Baguio City

Ever heard of a city nestled in the mountains, a place where a cool breeze whispers through pine trees and the sun gently shines over vibrant flower gardens? That’s Baguio City for you, my friends! A gem tucked away in the highlands of Benguet, Philippines, that’s got a charm unlike any other.

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of a tropical country like the Philippines? Beaches, right? Well, Baguio City is here to flip your expectations upside down. It’s a city of chilly mornings, foggy afternoons, and sweater-weather nights. Imagine a city that’s like Christmas all year round. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Ever wondered why Baguio City is dubbed as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines”? Well, folks from all around the country flock here to escape the blistering summer heat. But that’s not all! Baguio’s got a whole lot more to offer. From ukoy (shrimp fritters) that’ll make your taste buds sing to thrift shops that’ll keep your wallet happy, and let’s not forget the annual Panagbenga Festival that’ll make your eyes feast on a spectacular display of floats all decked out in flowers. Intrigued yet?

Fog in Baguio City as viewed from Mount Cabuyao
By Cabajar – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

History of Baguio City

In the early 1900s, the Americans, under Governor-General William Taft, began to shape Baguio into a “hill station”. Taft intended Baguio to serve as a respite from the tropical heat that engulfed the rest of the country. Therefore, they started construction on the Kennon Road, a massive endeavor that would provide a direct route from the lowlands to Baguio. The completion of this road in 1905 marked the true birth of Baguio as a city.

Meanwhile, the city’s unique architecture started to unfold. Architect Daniel Burnham, the city’s planner, designed the city layout based on topography and aesthetics, which is why you’ll find ample parks and open spaces dotting the cityscape. Burnham Park, one of the most famous, is named after him, a green gem that offers residents and tourists alike a place to relax and enjoy the cool climate.

However, Baguio’s progress was not without adversity. The city faced a significant setback during World War II. In 1945, as the war was nearing its end, Baguio became a battleground. The Japanese forces had established their last stand in the city, resulting in a fierce battle that left Baguio severely damaged.

In the aftermath of the war, the city took on the enormous task of rebuilding itself. Over time, Baguio rose from the ashes, regaining its charm and becoming even more vibrant than before. The city’s resilience is a testament to the indomitable spirit of its people.

Tourist Spots in Baguio City

Begin your journey with a visit to the iconic Burnham Park. Located at the heart of the city, this park invites visitors to experience a wide array of recreational activities. From boating in the artificial lake to biking along tree-lined paths, Burnham Park certainly brings out the fun-loving child in everyone. As you stroll through the park, the blooming flowers and the scent of pine trees create a calming and invigorating ambiance.

Transitioning from the vibrant Burnham Park, the next destination is the serene and mystical Mines View Park. Perched on a cliff, this park offers an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the city’s old gold and copper mines. It’s a perfect place for a peaceful retreat and an excellent spot for capturing memorable photos with the city’s landscape as your backdrop.

Next on the itinerary is the enchanting Camp John Hay. Originally a rest and recreation facility for the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines, it has transformed into a resort complex. Here, you can immerse yourself in various recreational activities such as golfing, horseback riding, and picnicking. History lovers can tour the historical core, where artifacts and memorabilia from the colonial era are on display.

Additionals Spots

From Camp John Hay, make your way to the bustling Baguio Public Market. This traditional marketplace is a haven for local produce, handicrafts, and souvenirs. As you wander through the market, the captivating aroma of fresh fruits and vegetables, paired with the bustling chatter of local vendors, will give you a taste of the vibrant local culture.

Finally, round off your journey with a visit to the tranquil La Trinidad Strawberry Fields, located just outside Baguio City. Here, you can indulge in the delightful experience of picking your own strawberries. The taste of these sun-ripened berries, fresh from the vine, is truly an unforgettable experience.

Activities

This city offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Adventure seekers can partake in hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the nearby mountains. Nature lovers can explore the city’s numerous parks and gardens, such as the Botanical Garden and the Japanese Friendship Garden. Cultural enthusiasts can visit the city’s museums and art galleries, including the Baguio Museum and the Tam-Awan Village.

People Also Read: Natural Wonders of Bais City

What To Eat in Baguio City?

To begin with, Baguio is a haven for fresh, high-quality vegetables, thanks to its cool climate. You will find these in one of the city’s signature dishes, the “Chopsuey.” This vibrant stir-fry dish features an array of fresh, crunchy veggies like carrots, bell peppers, and snow peas. Each bite delivers a burst of flavor, painting a vivid picture of the city’s fertile landscapes.

Next, we move on to the “Pinikpikan,” a traditional Igorot dish. It involves a unique process of preparing the chicken by lightly beating it before cooking. This method is believed to enhance the flavor. The dish is often served with Etag, a salted and smoked pork that adds a distinctive smoky taste. This dish, rooted in tradition and passed down through generations, gives a nod to the city’s strong cultural heritage.

But wait, there’s more! Baguio’s culinary journey wouldn’t be complete without strawberries. The city’s Strawberry Taho is a delightful twist on the classic Filipino snack. Silken tofu, sweet syrup, and sago pearls are combined with fresh strawberry chunks and puree. This innovative creation, echoing the city’s love for strawberries, offers a delightful blend of sweet, tangy, and creamy flavors.

Can’t forget the city’s famous “Ukoy,” a crispy shrimp fritter that locals and tourists alike enjoy. Each bite of this golden-brown treat served hot and crunchy, leaves you craving for more. It’s a testament to Baguio’s ability to transform simple ingredients into something extraordinary.

Finally, our culinary tour ends with a warm, comforting bowl of “Bulalo,” a beef marrow stew that’s perfect for Baguio’s chilly weather. This hearty dish, simmered for hours to achieve a rich, savory broth, is the epitome of Filipino comfort food. It’s a warm hug in a bowl, reflecting the city’s welcoming and comforting spirit.

Festival and Events in Baguio City

First off, we kick things off with Panagbenga Festival, the real headliner in Baguio’s event calendar. Every February, the city turns into a floral paradise. “Panagbenga” means “season of blooming,” and believe me, it’s as pretty as it sounds. The streets teem with massive floats covered top to bottom in flowers, while dancers in colorful costumes fill the air with energy. If you happen to be in Baguio at this time, don’t forget your camera!

Then, as we move from February to March, we stumble upon the Strawberry Festival in nearby La Trinidad. Strawberries are a big deal here. During the festival, there’s strawberry picking, strawberry eating, and even a dash of strawberry cooking contests. You’ll definitely end up loving strawberries more than you ever thought possible!

After a strawberry-filled March, we dive into the summer festivities. The month of April is all about the Baguio Benguet Summer Festival. It’s a month-long celebration that showcases local culture, sports, and arts. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet of fun and entertainment, with a side of the local heritage.

Now, let’s fast-forward to September. This is when Baguio’s Charter Day takes place. It’s a grand celebration marking the day Baguio became a chartered city. Parades, concerts, and fairs – it’s a great time to experience the warm hospitality of the Baguio people.

Finally, as the year winds down, the Christmas festivities in Baguio are something to look forward to. The city gets all decked out in twinkling lights and holiday decor, creating a truly magical atmosphere. Baguio’s Christmas Village is a must-visit, with its faux snow and beautiful displays.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, folks! Baguio City is a little slice of heaven tucked away in Benguet, Philippines. A place where you can wrap yourself up in a cozy sweater, sip on the freshest strawberries, and take in the glorious mountain views.

And don’t forget about Baguio’s unique charm! It’s a city that refuses to conform to the typical tropical vibe of the Philippines. Instead, it embraces its cool climate, vibrant culture, and natural beauty.

So, ready to pack your bags and head to the city with a million pine trees? Wait, did I mention the delicious smell of pine that fills the air? Just one more reason to fall in love with Baguio City. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Experience it for yourself! After all, seeing is believing, right?

In the end, Baguio City isn’t just a place; it’s an experience, a feeling, a breath of fresh mountain air. And who knows? You might even find your own little slice of paradise among the pine trees. So, what are you waiting for? Baguio City is calling your name. Will you answer?

Like this article? Spread it! ✨
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Scroll to Top