August 23, 2008

Burnham Park

The famous American architect and urban planner Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846–1912), who designed many of Chicago's older buildings, created the original plan for Baguio City. Unfortunately, his plans were not followed by the leaders of the city, judging by the city center's warren of narrow streets. Thankfully, his plan for a park in front of the City Hall was—providing residents and visitors a place to while away a lazy afternoon. Burnham Park is centered around a man-made lagoon with row boats for hire. I love the trees around the lagoon. I think they're weeping willows, but not having any like them in Metro Manila, I'm not quite sure.

man-made lagoon at Burnham Park in Baguio City
I remember going to Baguio with my family when I was a child and my parents renting bicycles for us at the park. I don't remember if any of the bikes then had sidecars like this one. It's great for families with very young children. (Don't ask me why this kid chose a bike with a sidecar—my guess is he just likes the idea of biking with the sidecar and the umbrella. I mean, wouldn't you, if you were his age?) Now that I'm an adult, I think that renting bicycles there is senseless—you can't take the bike out of that one strip of road so you'll just be biking back and forth and back and forth and back and forth… you get what I mean. You can't even take the bike around the park!

bicycles for rent at Burnham Park in Baguio City
Burnham Park is bisected by several small streets. At the very back of the park is a huge lawn. Sadly, it's not well-maintained and the grass is overgrown. That, and the mud, didn't stop these Sunday morning soccer players from having a game though. I couldn't tell who was playing for which side, but I'm sure they did.

soccer game at Burnham Park in Baguio City
Off to one side of the boating lagoon is a skating rink. Since it was a weekend, the place was full of young teens practicing their skateboarding skills. I don't remember ever seeing this area when I was a kid. I love the pattern of the roof and its supporting frame. PHOTO BY DOGBERRY

skating rink at Burnham Park in Baguio City
This relief sculpture depicts various scenes from the lives of the Igorot. Again, I've uploaded this image in a higher resolution than I normally do so you can click it to enlarge it. There are two men fighting, one tied up like a prisoner, someone playing a nose flute, a couple of people dancing, one carrying firewood to two people roasting a pig, and a few others I couldn't figure out. Sigh. Why did vandals have to choose this piece to put graffiti on?

relief sculpture of Igorot life in Burnham Park in Baguio City
And finally, here's Daniel Hudson Burnham himself, or rather, a bust of him. I'm so glad he spent some time here in the Philippines—Baguio City might not be as pretty if it weren't for him. BAGUIO CITY SERIES #5

bust of Daniel Hudson Burnham in Burnham Park in Baguio City


Laurie said...

Thanks for a great trip through a lovely park! I share your affection for that interesting skating structure.

It is odd about the lack of bike paths for all those rental bikes, isn't it?

JM said...

That must ve a very nice park! I also like the roof on the 4th picture.

Lisa Wilson said...

The boats look like fun!

ken mac said...

ooh, I love that roof. Hilda, have you ever considered making your pics bigger? They are such great shots and you show such detail. I know I would like to see a bigger view into your world. Ming of Manhattan showed me, you just go into the HTML page in Blogger then look for S400 in the script, and change it to S640. Just a thought!

Boise Diva said...

Must be graffiti hacks. They don't understand that you need a better background if you want people to be able to read your tags.

babooshka said...

This was another wonderful birtula walk around apart of your world. Such an informative post aswell. I Too love the roof, and the way you got the sweeparound in shot.

crittoria said...

The looks like a wonderful place to spend the day!

angela said...

That was a pleasant Sunday walk through the park. The trees look like willows to me they are lovely at the waterside.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories. I loved Burnham park on my "05 visit. I love Baguio enough to retire there next year.

jerzy said...


cielle said...

I remember way back 2009 visiting Baguio boating with my 4 month old baby.. a bit frightened.. but totally wonderful experience. Very nice place!

Boat Hire Sydney

geo said...

It was a lovely place to visit. Very cold and great scenery.

Justine orduña said...

hi! I'm a geography student in UPD. i hope you don't mind that i'll be citing this blog post in my term paper. i'm doing an analysis about baguio as designed by burnham and baguio as it is now. THAAAANKS! :))