Baguio is also known as the Summer
Capital of the Philippines, City of Pines,
City of Mines, City of Flowers, Garden City of the Philippines, Ukay-Ukay Capital
of the Philippines
Famous festival in Baguio is known as “Pinagbenga Flower Festival". Panagbenga Festival (English: Flower Festival) is a month-long annual flower festival occurring in Baguio. The term is of Kankanaey origin, meaning "season of blooming". The festival, held during the month of February, was created as a tribute to the city's flowers and as a way to rise up from the devastation of the 1990 Luzon earthquake.The festival includes floats that are covered mostly with flowers not unlike those used in Pasadena's Rose Parade. The festival also includes 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.
Aside from boosting the economy through tourism, the festival also helped the younger generation of indigenous people to rediscover their culture's old traditions. The indigenous people were first wary with government-led tourism because of the threat that they will interfere or change their communities' rituals.
The A. Lim of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA). Entries from the annual Camp John Nichol Sibug art contest gave its official logo: a spray of sunflowers. The festival was set in February to boost tourism as it was considered as a month of inactivity between the busy days of Christmas season and the Holy Week and the summer season.
In 1996, archivist and curator Ike Picpican suggested that the festival be renamed as Panagbenga, a Kankanaey term that means "a season of blossoming, a time for flowering"
Baguio City used to be a vast mountain zone with lush highland forests, teeming with various wildlife such as the indigenous cloud rats, Philippine eagles, deers, warty pigs, and numerous species of floras. The area was a hunting ground of the indigenous peoples, notably the Ibalois and other Igorot ethnic groups. In the 14th-15th century, it became under the control of the Kingdom of Tondo until it returned to an indigenous plutocracy by the 16th century. When the Spanish came in the Philippines, the area was never fully subjugated by Spain due to the intensive defense tactics of the indigenous Igorots of the Cordilleras.
During the Spanish rule in 1846, the Spaniards established a comandancia in the nearby town of La Trinidad, and organized Benguet into 31 rancherias, one of which was Kafagway, a wide grassy area where the present Burnham Park is situated. Most of the lands in Kafagway were owned by Ibaloys even prior to the appointment of Mateo Cariño as chieftain . The Spanish presidencia, which was located at Bagiw at the vicinity of Guisad Valley was later moved to Cariño's house where the current City Hall stands. Bagiw, a local term for "moss" once abundant in the area was converted by the Spaniards into Baguio, which served as the name of the rancheria.
During the Philippine Revolution in July 1899, Filipino revolutionary forces under Pedro Paterno liberated La Trinidad from the Spaniards and took over the government, proclaiming Benguet as a province of the new Republic of the Philippines. Baguio was converted into a "town", with Mateo Cariño being the presidente (mayor).
When the United States occupied the Philippines after the Spanish–American War, Baguio was selected to become the summer capital of the Philippine Islands. Governor-General William Taft on his first visit in 1901, noted the "air as bracing as Adirondacks or Murray Bay ... temperature this hottest month in the Philippines on my cottage porch at three in the afternoon sixty-eight.":317–319
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 Camp John Hay was established on October 25, 1903 after President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order setting aside land in Benguet for a military reservation under the United States Army. It was named after Roosevelt's Secretary of State, John Milton Hay.
The Mansion, built in 1908, served as the official residence of the American Governor-General during the summer to escape Manila's heat. The Mansion was designed by architect William E. Parsons based on preliminary plans by architect Daniel H. Burnham. Burnham, one of the earliest successful modern city planners, designed the mountain retreat following the tenets of the City Beautiful Movement. In 1904 the rest of the city was planned out by Burnham. On September 1, 1909 Baguio was declared as a chartered city and the "Summer Capital of the Philippines". 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 honor of Burnham, Governor Pack Road, and Session Road.
General Yamashita (center, on the near side of the table) at the surrender ceremony at Camp John Hay on 3 September 1945.
Prior to World War II, Baguio was the summer capital of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, and the home of the Philippine Military Academy. Following the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941, the Japanese Imperial Army used Camp John Hay, an American installation in Baguio, as a military base. The nearby Philippine Constabulary base, Camp Holmes, was used as an internment camp for about 500 civilian enemy aliens, mostly Americans, between April 1942 and December 1944.
By late March 1945, Baguio was within range of the American and Filipino military artillery. President José P. Laurel of the Second Philippine Republic, a puppet state established on 1943, departed the city on March 22 and reached Taiwan on March 30. The remainder of the Second Republic government, along with Japanese civilians, were ordered to evacuate Baguio on March 30. General Tomoyuki Yamashita and his staff then relocated to Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya.
A major offensive to capture Baguio did not occur until mid-April, when United States Army's 37th Infantry Division, minus the 145th Infantry Regiment, was released from garrisoning Manila to launch a two-division assault into Baguio from the west and south. On April 26, 1945, Filipino troops of the 1st, 2nd, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, 1st Constabulary 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 and fought against Japanese Imperial Army forces led by General Yamashita, which started the Battle for the Liberation of Baguio.
Baguio is the site of the formal surrender of General Yamashita and Vice Admiral Okochi at Camp John Hay's American Residence in the presence of lieutenant-generals Arthur Percival and Jonathan Wainwright. 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.
The 1990 Luzon earthquake (Ms = 7.8) destroyed much of the city of Baguio on July 16, 1990. A significant number of buildings and infrastructure were damaged, including the Hyatt Terraces Plaza, Nevada Hotel, Baguio Park Hotel, FRB Hotel and Baguio Hilltop Hotel; 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 was rebuilt with the aid from the national government and various international donors such as Japan, Singapore and other countries. After moving past the earthquake, Baguio then known as City of Pines was also able to attain theThe Summer Capital of the Philippines title.
Baguio is located some 1,540 meters (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 drew plans for the city, he made the City Hall 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 to south.