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Tourist Information

Tourist Information

Tourism continues to flourish. Tourist arrivals in 2003 hit the 1.218 million mark. This figure reflects an 11.35 percent increase compared to 2002.

Tourist receipts had a total of Php7,617,231,250.00 billion, a 9.57 percent increase over the past years. Catering to the tourist's needs are 100 tourist accommodation facilities of various types and classes. An aggregate total of 3,564 rooms are available at varying rates.

Baguio has a unique environment that is relatively cooler by an average of 10-degrees Celsius compared to low-laying areas in the Country. It is likewise unique because of the abundance of the Benguet Pine (pinus insularis). As such, it has become a favorite destination for nature revelers and those that find the lowland heat hard to take.

Baguio boasts of 11 forest and watershed reservations covering an area of 521.2332 hectares that helps the City maintain its climate.

Tourism Activities

Whether for the intrepid outdoor hiker or the contemplative book-lover, Baguio offers a wealth of leisure and recreational activities.

The mountains of Baguio are a natural magnet for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts of all inclinations. There are a variety of trails and hike routes, from leisurely hikes within the city's sprawling parks, to overnight expeditions along the slopes of the Cordillera mountains. Widely diverse, but equally enchanting and relaxing.

Baguio is not called the Garden City of the north without good reason. Its many scenic parks dot the cityscape and offer the chance for a quiet and tranquil afternoon getaway. Aside from the usual picnicking, one can try their hand at horseback riding or fishing. Very clean and well-maintained, Baguio's parks are the pride of the city.

Baguio has earned a reputation as a mecca for bargain-hunters from all across Luzon. Centered around Mines View Park, rickety stalls and glass-display storefronts hawk trinkets, furniture, clothes, handbags and jackets, honey and strawberries, and everything in between. Best of all, all prices are open to debate, and nothing is fixed until the money changes hands.

Perhaps more than any other city in Luzon, Baguio is a place where sports enthusiasts can indulge and enjoy. The city and its parks are perfect for jogging, running, and biking, where the undulating slopes offer varying degrees of challenge, and enthusiasts need not worry about pollution or getting run over. Burnham Park offers one of the few skateboarding and in-like skating rinks to be found anywhere in the country, and nearby Camp John Hay's tennis and golf facilities are among the best in the Philippines. In fact the John Hay golf course twice a year plays host to two of the biggest golf tournaments in the Philippines, the Goma Cup in April, and the Fil-Am Golf Tournament in December.

There are restaurants aplenty along Session Road, the main commercial artery that winds through the city. Visitors from all over the world will not have any difficulty recognizing the international fare offered from the many establishments. On the menu are American steak-and-potatoes meals, Italian pizza and pasta, Chinese dishes which make full use of fresh vegetables and meats, Japanese and Mongolian specialties and Filipino dishes. Bakeries and pastry shops entice with imported cheeses and homebaked breads, native sweets, and delicacies, cakes and the local blend strong, aromatic brewed coffee to warm the stomach. Of course, there are the regulation fast-food places with their ever-popular burgers and fries, pizza and fried chicken, and a wide variety of sandwiches.

Dining in Baguio does not only mean sitting down to eat. Some fine restaurants and hotel outlets offer added education in indigenous mountain cultures by inviting highlanders --complete with authentic costumes and instruments - to stage ritual songs and dances. For something more commercial and universal in flavor, there are the folk and rock bands which perform in bars and pubs where drinks flow freely; and jazz and piano favorites in music lounges where the ambience is cozy and the conversation good. Disco houses, some located literally in attractive old residences, offer nights of pulsating music and dance to combat the cold evening breezes.

Aside from taking in the sights, sound and scents of the City of Pines, visitors will find no want of fun and festivity in Baguio. Tribal festivals afford insights into the culture of the hardy mountain tribes who have held onto their own proud heritage despite a certain degree of assimilation and acculturation. Every November, the Grand Canao is held - a thanksgiving celebration in the highland tradition wherein animals are ritually slaughtered then roasted before being set on the festive table. Much merrymaking accompanies the feasting and drinking of the tapuey or rice wine, as games such as tug-of-war, spear-throwing, variations of arm, leg, and body wrestling, and even a hut-building contest are held in time-honored contests of strength, strategy and endurance. The event also highlights indigenous songs, dances and ceremonies of the different peoples of the Cordilleras.

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