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Yes Ella, there’s malling in Butuan—now

By Joselito Lopez

Oh, it’s like any urbanizing or urbanized Southeast Asian city like, okay-Denpasar (Bali) Malacca and Penang (Malaysia) and even Penang (Vietnam) and a few cities in Thailand and Vietnam.

I could be wrong but I would like to believe Butuan is of the same category of the cities mentioned or going in that direction. After all, according to the locals, the city is ascending economically and nothing can stop it if played right.

Credit should go to the aggressiveness and vision of the authorities and stakeholders.

At the recent State of the City Address (SOCA) of the mayor, Engr. Ronnie Vic Lagnada, he gave an assuring, seemingly well-paved and planned agenda we all hope and aspired for.

He emphasized the importance of industrializing the city and being a civil engineer, we have high hopes he can swing it. There is no reason or excuse he can’t. The guy seem to be an action man, one Butuan badly needs.

Way back the ‘70s and early ‘80s, the city belonged to small and slow-moving cities despite its economic potentials. We were even called the “Timber City of the Philippines.” But we remained stagnant and wanting because of misplaced priorities.

Worse, local politicians and leaders had limited vision and mediocre aspirations.It’s no wonder we have lagged behind Tagum City, Cagayan de Oro, Pagadian and other cities in Mindanao.

However, Balikbayans who have lived and settled abroad for decades today are amaze and proud that Butuan had transformed to a vibrant urbanizing, if not, urbanized city.

Way back, they recalled, everyone knows everybody. The city so small you’re either known as someone from Urios High School or Agusan High School.

I remember the beauties of those times-Maritess Guingona, Carmela Guzman, Maricel Osin, Charito Booc, Hazel Vargas and that lovely lady from Burgos Street whose mother was a teacher. They were the “crush ng bayan” that time.

Today, the thing to do is go malling at the major malls and there’s even a new one coming up, along with new first class hotels and restaurants. I wonder what happened to the iconic Narra Restaurant of old?

Well, as you know and as we sing it, “some good things never last.” Not until we have ascended and got our dream.

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