A Brief History of Baguio City

The history of Baguio City goes back way before the Spanish occupation. Based on the available data, the earliest known inhabitants of the area were the Ibabol and Kankaney tribes, both stemming from the Cordilleran group.

During the period of Spanish occupation, the area comprising Baguio was known as Kafagway, From the late 1500s to the 1600s, the Spaniards sent several teams in an attempt6 to seize control of the entire Benguet province, but it was only in 1946 that the Spaniards were able to fully control the area, which would change the course of the history of Baguio City.



Under Spanish Commandante Galvey, the province of Benguet was set up, composed of 31 areas. This included La Trinidad, which remains the capital of Benguet and the Kafagway, which would become Baguio.

The next important stage in the history of Baguio City came when the Spanairds sold the Philippines to the United States of America for the sum of $20,000. The Americans found the Kafagway and the surrounding area very pleasant, as the pine trees and elevated area provided a cool respite from the warm, low lying plains. To make Kafagway more accessible, the Americans created Kennon Road. Sculpted from the mountains itself, it has remained a landmark of the city to this day.

By the 1900s, the city had been named the capital of Benguet and was quickly established as a haven for weary travelers and servicemen, and also became widely known for its mining. By 1909, Baguio was already known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

HISTORY OF BAGUIO CITYThe Japanese forces took control of Baguio in 1941, but by 1945, the American Armed Forces were able to wrest back control of Camp John Hay, Following the end of the war, the Philippines was granted independence, including Benguet, opening a new chapter in the history of Baguio City.

From 1946 onward the city remained the premier summer vacation and tourist spot in the country. A devastating earthquake on July 16, 1990 brought ruin and tragedy, but through the efforts of the government and its citizens the city made a quick recovery. Another important event in the history of Baguio City took place on July 1, 1991 when Camp John Hay, established in 1903, was turned over to the Philippine government.

Today, despite the emergence of other tourist and scenic sites in the country, Baguio City remains the favorite vacation spot of both local and foreign tourists. With its beautiful pine trees, ever cool climate and friendly people, it will certainly continue to draw even more people as the years go by.

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