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Baguio City

Baguio City P is a well-known city in the Philippines located in northern Luzon. Baguio City, established by the Americans in 1909, is located about 1,500 meters above sea level, high in the Cordillera Central mountain range giving the city an almost temperate climate. This makes the city the leading summer tourist destination in the country, and in fact, the city's nickname is The Summer Capital of the Philippines.

City of Baguio

Region: Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
Founded: 1909
2000 census—252,386
Density—5,151 per km²
Area: 49 km²
Barangays: 129
Congressional district: Lone district of Baguio City
Class: 1st class; highly urbanized city

Baguio City is an independent city not belonging to any province. The city used to be part of the province of Benguet which completely surrounds the city. Baguio is also the administrative center of the Cordillera Administrative Region.

The City

Baguio City occupies 49 square kilometers of hilly land on a plateau about 1,500 meters high in the southwestern portion of the Cordillera Central mountain range in northern Luzon. It is completely surrounded by the province of Benguet in which the city used to be a town of before being made into an independent city. The city is bordered by the municipality of Tuba to the south and west, by Itogon to the east, and by Benguet's capital, La Trinidad to the north.

Owing to its high altitude, Baguio City has an almost temperate climate that averages about 8° C colder than in the lowlands. The temperature rarely goes higher than 26° C. During the rainy season from June to October, the city experiences much more rainfall than in other areas of the country, but is not often affected by typhoons that hammer the lowlands because of the buffer offered by the mountains.

The three main access roads leading to Baguio from the lowlands are Kennon Road, Marcos Highway, and Naguilian Highway. Kennon Road starts from Rosario, La Union and winds its way through a narrow and steep valley. This road is the fastest route to Baguio but is the most dangerous with frequent landslides during the rainy season. Marcos Highway, which starts from Agoo, La Union, and Naguilian Highway, which starts from Bauang, La Union, are more roundabout routes but are much safer than Kennon Road and are the only routes permitted to buses and trucks.

The centerpiece of the city is the Burnham Park which features a rectangular lagoon and open fields. The eastern part of the city is dominated by high-class residential areas surrounding the Camp John Hay, an former American military recreation zone now turned into a tourist residential-commercial area with its own 18-hole golf course.


Much of the economy of Baguio is heavily dependent on tourism. A secondary source of income for the residents is its character as commercial hub in the province of Benguet. Many of the agricultural and mining goods produced in Benguet goes to Baguio City for central distribution.

Education and Culture


Baguio City is home to many tourist spots and is a weekend getaway of those living in Metro Manila. It also boasts a rather large expatriate community composed of Americans, Germans, Koreans, and many other nationalities.

The primary economy of Baguio City, though, is its educational centers of which it has in excess of seven colleges and/or universities as well as a plethora of trade and technical schools. Estimates are that these schools compose in excess of one hundred thousand students.

Burnham Park, located at the center of the city, is named after the city's planner, Daniel Burnham, It features a man-made lagoon where people can hire a banca (rowboat). The park also has a skating rink and bicycle areas. At the northeast portion is a soccer field with a huge a stage at one end where many concerts are performed.

Baguio Cathedral is a majestic church built on top of a hill, and is seen from many parts of the city.

Session Road is the main avenue of the city and is its commercial center. Along the main street and sidestreets are numerous shops, restaurants, and billiard and duckpin bowling alleys. Session Road is also the place visited by foreign tourists who wish to enjoy the city's nightlife.

Camp John Hay, once a military recreational camp of the Americans during the World War II, it is now a popular destination for people who wish to see the pine forests in the city. It also boasts of a sprawling country club with a full 18-hole golf course as well as many trendy restaurants and a rather nice hotel called The Manor.

Mines View Park, located at the extreme northeast of the city, boasts a spectacular view of Benguet's gold and copper mines.

Loakan Airport is the only airfield within the vicinity of the city. It serves small domestic flights to different points in Luzon.

The Mansion is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines.

Baguio Botanical Garden, also known as the Igorot Village contains many Igorot houses amidst various flora and fauna that grows in the cool climate of the city. Tourists can usually take pictures with the Igorot tribesmen dressed in their traditional costume.

The Orchidarium is a showcase for the various breeds of flowers and plants that are grown in the region around Baguio.

Mary Knoll Ecological Sanctuary is a haven for free minds and bodies. The Eco-tour refreshes the eyes with nature's feast of flowers. The gallery inspires one's creativity.

King Louie's Farm is a ranch for the growth of cut flowers. Tours are available.

Tam-Awan Village is a reconstructed native village which also has an art gallery and attracts many indigenous artists.

Itogon Wood Carver's Village fills three kilometers of independent indigenous wood carvers. The works of these carvers range from very small figurines to huge statues.

Asin Hot Springs, which is actually located in Benguet but is considered a City resource, contains a natural hotspring. The City and other private concerns have built swimming pools for tourists. The area is very under -developed but is still a place that tourists should visit.

Wright Park, named after the architect who designed the city, features a a shallow elongated rectangular body of water known as the "Pool of Pines." At one end, there is a circle where visitors can go horseback-riding.

Some other frequently-visited spots in the city include the Lourdes Grotto, Teacher's Camp, the Bell Church, Lion's Head, and the public market, a favorite place for tourists looking for souvenirs.


Like all the other cities in the Philippines, Baguio City is governed by a Mayor and Vice-Mayor who heads the city's executive and legislative functions respectively. The city's executive is composed of a number of departments such as the engineering department, accounting department, and legal services. These departments implement the policies and ordinances enacted by the legislature as well as running the city's day-to-day affairs.

The city's legislature is embodied in the City Council (Sangguniang Panglungsod) headed by the Vice-Mayor. The Council is composed of twelve councilors, the Association of Barangay Captians (ABC) President, the Sangguniang Kabataang (SK) (Youth Council) Federation President, and the City Secretary.

The city is divided into 129 barangays, which are the Philippine's smallest unit of local government. Each barangay is headed by a barangay captain and has its own set of barangay councilors. Each barangay also has its own Sangguniang Kabataan. All the barangay captains and the SK chairmen elect among themselves their presidents who will be part of the City Council.

In the national government, Baguio City is represented by a congressman in the House of Representatives; the whole city is a single congressional district. The city is also the administrative center for the whole Cordillera Administrative Region.

The mayor, vice-mayor, city councilors, baranggay people, and the city's House representative is elected by the residents every three years.


The region around Baguio was first settled by the Igorot and Ifugao tribes, but the city itself was a creation primarily of the Americans who occupied the Philippines. The creation of Camp John Hay actually gave birth to Baguio City.

The celebration of the founding day of Baguio City is September 1.

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