TRAFFIC NEWS AND ROAD SITUATION
Road constructions continue to bring in heavier traffic.
Various ongoing road repairs as well as drainage constructions cause traffic congestion this week. Main thoroughfares such as Abanao Street that leads to City Hall, and Harrison Road, which leads to educational institutions like Baguio City National High School-Main and University of the Cordilleras and is known for its Baguio Night Market, have one side reduced by a lane span owing to excavations.
Moreover, the Department of Public Works and Highways is doing re-blocking and repairs on roads leading to the Summer Capital. Affected roads include stretches along Kennon Road as well as those in Naguilian, La Union. Those who are coming from Ilocos and passing La Union en route to Baguio can expect 30 minutes to an hour to be added to their travel. The same is true for those who choose the Kennon Road route to the City of Pines, since there are stretches of road with one-way traffic.
Strawberry and Vegetables
The prices of strawberry and vegetables, pasalubong staple for Baguio visitors, tend to go up during rainy season.
With the rainy season now in full swing, strawberries sold at the Baguio Public Market are now at PhP250 per kilo on weekdays to as high as PhP350 to PhP400 on weekends. Vegetable prices are also on the upswing as the rains pour. Buyers can expect five to 10 pesos more on the price per kilo of vegetables.
The price of cauliflower, for instance, is up by ten pesos at PhP25 to PhP30 from PhP20 to PhP25 during the previous weeks. Brocolli is at PhP50 a kilo while carrots are PhP13 to PhP18 per kilo, which are also higher from the previous prices of PhP10 to PhP15 per kilo. Potato varies in price depending on size with the smallest variety at PhP15 a kilo while the medium to big ones are at PhP20 to PhP30 a kilo. Potato marbles are at PhP18 to PhP25 per kilo.
Coffee is best for the rainy season and Benguet is one of the top producers of Arabica coffee.
Arabica coffee in jars at Kape Umali (Photo from Kape Umali tumblr account)
Benguet is one of the top coffee producers in the Philippines and residents even claim that Benguet coffee is among the best in the world. The province produces mostly Arabica variety. Baguio is the go-to market for most of Benguet’s products given it’s being a tourist hub. Arabica and other varieties of coffee can be bought at two iconic stores at Baguio Hangar Market namely Kape Umali and Garcia’s Pure Coffee.
Coffee can be bought by the kilo. One-fourth kilo is priced around PhP80 to PhP100 or PhP320 to PhP400 per kilo. Coffee enthusiasts and residents typically blend together a couple of varieties such as Barako and Arabica for that fuller and smoother taste.
Last July 7, 2016, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) opened the first Shared Service Facility (SSF) Project for Arabica Coffee Postharvest Processing and Cupping Laboratory in the country at the Benguet State University (BSU) in La Trinidad, Benguet. The lab is set to extend services to coffee farmers through continuous research, improvement of Arabica coffee products as well as enhancement of income opportunities.
Kabayan and Kiangan Museum admission now free
Kabayan Museum (Photo from google sites)
Since the change in leadership in the Philippines last June 30, the field of arts and culture has also seen change. On July 01, 2016, admission to the National Museum as well as its regional museums has been free of charge. These include the Kiangan Museum in Ifugao and the Kabayan Museum in Benguet. The museums used to charge PhP150 for adults, PhP120 for senior citizens, and PhP50 for students, and admission was free only on Sundays.
The Kiangan Museum is mainly an ethnic museum of various invaluable Ifugao artifacts, while the Kabayan Museum, which carries collections of material culture of the Kankana-ey, Ibalo, and Ikalahan or Kalanguya, was primarily established by virtue of a presidential decree to be in charge of the National Cultural Treasure of Kabayan, Benguet: the Kabayan Mummy Caves.
The museums are open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10:00AM to 5:00PM. Kiangan Museum is located at the historic Philippine Veterans Affair Office compound while Kabayan is Kabayan, Benguet. Kiangan is eight to 10 hours from Baguio via van while Kabayan is four hours or so from the Summer Capital.
The daily possibility of rain is at 50 percent. More caution is needed when traveling now that the rainy season is in full swing.
For the week’s weather forecast, the minimum temperature in the city will be 16°C (60.8°F)and the maximum temperature is pegged at 23°C (73.4°F). The average temperature this week is 19°C (66.2 °F ). Cloudy skies on the horizon will be seen most of the week and there is a 50% likelihood of scattered rain showers as well as thunderstorms, particularly in the afternoon. Checking weather advisories from DOST Pagasa Facebook page is recommended before heading out to Baguio. Bringing of umbrella as well as other rain gear is likewise advised.
Dengue cases on the rise. Extra caution and prevention measures are advised.
Baguio Health Services Office Infectious Disease program coordinator Dr. Donnabel Tubera said that hospitals in the City of Pines recorded a 500 percent spike in cases of dengue, from 214 to 1007 cases from January to June this year.
Although no deaths from the mosquito-borne disease were reported by the seven hospitals in the city, Tubera described the increase in cases as “very alarming.”
Residents and visitors are directed to monitor mosquito breeding areas and practice the 4S, which stands for Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, use Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation for fevers lasting more than 2 days, and Say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak.