August 20, 2008

Camp John Hay

One of Baguio City's nicknames is "The City of Pines" because it's the only city in the Philippines where the weather is cool enough for pine trees to thrive. The trees grow everywhere in the city and on the surrounding hills, and one of the best places to walk among them if you're not an adventurer is Camp John Hay.

pine tree forest in Camp John Hay
Camp John Hay was established in 1903 as a rest and recreation facility for the U.S. Armed Forces in the Philippines and was named after U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of State. The property was turned over to the Philippine government in 1991 after the expiration of the two countries' bases agreement. It is now run by a private corporation on a long-term lease and its facilities, which include picnic grounds and a butterfly farm, are open to the public.

butterfly farm in Camp John Hay
The beautiful wood and stone Manor Hotel is also located inside Camp John Hay. This is where my husband and I originally wanted to stay but when I called two weeks before our trip, they were already fully-booked.

The Manor Hotel in Camp John Hay
A small strip of shops and restaurants a few hundred meters away from the hotel called the Mile Hi Center always reminds me that Camp John Hay was a former U.S. base. There is one Baguio and Benguet souvenir shop and about four restaurants, then the rest are discount stores for U.S. clothing brands. There's even a Commissary (actually the name of the shop)—a grocery that sells only U.S. products. BAGUIO CITY SERIES #3

Mile Hi Center in Camp John Hay


Olivier said...

un bel endroit, j'aime bien la serre (enfin je pense que c'est une serre ?)
a beautiful place, I like the greenhouse (well I think it is a greenhouse ? )

ken mac said...

Love all the greenery in today's post! We city dwellers need all the green stuff we can get. Hope you had a relaxing sojourn...those pics make me feel like I am there.

Hilda said...

That net-tent is the butterfly farm. :)

Eki Akhwan said...

It looks and sounds like a great place to explore, Hilda. I like the photos, and the informative narrative that goes with them.

I wonder, though, if your statement about it the only place in the Philippines where pines grow is accurate. (Sorry for questioning.) I was thinking that since the Philippines has a lot of mountains and volcanoes, there must be a lot of cool, high altitude places there where pines could grow. :)

mirage2g said...

Eki, there are other pine trees in other places of the Philippines but they are is only in Baguio where pine trees grow naturally because of the habitat...other mountains can't be that cold I guess, for which reason I dont really know why lol.

Hilda, I've been seeing so many Bagiuo photos lately, like everybody's telling me, come home and visit the city!!! =)

marley said...

Tha Camp looks a great place. All Those Pine tress remind me of my holiday to Greece. The Pines grew up the side of the mountains. Did you visit the butterfly farm? Any photos?

Hilda said...

I'm sure pine trees can grow in other mountainous areas of the Philippines, but the weird thing is they're not. On most of our mountains, it is rain forest trees that grow.

Sorry, we didn't go inside. We had visited the farm the last time we were there so didn't feel the need to this time. And there were just a tad too many visitors for my comfort when we passed by.

David -- said...

Thank you for informing us of Camp John Hay. I should mention that John Hay, in addition to being Secretardy of State under Presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt in until his death in 1905, started his career at age 22 as the personal secretary to Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. He lived in the White House and was present when Lincoln died. He wrote a multi-volume biography of Lincoln.

He was distinguished in many other ways, and his home on Lafayette Square across from the White House was later demolished to make room for the very famous Hay-Adams Hotel, which was named in apart after him.

I used to work for a Memer of Congress who was a decendent of his, and who had some of his furniture in his office.

JM said...

That really looks like a wonderful and inviting place! It's really interesting to see pinetrees there at the Philippines as they are totally different from the ones native to Portugal...

USelaine said...

I never would have imagined such a thing in the Philippines. Thanks for the peek.

babooshka said...

You had me at the butterfly farm. That sounds like my kind of place.The greenery is wonderful. The dailies really do open our eyes up to the world we we not normally see. Wonderfful post imformative and so pretty.