CITY OF BAGUIO, Historical Data Part VIII - Philippine Historical Data CITY OF BAGUIO, Historical Data Part VIII - Philippine Historical Data

CITY OF BAGUIO, Historical Data Part VIII

City of Baguio



About these Historical Data

[p. 68]


In the early days, the mountain people came down from their villages and the people from the lowlands came up the mountain trails to meet and barter with each other for the wares and commodities each produced. This custom continued with added force since the improvement of transportation and the Baguio Sunday Market became an institution and a spectacle not to be missed.

It was a colorful and interesting scene. On Fridays and Saturdays, the roads leading into Baguio from all directions were filled with people going to the weekly market. They travelled by motor truck, freight van, by motor cars of ancient and modern make, by slow and clumsy carabao carts, and on foot. Frequently, the whole family came along camping at night along the road or in the pine groves on the hill behind the market. The visitor may see members of many different tribes or villages, some bearing the products of their handiwork for sale, and others replenishing their weekly supplies of necessities or indulging in the purchase of long-desired luxuries.

The mountain folk, erect and muscular men and women, were in their own peculiar attires but modern fashion has altered their native costumes or completely changed it. The women used to carry big baskets on their backs in which they brought in the goods and vegetables for sale and brought home their purchases. Now, with modern transportation, their goods are loaded on various vehicles used. Some of them still are bedecked in brassware necklaces and armlets and smoke fat home-made cigars or short brass Igorot pipes.

[p. 69]

The City of Baguio has built stone buildings for market stalls, and some of the glamor and quaintness of the Baguio market has disappeared. Yet, the fascination of trading, buying and selling has not diminished.

The city market is reputedly the cleanest in the whole islands, so clean "you can wear evening dress" to it. Here are the displays of Igorot and Ilocano fabrics, carvings and curios. Overflowing these are the peddlers and dealers who show their wares in boxes and other containers on the ground. Here are tobacco dealers, rice merchants, fruit and vegetable sellers, flower vendors, meat and fish vendors, shoe dealers, second-hand goods stores, and groceries. Almost everything you may need may be found in the market and its environs, so much so that the market place has become the hub of life in the City of Baguio.

[Note: The next pages apparently are the missing ones in Part VI of this transcription, mis-ordered at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.]

[p. 57]

Religions in Baguio


A. Pioneers

The first group of Belgian missionaries sent to the Philippines was composed of eight. Two of them were Father Floremund Carlu and Octavio. These two missionaries came to Baguio in 1907.

1907 - Father Octavio built a little house in Guisad. Later, this house was changed to a chapel and transferred to Session Road behind the Lopez Building. It was called the St. Patrick's Church. A small chapel and a Catholic school were also built in Campo Filipino - with Father Serafino Devesse as the parish priest.

1921-1922 - Father Carlu started building the 1st part of the present Cathedral and the second part in 1932.

1927 - the Saint Louis School in Campo Filipino was transferred to its present location.

Dominican and Jesuit missionaries came to Baguio as early as 1912.

The Dominican Order built their rest house up on a hill now called Dominican Hill. The Jesuits built theirs on Mirador Hill.

These different orders didn't have any part in the progress of the Catholic religion in Baguio. Baguio was just a resting place to them.

The credit is given to the Belgian missionaries who, up to

[p. 58]

now are doing much in the spread of their religion.
B. Three Parishes in Baguio at Present
1. Cathedral of Our Lady of Atonement Parish

a. Comprises the eastern part of the city and Antamok, Palatoc, Atok, Baguio Gold, Tuding, Bekkel, and Tuba.

b. Father Jerome Debbels - is the parish priest with four assistants.

1. The Saint Louise College near the Cathedral(Boys Dept.) has:
(a) Father Gerald Decaesteker as Director
(b) Father John Van Eawel as Principal
2. St. Vincent's Church in Campo Filipino
Patron - St. Vincent Ferrer
This church was erected as a separate parish and mission in 1945.

a. It comprises the western part of the city, Irisan, Sablan, Asin, Nangalisan and San Pascual.

b. Father Leo Declierq - is the parish priest with one assistant.

(1) The Holy Family College has:
(a) Mother Emile as Principal.

[p. 59]

3. St. John Bosco in Trancoville

(1) It was erected parish and mission in 1951.

(2) It comprises Aurora Hill, Bayan Park, Old Lucban, and Camdas Sub-Division.

(3) Father Renato Vernackt - as parish priest.

C. The Maryknoll School - was erected in 1922.

D. The Catholic Seminaries in Baguio

1. One Secular Clery - in the Bishop House - 33rd Street, Father Francis Lembreckt - in charge.

2. One Regular Clergy in Home Sweet Home - called "The Immaculate Heart Mission Seminary." Father George Hanston- Rector and Vice-Provincial Superior.

E. Four Novitiate Sisters

1. St. Theresa's Novitiate in Pacdal
2. Adoration Convent - Along Brent School
3. Servants of the Immaculate Heart in Tuding
4. Little Flower Novitiate - 15th Street, Baguio

F. La Salle Brothers - rest house near the General Hospital

G. One Catholic Hospital

"Notre Dame Hospital" along General Luna Road - erected in 1930 - 1931 - by Father Carlu

H. Particia Institute - along Session Road - under Father Jess Haes. This was started by Monsignor Brasseur.

I. Bishop in Baguio and Mountain Province

1. Monsignor Octavio Vandawallo - 1932
2. Monsignor Joseph Billet - 1936
3. Monsignor William Prasseur - 1948 to the present.

[Note: From this point, pagination resumes from page 69.]

[p. 70]


Towering 7,500 feet above sea level, Sto. Tomas Mountain overlooks the City of Baguio on one side and the lowlands on the other. It is easily accessible by a good road of about six kilometers to the foot from the city and by foot or horseback for about 6½ kilometers to the peak. The long arduous climb to the top is compensated by the ever-changing picturesque scenery. Then, the magnificent sunrise and sunsets remind on of a Supreme Being at His best.

Sto. Tomas sits like a monarch of the surrounding mountains, crowned by fleecy clouds daily. From its peak, one can see on a clear day the Central Plain of Luzon and, on a clear night, the twinkling lights of Manila. Far and wide, one views the vast expense of mountains and plains.

This mountain will soon be the source of [a] great water supply for the City of Baguio to alleviate the water shortage during the holidays and summer.

Atop the mountain is a rest house managed by the City of Baguio. All modern conveniences are present, and those who seek rest may enjoy an evening's respite in this place.

[p. 71]


Have you come up to Baguio via Kennon Road? If not, then by all means do. If you don't, you'll miss a great deal in your life. The zigzag is famous for its hairpin and horseshoe curves as the road ascends from the Bued River. Whatever the reason, it's full of thrills and delights to ride over.

In the rainy season, the hills are dotted with the delicately fragrant, graceful Benguet lilies. In November and December, the hillsides are gold with sunflowers, and in the dry season, glint in shades of gold, brown, and purples.

Along the famous highway, one may see Twin Peaks, so called from the two mountaintops almost alike in size and shape. Opposite it is the Bridal Veil Falls with its beautiful white iridiscent water resembling the long white flowing veil of a bride.

Going on to Baguio, one may see more picturesque waterfalls and rivers and mountain scenery which are peculiar to the Zigzag Road.



Baguio visitors, especially those who love to hike, cannot forget the climb to Mt. Mirador via the concrete stepsof almost 300 in number. Pious devotees climb up here to worship in the Grotto of Lourdes. For those who desire to go by car, there is a winding road leading up to the grotto.

Here used to be located the observatory operated by the Weather Bureau, but now the Jesuit Fathers have built a seminary in its place. They also have an observatory in one wing of the huge U-shaped building, but it is not yet equipped.

From this hill, you can see the vast expanse of the Gulf of Lingayen and the China Sea on one side, an unobstructed view of the City of Baguio on the other. You can sit here and enjoy a magnificent sunset on the sea.


[p. 72]


From Burnham Park, one may see what has remained of the old Quezon home. Miraculously intact in the garden is the Grotto of Lourdes. The garden is kept clean and novenas are held here yearly in February. Pious devotees never miss to stop at this shrine to pray.


For those who cannot climb the numerous stairs of Mt. Mirador, there is the Dominican Hill for [a] clear and beautiful view of the City of Baguio.

On this hill stands the war-scarred but still imposing building of the Dominican Fathers completed in 1915. There is a perfect vantage point for camera enthusiasts.


Wright Park is one of the scenic spots in Baguio. It is in the vicinity of the Mansion House and is famous for its pool, green trees, shrubs, and flowers. This park is popularly identified with the Taj Mahal of India. Why it has been compared to the Taj Mahal may be because of its pool that reflects in all its splendor the evergreens around it. Tourists and vacationists are one in the belief that Wright Park is one of Baguio's special attractions.

In addition to its pool is a scenic stairway of about two hundred steps with attractive flower plants along the sides. Anyone who visits this park can't fail to appreciate its originality and beauty. Its name has been wonderfully and intricately formed in big letters with the use of small red plants.

[p. 73]


This is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines in Baguio. Before the Mansion House is a beautiful pool and the Wright Park, the garden and the park around Baguio's MalacaƱan are an attractive sight. Mansion House was formerly built for the American governors-general and was turned over to the President of the Philippines after the inauguration of the Commonwealth. It is also the site of international conferences.


Though it very well serves as a lovers' trysting place, this promontory, jutting out from the eastern edge of Baguio, overlooks the gold bowl of Benguet, where the precious yellow metal is being dug out of the bowels of the earth.


Camp John Hay is called the "playground of the Philippines." It is one of the United States Military Reservations in the Islands, which was founded in 1903. The Army personnel stayed in this place for furlough. In it is the Amphitheater, a natural landscape, just below the residence of the Commanding General. It was named after Major General J. Franklin Bell, who enthusiastically started the project. On the green-covered hills is the golf course. It is open to golf enthusiasts.

During the Japanese occupation, it was used as [a]garrison of the Japanese troops. When the Americans returned during the liberation, the installation was renovated and reconstructed as a recreational center. Colonel Frank Smith started the improvement followed by his successors.

At present, the installation is under the Air Force. A nook which is attracting tourists is the Italian Garden. The gardens were very much improved. This replaced the "Big Bear" home which was there before the war.


For the benefit of American sports lovers and their guests, the Country Club arose from a humble capital stock of $5,000 of a corporation formed in February 1907 under the leadership of Mr. Forbes.

Today, it can boast of a green level 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, a cosy clubhouse, guest-house, dancing pavilion, cottages, and a library. With its expansion and improvement, the club is now available also to Filipino [unreadable word] and their guests.



Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the City of Baguio, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. The pagination in this transcription is as they appear in the original document.
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