I’ve always preferred the laid-back culture of Cebu to Manila’s bright lights and big city fanfare. The perfect fusion of rural charm and progressive urbanity makes it more livable. This is coming from a guy who has lived in Manila for five years and never developed an acquired taste for it. However, I cannot deny that the things which irked me about the capital such as heavy traffic, pollution, and flooding are slowly creeping its way into our lovable city. 

Cebu is experiencing sudden successive growth in its economy. The cityscape is seeing a construction influx of high-rise buildings and new business centers around the metro. With the unprecedented rise in the city’s expansion, there is a need to reflect on the effects it has on our city. I believe that Cebu City’s growth doesn’t have to come at a price which our children will sorely pay.

Youth for a Livable CebuIn line with this, a budding group of young people has formed the Youth For A Livable Cebu (YLC). This is the youth arm of the Movement for a Livable Cebu. The group recently held its first Livability Walk along Gorordo Avenue last February 10. Participants of the walk were members of the broadcast media, bloggers, writers, and photographers. It started in Lahug Elementary School down to Handuraw Restaurant. The purpose of the walk was to raise awareness on Cebu’s existing infrastructure and its sufficiency to support livability.

The Livability Walk is a series of walks with an open forum aimed to raise awareness and concern among different sectors in Cebu. It also plans to encourage a more walkable culture among Cebuanos—which means getting around the city by walking instead of driving a car or riding mass transit. Through these walk series, the group plans to collate the data and observations of the participants and submit proposals to local government units to address these concerns. One of the goals is to increase foot traffic along Gorordo Ave. by making it a safe and comfortable experience for pedestrians. Hopefully this can be applied to the other major roads in the city also.

YLC’s goal is of a livable Cebu inspired by its rich heritage and culture, thriving in socially responsible economies, revitalized urban centers, governed by responsible leaders, and transformed by an engaged citizenry. If you share the same vision as YLC, you may join their projects, events, and talks. You can check out www.facebook.com/youthforcebu for new updates.

We can escape Cebu’s pressing problems for a time by moving to another city or migrating to a different country. But you can never escape the fact that we only have one hometown and it needs our joint effort to turn its growth into a sustainable progress.

Photo Credits: Jon Andrew Cabiles

Youth for a Livable Cebu green wall

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