BAGUIO CITY is a 1st class highly urbanized city in northern Luzon of the Philippines. The City was established in 1900 by the Americans at “Kafagway” and Ibaloi Village. Baguio at that time served as a rest and retreat haven for the weary Americans.
This place is now known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Baguio is the seat of government of the Cordillera Administrative Region. Baguio is 1500 meters (5100 feet) above sea level and is situated in a moist tropical pine forest conducive to the growth of mossy plants and orchids.
Baguio used to be one of the minor ranches established in 1846. The name of the ranch was then “Kafagway” and at that time there were only 20 houses. Later on, the place was renamed to Baguio and was derived from an Ibaloi word “Bagiw” which means moss.
In 1900, during the American occupation, the appointed Governor was Mr. H. Phelps Whitmarsh and the Baguio became the capital city of Benguet Province, since then development of the area took place. Then in 1904, Architect and City Planner Daniel H. Burnham together with his assistant Pierce Anderson was commissioned by Governor General William H. Taft and Cameron Forbes to prepare a physical plan for the City, which a year later on the "Plan of Baguio" was approved adopting the Garden City Concept of City Planning. The said plan served as a blueprint for the development of the place making it one of the pioneering endeavors in the Philippines.
On September 1, 1090 the Baguio City Charter was approved to support and carry the plan.
The City is 250 kilometers North of Manila and located in the heart of Benguet province. Baguio is bounded by Benguet municipalities on all sides, in the north side La Trinidad, Sablan in the west, south side Tuba municipality and Itogon in the southwest side.
Baguio City has a total land area of 57.49 square kilometers. The portion of the City corresponds to a terrain that rises to an elevation of 1,500 meters above sea level.
The City's topography is characterized from steep to rolling. About half of the area of the City has a slope of 25% or more.
From the total land area residential area occupies 2,102.6 hectares or 36.57%. The houses are mostly concentrated near business activities and service centers. On the other hand, first class subdivisions are located in areas accessible to the city’s Central Business District and middle class subdivisions likewise found at the western and southern portion of the city. Other land uses are for watershed, military reservations, national government reserves, forest reservation; Igorot land claims, public land, and commercial areas that occupy 201.35 hectares or 3.5% of the total land area.
The current population of the city is 252,386 people in 52,302 households. Ilocano is dominant dialect in the city spoken by 57.3%, followed by Tagalog at 25.8%, English, and Kankanai, the dominant tribal dialect spoken by 4.6% of the population. Others also speak Ibaloi, Ifugao, Bontoc and other ethnic groups’ dialect.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The city’s economy is attributed more from commercial retail and other business services which generates substantial income for Baguio. Currently there are more than 15,353 legitimate business establishments operating in the city with 47.89% coming from Retail Trade, 17.37% from real estate business and 17.20% from service establishments. There are also small and medium scale industries and handicrafts making in Baguio, as well as food processing.
With the presence of PEZA this also contributed in the City’s economy, with 7 multinational corporations located in the area, such as Texas Instruments Philippines Inc. (TIPI) is the most prominent corporation nationwide. It is also a top dollar earner. The total exports generated by the zone in 2005 reached $2.63 billion. Tourism also played a vital role in the economy of Baguio. There are 109 hotels, inns and lodging houses operating in the city, and 1,117 restaurants and cafes that cater to all visitors. The city also has 158 banks and financial institutions.
Today, Baguio City is going through rapid urbanization and high population growth, thus the local government continues to adopt a strategic and comprehensive policy for the benefit of its people.
Baguio City has two pronounced seasons, the rainy season occurs from the months of June to October with maximum rainfall felt from July to September; and the dry season from November to April. The coldest months occur from January to February.
The City is 8 °C cooler on any month on the average than any place in the lowlands. The temperature seldom exceeds 26 °C at its warmest.
Baguio City is the best place to buy special handicrafts such as silver and brass metalcrafts, woodcarving, textile weaving and knitting. The city is also considered as the “Flower Garden City of the North” for beautiful and colorful flowers is abundant, as well as pine trees.
Fresh strawberries and other fruit preserves are favorite tourist buys all year round, as well as fresh vegetables and fruits.
Majority of the population of Baguio City were Roman Catholics, followed by Episcopalian Church, Iglesia ni Cristo, and other religious sects.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
Baguio City has 129 barangays:
Bayan Park West
Bayan Park East
Cabinet Hill-Teacher's Camp
City Camp Central
City Camp Proper
Country Club Village
Quirino Hill, East
Fort del Pilar
General Luna, Upper
General Luna, Lower
Holy Ghost Extension
Holy Ghost Proper
Lourdes Subdivision Extension
Lourdes Subdivision, Lower
Quirino Hill, Lower
General Emilio F. Aguinaldo
Magsaysay Private Road
Aurora Hill Proper
Quirino Hill, Middle
Mines View Park
Modern Site, East
Modern Site, West
Aurora Hill, North Central
Sanitary Camp, North
Pinsao Pilot Project
MRR-Queen Of Peace
Rock Quarry, Lower
San Antonio Village
San Luis Village
San Roque Village
Santo Tomas School Area
Santo Tomas Proper
Session Road Area
Slaughter House Area
Sanitary Camp South
Saint Joseph Village
Rock Quarry, Upper
Quirino Hill, West
Imelda R. Marcos
Lourdes Subdivision, Proper
Aurora Hill, South Central
Bayan Park Village
Dominican Hill Mirador
Manuel A. Roxas
Quezon Hill, Upper
Rock Quarry, Middle
Quezon Hill Proper
Middle Quezon Hill Subdivision
Rizal Monument Area
SLU-SVP Housing Village
Market Subdivision, Upper
Baguio has always been a favorite vacation destination, especially to those who wanted a cooler climate. Baguio is a six-hour bus ride through Kennon Road, Marcos Highway, and Naguilian Road. Visitors may opt for an accommodation in Camp John Hay Manor. Book a room with a forest view if you prefer it cooler in the evenings, as the garden view rooms soak in more warmth from the sun during the day. The manor also has eco-attraction viewing such as the Butterfly Sanctuary with more than 12 species of butterflies; Art Park offering workshops on learning about garbage art, organic cooking. Then trek along Eco-Trail which is a two-kilometer trail through forest greens.
Try going to Baguio Public Marketfor fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as strawberries. A trip to Baguio will not be complete without a stroll down Session Road. Check out the cafes, stores, sweater of all sorts, and watch the local bands. Other frequently-visited spots in the city include the Teacher's Camp, Lion's Head, and the public market, a favorite place for tourists looking for souvenirs.
ASIN HOT SPRINGS
This is a natural hot spring with special pools for tourists.
BAGUIO BOTANICAL GARDEN
This garden is also known as the Igorot Village which contains many Igorot houses with various flora and fauna. Tourists can take pictures with the Igorot tribesmen dressed in their traditional costume.
The rose-colored church is built on top of a hill in the City proper. The structure has twin spires and is one of the most photographed buildings in the city. Visitors may ascend a long concrete stairway of more than a hundred steps from the session road leading to the Cathedral. The cathedral was consecrated in 1936 and during World War II it became an evacuation center that saved thousands of lives.
BAGUIO GRAND MOSQUE
This is situated in Campo Filipino, and considered the biggest Muslim Mosque in Baguio. The Mosque also houses an Islamic Madrasah.
The Bell Church is situated north of the downtown area of Baguio. The Church has intricate designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons. It also has a pagoda, and a landscaped garden. Buddhism artifacts and some literature about the history of China can be found here.
This park was named after the city planner Daniel Burnham, and this is situated at the center of the city. It features a man-made lagoon where people can hire a banca (rowboat) and a promenade, a "dancing fountain" with a main jet that sprays water up to a height of 50 feet at the center of the lake, bicycle areas, a children's park, covered skating rink, and a soccer field with the Melvin Jones Grandstand at one end where many concerts are performed, among many other facilities.
CAMP JOHN HAY
This is a 690-hectare property that once used to be a rest and recreational facility for employees of the military and Department of Defense of the United States. The facility was named after U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt's secretary of war. Prior to this it was also used by the Japanese as concentration camp for American and British soldiers during the war. Later on, the name of the place was changed to Club John Hay; however it is often called more as Camp John Hay. Currently the place can be a perfect accommodation place for any tourist.
ITOGON WOOD CARVER’S VILLAGE
Tourists may find independent indigenous wood carvers here which ranges from very small figurines to huge statues.
KING LOUIE’S FARM
The Cathedral was built in 1876 near Baguio Public Plaza upon the initiative of Fr. Mauricio Ferrero, and became a cathedral in 1933. This is one of the century-old churches found in Negros Occidental.
This is situated on a high hill in the western part of Baguio where the image of the Lady of Lourdes can be seen. It is a favorite pilgrimage site during Holy Week most especially during Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Access to the top of the grotto is through climbing the 252 steps or by driving a light vehicle through a winding, narrow and steep asphalt-paved road.
MARYKNOLL ECOLOGICAL SANCTUARY
This sanctuary is ideal for relaxation since one can be mesmerized by the various flowers planted here. It also has a gallery inspiring any tourists’ creativity.
MINES VIEW PARK
This Park boasts a spectacular view of Benguet's gold and copper mines.
PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY
This is a 373-hectare compound in Loakan. The Fort was named after the young hero of the battle of Tirad Pass, Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar. Years later, the Academy site was developed into an ideal military training institution with facilities and infrastructure required of a growing military institution. Its rigid and unique 4-year curriculum has been designed to fit the specific needs of the major branches of service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Just like military academies in the United States, female cadets have also been accepted by PMA since 1993
Tourists can find a stretch of commercial centers, other numerous shops, restaurants, billiard halls, and duckpin bowling alleys from this road.
This Village has an art gallery and attracts many indigenous artists.
This is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines located on the eastern part of the city along the Leonard Wood Road and right across from Wright Park. The mansion was built in 1908 for U.S. governor-generals and was destroyed in 1945 during World War II. Later on it was reconstructed and since then it has been used by various Philippine presidents whenever they come up to Baguio for their official visits and engagements. The elaborate main gate of the Mansion is said to be a replica of that at Buckingham Palace in London. Vehicles entering the compound pass through a great circular driveway and it is usually open only when the Mansion is used for an official function or activity.
This Orchidarium houses various breeds of flowers and plants.
The Park was named after the architect who designed the city which features a shallow elongated rectangular body of water known as the "Pool of Pines" and visitors can go horseback-riding.
Asian Spirits Airline maintains a daily schedule of flights from Manila to Baguio and back to Manila.
Baguio is accessible by via various bus companies that ply from Manila to Baguio and vice-versa. From the city proper, local transportation is abundant such as taxis, jeepneys and car hires.