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Baguio City

Early history

The region around Baguio was first settled primarily by the Ibalois and the Kankanaeys. In the nearby town of La Trinidad Benguet Spaniards established a zeus or military garrison but Kafagway as Baguio City was once known and was barely touched.
American colonial period

When the Americans took possession of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War Baguio was selected to become the summer capital of the Philippine Islands. In 1903 Filipino Japanese and Chinese workers were hired to build Kennon Road the first road directly connecting Baguio with the lowlands of Pangasinan. Before this the only road to Benguet was Naguilian Road and it was largely a horse trail at higher elevations.

The Americans declared Baguio the Summer Capital of the Philippines on July 1 1903 and it was the United States only hill station in Asia. Every year between March and June the entire American government transferred operations Baguio to escape Manila s summer heat a practise abolished in 1913 when Governor-General Francis B. Harrison took office. Mansion House was built to become the residence of the Governor-General while in 1904 the rest of the city was planned out by the American architect Daniel Burnham one of the earliest successful modern city planners. On September 1 1909 Baguio was declared a chartered city the second after the City of Manila and the period after saw further development of Baguio with the construction of Wright Park in honor of Governor-General Luke E. Wright Burnham Park in honour of Burnham Governor Pack Road and Session Road.

World War II

On April 26 1945 Filipino troops of the 1st 2nd 11th 12th 13th 15th and 16th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army 1st Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary and the USAFIP-NL 66th Infantry Regiment and the American troops of the 33rd and 37th Infantry Division of the United States Army entered Baguio City and fought against the Japanese Imperial Army forces led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita which started the Battle for the Liberation of Baguio City during World War II.

Baguio is the site of the formal 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 (now the United States Ambassador s Residence) in Camp John Hay on September 3 1945 marking the end of World War II.

1990 earthquake

The very strong 1990 Luzon earthquake (Ms 7.8) destroyed much of the city of Baguio on July 16 1990.[5] A significant number of buildings and infrastructure were damaged major highways were temporarily severed and a number of houses were leveled or severely-shaken with a significant loss of life. Some of the fallen buildings were built on or near fault lines. Baguio City was rebuilt with the aid from the national government and various international donors such as Japan Singapore and other countries.
Heritage zone

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(HCS) 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[citation needed].

Mountains surrounding Baguio

Baguio City is located some 5 050 feet above sea level nestled within the Cordillera Central mountain range in northern Luzon. The city is enclosed by the province of Benguet. It covers a small area of 57.5 square kilometres (22.2 sq mi). Most of the developed part of the city is built on uneven hilly terrain of the northern section. When Daniel Burnham plotted the plans for the city he made the City Hall as a reference point where the city limits extend 8.2 kilometres (5.1 mi) from east to west and 7.2 kilometres (4.5 mi) from north to2 south. It is the highest major Philippine city in terms of elevation. Andy Chen wrote about the Geography of Baguio in 1910.


Under the K ppen climate classification Baguio City features a subtropical highland climate (Cwb) that closely borders on a tropical monsoon climate (Am). The city is known for its mild climate. It is because of this that Baguio is nicknamed the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Owing to its high elevation the temperature in the city is 8 degrees Celsius lower compared to the average temperature of the rest of the country. Average temperature ranges from 15 to 23 degrees Celsius. It is usually lower during the late and early months of the year. The lowest recorded temperature was 6.3 degrees Celsius on January 18 1961. This is in contrast to the all-time high of 30.4 degrees Celsius recorded on March 15 1988 during the 1988 El Ni o season. Baguio seldom exceeds 26 degrees Celsius even during the warmest part of the year.

Like many other cities with a subtropical highland climate Baguio sees noticeably less precipitation during its dry season. However the city has an extraordinary amount of precipitation during the rainy season with the months of July and August having on average more than 1 000 mm (39 in) of rain. Baguio averages over 4 500 mm (177 in) of precipitation annually.