Location and Topography.
Sprawled above the mountain
peaks of Benguest Province, Baguio is 254 kms. north of Manila. It is
the chief city of Northern Luzon. Its altitude ranges from 950 to 1650
m. while its average elevation is 5,000 ft. above sea level. Baguio
is bounded on the north by Benguet's municipality of La Trinidad, on
the East by Itogon, and Tuba on the south and west. Total land area
is 49 sq.kms. enclosed in a perimeter of 30.6 kms. The rugged topography
is covered with tropical vegetation with pines giving the place a distinctive
How To Get There
Baguio is accessible both by
land and air from Manila. From Manila, it take about four hours drive
by private car and 5-6 hours by bus while an air trip takes about 45
minutes. Public land transportation is available almost 24 hours. Air
transpotation is scheduled daily but is subject to visibility status
of the area.
By Land. Five major bus companies in Manila serve
day and night trips to Baguio. The route will pass over the huge Plains
of Central Luzon, across scenic mountainous region and wind ("zigzag")
to Baguio through the Kennon Road; the longer Naguilian Road, which
connects to Bauang, La Union; and the Marcos Highway from Agoo, La Union.
Halsema Highway connects Baguio with other parts of Benguet, Kalinga-Apayao
and the Mountain Provinces. Bus ticket reservation is recommended during
peak season (Novenber-May). Bus companies that offer 24-hour transport
service to Baguio include: Dagupan Bus Co., Dangwa Tranco, Philippine
Rabbit, 3H Bus Lines and Times Transit. Average one-way fare is P150.00
per person. Rent-a-car services may also be hired anytime .
By Air. Loakan Airport is the main airstrip of
Baguio and Philippine Airlines is the main carrier. One way fare costs
approximately P767.00 per person.
Taxis and jeepneys are the major
means of transportation in the city. Taxi meters charge P2.50 for the
intial 400 meters, P1.00 for every succeeding 100 m. and an additional
adjustment fee of P7.50. They can also be hired on a flat rate basis
depending on agreement with the driver. Tricycles (motorcycles with
side cars) ply the shorter routes while buses have scheduled trips to
Standard to economy class. VIP
cottages, hotels, inns, condominiums, pension houses, apartelles, lodges
and resorts are available at reasonable rates. Most hotels accommodate
"walk-in" customers. However, reservation is necessary during peak season
(November-May) which may be made directly with the establishment or
through your travel agent. Conference facilities as well as function
rooms are available at major establishments.
Temperature averages 18-20 degree
centigrade, cooler by an average of 8 degrees than any place in the
Philippines. It seldom exceeds 26 degrees at its warmest as compared
to 35 degrees and above temperature in Metro Manila. Baguio is coldest,
as anywhere in the Philippines, from November-February when the temperature
drops to as low as 15 degree centigrade. Rain pours down year-round
particularly on the afternoons with heavy rains coming around June-October.
The city gets a big amount of rainfall, twice from that received by
Metro Manila. November to May is dry season and also the peak tourist
What To Wear.
Cardigans, pullovers, and jackets
are worn year-round especially in the late afternoons and evening when
the air gets nippy. However, in the warmer months of March-May, one
may do with just casual and light clothes like T-shirts, jeans and cotton
As in any key city in the Philippines,
dining is fun in Baguio. There is a lot of restaurants to choose from
which serve Filipino, American, Mongolian, Chinese, Italian, Korean,
and Japanese cuisine. It offers the best in Northern Philippine cooking,
wherein the main ingredients are fresh vegetables mixed with other fresh
produce, and fruits that are top quality, abundant and varied. Its cafes,
bakeries and pastry shops offer homebaked breads, cakes, sweets and
native delicacies with the local blend of strong, aromatic brewed coffee.
Major fastfood chains abound in the city. (Jollibee is a favorite among
the locals). Most establishments are located in Session Road, the main
commercial artery of Baguio, and open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m..
Composed of long-time residents
and tribal peoples, the people of Baguio are peace loving, gentle, and
sincerely hospitable. The city's population of approximately 183,000
reaches 200,000 during peak season due to the influx of tourists, both
local and foreign. Local tourists flock to this cool city particularly
during Lent and Christmas holidays.
Like most Filipinos, the people
of Baguio are also, if not particularly, conversant in English which
is the medium of instruction here. Most newspapers and magazines are
printed in English. Everyone can also readily switch to Filipino - the
national language. Ilocano dialect of the region while Ibaloy is the
dialect of the Igorots.
Tourism is a major industry
in Baguio. Its hotels, restaurants, nightspots and other tourist-oriented
industries such as woodcraft, metalcraft and weaving cater to a continuous
influx of local and international tourists. Agriculture remains the
chief industry. Crops include highland vegetables, rice, potatoes, fruites,
coffee and flowers. The region continues to be the biggest source of
gold in the country since the mining boom experienced a decade before
WWII. Silver and copper are also mined.
Major banks operate in Baguio
City from 9am to 3pm, Mondays to Fridays. Money exchange services can
be availed of at these banks. Major credit cards are accepted in most
establishments however, it is always advisable to carry some cash with
you. Peso is the local currency: 1 Peso = 100 centavos. Banknotes: P1,000;
P500; P100; P50; P20; P10; P5. Coins: P5; P2; P1; 50c; 25c; 10c; 5c.
Baguio is equipped with modern
telecommunications facilities which enable callers to reach any place
in the world. Facsimiles and cellular phones are available. Long distance
calls are serviced by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company
(PLDT). To call Baguio from Manila, simply dial 109 (operator-assisted)
or 0 (access code) +74 (Baguio area code) +telephone number if your
phone is equipped with direct distance dialing (DDD) services. There
are 2 television and 8 radio station, 5 local newspapers and 12 telephone/telegraph
companies in Baguio.