One Year On: Why I Believe both SM and Save 182 have Failed Baguio City in 2012

It was around a year ago when I wrote a commentary on Get Real Philippines entitled “Baguio City: Ruined by Pinoy Mentality.” It was a timely article, considering the ramifications of various events happening in the City where I currently live in. One of the Philippines’ largest commercial and real-estate institutions had plans to construct a mall annex, which included transplanting almost 200 pine trees from a forested area in their Luneta Hill property to another location also within their current premises. Various groups of different backgrounds protested the plans, and to their credit these protesters (who have named themselves Save 182), invoking various environmental appeals, have at most stalled the SM Corporation’s plans to develop the site.

save_182_baguioMany of Baguio’s most vibrant personalities would not deny that I have a rather eccentric attitude towards a lot of views, including those of ecology, heritage preservation, and life in Baguio as a whole. When I authored a regular column entitled “Urban Revisions” in the now-defunct “Skyland News” weekly, I often remarked about how Baguio has lost the ecological allure it had before the Great Earthquake of 1990, and how the City now needed to preserve not only its environmental patches but also whatever historical bastions it had left. The Baguio Heritage Petition I put forth in 2004, and which was acknowledged with wide acclaim, was my personal attempt to appeal to greater powers to find a way to stop the City’s rapid urban decay, especially with the opening of SM City Baguio during that same year. As one who has lived in Baguio almost all my life, I know for a fact that despite current emphatic claims that they happened, there were no large scale protests for SM’s primary construction back then.

I got wind of SM’s expansion and earth-balling plans in early 2011, almost a full year before the Save 182 protests. Back then I was so furious at SM that I had to write my indignations in a letter to the Baguio Midland Courier. Why it took Baguio to react only after a year after the letter’s publication is verily now a moot point, but nevertheless when all of these elements finally came into full collision on January 2012 I knew I had to say something. Siding initially with Save 182, at a City Council meeting soon after the protests I introduced the concept of “The Third Way.” In this idea, both SM and Save 182 would really sit down face-to-face and talk to each other about the expansion plan. Idealistic, yes, but with emotions running high I chose to be more stoic. Back then I already knew that people would hate the idea (a Save 182 leader called it “unrealistic”), but I took the words of another Save 182 leader by heart: “Just keep speaking your mind, and someone would indeed listen.”

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Turns out, it was Get Real Philippines that helped me spread my message around, and for that I am truly grateful. The SM City Baguio expansion plan has already been tackled by a number of my co-writers here at GRP, and I generally agree with what they all have to say. In fact, in a way I envy them because they can take criticism better than me. I quickly learned how to look at both sides of the issue from a reasoned perspective, as a Baguioite who has seen family and friends be ideologically split over such a mess. As 2012 passed Save 182 and SM never had that “Third Way” personal talk which I wanted to see—only a deluge of lawyers and personal attacks on Facebook. There have been gains on both sides (Save 182 with pop artist Sting and SM with the 50,000-tree initiative), but there were definite losses as well (Save 182 with the “Reader’s Digest environmental award” hoax and SM with its “consultation” statistics). Save 182 went to the courts, but SM eventually won by dent of legality; an appeal has then since been filed by Save 182.

Curiously the presiding judge of the case, Honorable Antonio Esteves, passed away in January 2013. Here are some lovely sentiments from those who wanted him to have had a different verdict:

Circumstances and evidences have made me rethink my allegiances. I was declared a “fence-sitter” during the first waves of protests; I was shamed by both SM and Save 182 because I was accused of supporting the opposite side. In a tight-knit community like the Baguio middle class, it becomes really painful to be the target of personal attacks by people who I knew very well, to be called “bayaran,” “stupid,” “insignificant,” to even be the recipient of a death threat on my mobile, all because I had a divergent view on things.

I believe that SM has failed Baguio. Yes, it has won, and I am now convinced (through evidence presented in and out of court) that the construction of its annex and the earth-balling of the remaining trees on its property are inevitable. I could just imagine faceless people in business suits, doing high-fives and opening champagne bottles when Judge Esteves’s verdict was announced. By building a massive structure that has quite literally shaved the top off scenic Luneta Hill, SM City Baguio now dominates the City’s mountainous skyline for miles. Its expansion plans are undoubtedly not only beautiful but ecologically functional as well: LED lighting, rainwater catch basins, smog-absorbing paint, balconies that eliminate the need for air conditioning—these are things that Baguio really needs, and which I hope the City government would hopefully invest in. Still, by using the need to enhance Baguio’s fragile ecology to continuously acquire more vast tracts of land and use them for their own ends, SM proves to be no better than the landed families who have dominated the Philippines with their expansive haciendas, BS Aquino’s clan included. The SM Corporation fails to see the bigger picture of putting up an expansion in a City that really doesn’t need it. It is a question of ethics and image, of a giant consuming the limited resources that Baguio can supply. SM City Baguio is already the largest building in the City, and the last thing I want to see in the City of my birth is a skyline dominated by SM’s blue logo, with competitors jostling for limited resources and consumers all for mindless profit.

SM really doesn’t need to build an entirely new building to expand: the SM Fiesta Strip building, occupied by the struggling call center company Aegis, could easily be upgraded or even reconstructed to meet the Green Building standards that SM hopes to achieve, without the need for earth-balling.

I also believe that Save 182 has failed Baguio. They emphatically deny that they demonize SM, yet on their multiple pages on various social networks the term “Satan Mall” often pops up. In particular, a Facebook page entitled “Boycott SM: Wall of Shame” displays the identities of both public and private individuals who disagree with Save 182’s views, leaving them open to potential bullying and harassment. On Get Real Philippines alone, two other dissenters, Lisa Araneta and Grace Bandoy, have been branded as “whores” by “Vanessa,” who implies unwavering support for Save 182. The group furthermore claims to be “apolitical,” and yet Miguel Arvisu, one of their most vocal leaders, is running for congressman in Baguio’s lone district in the 2013 midterm elections.

On April 11, 2012, members of Save 182 infiltrated SM’s private property in the middle of the night to stop what they perceived was the cutting of trees despite a court-issued protection order. A few hours later, these same members caused an early morning ruckus by screaming and banging on the gates of the mayor’s residence, calling on him to “save the trees.” Though the legal ramifications of these two incidents have been downplayed, Save 182 actually set a dangerous precedent. If, for example, I decide to cut down the century-old pine tree in my own private garden, even with the necessary permits, they could unexpectedly come into my private property and stop me from doing so.

I also find it ironic that, for an environmental group, Save 182 barely presents environmental solutions to current environmental problems other than “planting trees” or the clichéd “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Their activities are less functional and more aesthetic, a street crusade for “awareness” when in fact people are already more than aware. From what I’ve observed, their emphasis on emotions rather than reason has made Baguio even more apathetic to their calls to “Boycott SM.” Meanwhile, the giant mall on Luneta Hill is still crowded with shoppers, and is expected to turn in record profits for its 2012 report.

One year on and there is a stalemate in Baguio. It is quiet at the moment, but there is a sense of anticipation that Baguioites would once again be witness to another bitter fight between SM and Save 182. My own observations in the long months of 2012 however have led me to conclude that SM and Save 182 are no different from each other, primarily because they both think they’re “right” while everybody else who disagrees with them is “wrong.” Each believes that God is on “their side” while those who don’t agree are “evil,” “stupid” or “ignorant.” In the name of “unity” they have both managed to split Baguio into ideological sides, where seemingly in their minds no gray area is supposed to exist, a “with us or against us” mentality that defeats the purpose of reasoned thinking. There is for me quite simply no difference between the two; in the City’s vernacular, “pare-pareho da met laeng nga duwa.” In the end, both sides have conveniently downplayed the insidious possibility that the Baguio City government, in cahoots with BS Aquino’s national government, has played them both for its own political gain.

There surely is no need for me to detail what I have done for Baguio’s failing environment; I surely did some, but unlike the two sides of Baguio’s ongoing petty quarrel I choose not to brag about them or post about them on Facebook. Baguio can ultimately find its “eco-renaissance” not with slogans or affiliations, but with quiet individuals who make Baguio better without any sort of allegiance. I will surely, by this mere commentary, generate the ire of both SM and Save 182. Several of their more vocal proponents will think of me as a “paid hack,” and a few more off-center fanatics would doubtless wish me the same “karma” that they think befell Judge Antonio Esteves. Heck, my name might just appear in the “Wall of Shame.” But I stand by my words, because I am no longer afraid of the hypocrisy and the bullying from these two sides. Some have claimed I criticize too much, but coming from the same people who have told me to “speak my mind,” this is the best recourse I have to voice my opinion, no matter how small it may be. I have nothing else to lose.

My name is Dion Fernandez. I am from Baguio, and I am no longer afraid.

161 Replies to “One Year On: Why I Believe both SM and Save 182 have Failed Baguio City in 2012”

  1. this is what happens when you have a corrupt mayor.
    self-interest overrides community needs or opinion.
    baguio has become a short term financial success – for some – but at a cost of its heritage, beauty and long term potential.
    basically it has gone downmarket and in particular chased the koreans – who must be in contention for the prize for rudest people on the planet

  2. Baguio is over run by people who are “just passing through”.

    It is much like my home city, Manila.

    And the residents, long desensitized by the travelling masses who leave their filth and pollution behind for somebody else to pick up, can hardly think beyond piecemeal approaches and patchwork solutions that no longer suffice.

    What is needed is a radical step, something that can only be seen with a leap of imagination and faith.

    1. @ Paul Farol

      When Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood run and won as mayor of Carmel, a quiet Northern California town, he proposed to convert Carmel into a tourist haven like the celebrity desert oasis Palm Springs, California. His idea was met with anger by long time residents saying Clintwoods proposal will raise taxes, destroy the community, create traffic, pollution and attract undesirable people. Clintwood received “death treats” and did not to run for reelection at the end of his term.

      As @ Trosp previously questioned you: What can you suggest. BTW, what exactly is a “radical step” and “leap of imagination and faith” as you see it?

        1. @ Trosp

          Exactly! These GRP herd like to talk big stuff but totally have no clue about what they’re saying. Guesswork is the best I can describe it. Their commentaries are like the people they criticize. Dumb.

    1. builts by american, ruined by filipinos. but whose country is it anyway. american? you are ignorant and uneducated about your comment and of the history of the philippines. you dont know who owns the philippines, the country you’re leaving. its called filipinos for a reason. land of the filipinos,its for the people, by the people of the PHILIPPINES. read the history of the philippines by howard zinn or of mark twain. and remember the philippine and american war. or you dont know that? you are whitewash my friend. and i bet you hate the color of your kayumanggi skin. and you like everything white. always like americanO.and besides, the filipinos can not built anything? where’s your filipino pride?

      1. Typical pinoy with da pinoy prayd. Are you a nationaltard? No wonder why this country’s independence is very flawed thanks to the likes of you fliplander. Hell, you’re even proving what Rizal said: “What is the use of independence if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow? And no doubt they will, because whoever submits to tyranny loves it!” When the Spanish and Americans left our country, you indios then abuse your freedom with your malicious, anti-intellectual, childish thinking.
        Oh and we are not pinoys like you fliplander. We’re Filipinos. There is a big difference. If you think it’s a joke then you’re a dysfunctional moron.

        1. I’llanswer you with,”I would rather have a philippines run like hell by filipinos than run like hell by the americans”. manuel l. quezon. its even in the front of the get real philippines classic. Us indios still fighting from the “filipinos” sale out and whitewash like yourself. I bet you have a slave master name like cruz, page or beltran and all other imperialist name. thats why you still call us indios and still think you’re superior.

        2. Well guess what utak squatter. Thanks for your belief on that quote of quezon, you’re just soon turning this country into somalia and north korea. You and your mafia group are obviously the cancer of this country by smothering it with your terrorist-like, communist ideals. You just hate progress do you? At ang hirap pa sa iyo, you are still living in the past on how evil the Spanish, Americans and Japanese did to us. We’re in the 21st century already for God’s sake and your mindset is still in the middle ages. And did I even say I’m superior than you? You’re being an emo “genius” again fliplander.
          And remember this: the problem with you is that you can’t tell the difference between a friend or foe. da pinoy prayd is not your friend!

        3. @philip: Well, it seems you need to learn… A LOT.

          That quote from M.L. Quezon seems that Filipinos are indeed FATALISTIC to the extreme extent. That quote speaks of arrogance and that’s what describes our dysfunctional culture.

          Actually, when the Spanish left and in 1942, the country ‘gained’ the independence, what did the Indios do? Latch on to the meztisos and others who had the land and resources! Wow, way to earn the independence with such empowering actions!

          So that means it’s like this. You said that “I prefer a government whored by media telling me that everything is okay and never look forward for progress as a society but to be part of a MEDIOCRITY.”

          It seems your missing the point but what do I expect from someone who is thoroughly BRAINWASHED and had an angry mob mindset?

      2. Apart from being the world’s most emotional people – a point which you nicely underline- what specifically are you proud of.

        People often refer to pride like some brainwashed parrot, without illucidating. Please enlighten me.

      3. @ philip

        Libertas said “baguio – built by americans, ruined by filipinos.”

        and your argument against him is what exactly? Your a typical hypocrite nationaltard. Libertas’ remark is a fact and you never mentioned anything to counter this, just your ramblings about the pinoy prayd. What a id__t.

    1. it is not only baguio.. the NCR is a group of polluted cities, with uncollected garbage swarming with flies and jeepney drivers on the loose. NCR residents are living in dangerous times.

        1. I wonder what happened to the e-jeeps. They seemed to be a good idea when I first heard about them two or three years ago. Are they still plying Manila?

        2. E-jeeps are not sustainable in the long run. They are expensive to maintain and to operate. Even the automotive giants know that electric cars are not practical. It is just one of those things which will make the “environmentally aware” people sleep better at night.

  3. oh please……..

    on behalf of all tree lovers i would like to say that dion is one of the stupidest people who claims to be a lover of baguio city. his rantings are as weird and abnormal as his eleven fingers and ps182 is all the better without him.

    its just a shame that a site like grp would accommodate dion and his idiotic writings. palibhasa kasi nasa bulsa na kayo ng sm. so what if he wrote that worthless “heritage petition” it didnt do anything. ps182 did a more better job at making baguio city aware of the environment. maybe dion should just shut up go back to his laughable attempts at “ghost hunting” or maybe he should just become a ghost himself because only the dead will listen to him anyway. hay naku.

    dion and lisa araneta and grace bandoy are just spoiled brats with money to spend, and theire not really concerned with the baguio environment. ps182 doesnt need them and baguio city doesnt need them also. sana madeclare silang tatlo persona non grata because their just stupid…

    1. @wiccastillo

      Why don’t you just address the points raised in the article instead of throwing baseless accusations left and right?

      Where’s your proof that GRP is under SM’s payroll? And just because you don’t agree with the writer’s views doesn’t necessarily mean he is being paid by SM.

      Check your logic.

      1. if you want something about dion fernandez you must know that we have video of him syaying that its better for baguio to be destroyed so that nature would grow again. imagine!! thats from a warfreak crazy and idiotic mind.

        and for your information also dion is the hypocrite not us real lovers of baguio. member po siya ng fitness edge sa sm baguio.

        1. Ganyan ba palagi ang ugali nyong mga “environmentalists”? Hell does Mother Nature even give a damn on your emo movement when in fact not only you are also the ones already destroying Baguio from the beginning but also doing some hostile attacks to those who don’t agree with you in order for your “enemy” to be defeated? Now who is the crazy warfreak you incompetent indio? I guess you must be one of those utak squatters who are sometimes doing gang wars in Baguio every night. And you call yourselves the real lovers of Baguio? How pathetic coming from an incompetent indio who always uses emotions first instead of thinking rationally and done nothing but abuse their freedom in order to make themselves feel better. In other words, you’re the ones who made Baguio a shithole like Manila not us.

        2. @wicastillo

          Just because he patronises a store in SM doesn’t necessarily mean he sides with SM. Don’t be too narrow-minded.

          I can understand why he would say such a thing. At the current state Baguio is in, it would be hard to fix it without demolishing some parts of it.

        3. “Come friendly bombs and fall on Baguio!
          It’s a place i can no longer go,
          The trees grieve instead of grow.
          Swarm over, Death!

          Come, bombs and destroy it all
          That air -conditioned, monstrous shopping mall,
          Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
          Tinned minds, tinned breath.

          Come, friendly bombs and fall on Baguio
          Ready for the plough and furrow.
          Lets rebuild a better tomorrow;
          The earth exhales.”

          After John betjeman – slough

        4. Even if that’s true (which I seriously doubt), having lived near (but thankfully not quite in) that high-altitude cesspool for the best part of a year, I’d say it’s not a bad idea.

        5. Filipinos are cursed with the reverse-Midas-touch syndrome. Everything they touch turns into crap. Ask the residents of Boracay. It’s the next ex-nature-trip-now-human-cesspool in the making.

        6. Why the seeming singling out of SM when there are probably other malls and other entities cutting down trees en masse in Baguio?

    2. This is no place for emotional ranting. The mere fact that your post exists shows how immature your group is.

      My name is John Cariño, from the line of the Cariño’s of Baguio. Descendant of the Ibaloi Tribe of Mateo Cariño. And I can dare say I got more Baguio blood in me than you.

      1. so what???

        its not about you or your ancestors its about the trees, and its a shame that if your really a Descendant you are embarrassing your ancestors.

        besides, mateo carino was just appointed by the spaniards to look after baguio city he is not the real owner of the land.

        1. Once again with your hostile attack, you’re giving a damn about the trees when in fact you’re the ones who are letting them destroyed in the first place. And you just hate humanity are you incompetent indio? Easy ka lang dyan dong kasi parang umiiyak ka na naman sa pagka-emo mo e.
          Now even though I don’t give a damn about it, sige lang ilagay mo ang post ko sa wall of shame nyo. You “environmentalists” just enjoy “killing” those who hate you very much are you?

        2. You’re an idiot who needs to read up on Baguio History. I’m glad this is a public forum and everyone can see how truly uneducated you are.

    3. nangal alaam ti spoiled brat nga ibag bagam dita? obviously you dont have your facts right. you dont know shit about me. sa kayang nga lang ako nag u ukay eh hahaha! spoiled brat my ass nga ibag bagam!

  4. My main reason for writing this article is to highlight the fact that Baguio’s hope for a more sustainable city lies with those who have not given themselves to allegiances, those who work quietly to improve Baguio without having the media (social media included) at their beck and call.

    Personally I don’t really give a flying crap if you’ve planted 50,000 trees or if you’re planning a hundred-mile walkathon. What really matters to me is if you did all of these with the intention of going BEYOND awareness, and if such actions are ultimately sustainable for the City in, say, 20 or 30 years.

    As I said: both sides have done well. But as I’ve explained in the article, they’ve both failed–and those failures outweigh their gains.

    One more thing, wiccastillo: I don’t have a membership at Fitness Edge. If you want to fish some nasty dirt about me, at least get them right.

    1. Basically, when you do something, it’s better done without PRIDE, because pride always clouds the action with shameless self-interest.

    2. Looks like your true colors are now showing, Dion Fernandez.

      Anybody who is against Project Save 182 is a supporter of corporate greed.

      God bless.

        1. You’re putting words into my mouth, I never called anyone satanists.

          It’s either you are for nature or against it, there’s no middle ground when it comes to saving the environment…

          GOD bless.

        1. if you’re talking about philippine education such as yours. i dont need to go. if you’re living in the philippines i will assume you’re filipino. now. my question to you sir, why do you write in a language that is not your own if you’re not whitewash?

        2. Anlaki mong ipokrito tapos pa-English ka pa. So what if he speaks English more than Tagalog? He’s still a Filipino you nationaltard. And may I remind you that English is one of the primary language of this country? Is that one of your hostile tactics to us for the “betterment” of your ps182 mafia group indio?

        3. *He’s still a Filipino you nationaltard because he’s just saying what is wrong with you thanks to your dysfunctional mindset and squatter mentality.*

      1. “Anybody who is against Project Save 182 is a supporter of corporate greed.”
        so by your words (even by just what you wrote here) it includes just “anybody who is not with PS182″… and you kept saying its about the trees!!! then how come you mentioned dion’s eleven fingers, and that certain people are spoiled brats, ghost hunting and what-not. do this things have anything to do with trees? NONE WHATESOEVER! you also do not have proof of what you wrote, that itself suggests that you have no credibility whatsoever. you merely want to see and hear what you want to see and hear… your responses here shows the character of one who is immature and has an inability to actually understand what he reads.

        God Bless

  5. sa YMCA kami ni Dion nag gy gym noh! saka ako poor lang ako, ulila sa magulang, where the fuck did you get that spoiled brat thing about me? whahahaahaha! hay naku

    1. grace bandoy its not about you, its about the trees!

      tama ang sinabi ng ps182 tungkol sa iyo, your so young but so corrupt. we are greater than you and in the long run we will win and you will lose. pa anti domogan ka pa pare pareho lang naman pagiisip mo sa kanya. your a fake, and i hope that you encounter the same fate as sm in the future

      1. In the end your radical activism will fizzle out. Just look at what happened to PETA and Greenpeace for example, they have become a laughing stock due to their increasingly retarded tactics at forcing their beliefs unto others.

        1. its not about you, johnny derp. we are doing this for the trees of sm and the trees of baguio city. what did you do??

          if you want to make the world a better place then you can start by calling people together and do something hindi lang dakdak sa internet.

          we can make the world a better place if we just think the same diba??

        2. Let me redirect your question, What did you think you have done for baguio other than being extreme treehuggers?

        3. @wiccastillo
          You just said it’s not about me then why are you attacking me just because I don’t agree with your group’s philosophy? I seriously beg to disagree with your radical activism.

      2. tingnan mo nga yung mga statements mo if its even about the trees? its about the people you think are paid hacks by SM, patunayan nyo muna na binabayaran kami ng SM bago kayo magparatang ng ganyan, anyone who doesnt agree with you are automatically paid by SM, where are the trees in that? saka nasa SM lang ba ang mga trees trees na sinasabi mo? theyre all over and around Baguio! in case you didnt notice…

      3. here you go again…so young yet so corrupt? where is your proof? SHOW YOUR PROOF!!!!!!! where is your proof? show it. where is your proof that this person is corrupt?. and you have the audacity to say “we are grater than you and in the long run we will win and you will lose”… greater? what you have are mere delusions of grandeur… and you say you will win and we will lose? you don’t even get it do you? you never understood what Dion meant as the third way did you? we were never against the trees, we just believed in a different approach to resolving the issue. let me state this in a way that you will understand… in the beginning wiccastillo and the “third way” both said let us go to SM and challenge them for what they plan to do to the trees. both confronted SM, but SM would not change his mind so wiccastillo said “let us destroy them” but the third way said “wait! i think there is another way” upon hearing this wiccastillo erupted with anger and said “what!? you’re with SM, you are corrupt! you are a spoiled brat! you have eleven fingers! you do not love Baguio!you are stupid! that will never work!” and as such they parted ways,finale. you only think that we are going against you, we never were, we just had a different way of thinking and personally i finally hope that you now understand this. i do not represent everybody here merely my friends that have the same sentiment as i have. we just don’t agree with your approach and the attitude that is being displayed by representatives of PS182 such as yourself.

  6. I wonder. Are tree huggers tree huggers because they really want to save the trees and environment, or because they like the image and pride associated with being a tree hugger?

    1. They just like attention. They are more like attention whores that don’t even lift a finger to do what they claim to do.

    2. You may also consider the NGO thing. It’s not a volunteeer thing.

      It’s a job with pay. No question asked about one’s qualification.

      If it’s about environment, if you’re green, you’re in.

  7. Greed is the cause. Money for the greedy is more important than people. More important than the environment….Hacienda Luisita Mafia greed…

  8. ps182 will make sure that dion fernandez and other abnormal elements will no longer be entertained at true baguio city establishments. like mt cloud, cafe by the ruins, oh my gulay, artists park.. if he ever trespass in these establishments we will make sure to deal with him and his kind. he lost his right to being a real baguio boy and a lover of the environment “kuno” with this obviously pro sm article.

    we willcontinue to save the trees at sm, pero ang mga katulad ni fernandez araneta at bandoy sila ang dapat i-earthball sa baguio city.

    1. Radical activism is a slippery slope into tunnel-visioned extremism. This is actually a demonstration of that unfortunate reality — when self-righteousness hijacks the sensibilities of the weak-minded.

      Save the trees? Too little too late. The residents of Baguio are but a mere microcosm of the Philippines as a whole — the proverbial frog being slowly boiled alive. Instead of living prudently, Filipinos allow obvious problems to fester and then cry bloody victim when the disaster that has been long loooong in the making is staring at them with bare teeth.

      Typical victim-bahala-na-pwede-na-yan Pinoy mentality. It is world renowned in how pathetically it describes the lone basketcase in a region of high-achievers.

      Your kind Mr wiccastillo is but one example of millions such bozos who think with their vacuous sentimentalist faculties rather than with the sort of critical logic that remains an alien way of thinking to the average Pinoy mind.

      Tsk tsk.

      Pinoy nga naman talaga.
      Parang aso.
      Matangkad lang kapag naka-upo. 😀

      1. Excuse me at least were doing our part to save what is left of baguio city ‘s environment. what is important is that we know the problem and we we are making people aware of it. the problem with you is that your not even living in Philippines and you criticize what we sacrificed our blood sweat and tears for. all you do is just sit down like armchair critics and bully ps182.

        radical activism kamo? baguio city needs radical change and ps182 is giving that. fence sitting losers like dion are just doing mental masturbation. sayang at maliit ang pututoy niya ha ha ha!

        kayo po ang parang aso. get real………get real philippines!


        1. You wanna save Baguio? how about you all leave it give it back to the tribal people who actually own it? Trust me, you’re NOT a Baguio person. You know nothing of its History.

        2. I’ll say this in Tagalog, because based on your previous posts, your English is found wanting.

          malakas lang luob mo dito sa internet kase hindi ka makikilala.

        3. And now you post like a little kid especially with your pathetic backfire against benign0’s pinoy parang aso quote. So what if benign0 lives in Australia? It doesn’t change the fact that you incompetent indios are the reasons for Baguio’s demise from the beginning with your dysfunctional da pinoy mindset.
          And what radical change were you doing when all you did is go hostile to those who don’t agree with you especially us here in GRP? Don’t believe me? Here’s your latest utak squatter attack to MidwayHaven: “fence sitting losers like dion are just doing mental masturbation. sayang at maliit ang pututoy niya ha ha ha!”
          You’re not environmentalists. You’re more of a street mafia. Now who is the bully emo godfather?

        4. I am living in the philippines.
          I have properties in baguio.
          I do not need idiots like you displaying your stupidity to all and sundry, and saying that you represent baguio. You represent the lunatic fringe which only alienates people and which is nit smart enough to argue its case logically, clearly and concisely.
          Hence you akways lose, and cannot even understand why.

          I don’t think you have a clue and really cannot see the wood for the trees.

        5. @wccastillo re:

          baguio city needs radical change and ps182 is giving that.

          Radical change you say? The most radical changes I can think of is if we scrape off with a bulldozer all the human mollusks inhabiting the hillsides of Baguio City and implement a limit to entries into the city or impose a P10,000 fee for every car entering the city. In fact that’s not even radical, that’s just semi-radical. Radical change is the sort of change extremists advocate, which seems consistent to the way you think and behave. That’s just what Pinoys need alright. Extremists. But then the trouble with extremists like your quaint “PS182” “movement” is that intellectual faculties tend to be deficient amongst extreme radicals — which is why all they could do is speculate on the size of peoples’ penises rather than make a credible logical counter-argument on what is clearly a robustly sound thesis presented in the above article.

          Tough luck, dude. With every word you publish here, you merely subtract rather than add to the collective intelligence of humanity. 😀

        6. You know, all of your comments are pure nonsense. Ok, you’re doing something but your methods are WRONG after all, as I can see it. You went to petitions, yes and you succeeded. But only time will tell.

          Emo people are the real losers here. And mob mentality is for losers. Here is a question:

    2. Man your “environmentalism” trolling is just like vincensus ignoramus, the moronic troll of grp who goes hostile on us by telling how great the aquinos are.

      1. Ah yes, vincenus ignoramus, the troll who kept attacking this site but his attacks were not even making a scratch. In the end, he was permanently BANNED from the site. You don’t want that to happen to you,wiccastillo/cas2013?

        1. no, i don’t believe in banning them for if they were..they might think we are afraid of what they say

    3. The sad thing is that baguio is far too late to save. I recently came back from baguio. Midwayhaven is right, it has already become a mere shadow of its former self.

      1. Yep, I went up November last year, it feels like a lowland city. Too many cars, too many people, the cool climate isn’t what it used to be.

        SM Baguio is an eyesore. 🙁

        But SM is only but one of Baguio’s problems, and they’re probably not the biggest one.

      2. Agreed. There’s no point in going to Baguio to enjoy a vacation.

        It’s even more stressful to go there and find another Manila.

    4. @wiccastillo

      You’ve said so many things but you have yet to address the points raised in the article. Instead of encouraging dialogue, you encourage violence against those who offer differing opinion. What a loser. Your cause will go nowhere if your solution to everything is to get rid of people whose opinion you happen to not like.

      1. if you want to know the real ps182 then join us in our fight against corporate greed. huwag lang po kayong maging balahura without knowing the facts.

        dont just accept lies and post them on your site nawawalan tuloy kayo ng credibility

        1. Judging from your “posts”, we already know how much of a FRAUD your group is. Sorry to say, you have already lost your credibility by being hostile just because this site disagrees with you.

        2. @wccastillo

          huwag lang po kayong maging balahura without knowing the facts.

          Sige nga. What are the facts?

          Why do you think we are “balahura” when we disagree with your views? Please be specific.;)

        3. Facts? You’ve stated ZERO facts. You even contradict yourself.

          1. You say Dion’s article is pro SM
          2. You say he’s a fence sitter a few replies down.
          3. You present ZERO scientific/rational data to support any of your claims.
          4. All you’re good for is emotional ranting, hoping that’s enough. Sorry, it isn’t. We all end up just facepalming at your stupidity.
          5. You obviously know nothing about Baguio, its history, or its true ethnic Ibaloi heritage.
          6. Go get a clue on Baguio before coming in here “trying” to act smart.

    5. wow. such power.
      the ultimate tree huggers punishment.
      banned from cafe by the ruins, known by people as ruined by the cafe.
      educate yourself in good food, as well as logic.

      clearly you are more of a liability to baguio than an asset.

      1. Having a flower pot, anvil, hay cart and a piano fall on you is a worse punishment than being banned by environmental wannabes.

  9. And so the question persists:

    Why single out SM as the only visible contributor to Baguio’s decline when squatters and other property developers have been going unnoticed long before SM Baguio was built?

    It’s because Pinoys, in whatever form of self-righteous advocacy they take, are unable to grasp ideas and instead revert to attacking personalities or specific groups.

    Tsk tsk.

    1. In other words, wala silang pinagkakaiba sa mga gunggong na malacanang trolls na palaging panay sisi kay gloria sa problema kahit na ang nakaupo na ngayon ang siyang may kasalanan.

    2. Seriously, why single out just ONE organization? There are a lot of reasons why baguio has become a shadow of it’s former self. SM is just ONE of them.

      1. and the mayor is the main reason.
        greed and corruption is at the heart of the decline along with the inability to plan beyond next week.

    3. maybe your the one who is ignorant about baguio city. i already said that at least were doing something to stop the decay of nature. have you tried walking down session road in the middle of the day under very hot climate?? have you tried making a vigil at sm grounds in the middle of the cold night?? have you tried calling people to sign a petition?? ginawa po namin yun and we succeeded.

      oo alam namin noon pa yan bago sm pero at least were doing something. mga bobo!!

    4. Are they getting paid by Robinson’s or Ayala Malls to ruin SM? That’s what some others may think. Otherwise, they are people who just think an outrage fad against “corporate greed” is a fashionable thing, without understanding the bigger picture about the problem. Paul Farol’s posts about this issue, especially the one saying that the Baguio residents chopped down their own trees to make way for vegetable farms and other things, has the bigger picture.

        1. Wow, Toy Kingdom card. I’m inggit. Incidentally, I’m also a BDO depositor. They seem to have the best bank services so far. Not to mention the longer hours.

  10. DR. MICHAEL BENGWAYAN is lover of Baguio City, a respected and world-renowned ecologist, forester, and tree specialist.

    MR. KARLO MARKO ALTOMONTE is a lover of Baguio City, a playwright, a creative artist, and defender of social and environmental rights.

    ATTY. CHERYL DAYTEC-YANGOT is a lover of Baguio, a champion of the masses, and a human rights and environmental advocate.

    MR. DION FERNANDEZ….thinks he’s a lover of Baguio City, but is actually an attention grabbing capitalist sex maniac with 11 fingers, who claims to love the environment, and who will forever be known as a traitor to the people of Baguio City.

    1. PS182…thinks they’re saving baguio when in fact they are the ones that are destroying it with their radical/extremist treehugging.

    2. the three people listed above our real champions of baguio city .hindi po naman namin sinasabi na perfect ang ps182 but we do what we can and we do what we know what is right so that people will be aware of the cause we fight for.

      we have many churches on our side so we know that God is on our side also. hindi lang kami puro propaganda. yun po ang totoo.

      si dion fernandez po is no longer a reliable writer now that his pro sm.

    3. dont forget the other true heroes of baguio city.

      ms anjoy salvado: fashion designer

      ms dumay solinggay: dancer

      mrs guia limpin: mother and lawyer

      pastor myke sotero: gay marriage advocate

      mr gregory ugay: activist

      ms christel paysing: creative writer and activist

      ms ivy buenaobra: animal rights

      mr richard dean basa: creative writer

      and many many more we are one people fighting for the environment against corporate greed. paano si mr. dion fernandez, kamo? yung baklang kuba na pokpok??

      ha ha ha ha ha

      1. Riiiight, now you are just resorting to ad hominems. You still haven’t answered ilda’s question. So saan nga nakalagay dito sa article nila na maka SM si Mr. Dion Fernandez?

        1. hay naku, are u blind??

          just open your eyes, mr dion fernandez wrote a self serving piece of worthless garbage.

          “sm failed baguio” my ass, e bakit niya sinabi na inevitable ang earth-ball ng sm??

        2. He also wrote that Save 182 failed Baguio. For that matter EVERYONE failed Baguio as is evident in what a shithole it’s become. Stepping even further back, Filipinos have failed the Philippines because the Philippines is now a shithole compared to the way it was left us by the Spaniards and the Americans.

          Deal with that. The above is the whole premise of GRP in all of just TWO sentences.

        3. It’s a self serving piece of garbage in your opinion but maybe the heavy bias that you feel against mr. Dion. Believe me when I say that your stupid ad hominem attacks are not helping your case here.

        4. Just because Mr.Dion agrees with SM earthballing the trees, it doesn’t mean it makes him Pro SM. You seriously need to brush up on your logic.

      2. Besides, the name of the article is “One Year On: Why I Believe both SM and Save 182 have Failed Baguio City in 2012”. Where does it say in that statement that Dion Fernandez is Pro SM???

      3. Kunwari lang na sabihin ko na agree ako sa earthballing ng SM automatically na ba na PRO SM ako even if I only agree on their method in transferring the trees? Like I said before, you really need to brush up on your logic since you aren’t using it.

      4. Yan ang mahirap sa mga aktibista. They pin their hopes and build their ideology on “heroes” rather than in a deeply-ingrained systemic and collective effort that emanates from the inherent character of the society. For every so-called Pinoy “hero” there are a million dipshits. So every step forward made by a “hero” is undone by a hundred steps backward by each of said dipshits.

        Change will not come from heroes. It will come from a change in the deepest character of the society itself — its culture. Change culture and you change the destiny of an entire nation.

        There have been “activists” in the Philippines since panahong kopong-kopong. But none of them made the Philippines any better than it was previously. In the Philippines, paatras ang asenso. And that is what is real. 😀

      5. @wiccastillo

        Geesus! What the heck happened to the people of Baguio? They used to be classy now they have this “bakya” mentality judging from the way you conduct yourself on the Net. You should stop representing Save 182 group because you are seriously destroying their reputation.

        Just look at the words you use: “pokpok” “bobo”. People from Baguio used to have class. They even spoke and wrote English well. Now we have you as evidence of deteriorating behaviour. It’s not only the place that’s rotting, even the attitude of people like you seems to be going to the dogs.

        1. @ilda

          Maybe they contracted this asal kalye attitude from the yellowtards that visit baguio or their true nature have always been like that.

        2. Ever since the Americans hightailed it out of there, Baguio lost its class appeal. It never even recovered from the 1990 earthquake since the people probably were no longer focused on restoring their class, but in merely surviving. And merely surviving means a loss of intellectualism.

        3. He’s too rabid and too stupid to even realize that he is losing most of the arguments here against his precious group.

        4. @ ilda

          This kind of people are not original Baguio City settlers. They are, just “passing through”.

          I can still recall the time that the only way you can communicate with a Baguio local was English. You are right, Baguio people lost their class, but thats just because of the fact that people from everywhere started to flock and live in Baguio ruin it and then cry foul.

      6. are they aware that you are using there names? it seems to me that you are merely riding on their fame and status. you’re just a wannabe

      1. Name-dropping…. means it’s all about the personalities and not the ideals. Who cares about the people who do something? It the something being done that’s important, not the people.

    4. a person who promotes and yet at the same time demeans someone else shows the nature of a person who is not of sound character… “attention grabbing sex maniac with 11 fingers”. PS182 apolitical? funny? you definitely act/talk like a bad politician…

      1. Most likely yes. Same level of stupidity, same level of stubborness, same level of epic fail trolling. Same level of low IQ.

    5. If the object of this exercise is drop names and say “they’re the heroes,” it is obviously a mere public relations stunt to get attention. And the attention… likely for self-interests and not really the environment. It focuses on personalities and not on ideas anymore, and this contributes to the Pinoy Dysfunction.

  11. tingnan mo nga yung mga statements mo if its even about the trees? its about the people you think are paid hacks by SM, patunayan nyo muna na binabayaran kami ng SM bago kayo magparatang ng ganyan, anyone who doesnt agree with you are automatically paid by SM, where are the trees in that? saka nasa SM lang ba ang mga trees trees na sinasabi mo? theyre all over and around Baguio! in case you didnt notice…

    1. They were probably protesting in manila in front of SM megamall about the earthballing in SM BAGUIO. I seriously facepalmed at that protest.

      1. where the fuck were all of you when all the other tree cuttings were done in baguio?
        when the trash slide that killed six people in tuba happened?
        when the region’s worse environmental disaster happened via the leaks from Philex mines?
        when hundreds of trees were being cut in john hay for their developments?
        i can go on and on!
        session road at SM lang alam niyo!
        ang dami diyan gumagawa ng mabuti para sa baguio and its citizens but theyre not even on Facebook! they do not announce to the whole world mga ginagawa nila!
        and they dont expect anything from anyone ng kahit anong kapalit para sa mga ginagawa nila!
        kung gusto niyong magpasikat ibahin niyo yung ibang tao! di lahat kagaya niyo!

  12. I think several questions need to be asked: what is the real impact of SM’s earthballing of trees? What is the real impact if those particular trees under SM are lost? And is this tree loss really that harmful? And how about for all of Baguio? Is it really worth going on a tililing rampage about? What are the real environmental problems related to that area? And isn’t earthballing OK, since it transfers trees without killing them?

    Are some people going on a tililing rampage for nothing?

    1. If it’s about landslides that kill people, isn’t it because the people who died in the landslides were squatters who should NOT have lived there in the first place?

      1. Look, not only Baguio is suffering from “wanton enviromental destruction”, what about CDO? What about other parts of the country? One problem before is that slash and burn or the Kaingin is practiced only by natives and tribes at the hinterland; now they are practiced by the squatters too! for what? the answer is charcoal. They slash and burn one side of the mountain for charcoal to sell in the lowlands, corrupt politicians and scalawags, activists and criminals are getting smarter nowadays, so why not this illegal squatters too?

  13. Bagiuao is not the only city where Filipino’s go and just leave their garbage where they consumed the food it came in. If they did it elsewhere, another country, they would be castigated for it. But in the Fils it is apparently OK to just act like a pig and throw your garbage wherever you feel like,GROSS. And it is really quite pig-like and repulsive to see if you are from a place where that kind of behavior is not tolerated, like everywhere else I have ever been, except the Philippines. People elsewhere respect Mpother earth at least to the point where they do not habitually litter, EVERYWHERE!

  14. Many trees are being cut, that’s the mark of urban development here in Baguio and everyone’s still fixated on SM Baguio.

    SLU’s new campus in Bakakeng? That’s a large tract of land with numerous pine saplings planted by various NSTP groups. Environmentalists’ reaction? None. Same goes for CJH’s Cyberzone, not a peep.

    1. The irony there is that both Ms. Bandoy and Ms. Araneta pointed to the fact that SLU and John Hay cut pine trees while everybody else was focused on SM, but these two ladies were eventually branded as “whores.”

      It’s an environmental double standard that a lot of other very vocal Baguio personalities would like to deny.

  15. To cas2013

    Huh? I think that is an attack below the belt. Too personal. I understand Save 182 does a lot of good for the city in many ways–but it should also include respect of others. This post is quite disappointing–where this particular rude and mean comment is concerned. 🙁 i don’t care what Dione wrote on that blog, but knowing Dione i do not think he was imposing, but basically was voicing out his own opinion and do not deserve to be disrespected this way. We all have the right to voice out our own opinions, right? Save 182 is all about environment and fighting for what’s right for love and passion for it’s people and it’s country/environment–but not this. 🙁

    I am not referring to Save 182 as a whole, but am only addressing this to the very person who made these rude comments against Dione–You! Cas2013

    I find your actions immature, selfish and disrespectful. That is in itself TRASH. Very disappointing. 🙁

  16. Jeez, 3 months after getting his butt whooped here and this guy, cas2013 still manages to show his mug here to post yet another stupid attack on dion fernandez? Thats so pathetic of save182 to still continue their senseless attacks on one that doesn’t agree with them.


























    1. <>

      There has to be a credible reason why.


      You’ve been given more than a year to scream down Session Road and rant on your own multiple Facebook pages. I’m pretty sure there is no suppression of speech in a private blog such as this.


      You’re right. I will never understand why you choose to demonize people who have a different opinion.


      “Save the planet? We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet! I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.” – George Carlin (an environmentalist, by the way!)


      Shame on your backfired post.


      How exactly can you prove that SM pays me? To write a blog post? On a site that lets people view for free?


      Um, I have the birth certificate, the diplomas and the photographs to tell you I was born in Baguio and lived here nearly all my life.


      Define “care.”


      I’m assuming you mean just the trees over at SM, and not the trees that were cut somewhere else during the entire year Save 182 was existing.


      And your leader drives a gas-guzzling jalopy.


      I represent the opposition that highlights the hypocrisies you choose to maintain.


      Both Grace and Lisa have been doing this longer than me, and even better than me. They know Baguio more than you do.


      How exactly are we destroying Baguio? Care to give something specific?


      Disrespect leads to anarchy.


      And that is why, in the end, I see you will have more failures than successes.


      These are exactly what eco-terrorist organizations around the world say about the state of the planet.


      I choose stoicism and dialogue rather than histrionics and appeals to emotion.


      Baguio City AND SM.


      Care to explain why God isn’t on my side, if you think I oppose you? As far as eco-spirituality is concerned, the same sun shines on you an me alike, while the same rain falls on us all.


      Cas2013??? Get a life!!


      Arrow-style vigilantism doesn’t scare me anymore, especially since that kind of tactic doesn’t escape its Facebook cradles.


      You offer pain? Bring it.

    2. Three years later, we dont hear anything from you Save 182 losers anymore.

      Looks like your group has miserably failed to gather support because of your thug like tactics to get people to join your group.

      In the end, the only ones you’ve managed to scare is potential supporters while we at GRP are still LAUGHING at your mental breakdown.

      Too bad cas2013, you failed.

  18. To cas2013
    Jeez, your comment will definitely get deleted AGAIN because you lacked the common sense to type it in all capitals.

    Enjoy your epic fail, MORON

  19. Just recently came back from baguio and it looks like those Save 182 thugs were nowhere to be seen.
    Months after this article and not a peep is heard from that Save 182 nutjob.

    Looks like they ultimately failed in their attempt to scare Mr. Fernandez.

      1. I don’t really expect a bunch of mewling quims to walk the talk.
        Their bark is worse than their bite but they still won’t get any respect here if they still continue to act like psychos against anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

  20. dear midway heaven,

    the 182 group failed with their action but at least they bark like a wolf, its there feeling and show how to cry when fouled. its not how many who opposed and how many who are in favor. its about the environment and the spirit of the people. this people cried bacause it is a must to do. remember this story somebody wants to cut hundreds of tree then everybody cried , but nobody from hoodlums politician have the guts to bark they know that anybody from them could have stop the project but nobody does.
    when i was a little boy from hinterlands when my forest was my home and provinder in the mountains i grew knowing not of this schemeing politicians and ignorant was i of the selfishness, greed and human conflict. i learn to commune with the trees. they are our protector that gives us the fresh air we breath, as a liitle boy when walking along session road i could feel the coldness of the day and didnt bother to wipe my nostril for it is filled with a dew. but now nostrils are filled with black smoke residue. thus, the trees should remain and stand to where they are. lately, this trees were cut by a thief. and no one from our local government even our father of the city keeps on saying private property kasi iyan

    1. @hinterland boy:

      Nothing in my article mentions anything about how many are opposed or are in favor. It’s all about saying that both SM and Save 182 are sore losers.

      The point here is: if people feel so strongly about the trees, then they should not focus on SM alone (like what certain vocal people are doing now). Focus also on the ordinary people, who own homes in Baguio and who cut down more trees than SM.

      And when the election season arrives, perhaps the people should try to be wise enough to know who to vote for, so that this doesn’t happen again.

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