Philippines / Northwest Luzon



Philippines / Northwest Luzon / The Region

Northwest Luzon is a part of the Philippines' main island much favored by foreign tourists. And it is not to just one site where everyone goes, as is the case with South Luzon or Mindoro, but tourism is equally distributed throughout most of the region.

Among the attractions, first is the shoreline. From Cape Bolinao at the northern tip of the Pangasinan peninsula to Cape Bojeador on the northern tip of Ilocos Norte province, the coast offers nice beaches for swimming, sailing and surfing. The most favored stretch is the middle section from Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union.

The strong earthquake that battered northern Luzon on July 16, 1990, had also had its effects on the beaches though rather on the infrastructure than on the actual beaches. The buildings of a number of resorts have been destroyed. Most of the researches for this edition of our handbook have been made before the quake and therefore, a number of the resorts listed may in 1991 and 1992 not operate at full, or some of their facilities like tennis courts may not be operational for a while. However, there can be little doubt that tourism in the region will overcome the setback it suffered from the quake. And the further north the visitor choses his destination, the slighter the damages of the quake.

Largely spared by the quake was the main architectural sight of the region, the town of Vigan; Vigan is by far the best preserved Spanish town in the archipelago.

In comparison to other parts of the archipelago, northwest Luzon has few social conflicts. First of all, land distribution does not seem as unjust as on some southern islands. The northwest of Luzon which is also referred to as Ilocandia (derived from the name of its major provinces, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, and the local dialect, Ilocano) even has in some areas a quite large petty bourgeois population. And communities along the coast also often do not give an impression of poverty on first sight, as do many of those on southern islands. The towns of Ilocandia were given preference for two decades by the government of deposed president Ferdinand Marcos who was from Ilocos Norte. It is striking that many of the municipalities along the coast have quite new market buildings, and town plazas are often nicely decorated.

The people, however, are to a certain extent more distant to foreigners than those on southern islands, particularly Cebuanos. Furthermore, Marcos is still much revered in all of Ilocandia, and some Ilocanos blame the foreign media and the US government for his downfall in 1986.

An exceptional characteristic in the region is displayed by Baguio City, located just some 40km (25mi) east of the coast but at an average altitude of 1,600m (5,250ft). It is a new city that was built by the US colonial masters to have a chance to flee the tropical climate, particularly in the months of April and May. Even today, the city's major industry is providing a comfortable climate with an appropriate infrastructure for visitors from the lowlands.

However, tourism in Baguio has heavily suffered from the quake of July 16, 1990. Not only were many hotels destroyed or damaged; worst of all, the road connections were interrupted for many months and for a long time, Baguio was only accessable over major deviations. Easy access had always been a great asset of the city; it just took an hour or less to reach the city from the coast. But when Kennon Road was unleveled by the quake, Baguio was no longer easier to reach than many other places in the Cordilleras.

It wasn't the first time, thought, that Baguio was razed. In World War II, liberation from the Japanese left the city in ruins and it resurrected bigger and wealthier than it had been before. And while some parts of Baguio might be gone forever, such as the HyattHotel that was much patronized by the Marcos family, Baguio as a whole will, I presume, after a few years be pretty much the same as before.

A second economic line of Baguio, aside from tourism, has always been the farming of vegetables and fruits of a kind for which the climate in the Philippines is not usually suitable, such as lettuce and strawberries.

In the region's agriculture tobacco plays a major role. This situation stems from Spanish times. The Spanish in 1781 imposed a socalled tobacco monopoly on the area that meant that all suitable sites had to be used for tobacco growing. As tobacco of course is no substitute for edible crops and the gains from the trade of tobacco on the world market were not made by the farmers but by the Spanish dealers, the tobacco monopoly brought severe hardship to the people. After Spain was forced to open the Philippines for free trade in the middle of the 19th century, the tobacco monopoly was abolished in 1883. However, even now a lot of tobacco is grown, and the region is famous for the quality of its tobacco. Philippine tabacalera cigars are among the best in the world, and many connoisseurs switched to them when Cuban cigars were not readily available on the world market anymore due to trade boycotts imposed on the island after Castro's revolution.

Talking about revolution, it has to be noted that the revolutionary forces of the CPP and NPA are also active in northwest Luzon. However, they are much less present along the Ilocandia coast than they are in the interior of north Luzon.

Several revolts, however, have occurred in the history of the region. One was the revolt headed by Diego Silang in 1762. Another broke out over the taxation of a native rice wine, called Basi, in 1807.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Geography

Land Area: 18,222sqkm (7,036sqmi)

Topography: mountainous, with elevations reaching almost 3,000m (9,843ft) above sea level

Mountains: Mt Bangbang near Buluan, KalingaApayao 1,533m (5030ft); Mt Amuyao on the boundary of Mountain Province and Ifugao 2,702m (8,869ft); Mt Pulog near Barogbog, Nueva Viscaya 2,953m (9,685ft); Mt Talbayoc near Kabayan, Benguet/Ifugao boundary 2,843m (9,328ft)

Rivers: Cagayan river in Nueva Viscaya; Chico river in KalingaApayao and Mountain Province; Ibulao river in Ifugao.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Population

Majority Group: Ilocanos, Pangasinense in the southwestern portion
Language: Ilocano except for the southwestern side where Pangasinense is spoken
Minorities: Ibaloi, Negritos, Ilongots, Dumagats, Tingians

Region Population: 3,439,000
Cities, Towns: (Census of 1980, x1000)
Province Abra: Bangued 29, Bucay 12, Tayum 9, Lagangilang 9, La Paz 9, Pilar 8.
Province Benguet: Baguio City 119, Itogon 48, Tuba 30, La Trinidad 29, Mankayan 26, Buguias 18.
Province Ilocos Norte: Laoag City 70, Batac 38, Dingras 27, Vintar 23, San Nicolas 23, Bacarra 23.
Province Ilocos Sur: Candon 37, Vigan 33, Narvacan 31, Cabugao 24, Tagudin 23, Sta. Cruz 23.
Province La Union: San Fernando 68, Bauang 42, Agoo 35, Rosario 29, Naguilian 29, Aringay 28.
Province Pangasinan: San Carlos 101, Dagupan City 98, Urdaneta 72, Malasigui 71, Lingayen 65, Bayambang 64.
Political Structure: Province (Population x1000, area, capital) Abra (160, 3975 sqkm, Bangued), Benguet (355, 2655 sqkm, La Trinidad), Ilocos Norte (391, 3999 sqkm, Laoag), Ilocos Sur (444, 2579 sqkm, Vigan), La Union (453, 1493 sqkm, San Fernando), Pangasinan (1636, 5368 sqkm, Lingayen).


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / Bolinao and the Vicinity

Bolinao is a quiet little town on the northwest tip of Pangasinan, 6 hours by bus from Manila. It is beautifully surrounded by tropical nature and has fine white sand beaches and some interesting small islands off its shore. The tourism infrastructure is not as well developed as e.g. in Lucap but the locals are very helpful to tourists. As many of its inhabitants are fishermen, Bolinao is also a paradise for seafood gourmets.

Boat trips to Hundred Islands cost P 200. Boat trips to other small islands, such as Silake and Santiago Islands, cost P 100 per day; the regular ferry boat to Santiago Island (P 2.50) departs at Breakwater (15).

Silake Island has a small golden sand beach on one side and a barrio on the other. A kilometer or two from shore, snorkeling is good. The water is about 2m (6ft) deep but one must mind the currents. There is some coral for viewing. Just off Dewey Island is a 1km strip of white sand called White Sand Island. Cangaluyan Island is reportedly owned by a former Pangasinan congressman.

Parola Beach, some 15km (9mi) to the southwest of Bolinao, is the longest white sand beach in the region; it's beautiful but lonely. To go there, tricycles can be hired for the whole day (P 80). Also to the southwest is Pietra point with a lighthouse and a great view but it's difficult to get there.

Bolinao is a quiet little town on the northwest tip of Pangasinan, 6 hours by bus from Manila. It is beautifully surrounded by tropical nature and has fine white sand beaches and some interesting small islands off its shore. The tourism infrastructure is not as well developed as e.g. in Lucap but the locals are very helpful to tourists. As many of its inhabitants are fishermen, Bolinao is also a paradise for seafood gourmets.

Boat trips to Hundred Islands cost P 200. Boat trips to other small islands, such as Silake and Santiago Islands, cost P 100 per day; the regular ferry boat to Santiago Island (P 2.50) departs at Breakwater (15).


Treasure Hunter Club (14) bar and disco
Post Office (4) Rizal Ave
PT&T (9) Ponce St
Police Station (3)
Public Market (7) Cacho St
Church (6) Rizal Ave
Town Plaza (11) Ponce St
Bolinao Museum (5) at the village boundary towards Alaminos MonFri 8:0012:00, 13:0017:00
Interesting section on Philippine plants and animals, a collection of items from the Spanish era and an illustration of the Maguey (string) industry.

Bus Terminals

Dagupan Bus (2); Pantranco North (8)

Further information:


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / Alaminos and Lucap

Alaminos is a small, noisy provincial town. Fabella wharf in Lucap is a principle jumpingoff point for the famous Hundred Islands.
Tricycles to Lucap wait in Alaminos in front of the supermarket (22) near the Pantranco Terminal.

Post Office (20)
Public Market (21)
Church (18) Quezon Blvd
Pantranco North Terminal (24)
Jeepney Stop (19) to Agna and Bolinao


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / Hundred Islands

Hundreds of tiny rock islands are dotted over Lingayen Gulf near Lucap. From a distance they appear as a single land mass but a closer view shows them to be islands. Ranging in area from a few square meters to three hectares, some thirty of the islands are bordered by white, sandy beaches and surrounded by coral. The crystal clear waters are suited for swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers. However, several coral reefs there have already been destroyed by dynamite fishing.

One cannot get directly to many of the islands by boat because of the coral reefs which lie just below the water surface. Two islands, Urduja and Cathedral, are interesting because of their caves.

The tourist office at the pier in Lucap gives information about the islands and round trips by boat. A small boat (6 persons) costs for a day tour to selected destinations P 130; for island hopping P 170, both including waiting time. The price for overnight tours is P 260.

Accommodation facilities can be found only on Quezon and Governor's Island. However, the tourist office has also tents and sleeping bags for rent.

There are a lot of local tourists on weekends, especially at Easter.

Expat Phils., Jan. 4, 1991

"The Hundred Islands of Pangasinan are an interesting sight they appear as mosscovered mounds scattered over the Lingayen Gulf. These tiny rock islands, covered with coral and seaweed, are bounded by white sand beaches.

Two of the islands, Romulo and Shell, are ideal sites for a little peace, relaxation and isolation. Lopez Island has little coves and is said to be an excellent site for game of hide and seek. The Children's Island has shallow beaches and campsites while Quezon Island is ideal for holding picnics primarily because it can accommodate a large number of people. Tables and benches are provided. Two of the islands are provided with cottages for overnighters. These are Governor's Island and Children's Island. Prior notice should, however, be given.

It is suggested that scuba or snorkelling gear be brought along for you to enjoy the marine life that abound in the waters of Lingayen Gulf. And overnighters will enjoy a romantic evening and wake up to a fabulous sunrise.

Getting there is easy. The islands, the premier tourist attraction in the province of Pangasinan, are located some 200 kilometers north of Manila. A fourhour trip by land will take you to Baranggay Lucap, the jumpoff point. Here, negotiate with banca (outrigger canoe) operators to ferry you to and from an island of your choice.

But Pangasinan goes beyond the Hundred Islands in terms of attractions. The towns of Binmaley, Labrador, Sual, Bolinao and San Fabian offer beachfronts which are less frequented. The beaches in Lingayen,the provincial capital, is ideal for surfing. From Agno town, view a mushroomshaped rock formation called Umbrella Rocks.

Discover the Hundred Islands...and while you're at it, discover Pangasinan."
Expat Phils., Jan. 4, 1991 by. M. R. March

"Bounded by the South China Sea to the west, Pangasinan is populated by nearly 12 million. Its land area covers more than 5,000 square kilometers. Lingayen is designated the province's capital. Santa Barbara is but one small town within the perimeters of the province.

Statistics show the number of native speakers of Pangasinan as 573,712. In the industrious community of Santa Barbara, Pangasinan Province, a small town tucked away behind banana trees and rice fields, I met just five of those nearly 600,000 native speakers.

Distanced from Manila by an approximately 4hour drive, Santa Barbara is a city dweller's 'breath of fresh air.'

Clouds of pollution and rotting piles of refuse are but dim memories as far reaching fields of wheat and rice greet welcoming eyes. As we passed scratch basketball games and typhoon whipped houses, wild brush strangled by overhanging vines provided a shade from the sun. Small boys and girls smiled with a warm curiosity as our mechanized four wheel utility jumped and groaned over a road more familiar with the rhythm of carabaao and human passengers.

The huge beats plodded heavily alongside, moving at a pace comfortable for both animal and master. (The slowmoving yet proud carabao may well be the antonym for 'Manila taxi.' Manila's 'look out your in my way' brood of cabbie could do well with a sojourn to the area).

At night, deafening silence is shattered only by approaching footsteps squelching through mud. Curiosity at my arrival to this pastoral wonderland broght visitors to the small farmhouse, where laughter and fast talk were greeted with hot pan de sal (native buns).

Courtesy of a recent typhoon, electricity had been cut and was replaced with the lighting of a kitchen's open hearth and silhouettes from several stubby candles. A full moon, however, washed lonely fields with its brilliance as stars winked and jiggled against a back drop of an ebony void.

Early morning awoke to dew drops and fog. Crackling fire heated water and rice. The sun rose again from its nightlong absence and spread rays of orange hues through The Country side.

By noon, an elderly farmer spread a small rice harvest atop green matting to allow the sun's warmth to extract moisture. Before sunset's arrival he would scrap a wooden slat through the rice then scoop the gain into sacks. Villagers watched and in turn picked grains from the yield and spoke of its form; its peculiarities to those grains tasted a day earlier.

Night came quickly and with sleep morning, as did the return to Manila."


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / Lingayen

Although Lingayen is the capital of Pangasinan province, it is just a small town. The capitol building located in a beautiful park near the seashore is worth seeing. In the park, several planes and tanks of World War II are displayed and serve as a children's playground. The nearby 'Lingayen Beach' has light gray sand and suits for swimming.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / Dagupan City

Dagupan City, 213km (133mi) from Manila, is one of the oldest cities in Central Luzon, founded in 1590. It was also the terminal point of the first railway line in the Philippines inaugurated in 1899. For a long time it has been famous for cultured bangus (milkfish).

The city was widely destroyed in the earthquake of July 16, 1990. The commercial district was hardest hit; houses crumbled like cardboard, the streets fissured and from the splits mud boiled out. 900,000,000 Pesos worth of government buildings and infrastructure were destroyed. At least 7,069 hectares of fishponds were completely damaged and 22,000 workers displaced. Many buildings sank into the soil which liquified. As the conditions in Dagupan remained insufficient for many months, much business shifted to Urdaneta.


Accommodation for foreign tourists in Dagupan is confined to a few hotels in the city center, and as most of them suffered from the earthquake, it depends on the owners' efforts to repair damage whether the visitor will find them comfortable or not. Aside from the proper hotels, there used to be many lodges which never fulfilled the standard of overnight accommodation. Rooms in the lodges are extremely small, hot and often without sanitary facilities; they are frequented mostly by short time guests.


Dagupena (32) Fernandez Ave (Phil)
Deluxe (29) Fernandez Ave (Phil/Chin)
Lechon House Del Pilar St (Phil)
Eduardo's (38) Del Pilar St (Phil)


Calesa & Stop Over Discos (28)
Fernandez Ave; discos with nightly shows; entr P 10, beer P 10
Eduardo's Pub (38) Del Pilar St; disco, nightly show; entr P 10, beer P 10

About 10 discos are along Arellano St after the Boulevard Hotel a little bit out of town.


Post Office (25) Fernandez Ave
RCPI (35) Fernandez Ave
PT&T (36) Fernandez Ave
Provincial Hospital (34) Arellano St
Polyclinic (25) Fernandez Ave
Public Market (26) Burgos St
cor Fernandez Ave
Cathedral (27) Burgos St


Pantranco North Terminal (37) Del Pilar St cor Fernandez Ave
Dagupan Bus Terminal (39) Fernandez Ave cor Arellano St

Further information:


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / Urdaneta

Urdaneta, 123km northwest of Manila and 25km southeast of Dagupan City, is sometimes called the Dodge City of the Philippines because of it's vivid cattle trade. Cattle traders from all over converge in Urdaneta to buy and sell. More and more municipalities are adopting and applying Urdaneta's method of marketing cattle in an effort to match the town's success in this area. In the cattle market, dealers trade about 1,500 head weekly.

Before the earthquake of July 16, 1990 it was, however, much overshadowed by the larger Dagupan City. But as Dagupan City was widely destroyed during that earthquake, a large number of businesses have transfered from Dagupan to Urdaneta.

Urdaneta holds the distinction of having the largest number of barangay schools north of Manila. Which is not unexpected as the town is the birthplace of the barangay high school system. It was here the late Dr. Pedro T. Orata, internationally renowned educator, developed and experimented with his now popular concept of bringing education to the people.

There are 39 public and three private elementary schools, 20 public and two private high schools, four colleges; two public and two private, and a dozen special schools including technical institutes and computer centers.

One tourist attraction of the town are the Cabaruan Hills, which was the site of fierce fighting between US and Japanese forces during WW II. Urdaneta holds its fiesta over eight days from December 1 to 8 in honor of its patroness saint, the Immaculada Concepcion, and highlights it with colorful parades, beauty pageants, popularity contests, cultural presentations, agroindustrial fairs, religious activities and sports festivals.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / San Carlos City

San Carlos was founded by Fr. Francisco dela Rama May 23, 1587 and first named Binalatongan, referring iin the local dialect to the abundance of Mongo beans in the town. In 1666, the Malong revolt headed by Andres Malong erupted during which the whole town was destroyed. However, as the visitor can see for himself it was since rebuilt.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / Around San Fabian

Most resorts and infrastructures of San Fabian were destroyed or severely damaged by the earthquake of July 16, 1990. A number of barangays sank 1 to 2m.

Closest to San Fabian is Center Beach. Another developed long beach is found near Bolasi, 4km (2.5mi) from San Fabian towards Agoo. Both have gray sand, are suitable for swimming and wind surfing, and are accessible by tricycle.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / Agoo

The Museo Iloco in front of the Basilica and the Imelda Park with a nice bamboo tree house nearby were worth seeing. However, all of these structures as well as the entire commercial center of the town were heavily damaged by the earthquake of July 16, 1990. The black sand beach about 3km (2mi) out of town is not the best by itself but the waters there are good for wind surfing and sailing.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / San Fernando and the Vicinity

This friendly, clean provincial town is famous for its long stretches of sand beaches. All buses going along the coast to the north pass through San Fernando.

The Department of Tourism has moved from the capitol building in San Fernando to the Cresta del Mar Beach Resort in Bauang.

Post Office (72) Mabini St
PLDT (74) Luna St
Town Plaza (75) Quezon Ave
Provincial Capitol (73) at a very prominent site on the top of a hill southwest of the town center; it was built during US times.

Otto's Original German Bakery (70) near Oceana Apts, homebaked German bread; from 6:00 fresh rolls; imported German bread like 'Pumpernickel' (black as coal); also German restaurant; specialities: Sauerkraut, Sauerbraten (marinated roast beef), Schweinebraten (roast pork)


To Baguio (1.5 hrs): Marcitas Liner Rizal Ave across from Casa Blanca Hotel; jeepneys depart from cor Luna St and Quezon Ave.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / Poro Point

This is the promontory off San Fernando with white sand beaches. To get there from the town center, one takes a tricycle or passenger jeepney at Ortega St corner Rizal Ave.

At the northeast tip, the US Wallace Air Base (69) with a 'Voice of America' radio station is located. The base will most probably be closed after September 1991 when the 1947 bases agreement between the US and the Philippines expires.

Just across the road from Wallace Aiir Base is the Philippine Navy. Approximately 1km (0.6mi) before the bases is a 300m (0.2mi) stretch (71) with 17 bars and discos, the red light district of San Fernando.

Accommodation & Entertainment

Sunset Bay (64)
dbl 400 (ac,tb,hw); rest, bar
Tel 414843 (San Fernando); easy to make phone reservations from Manila; near Canaoay Airport, San Fernando (only private aircraft); those who can afford may charter a private plane (see 'Transport from Manila') to reach this resort in just half an hour; when going there by public bus, one gets off at the highway just before reaching San Fernando, La Union, and proceeds by tricycle to Canaoay Airport (10 P); new resort with 5 beautiful bungalows; opened January 1989; owned by the family of Hans Stadler from Basel, Switzerland; diving facilities; interesting dive site with sunken Japanese battle ship and a number of Japanese tanks, just 1km offshore; equipment for windsurfing and waterskiing available.

Blue Lagoon (65)
well equipped resort; however, the German owner, Mr Emen, intends to give it up, allegedly because of harassment by municipal authorities; heavily armed guards

Acapulco Beach Resort (66)
dbl 504 (ac,tb,hw); rest, bar

12 Units Living Quarter (66)
dbl 300 (ac,tb,hw)

Driftwood Resort (66)
cot 350 (tb); rest, nice environment

Miramonte Beach Resort (67)
dbl 350 (ac,tb,ref)
fam cot 830 (3 bed rms, ac,tb)
rest; good value

Hotel The End of the Road (68)
dbl 80120 (tb)

Mascotte Disco (71) Mabini St, Catbangen
Tel 4444


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Lingayen to San Fernando, La Union / Around San Juan

About 10km (6mi) north of San Fernando is a quiet stretch with a clean light gray sand beach.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Baguio City / The City

On July 16, 1990, Baguio City became more famous worldwide than it had ever been before. The reason: on that date, the city was struck by a devastating earthquake. On all continents, pictures of the crumbled buildings in the city made it onto the TV screens and the front pages of newspapers. Preferred motif was the collapsed heavy concrete structure of the formerly leading hotel in the city, the Hyatt Baguio.

The quake brought a severe set-back to Baguio's prime industry, tourism, as well as all other economic activities. The reason was not only the damaged infrastructure in the city herself but also the disruption of most road connections for many months.

Unfortunately, we had done a complete, extensive up-date on Baguio just a few weeks before the earthquake. As the quake had changed the situation completely, much of our work in Baguio that we did for a whole month became partially invalid. Furthermore, as Baguio is being rebuild rapidly, any research that would be done in 1991 or even 1992 would provide accurate data for just a few weeks.

Therefore, we have left much of the Baguio information as it applied in 1990 before the quake and only modified the most salient points; while a few establishments may elect not to open again after the damage caused by the quake, most will try to operate soon again on a level as before the quake.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Baguio City / Statistical Data

The city covers approximately 49 sqkms (19 sqmi) enclosed in a perimeter of 30.3 km (18mi). It shelters over 130,000 inhabitants (projection for 2000: 187,236) residing in 129 barangays. A 1988 report issued by the Department of Tourism states that, during the peak season, particularly during Lent, this number is increased three fold.

The cool climate, due to the city's elevation of about 950m (3135ft) to 1,650m (5445 ft) is one of Baguio's most important assets. The average temperature is approximately 8 degrees C (14 degrees F) lower than most metropolitan areas of the archipelago. The region is very wet during the rainy season which lasts from June to October. From November to January, rain falls only occasionally, and the city offers a refreshing contrast to the hot and humid climate of the lowlands. The lowest temperatures are recorded during this period (6.25 degrees Celsius was measured on January 18, 1961). The chilly winter nights offer a unique experience to sit around a fireplace in the evening, clad in a snug wool jacket and to enjoy the cozy warmth of a hot grog while watching the flames slowly devouring the cracking logs.

As the city is not really tropical, it is not as preferred by tourists from the north of the globe as by locals. Many foreign visitors come to Baguio for just a short stay and then proceed to Bontoc and Banaue in the mountain provinces to see the rice terraces.

Another distinctive feature of the place is its fame as major site for congresses and conventions. Baguio hit the headlines in 1978 as the site of a world chess championship series.

Finally, Baguio is also famous for its faith healers. One of them, Jun Labo, was even elected mayor in 1988 but in 1989 stripped of the position for allegedly possessing Australian citizenship.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Baguio City / Accommodation

Hotels and pension houses in Baguio City are generally clean and well maintained. They are not air-conditioned as there is no need to reduce temperatures to feel comfortable, but sometimes heating is necessary. Accordingly, Baguio is the only place in The Country where even simple hotels and pension houses provide hot water.

A lot of places have convention facilities, such as multipurpose rooms and conference halls, seminar rooms or meeting lounges. These hotels usually offer adequate equipment. This special feature of Baguio's hotels is referred to under a separate heading.

The indicated room rates apply only to the low season. During peak season (April, May, New Year, Christmas and Lent) they increase by as much as 100%.

Remarks: Individual letters which are highlighted and printed in brackets, such as (F) or (O), refer to jeepney terminals; please consult the maps relating to transportation facilities (Map I, II, III IV and V).


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Baguio City / Restaurants / Filipino Cuisine

Abelardo's (54) - Vacation Hotel, 45 Leonard Wood Rd Tel 45-45, 31-08, 30-12; open until midnight; first class restaurant with friendly service and a nice view of Imelda Park.

Baden Powell Restaurant (109) - 26 Governor Pack Rd Tel 58-36; serves mainly breakfast, snacks and short orders for in-house guests and their visitors.

Bagong Kainan (156) - Skyworld Complex, Sesson Rd spacious, rather basic. Serves, besides short orders and snacks, also specialities like Kare-kare, Dinuguan, Lapu-lapu and Crispy Pata.

Barrio Fiesta (165) - Session Rd decorated, spacious dining hall, furnished with rattan-furniture; offers a wide range of Fil. dishes; upper middle class.

Bonuan Seafood (132) - Cor Carino/Abanao Sts Tel 29-96; open 10:00-22:00.; seafood delicacies like Bangus and Lapu-Lapu are served by a friendly staff; some specialities are prepared in Cebuano-style, such as the famous Kinilaw made of Tangigui. The establishment also does catering.

Cafe by the Ruins (219) - 23 Chuntug St Tel 50-41; This "native-style" Restaurant has been built on the remains of the ancient house of the governors across from the City Hall. Speciality of the house: Fresh Lumpia and traditional drinks like coconut wine and sugar cane juice. Daily dinner special menu for 75 pesos.

Cholo's Bonfire & Barbecue (138) - Kisad Rd cor Santos Drive; simple.

Cozy Nook Restaurant (88) - 5 Assumption Rd Tel 47-46; open 8:00-24:00; the restaurant is nicely decorated with bamboo; specialities of the house: Palabok, Kare-kare, Crispy Pata.

Ganza (118) - Chagum St at Burnham Park.

Honeymoon (61) - Behind Philippine Rabbit bus terminal; good food, disco at night.

Inihaw sa Kubo (51) - Leonard Wood Rd below Mountain Lodge; small place built with bamboo, rather in the style of a food stall.

Jade Restaurant (31) - Marcos Highway/corner of Legarda Rd Tel 63-68; family ambience, carefully prepared and tasty food and friendly service; specialities of the house: Binagoong, Pinakbet.
Taxi fare ca 10 pesos from Session Rd jeepney with signboard "Campo Sioco" from (K).

Jarrete's Jade House (133) - Abanao Ext; simple.

Kaili Restaurant (48) - Hyatt Terrace Compound, South Drive, Tel 56-70, 57-80

Pier 66 (115) - Abanao St; b-b-q restaurant with live band.

Siesta Inn Restaurant (108) - Governor Pack Rd Tel 70-66.

Solibao (124) - Burnham Park, Tel 25-30.

Tahanang Pilipino (180) - Session Rd

456 Restaurant (88) - 58-60 Session Rd Tel 85-45; simple.


Philippines / Northwest Luzon / Baguio City / Restaurants / Chinese Cuisine

Ai-Yan Restaurant (220) - 112 Session Rd Tel 75-84; this brand new first class establishment offers more than 200 different dishes, most of them in Cantonese style. It is a place for elegant dining in a perfect setting of Chinese ambiance. The guests can also enjoy a panoramic view of Baguio.
Specialities of the house: Crabs and fresh fish, roasted duck and pigeon; international choice of wines and champagne.
The hall, with sitting capacity of up to 200 persons, can be rented for banquets and weddings. A sound-system is available.
Ai-Yan is undoubtedly one of Baguio's finest Chinese restaurants.

Baguio Mandarin Restaurant (174) - Cor Assumption/Session Rds Tel 58-19; open from 7:00-21:00; specialities of the house: Shark fin with crab meat, roasted duck; the place offers set meals which are good value (for one person 40/45 pesos) and arrangements for groups (8-10 persons, ranging from 450 to 1,000 pesos).

Cook's Inn (107) - 21 Calderon St Tel 23-31, 51-17; open 7:00-23:00; cozy place with good service.

Liu Fu Restaurant (106) - Park Hotel, Harrison Rd., tel 56-26, 56-28; open 6:00-22:00; the guest can choose from different styles of food; however, special emphasis is laid on Cantonese; the house offers both a wide variety of dishes, but also seafood of excellent quality.
The spacious dining hall is ideal for receptions and faces Burnham Park through a wide glass front, giving the guests a pleasant view.
Liu Fu is one of the leading places among the high class Chinese restaurants.

Manka Restaurant (135) - Cor Legarda Rd/Urbano St Tel 33-24, 33-25; besides Chinese food, the place offers a choice of US dishes. The service is efficient and friendly; care is given to meet high standards, while keeping the prices reasonable.
The management and the staff of Manka's have succeeded in creating an ideal ambiance for social gatherings (weddings, banquets). The necessary equipment, such as light projectors, tv monitors and sound systems, is available.

New Mount Peak Restaurant (123) - Abanao St Tel 33-41, 54-11; open 6:00-22:00; this place offers dishes in different styles, but with a special accent on Cantonese cuisine; the meals are served in a well decorated, spacious hall with upper middle class setting.

Patria Restaurant (169) - 181 Session Rd Tel 49-63; the guest gets a basic choice of "classical" Chinese dishes as well as soups and sandwiches.

Quick Chow (48) - Hyatt Terraces, South Drive, Tel 56-70, 57-80; destroyed by earthquake July 16, 1990

Rosebowl Restaurant (102) - 7 Harrison Rd, Tel 42-13, 53-74; open 6:00-23:00; specializes in meals with fresh vegetables; this first class establishment serves, besides a wide range of Chinese dishes, international cuisine, especially steaks.