Baguio City History, Geography and Economy

Baguio City is considered the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Because of its cool climate owing to its location at approximately 1,540 m (5,050 ft) above mean sea level, people from the lowlands flock to the city during summer. Almost all national government agencies has offices in the city. In fact, the President of the Republic has his or her Mansion House in the city.

Baguio City Hall
Baguio City Hall *Photo Credit: Facebook Page

Profile of Baguio City (Geography)
Location –> Within Benguet Province in the Cordillera Region of Northern Luzon, Philippines (See map below)
*Distance from Manila –> 224 Kilometers to the north
Neighboring Towns –> Sablan, La Trinidad, Itogon, Tuba
Area –> 57.51 km2 (22.20 sq mi)
Population –> 345,366 (2015 Census)
No. of Barangays –> 129
Terrain –> Mountainous
Industries –> Trading, Tourism, Real Estate, Manufacturing, Business Process Outsourcing
Major Products –> Food Items, Electronics, Handicraft, Other Manufactured Products
People/Language –> Ibaloi, Kankanaey, Ilocano, Pangasinense, Tagalog, English
Mayor –> Benjamin Magalong
Predecessor –> Mauricio Domogan
Vice Mayor –> Faustino A. Olowan
Predecessor –> Daniel T. Farinas
Representative (Lone District) –> Marquez Ocampo Go
Predecessor –> Nicasio Aliping Jr.

Baguio City History

It is generally believed that the name Baguio was derived from Bag-iw, a kind of moss that grew abundantly in the area. The city was founded in the early 1900s by the American Colonial officials who were impressed by the refreshing climate. Previously, it was a small village called Kafagway, a minor rancheria which was part of the Comandancia of Benguet under the Spanish Regime. During the Philippine Revolution, Baguio was organized as a town with Mateo CariƱo as its Presidente (mayor).

In 1903, work started to build Kennon Road, popularly known as Zigzag Road, under the supervision of Col. Lyman Walter Vere Kennon of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 1908, “The Mansion” was completed to serve as the official residence of the American Governor-General.

Baguio became a chartered city on September 1, 1909. Its layout was planned
by Daniel Burnham, the same architect who planned Manila. On December 21, 1936, the Philippine Military Academy was established.

During World War II, the city was captured and occupied by the Japanese Imperial Forces who used the American military facilities particularly Camp John Hay as their base of operation to subdue the whole of the Cordillera area. Towards the end of the war, Baguio became the scene for the formal surrender of General Yamashita and Vice Admiral Okochi at Camp John Hay in the presence of General Arthur Percival and General Jonathan Wainwright.

On July 16, 1990, a powerful earthquake struck the city and destroyed many buildings and infrastructure. It has been rebuilt since with a lot of help from international donors.

Economy, Business and Investment

Baguio City is the foremost center of commerce, industry, tourism and education in Northern Luzon. It is the home of the Baguio City Economic Zone (formerly Baguio City Export Processing Zone) with several large manufacturing industries including Texas Instrument and LTX Philippines. It is also the location of several business process outsourcing firms.

Several malls are found in the City of Pines, another title for Baguio due to the presence of pine trees in every nook and cranny of the city.

The city is the trading center for upland vegetables and fruits. It is famous for home made food products like jams and peanut brittle.

Go here to see all the tourist spots of Baguio City.

RELATED: Urdaneta City History and Tourist Spots
See also: List of Philippine Cities by Region and Province

Map of Baguio City

Baguio City Tourist Spots
Baguio City skyline


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