Baguio is a renowned city of the Philippines for many reasons.
Baguio stands high among the provinces and cities of Luzon in the tourism industry but the city also proves to be one of the finest venues in the country for education. The fusion of its illustrious history, location, and weather creates a perfect avenue for acquiring and enhancing a variety of knowledge through a balanced student life and entertainment. The city’s appeal has the academic institutions to not hesitate investing in the city.
Education Center of the North
With the unfailing charm of Baguio City, the influx of tourists becomes a norm in any season. However, its total population does not entirely attribute to locals and tourists. Half of the populace is composed of students.
This data reflects a large number of schools operating in the city. Aside from the primary and secondary schools, there is an estimate of 30 active colleges and universities that influence the developments of students hailing from different regions. That is the highest among the neighboring provinces which makes Baguio City as the Education Center of the North.
English as the Lingua Franca
Baguio was developed by the Americans as the retreat and recreation abode of U.S. armed forces during the 20th century. Today, the city blossomed into a favorite destination. The iconic parks and even the names of places are tangible proofs of the American influence.
The influence also extends beyond architecture, changing the landscape of education system in the country. The American missionaries known as Thomasites introduced the public schools and the English language. Baguio, being a then, hill station of US, retains English as a medium of communication, supported by the government recognizing English as one of the two official languages in the country alongside Tagalog.
From the finest restaurants to the public markets, conversations are done with the universal language on a daily basis. Everyone is familiar, if not perfectly fluent, so there is constant exposure to English.
Pioneer of ESL Learning
The Philippines ranks high among English proficient countries and continues to top the statistics that strengthen the country’s expertise. It gave birth to ESL industry which is suitable in the modern age brought by globalization. Different nationalities aim to break the language barrier by engaging in English learning programs.
In relation to this, the rise of business processing outsourcing also became a platform for Filipinos to showcase their abilities to listen, speak, read, and write in the English language making the country the best place for business investment. The prestigious universities in the city produce graduates who eventually become the well-trained teachers for ESL schools. Baguio city is not just a university town but also has become a network of ESL centers.
It is worth noting that BESA pioneers the English learning here in Baguio. BESA holds the earliest and longest-running ESL schools in the city.
Gateway to Endless Adventures
Baguio emerges as a unique city because of its landscape covered with pine trees. The tree mostly found in the western countries is a rare gift of nature in the Philippines making Baguio known as the city of pines. Everyone fancies experiencing the wonderful backdrop but Baguio is more than that. The city has many hidden surprises and those are adventures in many names and forms.
The first UNESCO Creative City
In 2017 Baguio joins an elite roster created by UNESCO. It was hailed as the very first Creative City in the Philippines, standing side by side with famous cities like Seattle, Milan, Toronto, and Manchester. Baguio was cited in the field of Folk Arts and Crafts together with Chiang Mai of Thailand. The rich culture of Cordilleras constantly preserved by the locals and artists like Benedicto Cabrera (owner of BenCab Museum) and Kidlat Tahimik (owner of Ili-likha Artists Village) is a huge aspect of the city’s recognition.
Home of eclectic and international cuisines
A laid-back atmosphere is perfectly paired with good food, and Baguio serves the finest dishes inspired from all over the world. It is another distinctive asset of Baguio and the province of Benguet.
Agriculture has been the traditional industry in the region, aside from mining. The people are into farming of vegetables and flowers and breeding of cattle and poultry that generate produce for culinary purposes. In fact, Benguet is known as the ‘Salad Bowl’ of the Philippines and La Trinidad is the Strawberry Capital.
Being the center of commerce and business of the whole Cordillera, Baguio brings the wide array of restaurants and cafés together that can cater multi-nationalities.
Travel and leisure around the city and beyond
For entertainment, the city offers different ways of leisure depending on anyone’s preference. The iconic parks and classic spots like Burnham Park, Botanical Garden, and Camp John Hay are best for those who want to reunite with nature. Fitness enthusiasts will readily occupy the tracks and fields of the Athletic Bowl or Teacher’s Camp. Nightlife also rolls in many corners of Baguio for party lovers to binge.
Those who look for extreme adventures won’t be disappointed. The geographic feature of Baguio and the neighboring towns guarantee one-of-a-kind trips that anyone will cherish. Mountains with breathtaking views are worth climbing like Mt Ulap and Mt Pulag of Benguet, Banaue Rice Terraces, and Kiltepan Peak of Sagada.
The beaches which the Philippines are known for can be found in provinces near Baguio. Swim into the waters of Hundred Islands National Park (Pangasinan), San Juan Surfing Capital of the North (La Union), and the white sand beaches of Pagudpud (Ilocos Norte).
It is worth noting that Baguio is a door that leads to other provinces and rest of the places nationwide. Remember that the Philippines is comprised of more than 7600 islands, you have many options where to go. Adventure is literally endless.
Your Home Away from Home
Baguio does not fail to give relaxation. From January and all the way to December – it is a favorite among the tourists. In fact, every month of February wherein the weather reaches its lowest point, Baguio celebrates Panagbenga – a festival of blooming flowers. All the municipals of Benguet gather in one parade of floats made of hundreds of flowers. That’s pretty amazing! Others just travel there for several hours of stay! That’s the magic of Baguio – even a minute of being there is already worthwhile.
Summer Capital of the Philippines
The climate of a tropical country like the Philippines is mainly hot but in the northern mountains is surprisingly cold. Baguio is tagged as the Summer Capital due to its sub-tropical climate which has an average temperature ranging from 15 to 23 °C. The lowest temperature recorded was 6.3 °C on January 18, 1961. Generally, the varying coldness can be similar to Sabah (Malaysia), Hanoi (Vietnam), and the autumn season of Korea.
The comfortable weather creates a sense of calmness transforming everyone into gentle and smiling individuals in contrast with the people in Manila who are highly irritable and always in rush. It is a perfect escape from the tropical heat of lowlands that the city is loved by locals as well as expats.
Highly urbanized cities normally entail huge costs on electric bills, transportation, and food. The cold climate of Baguio is an asset for it reduces the expense of living, especially to those with temporary residence. There is no need to pay more for a very comfortable sleep because no afternoon is too hot to stay in the room and no one needs an air conditioning unit. Also, one can opt to walk instead of commuting around the town because all the establishments are close to each other. Taking also the public jeepneys or taxis are relatively cheaper than in Manila or Cebu. And there are so many options for food depending on your budget.
Safe and Secured 24/7
Security is not something to overlook but not a point of worry in Baguio. Being a smaller city than Manila, police operations and community support are intensified throughout the city. Precincts are placed strategically around the premises for easy access to assistance.
Baguio has consistently low crime rates and the cases decline every year. It is certainly comfortable to walk on the road even at night.
Hospitable and Diverse
Filipinos are known to be the most hospitable people all over the world, and the fact does not exclude the people in Baguio. Aside from the six tribes of the highlands, everyone who intends to visit and live in the city is welcomed. They embrace the diversity.
After all, history says that Baguio city has been the recreational facility of the Americans and home to foreign people like Japanese and Chinese. It has been chosen as the grounds for many international schools and business. Without a doubt, the city today is as beautifully diverse as London, New York, and Toronto.