Baguio Latest News

Mines View, Busol next to Boracay

BAGUIO CITY – Two premier tourist destinations and a forest reservation in the city will be the next sites to be allegedly closed by the environment department because of supposed blatant violation of environmental, health and sanitation laws by both businessmen and residents and the proliferation of illegal structures in the said places.


Sources, who requested anonymity for security reasons, revealed Mines View Park and Busol watershed are the two areas in the city being closely monitored by personnel of the central and regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) because of the alleged blatant violations of environmental, health and sanitation laws and the continuous increase in informal settlers and the massive deforestation that pose a serious threat to the city’s environment and tourism industry in the future.

“We received initial reports that after the recommended closure of Boracay for six months shall have been approved, environment officials will evaluate the situation of Mines View Park and the Busol watershed on whether or not the said areas in the city will be able to pass the existing criteria that will guide higher authorities to decide either to close the said places or impose stringent regulations that will improve the state of the environment,” the source stressed.

The source stated that the situation in Mines View Park is getting worst amidst the efforts of the concerned government agencies and the local government to improve the situation of the park, which is one of the premier destinations in the city, that is why there is a need for the DENR to take the appropriate steps that will help in bringing back the scenery of the park considering that the area has become a business center instead of a park.

On the other hand, the source pointed out that despite the efforts of the local governments of La Trinidad and Baguio City to abate the influx of informal settlers in the 336-hectare Busol watershed, it has been observed that there has been a tremendous increase in illegal structures around the forest reservation that poses a serious threat to the identity of Busol as a watershed and the source of potable water supply for residents of Baguio and La Trinidad.

Aside from the closure of the said areas, the source claimed that among the possible recommendations on the drastic actions that will be taken to help preserve and protect the said places include the immediate dismantling of structures that were constructed without building permits, requiring business establishments to adhere to environmental, health and sanitation laws and regulations and the regreening of the deforested watershed to ensure the availability of potable water supply for residents in the future.

While the local government was able to initiate actions that removed the vendors within the Mines View Park, the source asserted that stallholders who were assigned slots in the Mines View multipurpose building that served as their relocation site are now contributing to the clogging of the park which impede the smooth flow of people wanting to view the mine site that add up to the worsening traffic congestions on the roads leading to the park.

The source added initial evaluation of Mines View and Busol were done and the findings are now being evaluated by DENR personnel in the central office for future actions by higher authorities after the approved closure of Boracay for a maximum of six months.



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.