I'm an island girl born and raised and I love my island home, and I'm sure you do, too. But some things are just getting worse. Here are six things that are making Cebu's beauty fade away fast.

1. Traffic

Yes, traffic. I despise it so much I've dedicated an entirely separate post regarding this.
It is definitely not what it used to be in the island. It practically didn't exist until a few years ago, where long drives and 15-minute cruises still were the trend. Now it's Carmageddon, EDSA in the flesh and it's leaving a lot of us frustrated over lost time, lost batteries, and lost heels due to people walking instead of waiting it out inside a very hot multicab. Kidding aside though, how are we catching up to the demands of urban and population growth? I envy Davao and their wide open highways and speed guns. Ilo-ilo isn't doing bad either, check out their cool bike lane:

When oh when will we have something like this? I read earlier this month that Mandaue plans on opening a bike lane somewhere in SB Cabahug street. Here's to hoping!

2. Flooding

(c) Christine Cornelio
Metro Cebu's floods are straight out of the Bible. As in Noah's Ark: it's deluge and destruction for freaking real, for both sinners and saints. Have you tried being stranded in SM after a particularly heavy downpour? I don't need to explain the horrors of Colon and AS Fortuna, do I? Hell hath no fury like flooding in downtown, that's for sure. Even the bravest 01K won't gamble crossing the flood in worse cases. Guys, we have enough new malls and condos sprouting all over town. What we truly need is a functional drainage system and people who know how to throw garbage properly.

3. Trash

We went to Moalboal this summer and found the beach trashed. And it wasn't because someone threw a bad beach party either. According to the caretaker, it was just the change in the winds that caused the trash to wash up on shore, along with lots of dry seaweed.

Photobombers: Trash was everywhere in Moalboal last summer. :(

 He said it was natural for wind to blow some stuff in, but I was so embarrassed to our guests who went on a 3 hour journey just to see a dirty beach. And in Moalboal, of all places. The marine biodiversity of that place is out of this world amazing, and to see human waste littering the beaches was just sad. We ended up cleaning the beach ourselves. 

4. Parks and Open Spaces

If you've been following the blog you'd know this is a topic very close to home. Whenever I go to Manila, I sometimes feel claustrophobic. Call me overacting, whatever. But everywhere in the capital, all I can see are buildings and malls and crowds and more buildings and flyovers. The first thing you see when you walk out of the airport is not the sky, but buildings. It's a tangle of infrastructure and could be very overwhelming to us humble island folk. Urban planning is not our strongest suit.

I don't think I can ever get used to it but sadly, Cebu is starting to feel this way too. I just hope that there would be more pockets of green in the city, and parks that are beautifully maintained by the government and the citizens alike.

5. Beaches

Sus Ginoo, don't get me started on beaches, especially in Mactan. I'm not gonna finish in time for your next internet read. Here's a story on how we went on a quest for the last free beach in the island.

6. Indifference of People

Guys, Cebu is our home. We all know it's the richest province in the country, but the way we handle its growth is kind of underwhelming. We still throw trash around like the world is our basurahan. We liter the beaches, park cars on sidewalks and still honk at pedestrians even if they're using the pedestrian lane. We don't give a damn about our rivers and esteros.

There wont be anything like Cebu ever again. You may have been born and raised as a Sugbuanon, or you might have moved in from somewhere else, but either way, this is our home. Its streets have raised us, we have grown up under its crazy hot sun, fell in love with its wonderful beaches. 

Mango taught us not to drink too much tequila before an exam and Colon threatened to teach us the lessons of jaywalking the hard way. Its the land of endless joyrides, late-night hangouts and Ceres buses full of plans of adventure. If we don't take care of it now, there won't be anything to take care of later. We're lucky enough to have non-profits like Movement for a Livable Cebu, but unless we really take to heart to keep our island home the best it could be, it's gonna be a long way down for you and me.

 Treat this as your call to arms. 

What have you done to make Cebu a better place, to stop its beauty from fading? 

Share your thoughts, guys.

All the love,

K x

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