Baguio - Summer Capital of the Philippines

Baguio is hailed as the summer capital of the Philippines. It’s still the favorite summer vacation destination despite the fact that tourist sites pop up like mushrooms all over the archipelago. Why is this? And when did it begin as the country’s summer capital?

A long time ago when the Spaniards first came to Baguio (then still named Kafagway) there were only twenty families in this village. The foreigners were quickly drawn to the cool environment of the place. After some years the Americans came and noted the same thing—the cool and refreshing environment. The American governor-general made it his unofficial summer capital of the Philippines, as it were, and vacationed there in summer.

In 1904 the Philippine Commission held sessions there and also noted the summer retreat potential of the place. Finally, everyone agreed in September 1909 that Baguio ought to be the summer capital of the Philippines, at the same time declaring it a chartered city separate from Benguet Province. Since 1909 until now, local and foreign tourists have been enjoying Baguio as a foremost summer vacation destination.

Other tourist destinations in the country today seem much better than Baguio with their pristine sea waters and white sand beaches. And many are beginning to discover their tourism appeal. However, nothing beats being first. Pioneers never die—and seldom fade away—especially when they keep improving to cope with modern times. This is what makes Baguio endure as the summer capital of the Philippines.

We also have to look at Baguio from a historical point of view. Lots of things happened in Baguio that have forever carved out a niche for it in Philippine history—as summer capital of the Philippines. Just consider the Philippine Commission sessions, the Mansion where American generals and Philippine presidents have resided in summer time through history, Kennon Road that was carved out of mountainsides by Americans and Igorots, and many more.

Just wonder why, despite being atop mountains and hard to reach, all invaders found Baguio a perfect place for vacationing—Spaniards, Americans, and Japanese? That should speak volumes about why Baguio has been the summer capital of the Philippines. On top of all this, there are the Baguio folks themselves, generation after generation, and the local government, working hard everyday, living up to traditional Ilocano industriousness, to keep Baguio on the map as the summer capital of the Philippines.

Baguio City is not summer capital of the Philippines for nothing. Lots of people still find it vacation-worthy.



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