Thought I’d share some photos of Baguio – my first and current home – for you readers from far away. In comparison to the US, I would place Baguio on par with Seattle. It rains often, a huge lake in the middle of the city, lots of trees (although Pine instead of Evergreen), and the sense of community here is very close knit.
Here are a few photos of famous landmarks around the City…
Kennon Road, a well known SUPER winding road that climbs the mountains into Baguio
Burnham Lake, pretty much the heart of the city, known for paddle boats and skating rinks around it. I spent the Sundays of my childhood learning to skate and pretending I was paddling around the world.
The Mansion – Originally built in 1908 for U.S. governor-generals and was destroyed in 1945 during the battle for the liberation of the Philippines. Baguio later became designated as the “summer capital of the Philippines”, and used the Mansion as a special home for the President to use upon visits.
Wright Park, basically a roundabout for horse back riding. I grew up with a passion for horses because of this park. We would rent horses and take them trailing through the mountain.
Lourdes Grotto, a Catholic shrine with the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. A common prayer and workout spot, climbing 252 steps to reach the shrine. I live rather close to here and sometimes climb as a work out.
Camp John Hay used to be the rest and recreational facility for employees of the military and Department of Defense of the United States. The facility, which was named after U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s secretary of war, was used by the Japanese as a concentration camp for American and British soldiers during the war. This 690-hectare property was turned over to the Philippine government in 1991 and still maintained as a popular tourist and recreation park. Complete with a golf course, hotels, restaurants, shopping areas, convention halls, hiking trails, picnic areas, John Hay will always be a premier part of Baguio.
My love of nature and the outdoors stems from here, and I still go out of my way to go back to the hanging bridges, horse trails and restaurants in this park. In fact, I often watch some family friends perform in a jazz band every Monday and Tuesday, visit a friend’s restaurant and photo shop and I just finished a glow-in-the-dark 5k trail run last night.
Here’s the Manor Hotel, a luxurious hotel and the bar where friends have their jazz shows
Here’s the Ampitheater, with a stage at the bottom and landscaped seats facing it. As a child, I used to walk down the steps pretending I was getting married at the stage.
Chocolate de Batirol, one of my favorite cafes. It’s open air, with outdoor seating but a roof above it. The hot chocolate and desserts here are delicious
Just outside the perimeters of John Hay is the Baguio Country Club, pretty much the playground, bowling alley, library and all around club I grew up in. My parents and I were quite surprised that after about 15+ years of being away, a few of the staff still recognized us and welcomed us home so warmly.
Of course there are several other landmarks, but these are my favorite. I hope you enjoyed my virtual personal tour of my city. More to come….