Attractions and Things to Do in Baguio, Philippines

by Cicely A. Richard

Baguio, nicknamed the Summer Capital of the Philippines, attracts domestic and international travelers due to its mixture of urbanization and natural landscapes. Visitors entering the city are greeted with hills covered with pine trees and fragrant flowers. Located 155 miles north of Manila, the city features historic attractions, such as huts dedicated to the indigenous people who lived there prior to development. Visitors stroll downtown or take leisurely walks through Baguio's parks and gardens.

Mansion House

The Baguio Mansion House, simply referred to as the Mansion, has served as the home of Filipino presidents and American governor-generals. The iron and brick gate resembles the one found at London's Buckingham Palace. Originally built in 1908, the structure was destroyed during the Philippines' 1945 fight for independence and rebuilt in 1947. The white colonial-style home features a circular driveway and vast grounds accented by strategically placed manicured bushes. The site of President Elpidio Quirino's 1950 South East Asia Union conference, the mansion opens only for official functions, but sightseers pass the Mansion to take pictures of its grounds.

Burnham Park

Visitors and residents alike enjoy Burnham Park in Baguio City for its free outdoor activities that include picnicking, biking, skating and boating. The park contains 12 distinct areas: the Burnham Lagoon, a children's playground, a skating rink, three gardens, a grandstand, an athletic area, a picnic grove, the Japanese Peace Tower, Pine Trees of the World and Sunshine Park. Visitors to the area relax amid the greenery or go to attractions near the park like Session Road, Baguio Cathedral and Baguio City Market. Session Road, the city's commercial center, contains shops, movie theaters, restaurants, cafes and hotels.

Baguio Botanical Garden

The Baguio Botanical Garden, also called Igorot Village or Centennial Park, is less than a mile from Burnham Park. Located between Teacher's Camp and the Pacdal Circle on Leonard Wood Road, the botanical garden combines greenery, art and history on its grounds. Along the stone paths, visitors view pine trees and a bronze sculpture created by the Filipino artist, Ben-Hur Villanueva. Found just inside the entrance, this sculpture showcases the Cordillera natives -- Americans, Chinese and Japanese people -- who helped build the city. The garden's Baguio Arts Guild houses the works of local artists. Huts and historic Cordillera tribe artifacts are scattered around the park. The botanical garden serves as an event venue for tribal ceremonies and concerts.

Strawberry Farm

The Strawberry Farm is six miles from the center of Baguio in La Trinidad, Benguet. Between November and May, the farm invites visitors to pick strawberries alongside native berry pickers. Guests can pick as much as they want, keep their harvest and save money, too. Families enjoy the experience of picking their own berries. Baguio provides public transportation to the farm via jeepneys, located near the University of Baguio.

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