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6 Promising Developments in Baguio City to Expect This 2018

These updates heat up the Summer Capital of the Philippines!

By: Liezl Formilleza-Dunuan | January 18, 2018
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With the New Year come new things, and Baguio City is no exception to this. New developments in the Summer Capital of the Philippines bring changes that both locals and visitors have to adopt for a better 2018. Here are some of the latest developments in the City of Pines worth taking note of.

1. A more accessible road to Baguio means faster travel.

new developments in Baguio City for 2018

Aerial photo of the Binalonan-Pozorrubio exit of TPLEX. (Image: Jacque Manabat)

Travel to Baguio has become a lot easier and faster with the opening of the Pozorrubio exit of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) last December 2017. Before this, motorists going to Baguio and La Union took the Binalonan exit. In early December, however, those traveling to Baguio can now take this portion of the expressway which spans more than 10 kilometers. According to transportation officials, this will cut down the travel time from Tarlac to Pozorrubio to a mere 45 minutes.

2. Baguio City joins the Creative Cities Network of UNESCO.

new developments in Baguio City for 2018

Ifugao sculptures at BenCab Museum (Image by Writer)

In late October 2017, Baguio City was named as a Creative City for Arts and Crafts by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. It became the first Philippine city to join the network, besting other cities in the country like Manila, Cebu, and Davao. Being part of the network is an important recognition of Baguio’s achievements when it comes to local arts and crafts.

The city has long been a haven for artists and artisans with its support for indigenous arts and crafts. As such, it hopes to build itself up as a creative economy while at the same time making sure that development is inclusive and sustainable. The 2018 Panagbenga Festival aims to highlight the city’s creativity and culture once again.

3. Ordinance requires city permits for street artists.

new developments in Baguio City for 2018

Busking refers to performing in the street for donations from spectators.

Councilor Yangot, one of the city councilors, filed an ordinance that plans to regulate all street performers in the streets of Baguio City. While citing the need to regulate, he also emphasized that busking is “a hugely overlooked art form.” With the ordinance in place, whoever wants to busk in Baguio has to be registered with the city hall and has to abide by the rules set by a street performance committee under the city council.

4. The city’s anti-colorum drive is intensified.

new developments in Baguio City for 2018

One of the checkpoints of Baguio City Police. (Image: Baguio Mobile Police Unit’s Facebook Page)

Baguio City depends a lot on local transportation to bring tourists to the city. Thus, it has its share of UV Express vans and provincial buses plying its roads. In 2017, the city council passed an ordinance that intensifies the drive against private vehicles used for public transport without proper authority from the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board. The ordinance also allows Baguio City Police to apprehend these colorum vehicles if they are seen operating in the city. This drive also aims to keep public transportation safe and reliable for visitors and residents alike.

5. More “No Smoking” signs for a smoke-free Baguio are put up.

new developments in Baguio City for 2018

A “No Smoking” sign

Baguio City started working towards a healthier and smoke-free city in May 2017, when it approved a city ordinance banning the use, sale, distribution, and promotion of cigarettes and other tobacco products in public places and public transport vehicles. Government offices and other public buildings have to be entirely smoke free as well as enclosed business establishments.

In December 2017, local businesses were required to post more “No Smoking” signs and designate smoking areas to safeguard the health of the public. This means visitors have to be careful where they light up when they are in Baguio.

6. The city offers new places to watch out for this year.

new developments in Baguio City for 2018

The inside of the place (Image: Holiday Inn Baguio City Centre Facebook Page)

Intercontinental Hotel Group’s Holiday Inn is set to open a new hotel in Baguio City. Located at Legarda Road, which is only minutes away from the city center, the hotel will welcome guests in time for the 2018 Panagbenga Flower Festival in February. The hotel has 185 rooms that can accommodate as many as 200 guests and it also has function rooms for events and special occasions. This will be Intercontinental’s comeback in the city after Hyatt was closed in the aftermath of the 1990 earthquake.

new developments in Baguio City for 2018

The façade of the lodge (Image: Alphaland Baguio Mountain Lodges Facebook Page

Another new development is the exclusive Alphaland Baguio Mountain Lodges along Ambuklao Road. Here, one can own a European-style mountain lodge in a master-planned property just 15 minutes away from the city center. Developed by the same company that brought us Balesin Island Club, this property aims to please those who look for luxury.

new developments in Baguio City for 2018

Diplomat Hotel from outside (Image: Jun Mark Carreon Diaz)

2018 may bring transformation to the old Diplomat Hotel on Dominican Hill. This may happen if the city council approves a proposed ordinance that will bring about the development of the hotel into a heritage park with a museum for visual arts and a performing arts venue. The hotel was constructed by the Dominicans in 1913, and has lived through the history of Baguio as a colonial hill station. As it is, the area is already a park but is more famous for its ghost-hunting appeal.

Which of these updates in the City of Pines excites you the most? Let us know in the comments section below!
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About Liezl Formilleza-Dunuan
Liezl is a freelance writer based in Baguio. With a background in Journalism, her love for the written word goes beyond news and feature writing, as she writes for several online lifestyle publications. Local culture, food, and travel are her favorite themes.
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