Bagio Became a charted city

Baguio declared a Chartered City 1st September 1909

By virtue of Act No. 1963 on the 1st September 1909 Baguio was declared a Chartered City. Baguio is in North Luzon, Philippines.

Baguio declared a Chartered City

The city’s charter for Baguio was written by Justice George Malcolm under the direction of Governor General William Cameron Forbes.

In June 1900 the second Philippine commission arrived in Manila. The commision was led by William Howard Taft that under orders from Elihu Root. Elihu Root was at the time American Secretary of War. It was the job of the commision to search for a cool place in Northern Luzon and develop it.

Most Americans troops and their administration at the time were quartered in Manila and were struggling with the heat. They clearly felt giving orders to commit genocide on the people of the Philippines was not easy in the heat of Manila and needed somewhere cooler to make such decisions. They also felt it was not good for the health of their administration.

Taft commission

So the 5 man Taft commission which included Luke Wright searched to the north and discovered rolling hills that had fresh pine growth. They decided Baguio was the perfect place to be used as the summer capital to allow the American governor-general to escape the heat of Manila.

The plans to develop Baguio were drawn up by the Taft Commission and roads were built to allow access to the summer capital.

The Taft Commission assigned the job of supervising the building of the road to Major Lyman Kennon.

Kennon Road

The road which cut through the rock and twisted through the mountains opened a route to Baguio. Today that road is called the Kennon Road after Major Lyman Kennon.

A railway was also surveyed but was never completed.

Still today there is talk of finishing the railway to Baguio which makes it the world’s longest-in-the-making rail project.

The Americans declared Baguio the Summer Capital of the Philippines in 1903. It became the summer residence of the American governor-general. Baguio declared a Chartered City 6 years later 

Baguio city is approximately 5,050 feet (1,540 metres) above sea level in tropical pine forests.

The original name of Baguio when it was just a Ibaloi village was Kafagway.

In 1900 the Americans established a hill station in Kafagway and at the time it was the only American hill station in Asia.

In honour of the city planner Daniel Burnham the Americans built Burnham Park and in honour of Governor General Luke E. Wright they built Wright Park.

The name comes from the indigenous language of the Benguet Region “bagiw” which means moss in Ibaloi.

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