How did Baguio become the strong city we know it is today?
We’ve talked a lot about the real estate investment in Baguio City, and how advantageous it is to look into investing into the city’s real estate. We’ve pinpointed the economic, cultural, and education advantages that Baguio brings to Northern Luzon, and why it’s a smart idea to invest in Baguio City, and establish your own house and lot in Baguio City before all the good land gets gobbled up. But how did Baguio get to be this way? How did Baguio come to be one of the most powerful cities in the North? Like many things, a little inquiry into history answers that question.
During their occupation of the Philippines, the Spanish colonizers conducted a series of expeditions, led by Juan Salcedo in 1572 and Don Q. M. Quirante in 1694 to the cool mountains of Benguet. However, unlike the lowlands that the Spanish successfully took over, the native tribes were difficult to control and subdue.
It was only with the arrival of the Americans that the area of Baguio was fully integrated with the rest of the country - they found the pine-covered hills and the cool heights ideal for retreats from the sweltering heat of the lowlands. The hills were grassy and studded with pine trees and above all it had a cool and pleasant climate. The Americans also found a good source of water to supply the needs of a city. Gov. William Howard Taft and other officials did not hesitate to propose that this be the location for the summer capital and health resort of the Philippines. The Americans carved Kennon Road from the mountains surrounding the Bued River Canyon, connecting Kafagway to the Pangasinan and Ilocos lowlands.
All this led to the establishment of the first civil government in Benguet by the Americans in November 1900. The largest low-lying area in the vicinity, Kafagway was designated as the capital and was later renamed to Baguio. On June 1, 1903, a resolution was passed by the American colonial government, naming the town of Baguio as the summer capital of the Philippine Archipelago. The resolution also called for the construction of suitable buildings, the establishment of 19 townships, and the putting up of appropriate transportation. This was to prepare Baguio as the residence of all officers and employees of the Insular Government during the summer season when the climate in the lowlands was quite hot and very humid. A suitable site was selected for this purpose and which was later known as Camp John Hay.
From here we can see why Baguio became a prime location in Northern Luzon – being the seat of power for the initial American occupation. Even when the Americans left the Philippines, the signs of their stay remained – the various landmarks such as Camp John Hay. This allowed Baguio an advantage over the other underdeveloped areas in Northern Luzon.
However, another key factor helped shape Baguio - A major earthquake devastated Baguio City on July 16, 1990. This would spur on radical redevelopment of the city, as it struggled to rebuild and allowed the city to completely renovate and reinvigorate the city to make it even more of an urban city similar to the likes of Metro Manila. Out of tragedy, Baguio became reborn anew.
Now, signs of real estate investment in Baguio City can be found everywhere – offices, residences, condominiums, workplaces, schools, universities, house and lots. The city is a bustling cosmopolitan, a place where families can live and seek their fortunes, all thanks to a little bit of serendipitous fortune and the whims of history. As you marvel at your decision to look into real estate investment in Baguio City, and look forward to enjoying your condominium in Baguio City or your house and lot in Baguio City, it’s nice to know a little bit of its history and how it came to be.