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Palengkera: Legacy? What legacy?

12 March 2009

The Baguio City Public Market is the womb of Baguio City. While we celebrate the city’s centennial year, the market quietly passes its 101st year. That is, one hundred and one years of the growth of a public space that has a unique aesthetic and a vibrant atmosphere. 101 years of extensive, thick, living networks of farmers, fisher-folk, entrepreneurs, their families, and the families of Baguio residents and visitors. 101 years of trade in the products of our region, and products from around the country and the world.

Baguio City was born out of the Baguio market. It was said in the early 1900’s that all one had to do to see how cosmopolitan and international Baguio City was, was to go to the Stone Market on market day. The market is one of the last places where Baguio’s original sense of community and belonging continues to thrive. Today the colorful market is an essential part of the Baguio experience for tourists. It continues to be a source of fresh, affordable food for Baguio youth, including the large student population that comes from out of town. The market connects us to the Cordillera mountains, to the coasts and the islands of the Philippines, and to the rest of the world. But 101 years of history, trade, and human relationships were badly damaged by fire on March 2, 2009.

We want our beloved Baguio market back. We do not want it to be replaced by yet another generic, cement, box-like structure, which every large Philippine city already has. Not all cities have what we possess in the Baguio market. We want the market to remain unique. We want it to continue to support local communities and thrive with diversity. We want it restored and rebuilt on a human-scale. Bring back the old charm. Let the vendors continue to create their beautiful displays of fruits, vegetables, and other produce. Keep the tourists coming. Keep our youth well nourished and blessed with a diversity of food choices. Make improvements where needed but do not erase the market as we have always known it – the market that is our heritage.

The Baguio City Public Market has a unique structure and a living, locally-rooted community. That is a legacy worth saving. Make this your legacy.

14 March 2009


This is just the first step in a larger campaign to save our beloved Baguio market! Please click on the link above and if you agree with the statement please sign and join us in letting the city government and the larger public know what we want. It would be too painful to lose one of the last remnants of our Baguio heritage without even raising a peep. So there.


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