So Manila’s famed Baywalk is no more.
The business establishments have been torn down, I mean; not those pretty lollipop lights which Manila’s feisty mayor should do well to maintain – even if it reminds him of a political era gone by.
I have never been a fan of the Baywalk in the first place, even if it held a character of its own. There was just something improper about drinking beer in a place and then when your bladder is starting to act up (like I do when I drink beer) there is no decent toilet to do your peeing in. I could just imagine poor ol’ Manila Bay being defiled even further because all those people who couldn’t be bothered lining up in the portalets had to answer the call of nature by the freakin’ bayside.
Then of course there were all the prostitutes, con artists and people hustling you for alms, sampaguita flowers, and what-nots; who couldn’t even leave you in peace to listen to the music or enjoy your dinner (in tacky disposable styrofoam plates because again, this Baywalk was so environmentally-friendly).
This is not to mention the excessive loudness caused by live music in the area which riled hotel and condominium tenants living nearby.
My media sources tell me that most of the Baywalk establishments
did not operated without a license, having been owned by City Hall and police/military officials themselves. Obviously, they also violated sanitation laws requiring food outlets to have fire extinguishers, proper toilets and such.
Having read the arguments over at Carlos’ blog…. I wonder why people who espouse aesthetics and pedestrian rights ignore the blatant disregard for laws that Baywalk stood for? That the folks who cried over the destruction of Mehan Garden forget the environmental degradation that Baywalk may have caused, by way of all the (non-biodegradable) trash coming from the outlets possibly seeping into the bay?
Baywalk needs to be put into proper perspective, especially as we have seen in other metro developments like Greenbelt and Serendra how infrastructure can happily co-exist with nature, that open spaces are possible in so-called commercial areas.
Perhaps, Baywalk can reopen in another time when proper planning has been done and the business outlets can fully comply with the laws relating to frontage, sanitation and such.
In the meantime, let us keep Baywalk clean and let the joggers jog in unobtrusive peace. Let me also have my piece of the unforgettable Manila sunset.