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6 Baguio Developments You Should Get Excited About

Expect to see some fresh changes in Baguio’s tourism on your next visit!

By: Liezl Formilleza-Dunuan | April 23, 2018
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Baguio new developments

Image: @meds.annuari

Summertime is definitely here: school is out and families are planning their long-awaited summer vacations to rest and relax. Barkadas are also busying themselves in planning their weekend trips to take a break from the rat race. With the many things to do and experience it offers, Baguio City remains to be the top choice for a vacation destination, especially now that bus travels are just a breeze. If you haven’t been to the Summer Capital of the Philippines, here is a quick refresher for you to catch up on some of the Baguio developments you might have missed in the news!

1. One-of-a-kind blooms at Northern Blossom Farm

Baguio new developments

A field of cabbage roses in Sayangan, Atok, Benguet is such a beautiful sight to see.

Image: @kristinepearl07

The municipality of Atok is located about 44 kilometers from Baguio City, which takes about 1.5 hours to reach by public bus. Also known as the High Heart of Benguet, it is located in the central part of the province, and is blessed with cool and pleasant weather during the day. Vegetable farming is the main agricultural activity here, but horticulture or flower farming, is also a competitive source of income.

Northern Blossom Farm is known for cultivating the spectacular cabbage rose, a rose that looks very much like a head of cabbage. The farm accepts visitors for an entrance fee of PhP100 per person, plus other fees if you want to pick and take home some flowers. Other unique flower varieties can also be found here are larkspurs, snap dragons, and matthiolas.

The best time to visit is right before the flowers are harvested. Since the farmers also attend to day-to-day tasks in the lot, visitors are requested to get in touch with the farm before planning their visit.

2. Cherry Blossoms at Benguet-Kochi Sisterhood Park, Atok, Benguet

Baguio new developments

Just when cherry trees in Atok start to bloom is when they are most magnificent to look at.

Image: @thequeertraitsandscapes

Soon enough, Filipinos may no longer need to travel abroad to Japan or Korea just to see the famed cherry blossoms up close. Farmer Edward Haight and Japanese national Hiromi Yoshikawa established the Benguet-Kochi Sisterhood Park in Atok as a symbol of sisterhood between the two places. They also planted two varieties of cherry trees, both beautiful to look at when in full bloom.

The seeds and grafted plants came from the Kochi prefecture in Japan. Most of the trees have started blooming in 2016, but according to the Haight family, it will take 3 to 5 years for the trees to fully mature.

Visitors to the park are currently being regulated since the cherry trees are still being nurtured. The park is located in the Haight’s private farm land. The family is working with the local government in setting guidelines for when the place opens itself to the large influx of tourists once the trees finally bloom.

3. Carnival at the Children’s Park

Baguio new developments

Summer time also means an exciting time to spend in amusement parks and carnivals.

Children will soon get to have the time of their lives at the carnival at the Children’s Park. The park is located along Kisad Road corner Jose Abad Santos Drive in Burnham Park, conveniently near the Athletic Bowl.

Amusement park and events organizer Belzasar Ola has been granted a 3-month permit to operate several rides which will be set up in vacant areas of the Children’s Park. Originally, the city council approved the permit to operate at Melvin Jones Football field, but Mayor Domogan disapproved of the plan because of the large amount of funds needed to maintain and keep the area clean.

4. Baguio to open first strawberry farm

Baguio new developments

Local media enjoy a guided tour of the Sto. Tomas Strawberry Farm.

Image: Leandro Yañgot

If you’re fond of going to La Trinidad’s famed strawberry farms but dread the traffic from Baguio City, then this is definitely good news. Farmers at Sto. Tomas Central, Tuba, Benguet have planted 3 hectares of strawberries. The farm will be ready to open to the public in the near future.

The area is in the outskirts of Baguio City, in the same direction as the previous location of La Presa. They currently grow the San Andres variety of strawberries, which grows throughout the year. They also make use of pesticide-free fertilizing technology and irrigation that runs from fresh mountain springs.

In the meantime, only small, organized groups of visitors are accepted, but only until the association of farmers and the city have established clear guidelines for future tourists and visitors.

5. Solutions to Baguio traffic problem presented

Baguio new developments

Traffic at a standstill in Burnham Park during the APEC 2015 holidays.

It’s no trivia that the traffic situation in Baguio continues to worsen. During peak seasons, queues upon queues of vehicles fill the streets, causing horrid traffic jams that not only affect the tourists but the locals as well.

That’s why in February 2018, the city government began to receive proposals for the improvement of traffic in the Summer Capital. One proposal cites the need for the creation of a Traffic Management Office, a change in the loading and unloading areas, in the assignment of taxi stands, and the need to transfer the transport terminal outside of the central business district.

New parking spaces also need to be constructed, which the Baguio City government is already acting on. A proposed multi-level parking building is set to be constructed in one part of Burnham Park.

6. More stable water supply for the city

Baguio new developments

Demand for water in the City of Pines drastically increases during the tourist peak season.

Water is hard to come by in the City of Pines. When demand goes up especially during the tourist peak season, water shortages are commonplace. That’s why it comes as a delight to both tourists and residents that the Baguio Water District recently shared good news about the city’s water supply in the coming months. With the rehabilitation of the Mount Sto. Tomas rain catchment basin close to completion, this will eventually translate to a more sustainable source of water for the southern and central parts of the city.

As we enter the summer months, weather in Baguio will be much more pleasant than that of Metro Manila. According to weather forecasts for the month of April, temperatures will range from a low of 16 degrees Celsius to a high of 26 degrees Celsius. There will be several days of light to moderate rains and rain showers, so it best to bring along some light rain gear during your visit. This can only mean one thing: tourists are in for a great summer vacation in Baguio! With these handful of helpful developments to tourists and locals alike, the tourism business looks to be better than ever before!

Which of these Baguio developments put a smile on your face? 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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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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