Baguio City,also called the “City of Pines”, is home to many tourist spots and is a weekend getaway of those living in Metro Manila. It is also known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” because of its cool climate, fresh, green and peaceful environment. This makes it a favorite tourist destination especially for those who would like to relax and stay away from the excessive heat of the lowlands and also a favorite venue of seminars and conferences.
Famous Tourist Sights and Destinations
Burnham Park is the very heart of Baguio City. It contains all the amenities of a traditional green park, mature trees, flower beds, a small lake, walking paths, open fields and facilities for bike riding and paddle boats.
Camp John Hay
Used to be an American military recreational camp during World War II, Camp John Hay is now a popular destination for people who wish to see the pine forests in the city. The place also boasts a sprawling country club with a full 18-hole golf course as well as many trendy restaurants and a nice hotel.
This place remains a “must visit” for tourists.
Mines View is a popular tourist attraction where tourists can shop, explore and view the scenery.
Any visit to Mines View Park would not be complete without a stop at the Good Shepherd Convent where you can buy jam, brittle and other goodies. They also have a very nice view deck with the vista of the mountains of the Cordillera range as a backdrop for photos.
Directly across The Mansion is Wright Park that features the much photo-graphed Baguio landmark, the “Pool of Pines”.
Tall pine trees and decorative street lights line both sides of the access road beside the pool. There are times that you will find at the park some Igorots dressed in their native attire and regalia who are willing to pose for a photograph … of course, for a fee. Native handicrafts are also sold at the Mansion end of the park by a few Igorot peddlers. From the park circle is a walkway which leads to a wide stairway made of stones that descend to an area where ponies are rented out.
Also known as the Igorot Village, it showcases the native houses of the different Cordillera tribes. Tourists can usually take pictures with the Igorot tribesmen dressed in their traditional costume. It is also the home of the Baguio Arts Guild.
Botanical Garden is named such because it is tasked with growing pine seedlings and other flora and fauna for the constant “greening” of Baguio
The grotto is a favorite pilgrimage site during Holy Week most especially during Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Access to the top of the grotto could be made by climbing the 252 steps or by driving a light vehicle through a winding, narrow and steep asphalt-paved road. Devotees who go up to the grotto to pray usually light up a candle at an altar below the image. There are also vendors at the shrine who are willing to light up a candle for you and say a prayer for whatever personal intentions you might have.
Rising above the city skyline, Baguio Cathedral with its tall, pastel-colored, twin towers stands on a hill overlooking Session Road. It is one of the more familiar and most visited landmarks of Baguio. This beautiful structure has twin spires and is the most photographed structure in the city. From Session Road it is accessible by pedestrians who ascend a long concrete stairway of more than a hundred steps. Visitors and churchgoers who would rather avoid the difficult climb drive vehicles through an access road which passes behind the nearby post office building.
The cathedral was consecrated in 1936.
Panagbenga is month-long annual flower festival held in Baguio. The term Panagbenga a Kankanaey term that means “a season of blossoming, a time for flowering”. It was created as a tribute as a tribute to the city’s flowers and as a way to rise up from the devastation of the 1990 earthquake that devastated the city. Held every February, Panagbenga showcases street dancing, presented by dancers clad in flower-inspired costumes, that is inspired by the Bendian, an Ibaloi dance of celebration that came from the Cordillera region. One of the main attractions is the parade of floats decorated with flowers.
The festival has been very popular among locals that the City is jam packed with tourists from all over the Philippines leading to and after the festival. Hotels are fully booked and reservations have to be made months before the event.
Things to Do
Sight-seeing, Horseback Riding, Golf, Bars & Discos, Live Music, Ukay-Ukay (Second Hand Clothing), Picnics, Skating Rink, Biking, Mini-Golf, Internet Cafes, Video Arcades, Shopping for Fresh Produce
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