Monday, March 2, 2015

Epal Tarpaulins By Politicians Put Up In Baguio City During The Panagbenga Festival?

Crowds freak me out so I dared not step into town on February 28 and March 1, the dates when the Grand Street Dancing and Grand Float parades were staged. But thanks to the always reliable power of the web, I was able to follow what transpired during said days through my Google bookmarks and Facebook news feed.

Looking at the endless stream of posts about the Panagbenga festivities, I guess it was a resounding success because most of the posts were positive. A few weeks from now, City Hall will be announcing how many millions of pesos the festivities poured into the city's coffers. Cool.

Of course, there are the complaints about vehicular traffic moving like molasses, of town crawling thick with thousands of people that if you flap an arm there's a good chance you'll brush across someone's boob, and of garbage strewn on every nook and corner of the city. These complaints are to be expected thus they are not too surprising.

What caught me off guard a bit are reports that a couple of local politicians decided to put up tarpaulins bearing their smiling faces within the central business district (CBD). They hang their tarps in places that can be viewed by the thousands of people who flocked to the CBD. In our own unique lingo, these are called "epal" tarps and the faces featured in them are simply the "epals".

This morning, while in town, I decided to go and see if indeed the reports are true. And they are. There's a tarpaulin of Baguio City Congressman Nicasio Aliping Jr. in Malcolm Square. It proclaims "Happy Panagbenga! from Atty. Nic M. Aliping Jr."

And then there's this tarp placed in a portion of the overpass at the foot of Session Road just beside Hotel Veniz. It's from a woman named Rachel Baby Arenas. Does the name ring a bell? I'm guessing no because the woman isn't even from Baguio City. A quick Google search divulges that Arenas is a former Congresswoman from Pangasinan and that she's a current Governor of the Philippine Red Cross. And it beats me as to why she felt that there's a need for her to plaster her face in town.

Want evidence that the tarpaulins exist? Here, I took these snapshots just this morning. I wonder whatever happened to the anti-epal bills by Senator Miriam Santiago and Kabataan Party-list Rep. Terry Ridon. I'm not familiar as to the current status of these bills but it's time that we take them seriously if we don't want giant faces of politicians staring down at us while we eat our shawarma in Malcolm Square.
The Cordilleran Sun

The Cordilleran Sun

The Cordilleran Sun