Baguio Latest News

CAR agri extension practitioners lay out capacity needs in workshop

BAGUIO CITY, June 14 - -  Forty two extension and Agricultural Advisory Services (AAS) providers in the Cordillera Administrative  Region(CAR)  participated  in a two-day Capacity Needs Assessment  Workshop  on June 5-6 at  Camp John Hay  here   to help them provide better services to farmers in the region.


The participatory CNA workshop spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) aimed to draw out from extension stakeholders themselves the various issues, concerns, and needs in learning, knowledge management, and policy initiatives in the provision of agricultural extension in the region.

Some of the priority areas that the AAS  stakeholders identified in terms of learning and knowledge management were the enhancement of their communication, presentation, and negotiation skills; preparation of business plans; linkages and networking to markets; the promotion of slow food and indigenous cuisine; database documentation of agricultural management practices including indigenous methods, and program monitoring and evaluation.

In terms of policy, Cordillera extension stakeholders identified the enhancement of the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture curriculum, inclusion of livestock emergency guidelines standards into disaster risk reduction and management, and the provision of hazard pay and incentives to extension providers, among others.

One of the main issues that also surfaced during the workshop is the need to develop and enhance the branding of the agricultural products of the Cordillera region in order to be at par with other products in Southeast Asia, especially with the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration.

The two-day workshop was part of the activities for the project titled ‘Supporting Smallholder Farmers in Asia and Pacific Islands Region through Strengthened Agricultural Advisory Services’ (SAAS Project). The project is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and implemented by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture.

The Asia-Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services Network (APIRAS) oversees the activities in the Philippines, in addition to the Asian subregions of South Asia and Pacific Islands, where the project is also being implemented.

Dr. Andrew Gasmen of the DA-ATI Policy and Planning Division and President of the Philippine Extension and Advisory Services Network (PhilEASNet), informed that the project which is implemented in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Fiji, is being piloted in CAR because of the presence of a strong IFAD project, a strong ATI regional training center, and presence of PhilEASNet in the region.

Dr. Virginia R. Cardenas, Regional Activities Coordinator of APIRAS and Dean of the University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Public Affairs and Development, explained that there is a need to expand the capacities and expertise of AAS providers through participatory means.

“We are using a supply and demand framework [in identifying our capacity needs]. We are looking at the provision of extension and the demands of our clientele,” she said. “We are now adding up the skills extension practitioners should have, but we should do it in a participatory manner,” she added.

The issues and concerns raised by the stakeholders in the Cordillera will guide the SAAS Project in determining the learning modules, knowledge sharing events, and policy advocacy initiatives that the project will produce and put forward.

 These will also be advocated by a country forum which will be formed as part of the project. The country forum, according to an APIRAS policy brief, “shall serve as a platform for discussion and articulation of the stakeholders’ agenda, issues, and concerns in rural advisory services and agricultural innovation systems.” (PIA/Guien Eidrefson Garma-APIRAS)


Baguio 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.

Kennon Road and its Builder

Tourist-Spots-in-BaguioNamed 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

diplomatIn 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

PMAThe 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

The-Mansion-Baguio-CityThis 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

camp-john-hay-amphitheaterThis 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.

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.

Bell Church

The-Bell-Church-of-Baguio-CityThis 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.

Burnham Park

Burnham-Park-BaguioIt 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.

Mines View Park

Mines-View-Park-Baguio-CityAppropriately 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.