Carlos Celdran was recently in Cebu. He did something many of us don’t do in our fair city, he walked. Specifically, he walked from Gorordo corner Escario to Colon. As he is known to do, he wasn’t shy about voicing his feelings online.
“#Cebu. You need to get yourself some sidewalks. Some real ones. If you can pedestrianize any road/back street so that one can bike/pedicab/walk from Ayala Centre area all the way to Fort San Pedro, you will revolutionize the city. Traffic will be lessened, you will create a tourism corridor, you will increase roadside business and property value, and decrease air pollution. Check out some of the my photos from my walk down Gorordo corner Escario to Calle Colon. It was actually an okay walk. Showed promise. I passed by lovely boutique hotels, coffee shops,heritage houses, bake shops, tons of street food, a night market, a Starbucks, and an awesome BIKE SHOP called CEBU FIXED gear! (They should start bike tours of Cebu City for tourists). Get the pedestrian game going, Cebuanos. Don’t fuck it up like the way we did in . You still have more than fighting chance.”
To be fair, the city has recently been making more of an effort to make sidewalks. They aren’t the biggest sidewalks. Some almost look like an afterthought, but the effort is there towards the right direction.
Now we need to start respecting those sidewalks. It’s sad to see drivers parking their cars on them, carenderia owners taking advantage of the new “restaurant space,” pedestrians treating them as one giant trash can. Cebu, we can do better.
This got me thinking. Why don’t Filipino cities have a walking culture? Many of us would rather take a trike or a jeepney even if it were a very manageable distance. It’s so apparent that we were called out on it in Rafe Bartholomew’s book Pacific Rims.
“The hour-long walk was, according to some of my neighbors, proof of my insanity. In a city as hot and polluted as Manila, anyone who could afford to avoid walking did so. Walking long distances suggested that you couldn’t afford a car, a taxi, or even seven-and-a-half pesos (about twenty cents) to ride a jeepney. But as a native New Yorker, I was used to learning my way around by walking, and I was eager to get my bearings in Quezon City.”
One of the Philippines most famous walkers, his tours are called Walk This Way, Carlos Celdran is a prime example of how one can appreciate a city through walking. You never know what you might discover.
Below are the photos from Carlos Celdran’s short walk through our city:
*All photos from the Carlos Celdran Facebook page.