March 30, 2010

City of Pines - February 18, 2010

Together with my wife and kids, we went to Baguio City, Philippines on February 18, 2010. The event was actually a school tour of the children so we have to accompany them. I have with me a handy cam to capture these beautiful and historical places. In the City of Pines we visited the following places:

a) Strawberry Farm at BSU, where we enjoyed taho with strawberry jam for only 10 pesos per cup from local vendors. It is unique and delicious and only from Baguio City;

b) The Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, which is located on Mirador Hill in the western part of the City. Inside the grotto is a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes (Virgin Mary), where we prayed and asked for blessings. To reach the grotto, we hurdled 252 steps. There, an excellent view of the city can be seen;

c) The Philippine Military Academy;
The PMA is the officers training school of the Armed Forces in the Philippines. Located at Fort Gegorio del Pilar on Loakan Road, visitors to the City of Pines are welcome to explore the grounds, view the cadets performing their drills, and explore the PMA museum and walk around its manicured grounds to see vintage tanks and other historical military weapons. The Philippine Military Academy began on October 25, 1898 with the establishment of the Academia Militar in Malolos, Bulacan by virtue of a decree issued by the first president of the young Philippine Republic, General Emilio Aguinaldo. Graduates were awarded regular commission in the armed forces.
On December 21, 1936, Commonwealth Act No. 1 (also known as the National Defense Act) was passed. The law formally created the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and authorized it to confer a Bachelor of Science degree on its graduates after they successfully complete the four-year course. The outbreak of World War II in late 1941 disrupted training at the Academy. The Philippine Military Academy reopened on May 5, 1947 again at its former location in the Summer Capital, Camp Henry T. Allen. Due to the need for wider grounds, the Academy moved to its present site at Fort Gregorio del Pilar, a sprawling 373-hectare compound in Loakan, some 10  kilometers from downtown Baguio City. Named after the young hero of the battle of Tirad Pass, General Gregorio del Pilar, PMA in its new location was developed into a military training institution with facilities and infrastructure required by a growing academy. In 1993, PMA was transformed into a ‘Tri-Service Academy', which introduced specialized, branch-of-service-specific courses in the last two years of training, preparing fresh PMA graduates for their specific branch of service, for the graduates to be ‘field-ready', ‘fleet-ready' or ‘squadron-ready' upon graduation. Also that same year,  in accordance with Republic Act 7192, the first female cadets were admitted into the Philippine Military Academy.
It is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines. The structure which is older than Baguio City is located on the eastern part of the city along C.P. Romulo Drive (formerly a part of Leonard Wood Road) and right across from Wright Park. Formerly called the Mansion House, this stately building was built in 1908 as summer homes for U.S. Governor-generals who were the American administrators for the Philippines and was destroyed in 1945 during the battle for the liberation of the Philippines. They say that the elaborate main gate of the Mansion is said to be a replica of that at Buckingham Palace in London, England. Vehicles entering the compound pass through a great circular driveway and it is usually open only when the Mansion is used for an official function or activity. With its beautiful gardens and a well-manicured lawn, it is a favorite site for sightseeing and picture taking.

e) Horseback riding at the Mines View Park
or enjoying its magnificent view;

f) Enjoying a boat ride at the the Burnham Park Lake; and
g) at SM-Baguio City; where we had our lunch.

Indeed, it was really a vacation for us all.

More about the beauty of Baguio City at