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VIGAN CITY ▬ The monsoon hit Ilocos so bad. In the city of Vigan, the drainage system has been declogged to prevent flooding in the poblacion. But there is this one notorious road in Tamag known for annoying every road user. This is a still-to-be-named road connecting the southern end of Rizal Street to Quirino Boulevard in Tamag.

Dry Season

If you think this road puts pain on everyone's ass only during rainy season, not really. The dry days are not exempted. During the dry season, you'll see that some road users use face mask to protect themselves from inhaling harmful particles. People with bronchial asthma are sure victims. On the side of establishment owners, dusts keep entering their stores. The sad part here is that most of the business establishments along this road are restaurants/carinderia that cater to the general public. Since these stores are not fully-enclosed, dust particles may mix with the food that the general public is eating. Tsk! These students who chase for cheap meals from carinderias are also victims. I hope they won't get sick.

Traffic Jam

When the small bridge in Cuta started to be replaced/repaired, this road served as an alternate road replacing the very busy Quirino Boulevard, the main access road to the University of Northern Philippines. Aside from that, this road is also used to access the tourist attractions in the southern part of the city.

But this has caused heavy traffic in this part of Vigan and the flooded road made the situation worse. Well, there's nothing we can do because this is the only possible alternate road but the road condition is not helping commuters. 

If this road is concreted, the excruciating situation would at least be minimized. The dirty flooded road especially near the Jardin de Caridad including the long queue of commuters and vehicles is a chaos. Commuters and road users cry that this road should be paved.

So What Now?

Whenever I talk to tricycle drivers, I usually hear them say "Ania met detoy nga dalan. Kastoy ti New7Wonder City?" (What kind of road is this? Is this what we call a New7Wonder City?). And I would agree to these tricycle drivers. How more if you're a first time visitor in Vigan expecting to see beautiful views then what you're going to experience is this?

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you'll know how passionate I am in promoting the tourism in Vigan as well as in inviting tourist to visit my hometown. But this road situation is something that should not be ignored. There will be more damages in our reputation if we, residents of Vigan, will remain silent and just allow this road to destroy the good image earned by Vigan for many years. 

I personally see tourist buses taking this very ugly road going to Baluarte or Caoayan and it's my fear that if the respective LGUs or government departments tasked to take care of this road will not make urgent solution for this problem, more and more and more and more tourists and visitors will experience the notoriety of this road. What will they say about this New7Wonder City that has gained popularity in the global community? What if there are tourists who will take photos of this road and post them in their social media accounts with bad captions? The reputation of Vigan is at stake just because there is one ugly road. The good image can be wiped away instantly. You know the power of social media. One photo can change the world.

In fact, our title as a New7Wonder City is a big pressure to live with. With this title, tourists are expecting that Vigan is really a wonder city. But like any other city in the world, Vigan also has flaws and this road is one those flaws. But are we going to wait for more days before we pave this road? I do not know who is tasked to manage this road: Vigan LGU? PGIS? DPWH? But are we going to wait before it's too late?

The issue of jurisdiction should not bar these government agencies to make 'good deeds' for the good of every citizen. Instead of pointing fingers, what if all of these agencies will work hand in hand to give solution to this problem? If there is conflict over the jurisdiction of this road, why not put solution for these conflicts urgently?

Everyone has personal reasons why they want this road to be paved ASAP. Some are annoyed of the traffic it is causing. Some complain for the extreme inconvenience. In my case, I am writing this to voice out my personal reason also. I am active in advocating for the promotion of tourism in Vigan and as I have mentioned above, my fear is the destruction of the reputation of this New7Wonder Heritage City as a beautiful tourist destination.

I wrote this to raise awareness and I hope the officials of the Vigan LGU, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur and the DPWH will read this. I don't know who is in charge of this road so I am mentioning all of the foregoing LGUs/department. But I believe if we have an initiative, the issue of jurisdiction is not a problem. The cry of the people is to pave this road (sementuen yo kuman apo). I hope the work will be done before it's too late. Shall we?

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