Baguio Latest News

Cordillerans affirm support to federalism alongside regional autonomy

BAGUIO CITY, June 28 (PIA) - - The Cordillera leg of the Regional Consultation on Federalism was successfully held here at the Summer Capital with seven members of the Consultative Committee providing information on their proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution, multi – sector providing  their inputs and  affirming their support to  federalism alongside the push for regional autonomy.


The Department of Interior and Local Government- led regional roadshow on June 25 and 26  was attended by ConCom members Dr. Virgilio Bautista and lawyer Laurence Wacnang, who are both Cordillerans, Professors Eddie Alih and Ferdinand Tayao, lawyers Susan Ubalde – Ordinario, Jose Martin Loon and Ferdinand Bocobo.

DILG Assistant Secretary and Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform Administrator Jonathan Malaya said the regional federalism roadshow is primarily for nation building and aims to inform and dialogue with the people on how the proposed constitutional amendment to the 1987 Philippine constitution towards the shift to a federal form of government will ensure a more progressive country and will bring better life to our children and grandchildren.

The ConCom members presented salient features of the proposed Constitution for a federal republic that includes the creation of 18 federated regions including the Cordilleras and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The Cordillera with its six provinces, Baguio City and the component City of Tabuk in Kalinga will keep its identity as one region in a federal form of government, they assured.

Regional Development Council (RDC) Chairperson and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan led officials in affirming support to the constitutional change process   as he called on Cordillerans to support federalism as like the region’s campaign toward regional autonomy, it pushes for decentralization of powers to bring in progress to remote communities and inclusive growth to every Filipino.

The Cordillera RDC in its goal to bring development to all Cordillera communities and in support to the national government’s developmental agenda has adopted the “autonomy towards federalism” framework.

“Let us not be confused. Our push for autonomy towards regional development is the same as the national government campaign towards a shift to federal form of government, as it also aims to bring progress in every community in the country through decentralization and devolving of powers to the regional (for Cordillera autonomy) or federal states”, Domogan said.

“So as we push for attaining a Cordillera Autonomous Region let us also support the Federalism movement. Autonomy towards Federalism,” he added.

Malaya said Cordillera’s push for regional autonomy will not be affected by the national government’s Federalism campaign. Federalism will give more meat or teeth to Cordillera Autonomy. If we pass Cordillera autonomy and I hope it will, federalism will strengthen and institutionalize it. Federalism will ensure that it will benefit all the people of Cordillera, he stressed.

The 2 – day federalism roadshow included a press conference; a forum with Philippine Military Academy officials and cadets at Fort Del Pilar; a Town Hall meeting with multi - sectoral leaders and a regional consultation with local chief executives, regional line agency representatives and with people’s organization leaders at Crown Legacy Hotel, and regional federalism convention at the University of Baguio. (PIA CAR)


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.