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Baguio

Travel Guide Asia Philippines Baguio

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Introduction

Baguio Cathedral

Baguio Cathedral

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Perched on the mountains of Cordillera in the island of Luzon, Baguio City (pronounced as 'bag-yow') has become a haven for locals looking for refuge from the hot and humid tropical weather of the Philippines. Dubbed as the Summer Capital of the Philippines and the City of Pines, this city is famous for producing different ornamental flowers and strawberries.

Established by the Americans in the 1900, from once a tribal site for the Ibalois and the Igorots, it has become a bustling garden city, a campus site for the Philippine Army, and the one of the most famous destinations in the country.

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Sights and Activities

Parks

  • Burnham Park. Named in the honor Daniel Burnham, the city's original planner and architect, this park is the city's premier park. It's main feature is its wide pond for small boats to paddle.
  • Wright Park.
  • Orchidarium and Botanical Garden
  • Camp John Hay
  • Mines View Park. One of the most famous tourist spots of the city that offers a panoramic view of the Benguet gold and copper mines.
  • Lourdes Grotto

Others

  • Philippine Military Academy campus
  • The Mansion House. This is the official summer residence of the Philippine president.
  • Lion's Head at Kennon Road. A common pitstop for tourists taking Kennon Road to reach Baguio. It's a famous landmark that offers a viewpoint of the scenic Kennon Road and the mountains of Cordillera.
  • Baguio Cathedral. Baguio's main cathedral situated on top of the hill.
  • Tam-awan Village
  • Teacher's Camp
  • Bell Tower
  • Session Road. The city's main avenue and commercial center.

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Events and Festivals

Baguio's most famous festival, known as the Panagbenga Festival, happens on the 3rd week of February where the city parades its most famous produce, flowers. Floats filled with flowers parade the city's main road and street dancing adorned by different flowers fills the streets.

Main article: Events and Festivals in the Philippines

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Weather

Baguio has earned a reputation as being the summer capital of the Philippines. This is due to its cool climate as attributed to its location on the mountains of Cordillera. The city has an average temperature of 20º C annually with highs of 26º C during warm months and lows of 15º C in the colder months. The coldest in record is 6.3º C.

Like other cities in the country, it has two main seasons; dry during months of November to April and wet during months of May to October.

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Getting There

By Plane

Due to the city's mountainous location, Baguio only has a small airport, the Laoakan Airport, that small planes can only land.

The nearest international airport is the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark, Angeles City where a number of low-frills airlines use. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila is accessible by most international airlines.

By Car

From Manila, one has to take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) taking a northbound route.

There are three main access roads to reach Baguio City from the lowlands.

  • Kennon Road. A scenic route that snakes through the breathtaking mountainsides though characterized by some sharp curves. A famous landmark is situated on this route, the Lion's Head. But since the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, this road experienced some damages that it was closed down for some period and was reopened only for light vehicles. This road is accessible from Rosario in La Union.
  • Marcos Highway. A regular route taken by buses from Manila which also snakes through the mountainsides from the town of Agoo in La Union. This highway is named after the dictator Ferdinand Marcos whose head image carved on the mountainside used to stand along its route.
  • Naguilian Road. The farthest among the three roads from Manila which is accessible from the town of Bauang also in La Union. This serves as the main gateway for the northern towns and unlike Kennon Road, this is characterized by a gentler incline along the mountainsides.

By Bus

A number of bus companies provide transport services from Manila to Baguio. They have terminals in different locations within Metro Manila.

  • Philippine Rabbit. Terminal along Rizal Avenue in Caloocan City.
  • Dangwa Tranco. Terminal in Sampaloc in Manila.
  • Dagupan Bus. Terminal in Cubao in Quezon City.
  • Victory Liner. Terminals along EDSA in Quezon City and in Pasay.
  • Times Tansit. Terminal in Cubao in Quezon City.

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Sleep

Budget

For budget lodging, a number of locals meet tourists arriving from the city's bus terminals with plaque cards offering rooms or transient houses. These transient houses differ on the size, the season, and its distance from the city center. They may range from about P1,500 to P3,000 per night per room.

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Costa Luz Resort Club1 Poblacion, Sagada Mountain ProvinceHostel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are a number of internet service providers nationwide: PLDT-Smart Communications, Globe Telecoms, BayanTel and Sun Cellular and each have their signal strengths in various locations. Internet access areas of broadband speeds are plentiful in city malls, much less so outside the cities, but are growing at a rapid pace. Internet surfing rates depend primarily on where you surf and the medium used (e.g. WiFi or wired). Internet services offered by hotels and shopping malls are expensive and can go up to ₱200/hour (approximately US$5) but neighbourhood cafes can be as cheap as ₱15/hour (approximately US$0.35).

Public place WiFi services in the Philippines is provided by Airborneaccess.net and WiZ is likely to cost ₱100 (approximately US$2) for up to an hour. But if you want cheaper, there is a internet cafe chain in SM malls called, "Netopia", that has a landline internet connection for around 20P an hour (about 0.46 US). Coffee shops as well as malls usually carry WiFi service some are free to use. Certain areas may also carry free WiFi. The SM chain of malls offer free wifi, so you can sit virtually anywhere in the mall and access free wireless.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company commonly known as PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider. It is also the largest company in the country. There are three major companies operating GSM 900/1800 networks: Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular. Your home provider at home should have agreements with one of these providers so check with them before leaving home. Roaming may be quite expensive just as elsewhere however, pre-paid SIM cards of these networks are easy to acquire and cost as little as ₱30 and provide a cheaper alternative.
If you don't have a phone to begin with, a complete pre-paid kit with phone and SIM can be purchased for as little as ₱1,500.The usual cost of an international long-distance call to the United States, Europe or other major countries is $0.40 per minute. Local calls range from ₱ 6.50 per minute for prepaid calls.

Due to the wide use of mobile phones, pay phones are increasingly becoming obsolete. Some malls and public places still do have them and they usually come in either the coin or card operated variety. Globe and PLDT are the usual operators. Phone cards are usually sold by shops which sell cellphone pre-paid loads and cards. Note that phone cards of one company can not be used with the other company's card operated phones.

Post

The Philippine Postal Corporation, or PhilPost, is the provides the postal service throughout the Philippines. PhilPost is pretty reliable, but one can hardly call it fast services. It is fine for sending postcards and letters though, both domestically as well as internationally. Prices for sending postcards or letters within the country start at around P7, while most international post costs at least P20. For sending parcels to and from the Philippines it might be wise to use companies like FedEx or UPS. The opening hours of post offices in the Philippines differ from one place to another. Usually, post offices are open from 8:00am to 12 noon and from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on weekdays. And for those that operate on Saturdays, the business hours are from 8:00am to 1:00pm.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 16.41259
  • Longitude: 120.594803

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This is version 25. Last edited at 8:17 on Aug 7, 13 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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