Baguio: Beyond Burnham Park – Rediscover Its 12 Clusters
Burnham Park is synonymous with Baguio. Whether you’re a first-timer or a regular visitor to the City of Pines, this is the place you will most likely never miss, being at the heart of the city. It is one of the country’s largest and most beautiful urban park. The cool climate, family-friendly atmosphere, recreational activities, and beautiful scenery are among the reasons why it is so very much visited.
It is designed by the American architect Daniel Burnham, which is later named after him. It is just a part of what Burnham envisioned when he drew the plans for the city of Baguio in 1905. In recognition to his contribution, a bust was erected near the park’s northern gate.
Burnham Park has been entwined to Baguio’s history. And with the passage of time, though much of its surroundings have changed and new structures were built, the original plans were still mostly kept intact.
Nowadays, it’s impossible to count the footprints of the tourists stepped in here, but its distinct beauty continues to draw in visitors. It is always crowded during the day, especially during weekends or summer.
The Mother Of All Parks of Baguio has an area of 32.84 hectares, divided into 12 clusters.
Your climb to Baguio is never complete without paying a visit to Burnham Park, and your visit to the park is never complete without experiencing rowing a boat in the Burnham Lagoon. The small lake is one of the original plans, which used to be just a small stream. You can either make use of your rowing skills or have someone row for you. Alternatively, you can try one of their pedal boats. If you’re exhausted from rowing, there are spots nearby where you can buy foods or just simply relax in one of the benches that surround the lake.
Boat rental: PhP150-250 (30 minutes, depending on slides)
An ideal place for family outing and especially for the kids. They can spend here whole day playing and they will surely enjoy the slides, swings and various rides. You will never regret going here especially with your little ones.nes.
- Admission: Free
- Bike Rental: P50-75 (30 minutes)
Based on the original plans, the skating rink is intended for free use of the public, particularly the skaters. But when the local government took over the management of Burnham Park, it became a place of commerce. Aside from skate rental, it also has indoor rides like bump cars and various arcade games. It also became surrounded with food stalls and walls, far from the once open-access for the public, especially for skater enthusiasts. But if you still want to experience skating here, you can give it a try.
True to its name, this garden is surrounded by different kinds of flowers, but the most prominent of all are the roses. There are benches at its sides if you just want to relax.
Aside from the roses, the other highlight of this garden is the dancing fountain. Playful lights of different colors give life to the fountain’s beauty.
Not just the roses, but here you can also see orchids and various flowers. Potted plants and flowers displayed here can be bought for an affordable price. There are also garden materials available for purchase like soil, compost, among others. If not keen into buying, simply walking along its aisle is itself already relaxing. Beside it is a short trail that is also surrounded by plants.
There is a small park within the Burnham Park area that is also widely known as the Igorot Chess Park because it is where locals usually spent time playing chess. In the middle of the park are five human statues depicting five main Igorot tribes: the Ibalois, Bontocs, Kalingas, Ifugaos, and Kankaneys. It is located across the street from Hotel Veniz and beside Burnham Park’s parking area.
MELVIN JONES GRANDSTAND
Also called the Burnham Park Grandstand, it is designed and built by the Philippine Tourism Authority as part of the park’s development program. It is completed on December 31, 1983, and inaugurated the following year by former President Ferdinand Marcos.
The site’s open field is often used as a venue for concerts, parades and various socio-civic activities. And when there is no scheduled event, it is often the favorite place for practice for either dance or sports.
If there is a grandstand for cultural and social activities, the Athletic Bowl is more suited for sports events. It is where Baguio athletes often hold their training. It is opened early in the morning so you can freely jog around its large oval.
Aside from running, there are also facilities for different sports disciplines such as tennis, basketball, volleyball, football, archery, and swimming. It also has a large parking area.
- Athletes, PWDs and Seniors: Free
- Non-students: PhP25
- Students with valid ID: PhP10
One of the main objectives in the development of this park is to have a place where families can bond with nature. Because there is not much activity during those times, having a picnic at the park has been one of the family past time.
Fast forward, the park’s wonderful atmosphere is still a favorite destination for the picnic-goers. There are benches and tables built to complete your getaway. You can also unfurl your own blanket (there are blankets for sale for PhP20) on its green lawn.
PINE TREES OF THE WORLD
Perhaps the most unadulterated of the 12 clusters of Burnham Park, probably because of its location and access. It is located at the park’s southern tip (at the end of the Governor Pack fly-over), near the Baguio City Lions Club. Inside is a forest of towering (obviously) pine trees that would make you forget that you’re within a city.
It is named Pine Trees of the World because it is intended to be the site to showcase different pine tree species of the world. However, only a few planted species managed to survive. As it is not very much visited by tourists, it is one of the perfect spots to find solitude or to simply relax in the middle of a bustling city.
JAPANESE PEACE TOWER
It is located right in the middle of the Pine Trees of the World. The site seemed to be forgotten by time as it is not very much maintained and is full of vandalism. What’s written in the marker installed beside it is unreadable, so there is not much information about it available. The place is only pleasant for relaxation after strolling in the pine tree forest.
Though just an ordinary park, it is a favorite hangout place for students. Being surrounded by schools and universities, it never fails to attract people. Like the other parks in Baguio, it is also abundant with different flowers and plants.
The park is located in the southeastern part of Burnham Park. It is also near the Baguio Museum. This is the first park to be visited by the Tupang Gala because of its proximity to the bus terminal.
- Baguio Museum
- Tam-awan Village
- Camp John Hay
- Baguio Botanical Garden
- The Mansion
- Wright Park
- Mines View