Baguio Latest News

DPWH-CAR, City agree on Convention Center design

BAGUIO CITY  – Technical personnel of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH-CAR and the local government agreed on the final design for the proposed rehabilitation and repair of the city-owned Baguio Convention Center (BCC) to allow the utilization of the P180 million earmarked by the national government for the said purpose.


Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon, chairman of the City Council Committee on Public works and head of the city’s technical team, said that it was agreed by the experts that the design of the city’s pool of designers will be used by the DPWH-CAR for the upcoming bidding of the repair and rehabilitation of the city-owned convention facility.

“We are elated that the DPWH-CAR officials and technical personnel have agreed to use, as the basis for the bidding of the project, the design and plans prepared by our pool of experts in the city so that we will be able to access the funds for the implementation of the project once the funds will be released by next year,” Yaranon stressed.

While it is true that there be slight adjustments on the plans because of the current procurement system of the agency, Yaranon underscored that what is important is that it was the design of the city’s pool of experts that was used as a basis for the repair and rehabilitation of the 40-year old convention center.

Aside from Yaranon, Councilor Elmer Datuin and veteran Arch. Joseph Alabanza, the city’s pool of experts was headed by City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) head Engr. Nazita F. Bañez with the support of architects and engineers from different professional organizations and universities in the city, namely, Arch. Donna R. Tabangin; Arch. Geromina S. Arellano; Arch. Mark M. Tidang; Arch. Maria Jorquesa A. Hakcholna; Arch. Eugene Lumdang; Arch. Irene Florendo; Arch. Melvin Alimba; Arch. Joseph Alabanza; Arch. Miguel R. Caluza; Engr. Bonifacio dela Peña; and Engr. Joselito Buhangin.

Further, she added a Building Information Management (BIM) Team composed of Arch. Anthony Raquepo, Arch. Ronnie Quijana, Arch. Joy Ellen G. Pascua, and Arch. Michael John Astudillo worked with the Technical Working Group in the development of the design database.   Yaranon explained among the following are the highlights of the retrofitting and renovation plan:  retaining the historical and architectural significance and footprint of the site and structure; proposing for the maximum use of renewable energies, natural lighting, and ventilation in the building and site design; accounting for ecologically feasible and resilient building and site development; integrating pedestrianized areas; increasing parking areas through basement parking; and expanding the seating capacity to 2000.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan expressed his gratitude to the technical experts who sacrificed their time, effort and resources in coming out with the feasible and acceptable design for the convention center because the facility is for everyone and the people of the city deserve an improved condition of the convention center.

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.