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Baguio City

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Marker of the Philippine Commission's First Session in Baguio
This is the site of the building where the members of the Philippine Commission met from April 22 to June 11, 1904 and officially initiated the use of Baguio as the Philippine Summer Capital. The Commission was composed of Governor General Luke Wright, president, and Commissioners Henry Ide, Dean C. Worcester, T Padre Tavera, Benito Legarda, Jose de Luzuriaga, James Smith and Cameron Forbes.

To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Baguio a project was done to locate, clean and spruce up all historical markers.

Kennon Road and its Builder
Named after Col. Lyman W. Kennon, who was the final builder of the famous Benguet road, with the help of the industrious Cordillerans and foreign workers. Kennon road is the shortest and the most scenic highway linking Baguio and the lowlands. The lion's head can be found along the way. Final construction of this road was finished in 1903. Col. L. Kennon first ascended to Baguio in 1905. Of the original workers, the Igorots and Japanese were admired for their trustworthiness and willingness to work. Kennon was closed to traffic after the July 16, 1990 earthquake. It is now open to light vehicles only.

Diplomat Hotel on Dominican Hill
In May 1911, the councils of the Province of the Dominican Order voted to construct a vacation house in Baguio on a 17-hectare property they had acquired when the American authorities were encouraging people to come here. Actual work started in 1913 under Fr. Roque Ruano and the building was inaugurated on May 23, 1925. To take advantage of the tax exemptions a school called Collegio del Santissimo Rosario was opened in June 1915 but due to the very small enrollment the school closed in 1917, reverting the building to the original vacation house. During WWII refugees first occupied it. Later the Japanese Army Liberation Forces had to bomb out the refugees from the buildings. The five hits left very extensive damage and for a time it was left unrepaired. Reconstruction was started in 1947 and completed in 1948 with most of its pre-war grandeur and beauty restored. In 1973, Diplomat Hotels, Inc. acquired ownership, remodeled the interior into a 33-bedroom hotel with modern facilities, but retained the unique and distinct personality of the Dominican Hill. In the 80's the hotel ceased operations due to the death of one of its majority stockholders. Plans are underway to develop this historical religious landmark into a tourist resort.

Philippine Military Academy
The Philippine Commission promulgated Act No. 175, which became the basis for the creation of the Philippine Constabulary in August 8, 1905. The school for the officers of the constabulary was first located in Sta. Lucia Barracks in Manila. Later in 1908, it was relocated in Baguio on the site known as Constabulary Hill later renamed Camp Henry T. Allen, in honor of the first chief of the Philippine Constabulary. With the passage of the Jones Law, the school was later changed to "Academy for Officers of the Philippine Constabulary" with a two-year curriculum. In 1908, the course was raised to collegiate level and later lengthened to three years with class 1938 as having the last graduates of that course. When the commonwealth government was established in 1935, the Philippine Military Academy was created in place of the Philippine Constabulary Academy. Under the National Defense Act, the PMA was authorized to maintain cadet strength of 350. Because of increased population, the academy transferred to Teachers Camp in June 1936 where it remained until WWII broke out. After the war the PMA headquarters was temporarily relocated at Camp Murphy and later at Alabang, while Camp Allen was being rehabilitated. Since May 1950 the Philippine Military Academy has found its permanent home at Fort del Pilar, Loakan, Baguio City.

The Mansion
This imposing and majestic mansion has a long list of Filipino Presidents and American governor-generals. It has elegantly structured building and guesthouse. Its gate is patterned after that of London's Buckingham Palace. The Mansion has also been the site of several international conferences and a working office of the President of the Philippines during his visits to the City.

Camp John Hay
This former American recreational facility is currently undergoing development as a world class resort. As of March 27, 1999, the golf course was completed and is now open, The skating rink, picnic area, and the mini golf course at the Scout Hill area are likewise open.

Teachers Camp
It was through the vacation normal school, which began in 1908 teachers from all over, the islands were able to have a respite and some time for studies. In a letter to the Secretary of Public Instruction, Governor William Pack outlined his plan to set up a camp in Baguio where teachers can be accommodated. The plan was approved on January 8, 1908 and the camp was opened on April 6, 1908. For a start, four assembly tents were put up for kitchen, dining and storage purposes and two other large tents were set aside for class purposes. Later on, the "KURSAAK" was constructed in 1909 as a permanent structure and took over the functions of the mess tent, aside from being the social center for assemblies. The next year, other buildings were added, the road traversing the vast hectare leveled and the athletic field out in its hollow. It now caters to conferences, meetings, seminars and social functions sponsored by the government sector.

CULTURAL/HISTORICAL

Easter Weaving Room
This school was built in 1905 under Samuel Drury with funds donated by Bishop Brent of the Episcopalian Church of the Philippines. It opened in 1906 as a church school. Dr. Benjamin Platt introduced the Easter School Weaving Room as an industrial work in the curriculum. By 1924 there were five buildings and in 1928 they inaugurated the Chapel of the Holy Innocents. Before World War II, the Easter School Compound, which had nine buildings, were raised to the ground by the American Liberation Forces. With only the Headquarters and the Nurses' Cottage standing then, rehabilitation started to complete the compound as it is now. It is the right place to visit for those who are interested in native fabrics and other handicrafts. Here one can witness the actual process of cloth weaving as practiced by the natives of the Mountain Provinces for ages.

Saint Louis Filigree Shop
This is a handicraft shop specializing in silver jewelry and other filigree products. Some of the craftsmen are only high school students. This shop is in the center of the city and was established in 1916.

Baguio Tourism Complex
Within the complex along Gov. Pack Road are the Baguio Sunshine Park, the Regional Office of the Department of Tourism and Secretary's Cottage. The Sunshine Park features flowering garden and a covered stage with ethnic design, which is often used, for cultural presentation. The park itself is designed after a shield.

Baguio - Mountain Provinces Museum
This museum is temporarily located at the Baguio Convention Center. It has on display a variety of artifacts and relics showcases the cultural heritage, customs and traditions of the mountain provinces. The cluster of buildings within the complex depicts the architectural features of the native houses of the mountain provinces. The Department of Tourism and the City government of Baguio are undertaking a reconstruction of the Baguio -Mountain Provinces Museum.

Baguio Convention Center (BCC)
Situated across the University of the Philippines College Baguio exudes an ethnic flavor considered the most spacious edifice North of Manila. The BCC initially gained prominence when it became the site of the 1978 internationally renowned chess championship series between Anatoly Karpov and Victor Korchnoi. It was inaugurated by former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos on July 17, 1978 during the opening of the series. It continues to cater to conferences, conventions, meetings and other social functions in the City. It now temporarily houses the Baguio Mt.-Provinces Museum Foundation, Inc.

Educational Institutions
There are six (6) colleges and universities in Baguio. These are the University of the Philippine College, Philippine Military Academy, University of Baguio, Saint Louis University, Baguio Colleges Foundation, Baguio Central University, Pines City Colleges and the international school in the city, Brent International School.

SLU Museum
Located in the premise of the school (SLU), it showcases the different culture heritages of the Cordilleras and some lowland amenities. Artifacts and relics including an ancient coffin can be seen on display. A curator is always stationed for the convenience of visitors to explain the artifacts and the culture of the Cordilleras.8. Ifugao Woodcarvers Village Along the way to Asin, about 5 kilometers from the city, is an Ifugao wood carving village, which produces and sells beautiful hand-carved curio items at very low prices.

NATURAL

Asin Hot Spring
Located 16 kilometers northwest of Baguio, the resort's main feature is a swimming pool surrounded by thermal springs, lush vegetation and several hanging bridges. It is an ideal respite. This is now eyed to be redeveloped into a tourism resort along with the adjoining tourist attractions of Tuba and Baguio.

Mt. Sto. Tomas
A trek up to the Mount Sto. Tomas is a hiker delight. The peak is 7,500 feet high and commands a majestic view of mountains, sea and valley. The mountain can be reached by foot or by vehicle.

RELIGIOUS

Lourdes Grotto
This is a religious shrine housing the image of the Lady of Lourdes. About 252 steps lead to this shrine where pilgrims brave the steep climb to offer sacrifices, devotion and prayers. One is also regarded with a beautiful panoramic view of the city.

Baguio Cathedral
One of the familiar landmarks in Baguio, the structure with its twin spires and one hundred steps sits on top of a hill in the heart of the city, offering church goers and visitors a chance to get a bird's eye view of the entire commercial hub.

Bell Church
This cluster of temples is located on the border of Baguio City and Trinidad Valley. Its exotic oriental architecture, pagodas roof, ornate gateway, dragon ornaments and Buddha - guarded windows gaze from atop a hill. The Bell Temple priest practices a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Christianity. One may even try having his fortune told.

Churches, Seminars and Convents
Baguio is an ideal location for meditation, contemplation and spiritual renewal hence the existence of no less religious denominations that run churches, seminaries, convents and other institutions such as hospitals and schools.

MAN - MADE

Burnham Park
It is the oldest of all Baguio parks. One can unwind from the tension of the day-to-day bustle by biking, skating or simply reflecting on the day's experiences amid a soothing garden backdrop of colorful flowers. It is thickly wooded and is a great place to have picnics and concerts. There are tennis and basketball courts, a football field, athletic oval and an orchidarium.

Botanical Garden
It is also called the Igorot village, which features native huts typical of the Cordillera architecture. This village within a village captures the ethnic spirit and cultural legacy of the Igorot dweller. The garden is also a site of cultural presentations and other tribal meetings.

Mines View Park
Appropriately named for its breathtaking view of Benguet's mountain ranges where gold, silver and other ores were once quarried. There are souvenir shops around the park offering such items as woodcarvings, woven cloth, ashtrays, shell products and other curio items.

Wright Park
It is sometimes mistakenly called "Ride Park" by some that identify this pine tree park reserve for kiddy horse rides. A long stairway leads to the "Pool of the Pines", a 100 meter long pool of water lined on both sides by the famous Baguio towering pine.

Baguio Country Club
This club was organized with funds, which were privately contributed. They built tennis courts and cottages. Today Baguio Country Club has 200 guestrooms and suites in a new building. It also boasts a beautiful 18-hole, 61-par golf course for its members and guests.

Session Road / Market
During the early years of Baguio, buildings only on the left side opposite the hill on which the church was built occupied Session Road. A big stream spanned by wooden bridge crossed the lowest portion of the road. Beyond this bridge was the swampland where bull carts parked and congregated thereby starting what is now called the market. Many of the open-air stalls spread out towards Lucban following the banks of the steam and thus determined the direction of the market expansion.

 

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