High up in the northern part of Luzon lies Baguio, a city nestled within the mountain range in the province of Benguet. Dubbed the Summer Capital of the Philippines, the cool climate in the mountain city attracts visitors especially during the hottest months of the year. Baguio is also one of the most popular tourist spots in the country.
Because of its location up in the mountains, what is now known as Baguio City remained barely touched by Westernization until the American period.
- Before Baguio became the city it is today, it was an Ibaloi town by the name of Kafagway.
- When Americans arrived in the 1900s, they built Kennon Road, which connected Baguio with Pangasinan. In 1903, a residence was built in the area to accommodate the American governor-general during the hot summer months. Parks and structures were built soon after, and in July of 1903, the Americans dubbed Baguio as the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
- By 1904, American architect Daniel Burnham had laid out a plan for the city. Baguio was declared a city in September 1, 1909.
- In 1945, General General Tomoyuki Yamashita and Vice Admiral Okochi surrendered to American authorities in Camp John Hay.
- A massive earthquake in 1990 destroyed a large part of Baguio, but the city was rebuilt with aid from the national government and international donors.
Baguio City has all sorts of activities and sights for a wide range of travelers:
- Those looking to relax can take a stroll around the city or in one of the city’s many parks. There are also plenty of interesting shops and museums, as well as several spas in the city.
- Adventure seekers and sporty types will find plenty to do in Baguio, such as trekking up the mountainside and exploring the mines, or going horseback riding.
- Those interested in history can visit some of Baguio’s old buildings and American-era institutions, while those interested in local culture and traditions can go to the Tam-Awan artists’ village.
Getting There and Away
There are several bus lines that travel from Manila to Baguio, passing through provinces in Central Luzon and the Ilocos Region. Some of these bus services include Dagupan Bus, Dangwa, Genesis, Greenland, Partas, Philippine Rabbit, Saulog Transit, Tranco, and Victory Liner.