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12 Interesting Facts about Baguio City

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12 interesting facts about Baguio City, the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

Surrender of Japanese Forces in Baguio City, September 3, 1945 | U.S. Naval Historical Center
Surrender of Japanese Forces in Baguio City, September 3, 1945 U.S. Naval Historical Center

The City of Baguio is the only chartered city in Cordillera Administrative Region. It is well known as the "Summer Capital of the Philippines" and "City of Pines" due to its cool climate and famed pine trees.

Interesting Facts and Figures about Baguio City

  1. Baguio was proclaimed as a chartered city on September 1, 1909. Prior to that, it was already declared as the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

  2. Kennon Road was the first highway built to directly connect Baguio and Pangasinan; before that, Baguio was only reachable by horse or donkey through Naguilian Road.

    Kennon Road during construction, Circa 1903
    Kennon Road during construction, Circa 1903

  3. The city has 129 barangays. Irisan is the most populated among the barangays.

  4. The city's flower festival is the brainchild of Atty. Damaso E. Bangaoet, Jr. He is recognized as the Father of Panagbenga. Ike Picpican proposed to use "Panagbenga", the Kankana-ey term for the season of blossoming for the festival.

    Panagbenga Street Dance Parade along Session Road. Feb 28, 2009. | Lolay
    Panagbenga Street Dance Parade along Session Road. Feb 28, 2009. Lolay

  5. Panagbenga was first celebrated in 1996. It was the city's way of rising-up after the 1990 killer earthquake.

  6. Architect Daniel H. Burnham created the master plan for the city akin to the layout of Washington D.C. His design was ideally made to carry only 30,000 people. Burnham Park was named after him.

    "The Burnham plan for the improvement of Baguio"
    "The Burnham plan for the improvement of Baguio"

  7. The population is now around 345,000 based on the 2015 PSA census.

  8. The first Miss Philippines (1947) was Evangeline de Castro from Baguio.

    Evangeline de Castro of Baguio City, the first-ever Miss Philippines in 1947; crowned by Ruby Roxas Matilde Salgado
    Evangeline de Castro of Baguio City, the first-ever Miss Philippines in 1947; crowned by Ruby Roxas Matilde Salgado

  9. During the American regime, the city's officials conducted sessions at the Boy Scout Hall located on the main road, which inspired the name "Session Road".

  10. The first schools were the Easter School and the Brent International School.

  11. The oldest building is the Ogilby Hall, which is located in Brent School.

  12. The Pacific War ended when Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita signed his surrender in the Ambassador's Cottage in Camp John Hay.

    General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the last Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines, signed the documents of surrender at Camp John Hay, Baguio City on September 3, 1945, 9:30 AM.
    General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the last Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines, signed the documents of surrender at Camp John Hay, Baguio City on September 3, 1945, 9:30 AM.

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About the author: This article (revised) was shared exclusively by our friend Donnabeth Tolano-Aniban with the Igorotage team. Donnabeth is a licensed Filipino nurse and a former teacher. She now works as an academic writer and also writes on Medium. Her work has been featured in Her View From Home and When In Manila. You can get her book "50 Ideas For A Great Life" on Shopee.

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