I visited Baguio last year with my good friend Foxy and other lomo friends to celebrate the LCA’s 25th birthday.  I learned quite a bit about it.  A historical rumor goes to explain how Baguio was built because the top ranking US official of the time was so annoyed by the country’s tropical climate, he wanted to move the capital elsewhere. Baguio, having an elevation of 1500 meters, became the prime target. That’s why Baguio is now known for being the summer capital of the Philippines.

The Americans had quite the grand plan for Baguio. They had it designed by the preeminent architect/city planner of the 20th century, Daniel Burnham. His famous works include Washington D.C., Chicago, and Manila. If you look around those capitals, you’ll find it laden with classical influences. Burnham took a lot of inspiration from Greek and Roman styles and wanted everything to be grand. Burnham envisioned the city with a healthy population of 25,000 people but as of 2010, Baguio residents are numbering 301,000 up. Maybe that’s why the nippy air has disappeared. Without the wonderful cold weather and the airiness, Baguio has become just like Metro Manila.

Still, if you look closely, you’ll find there’s still some magic to the mountain.  Hidden in the congestion and overpopulation, are spots of fun. Like PNKY Café and Inn – a bed and breakfast with personality, Oh My Gulay Bar and Resto, and Bencab’s Museum. If all else fails, there’s always ghost hunting.

Photos care of Foxy Yambing.