For a person who’s been living in the City of Pines all his life one might ask, what else are there to see in Baguio City? It was more than five years ago since I made it my personal commitment to promote Baguio City by any means possible and that came through lakbay baguio. A blog that aims to showcase what’s there in Baguio City and what first-timers should expect when visiting the City of Pines. Unfortunately, there came a time in this writer’s life when he asked the question, what else is there? Aside from Good Shepherd, Mansion House, Wright Park, Tam-Awan Village, Camp John Hay, PMA, Burnham Park, Mines View Park what else are there in Baguio?
Asking Around Baguio City
In my search for the answer i chanced upon chatting with friends and acquaintances who frequently visits Baguio City. I asked them what makes them go back to Baguio City and their answers were the same, the weather. Baguio City being situated in the mountains of the Cordillera makes it one of the coolest place in the Philippines and coolest is not an expression. People never gets tired of the cool weather and of course we cannot blame them as the temperature in the lowlands are 6 degrees higher than in Baguio. People would look beyond the fact that one can easily tour the City in one day because of the cold weather and the occasional zero visibility because of the fog. Even in the history of the City it was apparent that Baguio City was developed by the Americans because of its cool weather and relaxing feel and made it a Mountain Health Resort for American Soldiers where they come up to Baguio for a little R&R&R (rest, relaxation and Recuperation).
Tourism In Baguio City
Recently, Baguio City became the center of the National Government’s attention because of an intention to find out how tourism could be bolstered in the City. As i always say if you want the processes to improve ask the man on the ground not the paper pushers, ask the data gatherers not the data readers. Anyway with lakbay baguio being a platform for promoting the City in the digital world here are the things which may help improve tourism in Baguio City.
1. Weather – the “main event” so to speak when a tourist would visit Baguio is the weather, keep the weather cold and the tourist would have really felt that he or she is in Baguio City. Unfortunately, we cannot manipulate nature, in our recent trip to Singapore I realized that most of the tourist destinations would spend so much money in air-conditioning since it is really hot in Singapore. In Baguio as of now we don’t need air-condition system so less expenses in power consumption, which means lesser impact on the environment. It’s great to see some Hotels in Baguio City are not using air-condition units and rely on the cool weather thus less power consumption. Unfortunately we ask the question how do you preserve the Baguio Weather? Basic science of course, the more trees and plants you have the colder the temperature, the lesser your garbage is the lesser impact it has on climate change, now if only we in Baguio would be consistent in preserving our environment that would be a great start.
2. Improve the Tourist Attractions – Many of the supposed tourist attractions in Baguio City have been criticized because of the fact that it was already invaded by either residential or commercial establishments. Good to know that Mines View Park stall owners have already demolished their stalls and transfer to a better site, which means people could really enjoy the “view” of the mines. In our last visit to other tourist destination particularly Burnham park improvement was sadly in a backward motion. I say this because the fountain that’s always been visited by tourist just became so boring, why? because the fountains now only have one pattern and a set of colors, it was different from when it started where the flow of the water would keep you guessing on what’s next.
3. Consistency is a must – we say this not only to the City Government but also to hotels and restaurant owners. It is important that the tourist destinations, restaurants and hotels in Baguio City that they came to love should be the same of has improved when they returned. Unfortunately, for some it is not the case, we especially notice this with food establishments, let’s just say they have their good days and bad days and unfortunate days.
Despite of everything we still believe that Baguio City is a Beautiful City, in fact it is the coolest city we have ever been too, cool not only in the sense that it is cold considering our country is situated near the equator but also cool because of the people and it’s sense of community spirit. Although we cannot bring back the old Baguio with the horse-drawn carriages and the wide-open space known as Kafagway but as residents and as people who loves Baguio City it is our duty to make sure that tourist destinations would flourish because ultimately what we do for the City may directly or indirectly redound to our benefit.