Baguio Latest News

CBA-CPLA proposes 6-point peace agenda

BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Bodong Administration – Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA) submitted to the government’s independent peace panel its 6-point agenda for the realization of genuine peace and development in the region.


Unified CPLA chairman and Abra Vice governor Ronald Balao-as pointed out that history will show that the CBA-CPLA had long advocated the attainment of peace in the region and that the group had greatly contributed to the attainment of peace regionwide.

It can be recalled that in 1986, the CPLA broke away from the Communist Party of the Philippines – New Peoples Army – National Democratic Front CPP-NPA-NDF) to pursue a different path, a non-violent, peaceful path, which eventually resulted to the signing of the historic Mount Data ‘sipat’ agreement that was a prelude to the establishment of a ‘bodong’ or peace agreement.

He claimed since then, the CBA-CPLA has transformed itself from a breakaway rebel group to aggressive peace advocates, a vanguard of peace and guarantor of the Cordillera bodong or peace agreement.

“To further pursue peace, the CBA-CPLA has recently fixed internal squabbles among its members in order to pursue peace. With no more internal conflicts, their energy will be focused to the attainment of regional autonomy and safeguarding genuine and sustainable peace in the region,” Balao-as stressed.

The group stipulated that one of its 6-point peace agenda is that peace building initiatives must be centered on the establishment of an autonomous region in the Cordillera and autonomy is the only effective medium to address all grievances of indigenous peoples in the region making it the only key to just and lasting peace in the Cordillera, thus, autonomy should be in the eart of all peace building initiatives regionwide.

According to him, the root of the Cordillera conflict is the marginalization and oppression of minority groups in the region brought about by poverty, unstable rule of law, and violations of human rights and the prevalent feeling of marginalization and oppression was capitalized by the CPP-NPA-NDF to recruit among the indigenous peoples in the region.

The CBA-CPLA also suggested that peace building measures should be all inclusive considering that the root of many conflicts across the world can be traced to exclusion, thus, by working to lessen the distance that exists between the State and the Cordillera people will lead to the realization of the building of a durable peace as peace does not come in pieces since it comes in whole and everybody is a stakeholder.

Balao-as emphasized that peace building measures can only be achieved under an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence considering that the effort to build peace is a 2-way street of trust and confidence wherein people in both sides of the peace table should build confidence among themselves if they really want peace.

However, in order to achieve trust and confidence, he underscored that huge things must start to happen to break the barrier of suspicion which in the Cordillera setting has been nurtured by marginalization.

The CBA-CPLA wants the integration of indigenous political structures and systems, especially the bodong in the peace initiatives to be pursued by the region, considering that to attain genuine peace in the region, the indigenous political structures and systems must be incorporated in the process to be utilized in the governance, especially at the village level and it must also recognize the ‘ili’ or village as a socio-political unit vis-à-vis the barangay which is the basic unit of local governance for the national government.

The group is aggressively pushing for the recognition of the CBA-CPLA as a member of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) because after the dissolution of the Cordillera bodies like the Cordillera Executive board (CEB), Cordillera Regional Assembly (CRA) and the CBA, the group was again marginalized and it was deprived from contributing to mainstream policy-making in the region.

Balao-as emphasized such a move to disregard the CBA-CPLA is not only impractical but also contemptible.

Lastly, the group is proposing for the establishment of a regional security force to act as guarantor of the Cordillera bodong wherein the CPLA will be converted into a regional security force to work alongside the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the maintenance of peace and security regionwide.

He asserted that the CPLA as an indigenous security force is best suited to police and maintain peace and order in the region due to their deep understanding of the indigenous culture and tradition of their own localities and the various tribes composing the Cordillera makes it dangerous to generalize policies, as such, it is necessary to localize peace efforts considering that a peace initiative in Abra would not necessarily apply in Baguio or anywhere in the region.



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.