The City of Baguio (Ilokano: Ciudad ti Baguio; Filipino: Lungsod ng Baguio) is a highly urbanized city located in the province of Benguet in northern Luzon island of thePhilippines. 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 2007 census, Baguio City has a population of 301,926.
Baguio City was established by the Americans in 1900 at the site of an Ibaloi village known as Kafagway. The name of the city is derived from the word bagiw in Ibaloi, the indigenous language of the Benguet Region, meaning ‘moss’. The city is at an altitude of approximately 1,610 metres (5,280 ft) in the Luzon tropical pine forests ecoregionconducive to the growth of mossy plants and orchids.
Because of its altitude, Baguio City was designated by the Philippine Commission as the Summer Capital of the Philippines on June 1, 1903. 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.
The economy of Baguio is centered on tourism and its educational institutions, of which it has at least eight colleges and universities, as well as a plethora of trade and technical schools. Based on the latest census done in 2007, almost half of the city’s population are students, many of whom come from nearby provinces, with numerous foreign students to add to the diversity.
Another key source of income for Baguio is its position as the commercial hub for the province of Benguet. Many of the agricultural and mining goods produced in Benguet pass through Baguio for processing, sale or further distribution to the “lowlands.”
The city is also a major retail center for the Cordilleras and Ilocos provinces, with shoppers coming to the city to take advantage of the diversity of competitively priced commercial products on sale, many of which would otherwise only be available in Manila. The city is also popular with bargain hunters—some of the most popular bargaining areas include Baguio Market and Maharlika Livelihood Center. Despite the city’s relatively small size, it boasts numerous shopping centers and malls catering to increasing commercial and tourist activity in Baguio: these include SM City Baguio mall, Baguio Center Mall, Cooyeesan Hotel Plaza, Abanao Square, Maharlika Livelihood Center, Porta Vaga Mall and Bonchic bargain center.
Various food and retail businesses run by local residents proliferate, forming a key part of Baguio’s interesting cultural landscape. Some of these include Tiong San chain of department stores and supermarkets, Sunshine Supermarket, Star Cafe, Country Mart, the famous Rose Bowl Restaurant, Good Taste Restaurant, the new Fortune Restaurant, Marosan’s Cafe, Patao’s, eateries along Bonifacio St., Session Road, near Teacher’s Camp, Baguio Fastfood Center near the market and many others.
The areas of Session Road, Harrison Road, Magsaysay Avenue and Abanao Street comprise the trade center of the city. It is in these areas where commercial and business structures abound. First-class cinemas, hotels, restaurants, department stores, and shopping centers are to be found in this area. Shopping at the famous City Market offers one a wide array of locally sourced goods and products: everything from colorful woven fabrics and hand-strung beads to primitive wood carvings, cut flowers, strawberries and “Baguio” vegetables, the latter often denoting vegetable types that do well in the cooler growing climate. (Strawberries and string beans—referred to as ‘Baguio beans’ across the Philippines—are shipped to major urban markets across the archipelago.)
Baguio is home to one of the country’s most profitable and best investment areas, a Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) location called the Baguio Economic Zone (BCEZ). Located in the southern part of the city between Camp John Hay leisure resort and Philippine Military Academy at Loakan. Firms located in the BCEZ mostly produce and export knitted clothing, transistors, small components for vehicles, electronics and computer parts. Notable firms include Texas Instruments Philippines which happens to be the second largest exporter in the country, MOOG, and Sitel.
Official Website: http://www.baguio.gov.ph/?q=frontpage
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