Building Baguio City – A Walk In Baguio History

Road to Baguio City

It was after the exploration of Dr. Dean Worcester within and around Baguio City that the US government allocated a budget to build Baguio. It was March 25, 1902 when the government appropriated the sum of ten thousand pesos (P10,000) to fund the construction of about six cottages with three rooms. These cottages will serve as a connection between the civil sanitarium in Benguet and the halfway station at Sablan.

The Builders of Baguio

It was on April 9, 1902 that a group of Chinese laborers and an American foreman arrived in Baguio City, they were followed by another group with a draftsman on April 14, 1902. Their travel from Manila was not easy as they were detained for five days in order to be quarantined as that was the time when cholera epidemic happened. After being held for five days their ship were allowed to set sail to San Fernando. There were a few laborers who were willing to go only if they are paid at an increased rate.

Packages of Food and construction materials such as nails, flexible roofing, shovels, picks, axe among others were shipped along with the laborers. From San Fernando La Union these packages of supplies were transported by army mules 12 miles to Naguilian. The package was then repacked and so that each package would only weight at around sixty to seventy pounds which is the maximum loads that the Igorot polistas (carriers) were willing to carry via a 29 mile trek to Baguio.

Upon their arrival the laborers were put to work in constructing a suitable rough housing as their living quarters then after which they were put to work in order to cut down pine trees and turn them into boards which will be used for construction.


Quotes and Data From: Memoirs of Baguio by Gutierrez, Wilson and Concepcion, 1960

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