Up high in the Cordillera Mountain Range, Baguio City in the Province of Benguet is on average eight degrees cooler than the normal Philippine temperature and is one of the few places in the Philippines with a cool climate. 1,500 meters above the sea and 250 kilometers north of the Philippine capital, most Manilenos folk head for Baguio during the summer to escape the hot and crowded streets of Manila. It has therefore been dubbed the "summer capital" of the Philippines. With its cool climate, it is the only place in the Philippines where the famous SM Mall is open spaced and non-airconditioned.
Baguio is connected with other parts of Benguet, Kalinga-Apayao and the Mountain Provinces by the Halsema Highway. Ticket reservation for buses is recommended during peak season (Novenber-May). Average one-way fare is P180.00 per person. From the airport or bus terminal, it is then easy to flag down a taxi to get to your accommodations.
In the 1800's the Americans who perhaps longed for cooler weather conditions, saw this place as a refuge from the tropical climate. Building Camp John Hay, the Americans went on to carve the famous Kennon Road, which would be the main link between this cool refuge and Manila. It is the gold-mining region in the country and many handicrafts are produced and sold here.
Session Road is a must see. You will find numerous shops and restaurants with American, Italian Japanese and Chinese cuisine. From here you can take a cab to other attractions which include:
Camp John Hay - The former Rest & Recreation center of the United States Armed Force personnel in the Philippines, it features hotel type rooms, food outlets, basketball and volleyball courts, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, a six-lane bowling center, and a heated swimming pool.
Mines View Park – Its mostly shopping here: hand woven blankets, silver ornaments and jewelries, various jams and strawberries. The Park also has a breathtaking view of the hills and valleys of the Cordillera as well as the gold mines of Benguet.
Burnham Park - Found at the center of Baguio city, Burnham is the popular venue for Baguio city's celebrations. Named after the city's chief planner Daniel Burnham, its man-made lagoon is the site of boating excursions. Skaters, hikers, bikers and delight in the park's walkways. A promenade in the rose gardens is perfect for romantic couples.
Baguio Cathedral – This is just one of the many religious establishments in Baguio. The Bell Temple north of the city, the brilliant gardens of the Maryhurst Seminary, and Lourdes Grotto with its 252 steps to heaven are among them.
Although it isn’t what it used to be, with all the traffic and crowded streets, it is still worth visiting especially during the almost unbearable heat of summer.
El Cielito Inn
50 North Drive
(074)4434846 / (074)4425272
Manila Contact:(02) 8158951 to 54
Deluxe/Standard Rooms, apartels, restaurants and function rooms
Benguet Prime Hotel
Session Rd. cor. Calderon Street
(074)4427066 / (074)4428363
Conference facilities, Coffee Shops, Standard Accommodations
113 Magsaysay Avenue
(074)4432011 to 18
Superior/Executive rooms/suites, restaurants, bar and grill, function rooms, pool, spa, jacuzzi and sauna