AskDefine | Define baguio

Extensive Definition

The City of Baguio (Ilokano: Ciudad ti Baguio; Filipino: Lungsod ng Baguio) is a highly urbanized city in northern Luzon in the Philippines. Baguio City was established by Americans in 1900 at the site of an Ibaloi village known as Kafagway. Baguio City was designated by the Philippine Commission as the Summer Capital of the Philippines on June 1, 1903 and incorporated as a city by the Philippine Assembly on September 1 1909. There is a presidential mansion, as well as supreme court and legislative offices in Baguio. Baguio is the seat of government of the Cordillera Administrative Region. The name of the city is derived from the word bagiw in Ibaloi, the indigenous language of the Benguet Region, meaning 'moss'. The city is at an altitude of approximately 1500 meters (5100 ft) in a moist tropical pine forest conducive to the growth of mossy plants and orchids. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 252,386 in 52,302 households.


The three main access roads leading to Baguio from the lowlands are Kennon Road, Marcos Highway, and Naguilian Highway. Kennon Road starts from Rosario, La Union and winds through a narrow, steep valley. This is the fastest route to Baguio but is dangerous, with landslides during the rainy season. Marcos Highway, which starts from Agoo, La Union, and Naguilian Highway, which starts from Bauang, La Union, are longer routes but are safer than Kennon Road and are the preferred routes for coaches, buses and lorries. With its charter in 1909, Baguio is not a part of the Benguet province, though geographically speaking it's located in the said province.


Air transport

Loakan Airport in Baguio is about 20 minutes by car south of the city. Due to its limited length the runway is restricted to small aircraft. This perhaps contributed to the city's declining competitiveness against other medium-sized cities around the country. The airport is only used by propeller-driven aircraft. Currently, Asian Spirit flies Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday to and from Manila, a 50 minute flight. Flights to Baguio are scheduled only in the morning, as visibility approaches zero in afternoons when fog starts to form.

Land transport

It takes an average of six hours to travel the 250 km distance between Manila and Baguio by way of Kennon Road. It is about fifteen minutes longer through the Marcos Highway and could take three more hours when going through Naguilian Road, which is the usual route for travellers from the North. Kennon Road is occasionally blocked by landslides during the rainy season and the same problem occurs on the other two access roads. The route to Baguio through Kennon Road is as scenic as it is dangerous. There is another access to Baguio from Aritao in the province of Nueva Vizcaya but this is less traveled, the road is not well maintained, and public transportation through this route is not as regular. Another road, Halsema Road (also known as "Mountain Trail") leads north through the mountainous portion of the Cordillera Autonomous Region. It starts at the northern border of Baguio, in the Municipality of La Trinidad (Trinidad Valley).
There are several bus lines linking Baguio with Manila and Central Luzon, and provinces such as Pangasinan, La Union, and those in the Ilocos region. Most transportation companies also offer express and air-conditioned buses at a much higher fare, though some minibuses offer cheaper fares.
Bus services that ply Baguio include Philippine Rabbit, Dangwa Tranco, Dagupan Bus, Victory Liner, Partas, Genesis, Saulog Transit,and Greenland, as well as minibuses that come from other provinces.


The primary economy of Baguio City is its educational centers of which it has in excess of seven colleges and universities as well as a plethora of trade and technical schools. Estimates are that these schools compose in excess of one hundred thousand students.
The secondary source of income for the residents is its character as the commercial hub in the province of Benguet. Many of the agricultural and mining goods produced in Benguet goes to Baguio City for central distribution.
The city is also a major retail center for the Cordilleras and the Ilocos provinces, with shoppers from the provinces coming to the city to take advantage of the diversity of competitively priced commercial products on sale, most of which are only available in Manila. Despite the city's small size, there are numerous shopping centers and malls in the business district catering to the growing commercial activity in Baguio. These are the SM City Baguio mall, Baguio Centermall, Cooyeesan Hotel Plaza, Abanao Square, Maharlika Livelihood Center, and Porta Vaga mall.
The city is also proliferated with various food and retail businesses by local residents, all of which have become a part of local cultural landscape. Some of these include: the Tiong San chain of department stores and supermarkets, Sunshine Supermarket, Star Cafe, Country Mart, the famous Rose Bowl Restaurant and many others.
The areas of Session Road, Harrison Road, Magsaysay Avenue and Abanao Street comprise the trade center of the city. It is in these areas where commercial and business structures abound. First class movie houses, hotels, restaurants, department stores, and shopping centers are found in this downtown area. Shopping at the famous city market offers one a wide array of locally sourced goods and products, from colorful woven fabrics and strung beads to primitive wood carvings, cut flowers, strawberries and vegetables. (Strawberries and string beans - known as 'Baguio beans' across the Philippines - are shipped to major urban markets.)
Baguio is also home to one of the country's most profitable Philippine Economic Zone Authority areas (PEZA), called the Baguio City Economic Zone (BCEZ), located in the southern part of the city between the Camp John Hay leisure resort and the Philippine Military Academy. Firms located in the BCEZ mostly produce and export knitted clothing, transistors, small components for vehicles, electronics and other computer parts. Notable firms include Texas Instruments Philippines, MOOG, and Sitel. Recently, there has been an influx of call centers in the city with American companies outsourcing their technical support facilities in the country.
Tourism is one of Baguio's main industries. Commonly, overseas visitors pass through Baguio, while Filipinos make it a destination.

Education and culture

Baguio is a university town. It is the center of education in the entire North Luzon. There are eight major institutions of higher education in Baguio City, one of which (the University of the Philippines) is regarded as the country's premiere institution of higher learning and research. The languages spoken in Baguio are Kankana-ey, Ibaloi, English, Ilocano, Tagalog, Chinese and Pangalatot.
Baguio's youth majority in the population has given it a distinct flavor different from those of other cities in the Philippines.


Like most Philippine cities, Baguio is governed by a Mayor, Vice Mayor, and twelve (12) Councilors. However, being a highly-urbanized city, it is not subject to the jurisdiction of Benguet, the province which it was formerly part of.
The current mayor of Baguio is Reinaldo Bautista Jr. who first assumed office after the suspension of Braulio Yaranon in August 2006. Yaranon's term was clouded in controversy, primarily because of his harsh attacks on previous city officials that initiated the scandalous Uniwide Market Project, Jadewell Parking Systems Project, the now finished 172 million, 274-meter BGH flyover project, and the proposed operation of a Casino inside Camp John Hay. Jadewell Parking System was approved by the city council in 2000 and the then City Mayor Mr. Mauricio Domogan. The parking firm's owners filed administrative charges against Yaranon for his stand against its operation. He was eventually suspended until the end of his term on June 30 2007.
Bautista recently had his "interim/acting" tag removed from his title as he emerged as the winner in the 2007 city mayoral race, beating Yaranon, Vergara, former Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. and post-People Power mayor and spiritual healer Ramon "Jun" Labo Jr. His running mate, three-term vice mayor and law dean Daniel Fariñas, returned to that post as well after previously serving a term in the City Council.
Baguio City's lone congressional district is currently represented in the House of Representatives of the Philippines by Congressman Mauricio Domogan, who is now in his third successive term. Prior to being elected as congressman in 2001, he served three straight terms as mayor(1992-2001).

City Officials (2007-2010)

  • Representative: Mauricio Domogan
  • Mayor: Reinaldo Bautista Jr.
  • Vice Mayor: Daniel Fariñas
  • Councilors:
    • Rocky Thomas Balisong
    • Betty Lourdes Tabanda
    • Galo Weygan
    • Perlita Chan-Rondez
    • Nicasio Aliping
    • Antonio Tabora Jr.
    • Erdolfo Balajadia
    • Nicasio Palaganas
    • Isabelo Cosalan Jr.
    • Richard Cariño
    • Fred Bagbagen
    • Elaine Sembrano
    • Joel Alangsab (Ex-officio; Liga ng mga Barangay President)
    • Ysa De Vera (Ex-officio; Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President)


Baguio City is politically subdivided into 130 barangays.


The region around Baguio was first settled by the Cordillerans, primarily the Kankane-y, Ibaloi, and Itogon tribes. In nearby La Trinidad, Spaniards established a commandante or military garrison, although Kafagway, as Baguio was once known, was barely touched. In 1901 Japanese people and Filipinos commanded by the Americans in engineering built Kennon Road, the first road directly connecting Kafagway with the lowlands of Pangasinan. Before this, the only road to Kafagway was Naguilian Road. On September 1, 1909 Baguio was declared a chartered city. The famous American architect Daniel Burnham, one of the earliest successful modern city planners, laid a meticulous plan for the city. His plan was, nevertheless, realized only to a small extent, primarily due to lack of political will among the leaders who served for the city from the pre-war Baguio to the present. Americans declared Baguio the Summer Capital of the Philippines and The Mansion as the residence of the American governor-general to escape Manila's Summer heat. Americans further developed Baguio, building parks and public structures such as Wright Park in honor of Governor General Luke E. Wright, Burnham Park in honor of Baguio city planner Daniel Burnham, Governor Pack Road, Session Road, Assumption Road.
Baguio is well known as site of the surrender of General Tomoyuki Yamashita and Vice Admiral Okochi. It is where they gave up the entire Imperial Japanese Armed Forces to American authorities at the High Commissioner's Residence in Camp John Hay on September 3 1945, marking the end of World War II.
With Philippine independence in 1946, Americans settled in the city and English became the primary lingua franca. Ilocanos joined the Cordillerans in Baguio, and the population of Americans, Dutch, Belgians, and Germans soared.
An large earthquake destroyed most of Baguio on July 16, 1990. The city was quickly rebuilt, thanks to the aid of national government and various international donors like Japan and other nations.
Around May 2003, a petition initiated by Dion Fernandez to declare Baguio a heritage zone was circulated on the Internet and national print media, gaining more than 10,000 signatures. The petition calls upon unspecified officials to create the Zone prior to the Baguio centennial in 2009. In May 2005, the Heritage Conservation Society submitted to the Baguio City Council a proposed Special Heritage Bill drafted by HCS Trustee Ivan Henares. It has been approved on second reading but is being opposed by a group of businessmen.

See also


baguio in German: Baguio (Stadt)
baguio in Spanish: Baguio
baguio in French: Baguio
baguio in Galician: Baguio
baguio in Iloko: Ciudad ti Baguio
baguio in Italian: Baguio City
baguio in Pampanga: Baguio Lakanbalen
baguio in Lithuanian: Bagijas
baguio in Dutch: Baguio City
baguio in Japanese: バギオ
baguio in Polish: Baguio
baguio in Russian: Багио
baguio in Finnish: Baguio City
baguio in Swedish: Baguio City
baguio in Tagalog: Lungsod ng Baguio
baguio in Vietnamese: Thành phố Baguio
baguio in Waray (Philippines): Syudad han Baguio
baguio in Chinese: 碧瑶市
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