Baguio Latest News

CAAP, city agree not to close Loakan airport

BAGUIO CITY  – Officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the local government agreed that Loakan airport will not be closed to air traffic while efforts are being done to look for airline companies willing to fly to and from the city.


Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan personally met with CAAP Director-General Jim C. Sydiongco Tuesday afternoon at the CAAP office in Pasay City wherein both officials agreed to closely work together to sustain the operation of the Loakan airport while working out the required solutions to the identified problems in the area and its surrounding communities.

“We agreed that Loakan airport will not be closed to air traffic while we will be closely working for the continued development of the facilities and addressing the problems on intrusions, animal, and pedestrian traffic, among others,” Domogan stressed.

He claimed CAAP was able to identify alleged intrusions made by some residents in some portions of the Loakan airport. To address the problems of safety of the facility, the intrusions are one of the priority problems that should be resolved by the involved parties while working on the total closure of the runway to motor, pedestrian, and animal traffic.

According to him, CAAP will take charge of the improvement of the access road leading to the community on the other side of the airport, to help convince residents to maximize the use of the access road from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) area to their houses and to lessen their presence on the runway which poses a threat to the aircrafts making use of the airport.

Domogan disclosed CAAP officials also assured him that once that the local government is able to find an airline company that will service the Baguio-Manila-Baguio, Baguio-Clark Baguio, and other destination routes in the Visayas and Mindanao, CAAP will extend utmost assistance to the said company to accomplish the requirements for its planes to fly the desired routes that use the Loakan airport.

Earlier, the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) passed a resolution requesting the CAAP to fund the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Loakan airport to the tune of some P420 million to help convince airline companies to operate commercial flights daily, which would boost the growth of the local tourism industry.

It can be recalled that in 2009 commercial operations of the Loakan airport were abandoned by airline companies that had been servicing the Baguio-Manila-Baguio route because of safety reasons, expensive air fare, and the issue on the unoccupied seats that make their operations a losing endeavour.

Domogan expressed optimism that all the identified issues and concerns regarding the Loakan airport will soon be addressed by both the CAAP and the local government so airline companies can be convinced to service the city, and further contribute to enhancing the growth of the local tourism industry because of the projected influx of foreign and domestic visitors.

He suggested to CAAP officials to consider the rehabilitation, upgrade, and possible extension of the access road from the PMA area considering that the proposed access road from the arrival area via Kennon Road will take some time to be realized, because of problems with owners of private properties that will be affected in the area. By Dexter A. See


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.