‘Tis again the season of festivals, are we OK?


In Baguio City the Panagbenga is ongoing. Nearby La Trinidad will be next with their Strawberry Festival. Other adjacent localities will follow with their own festival versions. Well and good for those who will benefit from the tickle down economics which seems to be the only economic theory our politicians know. With that thinking– that they know something– their brains are closed to other better alternatives.
Sadly, the drips that trickle down are negligible for small people like you and me. That would be OK if only we don’t suffer a lot because we also enjoy watching the performances and pageantry common to festivals. But such sufferings are always not commensurate to the trickles of benefits, if any, depending on where you are positioned in the economic spectrum. If you are not operating a business catering to tourists, you are one of the sufferers.
There should be a way to make tourists reasonably pay for the problems they cause their hosts. Such should directly benefit the host community in a way people should be able to feel and appreciate.
Baguio City started collecting such an amount from visitors. It termed it congestion fee. It had been going on for a number of years already. The fact though that most of the locals are whining about the troubles (e.g. congestion, lack of water, etc.) these times bring means they never felt any appreciable benefit.
The worst part is the people are just grinning and bearing these, or are just suffering in silence. They should be taking their leaders to task.
Lack of proper education which should result in having the courage to fight for one’s rights is the main culprit As things are, people go to college, memorize some things, get a diploma and that’s it. Nothing was inculcated in their brains to develop the need to stand up for what is right.
What is right is for people to demand of their local politicians to come up with benefits they should receive or enjoy for their well-being commensurate to their suffering every time festival seasons come.**


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