Baguio was founded by the Americans in 1900 where an Ibaloi village called Kafagway had once been. It was declared a city in 1909 by the Philippine Assembly and is the seat of the Cordillera Administrative Region Government. Baguio derives its name from the Ibaloi word Bagiw, which means ‘moss’ and it has been quite appropriately named, as the city is in a tropical pine forest consisting of mosses and orchids. In 1903, the Americans designated the city as the summer capital of the Philippines and also the summer residence of the American governor-general.
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The city of Baguio is located 250 km north of the capital city Manila, in the Cordillera Central mountain range at an altitude of 1,500 meters from sea level. Baguio has a mild climate and temperatures here are lower than the rest of the country and therefore the city is termed as the ‘summer capital’. Baguio has a very modern infrastructure and is home to some major educational institutions apart from being a commercial city that comprises of great markets and large commercial structures such as shopping centers, restaurants, hotels, cinemas and various other buildings.
Tourism is the principal industry, as it is not only the natives of the Philippines that come here for a summer break, but also tourists visiting from outside the country that prefer to visit Baguio. Apart from this, there are several places of interest in Baguio that include the Mansion House, which is the official residence of the President of the Philippines and is designed after the Buckingham Palace. The Mansion House is located in the eastern part of the city; however it is not open to the public and can be viewed only through the gates.
The Burnham Park, which is the oldest in Baguio, is a great place for picnics and other activities and also a venue for concerts and other festivals. On the Kennon highway, which connects Baguio to the lowlands, one can see the Lion’s Head, a massive 40-foot lion head in limestone, carved by a local that attracts a lot of tourists who stop by to take pictures here. The Botanical Garden also known as Igorot village features native huts that are common of the Cordilleras architecture. The Mines View Park, apart from being a former gold, silver and other metal mines location offers some splendid views of the mountains.
Also one can visit the Baguio Mountain Provinces Museum, Asin Hot Springs, Lordes Grotto, the Baguio Cathedral, the Baguio Grand Mosque and a number of other exciting places depending on what one wants to see. The Loakan Airport, which receives domestic flights, is the main airport serving the city. It is about a six hours drive from Manila if one takes the Kennon Highway, which is one of the three highways serving Baguio City, the other two being the Aspiras- Palispis Highway and the Naguilian Road. Also available are bus services from Manila and Central Luzon while taxis and jeepneys operate inside the city.