Tag Archives: Baguio City

#230 The Mansion

The Mansion in Baguio City, Philippines, is a landmark popular among visitors to this northern Philippine city and is the official summer residence of Philippine presidents.

This imposing and majestic Baguio mansion house has a long list of Filipino presidents and American governor-generals who resided in the mansion. Formerly called the Mansion House, the stately building and guesthouse were built in 1908 as summer homes for U.S. Governor-generals who were the American administrators for the Philippines. The building was destroyed in 1945 during the battle for the liberation of the Philippines.

The Philippine government later rebuilt and improved the structure in 1947 and since then it has been used by various Philippine presidents whenever they come up to Baguio City for their official visits and engagements.

The building has an elegantly structure and the main iron gate is said to be patterned after that of London’s Buckingham Palace. The Mansion has also been the site of several international conferences.

Mabuhay ang Baguio City!

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#181 Ambuklao Dam

The biggest rock-filled dam in Asia, the Ambuklao Hydroelectric Dam is considered one of the biggest engineering projects in the Cordillera region. Ambuklao Dam is also one of the first two dams constructed along Agno River (the other is Binga Dam) during the early 1950’s, and is known as the Philippines’ first hydroelectric plant.

Located in Bokod, Benguet province (northern Philippines), the dam’s hydraulic structure is nearly 100 meters high and is sited in the upstream section of the Agno River. The dam has a maximum water storage capacity of 327,170,000 m2 (3,521,628,571 sq ft). The dam generates 75 megawatts of electricity to the Luzon grid. The main source of water comes from the Agno River, the longest waterway in Luzon Island.

The dam is around 36 kilometres from Baguio City. From Baguio visitors can travel to Ambuklao Dam via the Ambuklao Road. The trip takes about three to four hours through rocky roads with dizzying views of rugged mountainsides seen from abrupt drops and breath-taking cliff edges.

Mabuhay ang Ambuklao Dam!

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#110 Sundot kulangot

Sundot kulangot (literally “poke the snot”) is a bizarre but funny name for a simple Philippine candy that is packaged in small, nutty shells. Patience is needed to coax the enjoyment out of this rather esoteric candy.

The taste and texture of sundot kulangot is similar to the more popular matamis na bao or coconut jam. Sticky and sweet (like the coco jam), the rather absurd name ‘sundot kulangot’ obviously refers to the tedious way one has to open and eat (or sample) this candy. Sample or sampling  since the nutty shell only contains a teeny-weeny bit or less than a thumb size portion of the coco-jammy substance. One has to literally poke the sticky stuff out of the unusual packaging, similar to poking one’s nose for … you-know-what!

Sundot kulangot is becoming a rarity among Philippine candies but can still be found in traditional public markets particularly in northern Luzon such as in Baguio city where heaps of sundot kulangot are piled waist high among the bananas, mangoes and other garden produce.

Mabuhay ang sundot kulangot!

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#24 Baguio

Baguio City is the Filipino’s fav destination for a summer retreat. Foggy, mist-clad mountains, forests of pine trees, luscious strawberries and winding mountain trails are the main draws for the visitor.

But overpopulation, unplanned housing development and rampant deforestation are among the modern ills that have encroached and tarnished the reputation of Baguio as an idyllic summer retreat.

Still, this mountain-top city offers pleasant surprises to both local and foreign visitors, particularly its colorful main Public Market where traditional handicrafts, ethnic food and wares are to be found. Fresh flowers and vegetables are also well known products from this city, with a surprising range from sturdy and fragrant rose varieties to luscious examples of asparagus and broccolli. 

The way to (and from) Baguio is also something for the adventurous with its narrow highways that snake down past steep ravines, cliffs and zig-zagging mountain roads. For the casual tourist avoid a trip during the rainy or typhoon season when road blocks are common occurences.

But for a quick retreat from the oppressive heat in the lowlands of Luzon, or simply an escape from urban stress, Baguio can still offer some pockets of solitude, and a glimpse of what could have been a serene Philippine mountain-top city if only modernity has not reared its ugly head.

Mabuhay ang Baguio!

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