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, it was led by William Howard Taft that under orders from Elihu Root whom was at the time American Secretary of War, 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.
So the 5 man Taft commission which included Luke Wright searched to the north and discovered rolling hills that had fresh pine growth and 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.
The road which cut through the rock and twisted through the mountains opened a route to Baguio and today is called the Kennon Road after Major Lyman Kennon.
The Americans declared Baguio the Summer Capital of the Philippines in 1903 and 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 there 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.