History and Government
Baguio was named after “bigyiw” meaning “moss”, a green plant which the first Igorot found around the lake (now Burnham Lake). The Igorots in Baguio were called Ibaloi or Inibaloi, resembling the Pangasinan people in custom and dialect.
Alonso Martin Quirante, the chief magistrate and commandant of the Province of Pangasinan, went to the Province of the Igorots in 1642. The Spaniards loosely “governed” the Igorots for over 200 years from their headquarters known as the “Commandancia Politico General de Igorotes” at Agoo, La Union. The Agustinian friars from 1654 to 1659 attempted to christianize the Igorots, partly through force, but they failed. Later, on October 16, 1755, Padre Vivar, an Agustinian friar, held the first mass at La Trinidad. In 1846, Commandante Guillermo Galvey, after 45 preliminary exploratory expeditions, established his commandancia at La Trinidad (named after his wife). Galvey established the province of Benguet with 31 rancherias. The first Kapitan of Benguet was Pulito of Kafagway , now Baguio, a minor rancheria of about 20 houses.
The Presidencia of Baguio was first established in the house of the Campulet at the top of the new Tabacalera road at the lower end of Guisad Valley. Later, the Presidentia of Baguio was moved to the present site of the Baguio City Hall.
In July 1899, about 500 revolutionists burned the commandancia. Juan Cariño was made the governor of Benguet under the first Philippine Republic.
Baguio became a town through Act No. 48 enacted on November 22, 1900 and the following day, November 23, 1900, Act No. 49 of the Philippine Commission established a civil government for the province of Benguet with Baguio as the capital. H. Phelps Whitmarsh became the first civil governor. This was the first provincial government to be established in the Philippines and this happened a year prior to the inauguration of the civil government of the Philippines. On June 1, 1903, the Philippine Commission made Baguio as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. The City of Baguio was created on September 1, 1909 by Act No. 1963.
Beginning 1909, a government fleet of Stanley steam autos brought up more than 2000 passengers a season. The city was well-governed and well-kept.
During World War II, Baguio was the first place in the Philippines to be struck by Japanese warplanes when they bomb Camp John Hay on December 8, 1941, and it was the last occupied area by the invaders until the American forces liberated the city on April 26, 1945. General Tomoyuki Yamashita formally surrendered at the US Ambassador residence in Camp John Hay on September 8, 1945. After the surrender, Baguio immediately set to the task of rehabilitation.
On July 16, 1990, a killer earthquake devastated the entire city. Many of its landmark infrastructures and buildings were destroyed. The populace was greatly shaken, many emotionally traumatized. Four years after the great earthquake, Baguio City recovered and stood on its feet -- a bustling community once more and a beehive of government, commercial and business activities.
To date, Baguio City is once again one of the favorite destinations in Northern Luzon by local and foreign tourists alike.
A highly urbanized city, its citizens participate actively in governmental affairs and public issues. Baguio enjoys a specially informal atmosphere, so that even officials are not detached and removed from their constituents.
The mayors of Baguio City were: E. W. Reynold (1909-1910), E. A. Eckman (1910-1913), A. D. Williams (1913-1918), C. S. Dandois (1918-1919), E. J. Halsema (1920-1937), Sergio Bayan (1937-1939), Nicasio Valderosa (1939-1944), Ramon Mitra (1944-1945), Placido Mapa (May to November, 1945), Isidro Siapno (November to December, 1945), Pedro Armeña (December, 1945-1946), Jose Cariño (1946-1950), Luis Torres (1950-1951), Virginia Oteyza-de Guia (Acting), Francisco Ortega (1951-1952), Benito Lopez (July to December, 1953), Gil Mallare (1951-1954), Alfonso Tabora (1954-1959), Beinvenido Yandoc (January to February, 1960), Luis Lardizabal (1960-1979), Norberto de Guzman (1964-1967), Ernesto Bueno (1979-1986), Francisco Paraan (1986-1988), Ramon Labo, Jr. (1988-1989) and Jaime Bugnosen (1989-1992). In 1992, with the disqualification of mayor-elect Ramon Labo, Jr., Vice Mayor Mauricio Domogan sat as acting mayor. In the 1995 and 1998 elections, Mayor Domogan won the mayoralty post, holding such position until the year 2001.
Baguio City is politically divided into one hundred and twenty-nine barangays (129) enumerated as follows: Andres Bonifacio-Caguioa-Rimando (ABCR), Abanao Zandueta-Kayang-Chugum-Otek (AZKCO), Alfonso Tabora, Ambiong, Asin Road, Atok Trail, North Central Aurora Hill, South Central Aurora Hill, Bagong Lipunan (Market Area), BGH Compound, Bakakeng Central, Bakakeng North, Balsigan, Bayan Park Village, Brookspoint, Brookside, Cabinet Hill-Teacher's Camp, Camdas Subdivision, Camp 7, Camp 8, Camp Allen, Campo Filipino, Palma-Urbano (Cariño-Palma), City Camp Central, City Camp Proper, Country Club Village, Cresencia Village, DPS Area, Dizon Subdivision, Dominican Hill-Mirador, Dontogan, Bayan Park East, Modern Site East, Quirino Hill East, Engineer's Hill, Fairview Village, Ferdinand (Happy Homes-Campo Sioco), Fort del Pilar, Gabriela Silang, Gibraltar, Greenwater Village, Guisad Central, Guisad Sorong, Happy Hollow, Happy Homes (Happy Homes-Lucban), Harrison-Claudio Carantes, Hillside, Holy Ghost Extension, Holy Ghost Proper, Honeymoon (Honeymoon-Holy Ghost), Imelda R. Marcos (La Salle), Imelda Village, Irisan, Kabayanihan, Kagitingan, Kayang Extension, Kayang-Hilltop, Kias, Legarda-Burnham-Kisad, Loakan Proper, Apugan Loakan, Liwanag Loakan, Lopez Jaena, Lourdes Subdivision Extension, Lourdes Subdivision Proper, Andres Bonifacio (Lower Bokawkan), Dagsian Lower, General Luna Lower, Lower Lourdes Subdivision, Lower Magsaysay, Lower Quirino Hill, General Emilio F. Aguinaldo (Quirino-Magsaysay Lower), Lower Rock Quarry, Lualhati, Lucnab, Malcolm Square-Perfecto (Jose Abad Santos), Aurora Hill Proper (Malvar-Sgt. Floresca), Manuel A. Roxas, Bal-Marcoville(Marcoville), Middle Quezon Hill Subdivision (Quezon Hill Middle), Middle Quirino Hill, Middle Rock Quarry, Military Cut-off, Mines View Park, New Lucban, North Sanitary Camp, Outlook Drive, Pacdal, Padre Burgos, Padre Zamora, Phil-Am, Pinget, Pinsao Proper, Pinsao Pilot Project, Magsaysay Private Road, Pucsusan, Poliwes, MRR-Queen of Peace, Quezon Hill Proper, Rizal Monument Area, SLU-SVP Housing Village, Saint Joseph Village, Salud Mitra, San Antonio Village, San Luis Village, San Roque Village, San Vicente, San Escolastica, Santo Rosario, Santo Tomas Proper, Santo Tomas School Area, Scout Barrio, Session Road Area, Slaughter House Area (Santo Niño Slaughter), South Drive, South Sanitary Camp, Teodora Alonzo, Trancoville, Upper Dagsian, Upper General Luna, Upper Magsaysay, Upper Market Subdivision, Upper Quezon Hill, Quirino-Magasaysay (Upper QM), Upper Rock Quarry, Victoria Village, West Bayan Park (Bayan Park), West Modern Site, and West Quirino Hill.
However, it is operating only with 128 barangays because Bagong Lipunan has no registered voters as decreed by the Municipal Trial Court, Branch IV of Baguio City in 2002.
Barangay Composition of Baguio City (by District):
Baguio is a landlocked city located two hundred fifty kilometers north of Manila, in the heart of the province of Benguet. It is known as the gateway to the Cordillera of the mountain provinces of Northern Philippines. It is accessible from the lowlands via three national roads: Quirino Highway better known as the Naguilian Road (north), Kennon Road (south), and Marcos Highway (west). It is also accessible through the Halsema Highway especially those from Benguet and Mt. Province. Baguio can also be reached by air through Loakan Airport located south of the city.
The city enjoys a cool temperate climate typically 19.3 degrees centigrade. Temperature dips to as low as 10 degrees in the cold months of December, January and February. This is due to its elevation of 1,500 meters above mean sea level and its pine clad topography. Dry season is from November to April and wet season for the rest of the months.
Four dominant landforms characterizing the city’s topography are valleys, plateaus, valley walls and steep slopes. Plateaus make up the greater portion of the city’s land area. Elevations in the city range from 1300 to 1500 meters above mean sea level. On a clear day, one can view the panoramic and pine clad scenery of the city, the distant mountains and the South China Sea.
The city has a total land area of 57.5 square Kilometers with a population of 318,676 according to the Census of Population conducted by the National Statistics Office on May 2010.
In 1903, there were only about 489 residents of Baguio. By 1948, it expanded to some 29,262. The latest survey of the National Statistics Office had it at 226,883 in 48,071 households. The youths constitute almost one third of the population. Most live over 60 and the middle age group constitutes about 31%. Population growth rate is 30% annually.
During the peak of annual tourist influx, particularly during the Lenten Season, tourists triple its population.
Baguio has a wide mixture of people coming from all parts of the country. They generally understand English. Ilocano and Tagalog are more widely spoken than the other dialects.
The city’s economy is characterized by the prevalence of tertiary activities like commerce, transportation, communication and services. It has however became dependent on two industries, namely: commerce and services which have been developed as a result of its being a vital intersection for transportation and communication in the region. Benguet vegetables and mining products have remarkably helped sustain these two industries. Tourism on the other hand has always been the backbone of the city’s economy owing to its richly endowed natural environment. Recent developments in the city’s economy can be observed with the operationalization of some multinational corporations at the 6.6-hectare Export Processing Zone at Loakan. Its impact as an employment generator is evidenced by some 12,000 to 15,000 employees of the companies.
Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest
Among the more popular tourist destinations are as follows:
Featured Tourist Attractions and Events
Baguio's notable tourist attractions are: Burnham Park, Mansion House, John Hay, Easter Weaving Room, Botanical Park, Mines View Park, Bell Church, Wright Park, Baguio Cathedral, Lourdes Grotto, Ifugao Woodcarver's Village, Philippine Military Academy, Marker of the Philippine Commission's First Session in Baguio, Kennon Road, Lion's Head, Diplomat Hotel on Dominican Hill, Teachers Camp, St. Louis Filigree Shop, Baguio Tourism Complex, Baguio Convention Center, Session Road/Market, Baguio Country Club, Mt. Sto. Tomas, Baguio Mountain Provinces Museum, Asin Hot Spring, SLU Museum, Educational Institutions.
The main tourist-drawer of Baguio aside from its cool climate and interesting places is the Baguio Flower Festival orPanagbenga. Held every February of each year, the Panagbenga was conceived in 1995 as a vehicle for promoting tourism in Baguio City and the Cordillera region by showcasing the multifarious blooms that made Baguio, “The City of Flowers.”