becoming a favorite hotspot of bloggers meeting with bloggers to savor a wide-variety of great tasting food and talk about palatable topics while Plurking, Blogging, and Facebooking. SM City Cebu has mall-wide free wi-fi. So we won’t get disconnected to WWW while sitting and eating.

Not just bloggers but lovers, family, friends, new acquiantancies and politicos and their allies.

Isn’t it interesting?

SM City Cebu Foodcourt offers more than foods. It becomes a place of convergence of people and interest.

On November 30, SM City Cebu invited Cebu bloggers for the Asia-in-a-Basket Food Blogger’s meet. The activity showcased the the wide-variety of foods SM City Cebu foodcourt is offering. Fellow members of Cebu Blogger’s Society did food reviews. And it pays to read their posts.

Clarence of Everything UbeC mentions on this blog about great food and excellent service at the foodcourt. Rabsin described the food as inevitable to be eaten. He got some pictures in his blog, too. Checkout also Mark’s blog because he enumerated the different food outlets at the foodcourt and included brief description of what they can offer. See also Miong’s great photos.

Food, places, and politics are the perfect team. History can attest that. Some of our Katipunero’s discussed and planned about revolution while drinking kapeng barako ang eating suman. Of course, ours will be different. We are not planning a revolution. Have you heard a group of men who sipped coffee in Mandaue and after a while stood up support a national candidate for 2010 elections?

The next time you shop and suddenly got a call from ally reporting about political disaster, don’t drop yourself. Invite your ally to eat then drink fresh refreshments before allowing him to talk about disaster. Later, you’ll be surprised because you will end up talking about children instead.

Hilario Davide III as next Cebu governor?

Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia, unlike 2006 election, now has reason to tighten her belt with the entry of Cebu City councilor Hilario Davide III in the scene.  Councilor Davide is not a big threat to Gov. Gwen Garcia but he is a very good political material for Cebu province. While the governor must tighten her belt, councilor Davide must prepare because he must be sweating too much to beat Garcia.

Perhaps Councilor Hilario Davide III must consume a ton of Sinanduloy and do Suroy-suroy sa Sugbo as fast as he could to win in Cebu gubernatorial race.

The talk about councilor Davide started when presidential aspirant Noynoy Aquino appointed as chairman of the Liberal Party (LP) in Cebu province. The party has yet to reveal its bet for Cebu governor in 2010. When asked about running for Cebu governor, councilor Davide told reporters that he is ready to run.

But he has yet to work on his qualifications. Hilario Davide III is currently serving as Cebu City councilor. Cebu City residents do not vote for Cebu provincial governor. Davide’s residence issue is being solved. According to reports, he will transfer his voter’s record to Argao. When he does, he needs also to resign as Cebu City councilor.

Transferring his voter’s record on or before October 30 will still not solve the residence issue.

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A glimpse at AboitizLand communities

During the first One Cebu Business Summit, businessmen highlighted Cebu’s resiliency in coping with recent global financial crisis.

Cebu is slightly affected to global financial crisis. But to some, Cebu has never felt it. Without figures at hand, one can just go sight-seeing all over Cebu and he will see how bullish construction and real estate developments are. Except for retrenchment of few export-oriented companies, Cebu’s economy remain strong and post continuous growth. Real estate developers continue to build condominiums, BPO buildings, houses. The demand of commercial spaces continue to escalate and the sales of properties remain high – a strong indicator of healthy economy.

The booming real estate development in Cebu is indeed a reason for us to get excited and be more optimistic!

Recently, AboitizLand invited members of Cebu Bloggers Society (CBS) for a one-day tour to AboitizLand communities. AbotizLand development projects span from industrial, residential, commercial, to sports and leisure.

Our itinerary includes Molave Highlands, Mahogany Grove, and North Town. I noticed there was one thing these communities have in common – the greens and serene environment.

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Bus rapid transit system in Cebu soon

Cebu City’s plan to adopt the bus rapid transit (BRT) system excites supporters and likewise raise the eyebrows of skeptics.

Several questions are asked. Is this just another solution that later become a problem? Will this only introduce a newly dressed-up buses that look novel at the start but still clog city streets? Will this system displace jeepney drivers and operators? Is BRT better that light rail transit (LRT) or metro rail transit (MRT)? Is this by far the best mass transport system for Cebu?

There are proposals to establish LRT system in Cebu City and whole metro Cebu but the city government is considering bus rapid transit system.

In Cebu Daily News report, Cebu City Planning and Development Officer Nigel Paul Villarete told that BRT system will be a more feasible mode of public transportation for Cebu City because its capital costs are lower compared to a metro rail system.

Cost is not the only variable being considered. Bus rapid transit (BRT) system has been admired and proven for its effectiveness in easing mobility of the people. Besides the system has been found flexible on its implementation.

In her visit to Cebu, President Gloria Arroyo expressed her support to the BRT project. Several sectors already expressed support while some are voicing out their doubts.

Recently, the Cebu City Planning and Development Office (CCPDO) invited members of  SkyscraperCity – Cebu and the Cebu Bloggers Society to present the principles, concept, and plan of establishment of BRT system in Cebu. The presentation clarified issues and misunderstanding of the BRT system. I attended as member Cebu Bloggers Society.

Cebu City is eying the  bus rapid transit system as the best solution for mass transport. Not only Cebu City but the whole Metro Cebu needs a mass transport system. It seems that our jeepneys are no longer viable. Considering the cost of putting light railway system (LRT), I think the city is on the right track when it considers BRT.

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Cebu City officials: CCMC, in a state of utter neglect

It is surprising to hear reports that Cebu City officials was surprised with what they saw in Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) during their surprise visit to the controversial hospital last Friday (January 9, 2009).

I was equally surprised when I read reports about the surprise visit because what they saw was not really very surprising.

I was surprised as if I were in CCMC seeing prominent and honorable city leaders taking a look on one of the city problems that long been neglected. At least now with Acting Mayor Michael Rama, city’s ‘little annoying problems’ (little, really?) are being talked about seriously.

Of course city’s folks also want to know what Cebu City officials are thinking about problems other than the talk of promising prospects of South Road Properties (SRP) that has been idle for quite a long time.

In Sun Star report, Acting Vice Mayor Hilario Davide III was quoted saying, it’s  (CCMC) in such a sorry state. We had a tour of the entire hospital and we all saw na hugaw gyud kaayo ang CCMC (It’s really dirty). It really needs our attention. It’s in a state of utter neglect and kinahanglan gyud limpyohan (It needs cleaning).

The city officials noticed the poor ventilation, the dirt, the patients in sorry desperate situation, among others. Shouldn’t the Queen City of the South prioritize health and provide quality medical service to her taxpayers that give a share to pay the big Yen loan?

If you can’t fix it, sell it!

Several months ago, Mayor Tomas Osmena was contemplating of selling CCMC with his great frustration to CCMC’s reportedly frustrating services.

Despite of CCMC’s known kind of service, city folks still parade to get an experience of being treated. Undeniably, most patients in CCMC are less fortunate. When a private CCMC have improved service, can the less fortunate still be served?

Instead of putting all blames to CCMC officials, City officials must take also its responsibilty of it. After all, the City officials are actually part of culprits.

Let us be excited to the bright prospects of CCMC as the City officials and stepping into addressing the long neglected problems. Let us be excited the same way as we are excited of the promises of SRP.

Should we be surprised if City officials once again go out from their multi-million office building and tour the city’s backyard? I will not be surprised if the City officials get surprised with the city’s garbage problem. Will the smell still surprising?

Why not? After all, life is full of surprises.