Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Summers in Baguio City

Almost anywhere in the world, when the summer season sets in people would prefer to be in a place where they would not feel the heat.  In the Philippines, Baguio City will forever be the "Summer Capital" because of the year round cool climate including the summer season.  Most of the time the Holy Week falls during summer months the time most local tourists and vacationers flock the city during this period. Many vacationers take a side trip to the beach which is just an hour away from the city, for a dip in the sea. Visitors can reach to as many as 500,000 within a months time!  The nearby beach resorts in La Union and Pangasinan also benefit from this.

Courtesy of Ric Maniquis FB Photo post
With the number of visitors, the city launched in 1958 to pick a Lucky Summer Visitor (LSV) every year during the Holy Week.  The primary criterion is simple:  It must be the first time for the visitor to be in Baguio City.  In some other years, organizers add little more criteria for the selection and kept secret until one is chosen.  The Lucky Summer Visitor program was conceptualized for the city's appreciation to all those who visit Baguio.  The LSV is given a symbolic key to the city, free guided tour, free hotel accommodations and meeting some city officials!  That's aside from several souvenirs the LSV takes home for free!

Going for a summer vacation in Baguio City has to be well planned.  Hotel occupancy is 100% most of the time during summer.  It is very difficult to make or get reservations.  There are a good number of private houses and dormitories offered for rent to tourists during summer.  This is the next best alternative if hotels are fully booked.  Most would have complete kitchen and dining facilities that could prove to be less costly compared to dining out.  Having contacts or friends from the city will help in getting a favorable place to stay other than inns or hotels.

The City of Baguio is short of water supply during the summer season and could be a problem for private houses leased out.  Purified or mineral water is not a problem though as there many outlets in the city to provide potable water.  Traffic conditions will be terrible with the lack of available parking space.  Baguio City is just 64 square kilometers in area and the only time a vehicle would really be needed is when going from one far end to another frequently.

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