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Vacation in Baguio, Philippines

 
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melgibbs's pictureby melgibbs review
added on 26th of August, 2008

Retreat to the Mountains of Baguio City

High up in the mountains of Benguet in Northern Luzon lies Baguio City - the summer capital of the Philippines. The cold weather and urbane environment attracts a flock of tourists yearly as it offers an escape from the heat and hustle of city life. This article provides an overview of this immensely popular Philippine getaway.

History

Established by the Americans at an Ibaloi village in 1900, Baguio comes from the Ibaloi word “bagiw,” meaning “moss,” which was once abundant on the site of Burnham Lake, one of Baguio’s popular tourist attractions. The city began as a settlement of roughly just twenty homes. The Americans intended for it to merely be a retreat from the heat of the lowlands.

When the war in the Pacific broke out in 1941, the city was bombed and inhabited by the Japanese. After their surrender in 1943, Baguio immediately began rehabilitation. In 1990, an earthquake hit the place but the city was quickly rebuilt.

Geography

Baguio is nestled at an altitude of about 1500 meters, on a plateau in the Cordillera mountain range. It is the only city in the province of Benguet. It spans about 49 square kilometers of prime, urbanized property. The city is 250 kilometers north of Metro Manila - roughly a 6-hour drive. Three roads lead to the city from the lowlands: Marcos Highway, Kennon Road, and Naguilian Road.

People and Culture

According to the latest census, Baguio has a population of 252,386 individuals spread across 52,302 households. Several languages and dialects are spoken by its people, including Kankana-ey, Ibaloi, English, Ilocano, Tagalog, and Chinese.

Baguio is an education center, its economy being centered on this. There are eight major institutions for higher education. The Northern Luzon campus of the University of the Philippines can be found here, as well as the Philippine Military Academy, the University of Baguio, and Baguio Central University.

Weather

There are only 2 seasons in Baguio, much like the rest of the Philippines. These are the wet and dry seasons, which last equally throughout the year. November to April are the dry months, while the wet season runs from May to October. The city temperature is always about 10 degrees cooler than in the lowlands, with an average of 20 degrees Celsius.

Main Attractions and Sights

Visitors will never run out of things to do in the City of Pines, as Baguio boasts of a wide array of activities, tourist spots, and attractions. One of the most famous destinations in Baguio is The Mansion, which is the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Though, it is not open to the public, people still flock here to take pictures in front of its majestic gate and well-manicured lawns.

Another famous string of attractions are the parks of Baguio: Burnham Park, Wright Park, and Minesview Park. Vacationers and tourists can enjoy rowing in the lake in Burnham Park, view the Pool of Pines in Wright Park, and enjoy the sights in Minesview Park. Session Road, Baguio’s main avenue, is an attraction in itself with its seemingly endless line of shops and restaurants.

 

Things about Baguio you may be interested in

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Recommended Baguio Guide

Baguio Sights

You can also check growing pine seedlings and flora-and-fauna at Baguio Botanical Garden. Don’t miss to pass by the historical Philippine Military Academy that’s been a home to camps since 1905. To refresh your eyes with nature’s feast of flowers, you can proceed to the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary. Mt. Santo Tomas is largely a must-see as it is the city’s highest peak offering a 360-degree view of the South China Sea on the horizon. If interested in spotting some Buddhism artifacts and literature on China history, the Bell Church is your next stop. Another Catholic Shrine and place of meditation is the Lourdes Grotto that’s... Read more »

 
 
reviews

Recent reviews for Baguio

The best thing in Lapu-lapu City - May 17, 2009, by ultimatetravel
This kind of beach outing that my students and I have was planned around 1 week or so. That's how short noticed it is. Anyways, 3 of my students were talking about banana ride and how cool it is and all of us should ride on it. They were... Read more »

Short vacation in Manila - May 31, 2009, by ultimatetravel
It was never on plan that my husband and I are going to Manila. It was out of necessity. Since we are planning to get married at that time and we think we can process some papers here in Cebu at the Consul but however due to some... Read more »

Great place to stay in Calamba - Nov 18, 2008, by 3angels
This private resort is a perfect vacation house for families, friends, lovers, or groups to celebrate birthdays, christmas parties, debut, christening, anniversaries, weddings, hold seminars, trainings or team buildings or just simply relax... Read more »

Quick facts about Fort San Pedro - May 16, 2009, by ultimatetravel
Real Name (in Spanish): Fuerza de San Pedro Total Area: 2,025 square meters Materials used in construction: stones and mortar Year of Construction: 1565 Built by: Spaniards Purpose: To stop the sieges of the natives as well as the Muslim... Read more »

Experiences at Kawasan Falls - May 30, 2009, by ultimatetravel
Place For those who loved adventure and fun, this is the place to be. I highly recommend Kawasan Falls for nature lover out there. There will be a very long hiking from the main road towards the falls itself. A good exercise that is. When... Read more »

 
 

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