Initially established in 1900 by American forces on the site of an Ibaloi village known as Kafagway, Baguio City is one of the most urbanized cities in the Philippines, located in the Cordillera Mountains in the middle of the island of Luzon. Its nickname is the City of Pines, given the density of the pine forests surrounding, and its alpine climate has transformed this mountain retreat into the summer capital of the country. Surrounded by dense forests, this is one of the premier backpacking destinations for the country, and is also one of the major tourist locations for Filipinos in order to escape the stifling heat of the lowlands in the peak summer months.
Baguio’s main economy centers on its educational institutions, and has close to a dozen colleges and universities scattered throughout, not to mention various trade and technical school, and based upon the census in 2007 roughly half of the entire population are students from the surrounding provinces. Beyond that, this is one of the major shopping centers for the surrounding provinces, and despite the relatively small size of Baguio, its importance as a central hub for the surrounding mountain communities has transformed it into much more than just a tourist destination. Still, the beauty of the surrounding mountains, the Mines View Park, and places like the North Haven Spa make this a traveler’s haven, regardless of what time of year it happens to be.
Festivals are an important part of Baguio’s cultural heritage, and despite being a relatively young city and fairly urbanized by Filipino standards, the locals keep close ties to their traditional roots. However, over-development in recent years has started to become a problem, and visitors wanting to experience the pristine nature of the surrounding countryside would do well to come here before it gets stripped away in favor of more urban development and housing projects.
Baguio City is known as the Philippine's Summer Capital. This is a distinction given to it by the Philippine Commission on June 1, 1903. Baguio was incorporated as a chartered city by the Phi…