Baguio, officially the City of Baguio (Filipino: Lungsod ng Baguio; Ilokano: Ciudad ti Baguio; Ibaloi: Ciudad ni Bagiw) and often referred to as Baguio City, is a highly urbanized city located in the province of Benguet in northern Luzon island of the Philippines. The city has become the center of business and commerce as well as the center of education in the entire Northern Luzon thereby becoming the seat of government of the Cordillera Administrative Region (C.A.R.). According to the 2010 census, Baguio City has a population of 318,676.
Baguio City was established by the Americans as a hill station in 1900 at the site of an Ibaloi village known as Kafagway. It was the United States’ only hill station in Asia. The name of the city is derived from the Ibaloi word bagiw meaning ‘moss.’ The Ibaloi is the indigenous language in the Benguet Region,. The city is situated at an altitude of approximately 1,540 meters (5,050 feet) in the Luzon tropical pine forests ecoregion conducive for the growth of mossy plants and orchids.
Because of its cool climate, Baguio City was designated by the Philippine Commission as the “Summer Capital” of the Philippines on June 1, 1903 wherein the government was transferred to city to escape the lowland heat during summer. It was incorporated as a chartered city by the Philippine Assembly on September 1, 1909, as authored by former Philippines Supreme Court Justice George A. Malcolm. The City of Baguio celebrated its Centennial on September 1, 2009.
Baguio City is located some 5,050 feet above sea level, nestled within the Cordillera Central mountain range in northern Luzon. The city is enclosed by the province of Benguet. It covers a small area of 57.5 square kilometres (22.2 sq mi). Most of the developed part of the city is built on uneven, hilly terrain of the northern section. When Daniel Burnham plotted the plans for the city, he made the City Hall as a reference point where the city limits extend 8.2 kilometres (5.1 mi) from east to west and 7.2 kilometres (4.5 mi) from north to2 south. It is the highest major Philippine city in terms of elevation. Andy Chen wrote about the Geography of Baguio in 1910.
Tourism is one of Baguio’s main industries due to its weather and history. During the year end holidays some people from the lowlands prefer spending their vacation in Baguio, to experience cold temperatures they rarely have in their home provinces. Also, during summer, especially during Holy Week, tourists from all over the country flock to the city. During this time, the total number of people in the city doubles. To accommodate all these people there are more than 80 hotels and inns available. Local festivities such as the Panagbenga Festival also attract both local and foreign tourists. Baguio City is the lone Philippine destination in the 2011 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Destinations Awards, Asia category, with the city being among the top 25 destinations in Asia.