BAGUIO CITY– The mercury level of the thermometer continues to drop in the Summer Capital over the past several days until it reached the coldest so far this month at 11.8 degrees Celsius around 5 am Tuesday, weathermen said.
Wilson Locando, senior weatherman of the Baguio office of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the sudden drop in the city’s temperature was a result of the enhanced northeast monsoon due to the continuous prevalence of Tropical Storm Seniang which is now over the Visayas provinces.
“The weather disturbance is contributory in continuously enhancing the northeast monsoon which brings much colder winds from China and Siberia to the northern part of the country. We still expect much colder days in the coming months,” Locando stressed.
He said there is still a big possibility that the city and other highly elevated areas will experience single digit temperatures within the first three months of next year as the northeast monsoon continues to be stronger as a result of the melting of ice in China and Siberia, signaling the transition of winter to spring next year.
Anthony de Leon, President of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) and General Manager of the Baguio Country Club (BCC), said the sudden drop in the city’s temperature serves as a natural pull for foreign and local visitors to flock to the city just to take a break from the scorching heat of the lowlands and enjoy the city’s cool and romantic weather.
He said the over 250 HRAB members and over 700 operators of transient houses continue to receive inquiries from prospective visitors during the extended New Year break but they could no longer offer them room considering that their establishments were already fully booked since the middle part of this year.
“We are already fully booked and we do not want to give false hopes to our prospective visitors making last-minute reservations,” he added.
The lowest recorded temperature in the city was 6.3 degrees Celsius on January 18, 1961.
De Leon cited efforts of concerned government agencies, the city government and the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to address major concerns on traffic, garbage collection and disposal and peace and order in order to ensure the safety of visitors for them to keep coming back and spend their well-deserved breaks in the Summer Capital.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan admitted addressing the problems triggered by the influx of visitors such as traffic, increase in garbage collection and disposal and peace and order is considered to be challenging because of the need to mobilize more government personnel and volunteers in order to guarantee the safety of the visitors and the cleanliness of the city amidst the sudden surge in garbage that are contributed by the visitors.
“We are elated over the cooperation of our local residents and visitors in addressing the major issues and concerns as a result of the influx of tourists to our city,” Domogan said.
He appealed to local residents and visitors to be patient in dealing with monstrous traffic congestions around the city in order to prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that might taint the image of the city and would affect its status as one of the preferred tourist destinations in the country, saying that “cooler heads should always prevail in this cool city.”