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‘Things are looking up for Baguio and me’

By Angela Casco

When a highly-infectious disease results in an outbreak and a lockdown, it’s easy to get caught up in all the bad that comes with it, the continuous rise of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases, lack of medical facilities and supplies, hurting businesses, zero income for many, and general unpreparedness for such a life-altering strain of coronavirus.

For Mia Magdalena Longid, however, nothing is worse than the virus itself.

Weeks prior, she and three other friends have raised a total of P350,000 to buy personal protective equipment for frontline workers through singing and dancing on TikTok. Through this initiative, they were able to help seven hospitals, a quarantine center, and countless checkpoints in five waves of PPE distribution.

During the last day of distribution at a Baguio hospital on April 20, however, Mia handed a box of PPE to a doctor, who—much like Grab Doctors—has been visiting different hospitals to help distribute donations using an authorized pass. Three days ago, though, the medical personnel said she tested positive for Covid-19 and that she was asymptomatic. Mia was automatically listed as one of her contacts.

While some Baguio residents were out for a quick grocery run, Mia was outside for a Covid-19 test. It was on her way home after getting her samples taken that she saw what she later included in her now-viral Facebook post—tactile pavings.

“I took the photo while walking from the Baguio Health Center on my way home. I had to go there for testing as I had come into contact with a confirmed case. I was a low risk individual but I was anxious during my walk,” she told Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “It was a pleasant surprise seeing the tiles.”

Tactile pavings, also called Tenji blocks, among other names, are textured, brightly-colored indicators that guide the visually impaired. These are usually found on sidewalks, at train stations and bus stations, and in other public places.

Featured Image Baguio

It comes in four patterns, each with a different meaning: tiles with embossed flat-topped blisters in a square pattern indicate that there is a road crossing; tiles with offset blisters indicate that there is a train platform ahead or that there is a sudden level change; tiles with ‘across’ stripes, also called corduroy hazard warning tiles, show that there are stairs or other hurdles ahead; and tiles with ‘along’ lines indicate safety ahead.

“They are a big help,” Mia said. “Tactile indicators act not only as a physical change in texture for blind pedestrians, but also as a visual change for pedestrians that have low-vision, color-blindness, or failing sight.”

When asked if the tactile pavings were new to the city, Mia said as far as she knew, installation in the area began November last year and was put on hold because of the enhanced community quarantine. The tactile paving she saw was near Saint Louis University and stretched for about a kilometer.

As she continued her walk home, Mia said she looked forward to more tiles being installed after ECQ.

For now, she said she’s grateful for another bit of good news.

“I found out that my results were negative,” she said. “Things are looking up for Baguio and me.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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