Baguio Latest News

Better, bigger Panagbenga festivities assured

BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan assured residents and visitors that the activities lined up for the 23rd edition of Panagbenga will be better and bigger because of the expected increased participation of the barangays, the education institutions, multinational and local corporations, especially in the highlights of the flower festival.


The local chief executive said for the grand opening parade on February 1, 2018, there will be 11 contingents from the elementary level who will be participating in the elimination round for the grand streetdancing parade aside from the 14 contingents from the city’s 128 barangays which will provide entertainment and added attractions right at the start of the festivities.

Of the 11 elementary contingents, 8 schools will be chosen to participate in the grand streetdancing competition which will be conducted on Saturday, February 24, 2018wherein there will be participants from both the secondary and tertiary schools in the city apart from other visiting streetdancing contingents.

He added Panagbenga organizers are also intending to invite marching bands from either Cavite, Pangasinan or the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), to join the marching bands of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), St. Louis University (SLU) and other schools in the city to spice up the highlights of the festival.

On the other hand, Domogan claimed more participants are expected to join the month-long festivities because of the significant increase in the cash prizes for the winners of the grand streetdancing parade and the grand float parade apart from the grant of additional subsidy for the participating contingents and the landscapers.

Domogan revealed that the cash prize for the champion in the grand streetdancing parade will be receiving P400,000 compared to the P150,000 cash prize during the previous years while the declared winner in the grand float parade will receive P500,000 cash prize. The cash prizes for the other winners in the twin parades were also adjusted to attract the participation of more delegations and corporations.

Moreover, he revealed that the P20,000 subsidy being provided to the streedancers will also be increased to P40,000 per contingent while there will also be a significant increase in the subsidy for participants to the landscaping competition.

The Panagbenga Executive Committee was already able to award the concessionaire for the conduct of the month-long Baguio Blooms and Expositions which will be conducted at the Burnham Lake Drive and Juan Luna Drive and the participating landscapers, who will be occupying their designated spaces for free, are now doing the required preparatory works in time for the opening of the festival.

He explained that it will still be the receipts of the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) which will be used for the whole duration of the festival while the local government is ready to disburse the P4 million for the cash prizes of the winners of the various competitions pursuant to existing accounting and auditing rules and regulations considering that it will still be the city that will manage the funds and that there will be no turnover of the funds to the foundation.

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.