Thursday, January 7, 2016


Location: Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines

Address: Legarda-Burnham-Kisad, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

Note: This is a part of my solo January 1-3, 2016 Baguio trip where it includes the following: Camp John Hay, University of the Cordilleras, Baguio Museum, University of the Philippines Baguio Campus, Tam-awan Village, Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, The Mansion, Mines View Park, Baguio Botanical Garden, Wright Park, Dominical Hill and Retreat House, Our Lady of Atonement (Baguio Cathedral) and Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

The Scenic Man-Made Burnham Lake

Enjoying boating in the Burnham Lake

I have been to Baguio City several times since 1988 but this place never failed to continuously mesmerize me to keep coming back. Tagging it as the "Summer Capital of the Philippines" is an understatement for it remains to be a vacation hub all year round. There are so many reasons why one must visit this charming city. Lovers, newly weds, seminars and tourists as well love it to unwind and feel its cool climate.

The serene Burnham Lake at night with the SM City Baguio at the far background

One of the attractions of Baguio is the Burnham Park. This lush park is centered around a man-made lake located at the heart of the city. It was named after the city's planner, Daniel Burnham. The park is a favorite place of local residents and visitors alike. There are different facilities for recreation and relaxation that are available in the park. You can row a boat, have a picnic, attend an outdoor concert, watch a football game, go biking, or just take a leisurely stroll around the park.

A very lush park

Wearing the Igorot costume while at Burnham Lake

The following are the facilities of the Burnham Park:

1. Burnham Lake

The park features a man-made lake situated at the center where tourists can enjoy boating with rented boats.

2. Children Playground

Government of Baguio City and SM Prime Holdings Inc. signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the improvement and rehabilitation of the Children’s Playground inside Burnham Park.

3. Skating Rink

At the southern end of Burnham Park, A public rink was constructed where skate rentals are available.

4. Rose Garden

One of the developments that clearly enhanced and improved the park is the major development of the Rose Garden. A bust of Daniel Burnham was erected inside the Rose Garden.

5. Orchidarium

At its center lies an orchid house and different kinds of orchids and other flowers.

6. Igorot Garden

It is very popular with the locals who like playing Chess. The Garden is dominated by a Statue of the 5 main Igorot Tribes the Ibalois, Bontocs, Kalingas, Ifugaos and the Kankanaeys.

7. Melvin Jones Grandstand

It has become host to a number of events, most notably the visit of the late Pope John Paul II in the 80s.

8. Baguio Athletic Bowl

It is planned to be rehabilitated including the installation of tartan tracks in the oval, the concreting and rehabilitation of its canals to include changing the roofing and posts in the view deck.

9. Picnic Grove

10. Japanese Peace Tower

11. Pine Trees of the World

12. Sunshine Park

The following pictures showcase how picturesque and interesting Burnham Lake is:

Boats for rental for a maximum of 7 pax at P150 per hour

Another boat rental operator

Burnham Lake with the SM City Baguio on the background

Burnham Lake taken in a different angle

Boating as a means for family and friends bonding

The Melvin Jones Grand Stand and the Athletic Bowl

This part of the Burnham Park accommodates sports competitions, functions and ceremonies. It is quite accessible and a few blocks to the Session Road where most of the activities occur.

The Stage of the Melvin Jones Grand Stand

Aerial view of the Athletic Bowl and the Melvin Jones Grand Stand

The spacious and well-maintained Athletic Bowl

The Rose Garden

In this recent visit of Baguio City, I learned that Rose Garden is just a part of the entire Burnham Park and one of its attractions is its dancing and light fountain. It provides more concrete benches with an architectural design authentic to the culture of its people.

Tourists flocking around the refreshing fountain

The fountain with the Veniz Hotel at the background

Arched-case concrete benches for lovers and the like

Its design looks like intended for lovers lane

The ramp connecting the Burnham Lake to the Rose Garden

Roaming around the garden with my cousin, Nilda Ayong Cois, who is already a resident of Baguio City, I can't barely see rose flowering plants where the garden was named.

The Fountain Show

This is something new at Rose Garden where visitors will be amazed by its fountain show using LED lights and it is consist of three fountains, namely: (According to 8 Mountain Movers)

1. The Veterans Fountain, anticipated to please the senior citizens, features a flower layout with one nozzle in the middle and six nozzles in the perimeter.

2. The Reflection Fountain, located at the center, has 10 nozzles in one alignment. The water and lighting move in a staccato motion, cutting in, jumping out, and continuously flowing all in a choreography that leaves audiences in awe.

3. Finally, the Youth Fountain is where we shall take the kids. Lauded as the most splendid among the three, the Youth Fountain has the most number of nozzles and lights. Also, come summer days, children can safely frolic in the fountain with the nozzles concealed under surface making it safe for little feet to not trip over.

The Picnic Grove

Part of the park is the place where families and friends can bond together where they can even pitch tents to have the feel of being in the woods as this part is densely grown with pine trees to make give more shade to picnic goers. This is just adjacent to the biking and skating rink.

A place for family picnic and outdoor activities

The Igorot Garden

The main entrance to Igorot Garden along Harrison Road corner Shanum Street

The imposing monument in the heart of the garden

The elder locals hangout for chats and debates

The Sunshine Park

I never thought that Sunshine Park is a part of the Burnham Park. I like most this park since you can see a lot of fragrant flowers which can only grown in a cool climate. And mind you, it is in this place where educational cultural shows are regularly showcased for the tourists delight.

Main entrance to the park

The park's ornamental landscape and character

The park's events stage

The Biking Lanes and Skating Rink

Burnham Park is not only for adults and lovers but kids can also enjoy biking and skating. Bike rental operators abounds the biking lane at an affordable rate. Policemen are strategically posted at some selected points to look for the safety of the riding kids and the roads which were used as biking lanes are closed for all types of vehicles.

Highly safe lanes for enthusiastic bikers

Kid bikers in their unguarded moments

The bike-for-rental operators

Restaurants and Refreshment Establishments

Tourists and the like need not go to far other points of Baguio City to feed their hungry stomachs after enjoying varied activities in the park. Restaurants abound within the area of the park just next to the lake. Grilled and barbecue stations are many from the side of the Igorot Garden in a very affordable meal packages.

The first restaurant I dined-in in Baguio City

I still remember the first time I visited Baguio City in June 1987 when my benefactor for college scholarship, the late Reverend Mother Maria Sousa, RVM, gave me the opportunity to spend a week vacation in Baguio. Part of her treat was dining-in in the above pictured restaurant.

Barbecue centers just across the lake


By Public Transport

There are a few bus companies with Manila-Baguio route for at least 26 times trips in a day where Victory Liner is one where as of this writing the fare rate is P445 one-way. You may find this link useful for your on-line booking reservation. The number of trips in a day may increase during peak seasons. This land travel has a duration of 5-6 hours most particularly in a night travel. Nowadays, this travel time has been decreased due to accessibility given by the SCTEX and the new highway opened.

By Private Vehicle

Note: This advisory has been adapted from Out of Town Blog which reduces the travel time from 4 to 5 hours.

1. Drive through NLEX.
2. Take Exit 85 right into SCTEX.
3. Transfer to the right lane and drive to Baguio via Tarlac.
4. Take the Tarlac exit and follow the road signs that will take you to MacArthur Highway.
5. Once you’re on MacArthur Highway, drive straight to Tarlac and Pangasinan until you reach Rosario, La Union.
6. From the Rosario junction, you can turn right into famous Kennon Road. This is the most popular and scenic route up Baguio City.
7. If you prefer the wider lanes of Marcos Highway, drive further into Rosario and turn right towards the new entrance.


Accommodation in Baguio varies from transient houses, house-for-rent, dorms, inns and hotels ranging from budget to luxury ones. This link can be useful in your search for comfortable accommodation.

Teachers can rent in Teachers Camp for as low as P120 a day if they have a government issued Identification Cards. It is a must to reserve for accommodation during peak season

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