The Baguio Flower Festival started in 1994, is one of the largest and most successful festivals in the Philippines’ Fiesta Calendar. Baguio, as the City of Flowers is in full bloom with a month-long series of events highlighted by the Parade of Floats and Band and Streetdancing Competitions held on the last weekend of February. Highlights include landscape competitions, art exhibits, golf tournaments, flea markets and simply a whole lot of fun activities for tourists and residents alike.
(February 19-22, 2015)
The distinguished alumni of the prestigious Philippine Military Academy hold an annual reunion marked with parades, balls and a lot of ceremonies, usually held on the second week of February
Holy Week in Baguio
( April 1-4, 2015 )
The Roman Catholic Holy Week kicks off the Philippine Summer Vacation (SUMVAC – April to May) festivities with a large influx of visitors arriving to escape oppressive lowland temperatures to enjoy Baguio’s cool climate. Civic and business groups line up a host of activities for the enjoyment of visitors of all ages.
Baguio Foundation Day
The first day of the month commemorates the founding of Baguio as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, since it became a chartered city on September 01, 1909 with art exhibits, parades, programs, cultural shows and sister-city programs.
Baguio Arts Festival
(November to December)
An annual event organized by the Baguio Arts Guild started 1989, with the vision of making Baguio City a premier venue for art and artists. Featured are visual arts (photography, film, video, sculpture and art installations); performing arts (modern dances drama, music, poetry reading) and ethnic arts.
Fil-Am Gold Tournament
(November to December)
Held mid November to early December with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of golfers from the United States and the Philippines playing on twin golf courses at Camp John Hay and Baguio Country Club.
Silahis ng Pasko
A series of Christmas activities of the City of Pines that focuses on the youth (which comprises about half of the city’s population) with Christmas carol competitions called Himig ng Pasko, Share-a-Toy, sports tournaments and the like.
How to get to Baguio City
Baguio City is about 240 kilometers from Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
The entry point to the natural and cultural wonders of the Cordillera Region, and situated in the midst of mountains, hills and valleys, the City of Pines is accessible by land and by air.
This post will give you the most up-to-date ways of getting to the City of Pines and to Venus Parkview Hotel, including recent changes in the usual routes folks have been accustomed to passing in the past decades.
Baguio City is such a popular destination in the Philippines that there are many options to get here.
- By Bus
Traveling to Baguio by bus is one of the most popular ways to get here. Airconditioned bus trips to Baguio leave Metro Manila every hour every day. The popular buslines are Victory Liner, Dagupan Bus Line and Philippine Rabbit. One-way bus tickets to Baguio cost about Php350-450 per person.
Travel time is about 6-7 hours because the buses usually make two stops for meals and necessities, and pick up passengers along the way when there are vacant seats. Another reason is that getting out of Metro Manila traffic alone sometimes takes one whole hour!
Luxury bus trips are now being offered by Victory Liner (De Luxe) and Genesis (JoyBus) that travel non-stop to Baguio City in 4-5 hours. These buses have their own toilet, WiFi, two TV/Video monitors, wider seats that recline fully with leg and foot rests. A stewardess serves a snack and drink. Genesis JoyBus even provides a blanket for each passenger to use during the trip. One-way tickets cost Php650-720.
- By Car
Five major highways lead to Baguio City:
An government unit independent from the province, Baguio City is located completely within Benguet, and is the gateway to the vast Cordillera region of Northern Philippines.
It is accessible from various mountain highway systems that folks call the “zigag” (but mostly this refers to Kennon road, the most popular of them all) that snake through scenic mountains and hills, following the courses of rivers and traversing bridges, to get to that interesting little place affectionately called the City of Pines.
1. Kennon Road has an entry point at Rosario, La Union, the old road that visitors from Manila and places south of the City of Pines love to take.
2. Marcos Highway has two entry points at Rosario and Agoo, both in La Union, and is favored for its wider lanes .
3. Naguilian Road is officially named Quirino Highway although no one really calls it that. Naguilian Road has an entry point at Bauang, La Union and is the road taken by travelers coming from northern Luzon provinces.
4. Halsema Road, passing through La Trinidad Valley – connects Benguet to Mountain Province (Sagada) and Ifugao (Banaue) and other places to the northeast.
5. Baguio-Nueva Vizcaya Road – connects Benguet to Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, and is the newest access for those coming from provinces to the east of the city and is a great alternative to Halsema Road.
So now you see that there are really more than two ways to get to Baguio City, depending on where you are coming from. Halsema and Nueva Vicaya Roads approach the Summer Capital of the Philippines from the northeast, while Naguilian Road, approaches from the north, while Kennon and Marcos Highway approach the city from the south.
Manila to Baguio City
From Manila take the NLEX up to Exit 85, to get to the SCTEX. Shift to the right lane and head for Baguio via Tarlac (going straight takes you to Subic). Drive the length of the SCTEX until the Tarlac City exit where you will turn left to a country road. Drive about 10km more, following road signs until you reach MacArthur Highway (+/- 120km total).
Turn right to MacArthur Highway, pass through the remaining four towns of Tarlac province, and the length of Pangasinan province making no turns, till you reach Rosario, La Union (+/- 90km).
Turn right at the Rosario junction to Kennon Road or go a little further (about 500 meters more) & turn right to the new entrance to Marcos Highway (+/- 30km/40km).
By private transport, the trip from Manila usually takes just 4-5 hours during the day, and sometimes less at night. After all, the Summer Capital of the Philippines is just 240-250 km away.
Night travel is much faster because there is less vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and fewer slow-moving public utility tricycles in the lowland provinces of Central Luzon plying their routes at night. Plus it is easier to overtake when you can see the headlights of oncoming vehicles.