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Brief History of Baguio City


The Years during The War
It is said that the war in the Philippines began and ended at Camp John Hay. During the early part of the 2nd World War, Baguio was the initial bombing target of the Japanese air forces and the city was in ruins. When the Japanese Imperial Army captured Baguio, they converted Camp John Hay into their garrison and a part of it was used as a concentration camp. Baguio was among the first places in the Philippines to be attacked by Japanese forces. In December 8, 1941, under the leadership of Chief of Police Captain Joseph J. Keith, Baguio was declared an open city.

Not long afterwards, on December 27, 1941, the Japanese columns arrived at KM 4 on Naguillian Road. They occupied Baguio without firing a single shot. In 1945, Baguio was besieged by war. During those years, the Baguio Country Club was made a Japanese Officers Club. In 1944, when the American forces led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed in Leyte, Gen. Yamashita moved his headquarters to Baguio. The puppet Philippine government under Pres. Jose Laurel was also set up in the city. Finally in 1945, American and Filipino forces advanced toward Baguio to liberate it from the Japanese forces. In the process, Baguio suffered intensive artillery shelling and aerial bombardment.

This event took place at the residence of the U. Many old and new buildings were leveled to the ground and numerous people died. They comforted each other and they still had their high hopes for their safety and the future of their city. ambassador at Camp John Hay. The residents have returned and the visitors and tourist have started to come back. The American forces advanced toward the city from the south by way of Kennon Road and also from the northwest through Naguilian Road. In the days that followed. 1945. Not aware of the withdrawal of the Japanese forces and still expecting a counterattack. Somehow the residents were determined to go on with their lives. All incoming and outgoing flights were limited only to aircraft involved in rendering aid and assistance to the residents.. Yamashita and his 10. Gen. There was intense fighting along the way. Somehow Gen. and their other basic necessities. Baguio continues to remain as an important copper and . Quezon City has since then become the capital of the country throughout the twelve months of the year. The Years After The War From the ruins of World War II. Yamashita and his army. he left a small delaying force to cover his withdrawal from the city. Although Baguio ceased to be the official summer capital in 1976.S. Gen. There was no electricity and the supply of water was getting to be very scarce. educational and recreational center of the Cordilleras and northern Luzon. Yamashita quickly retreated north from Baguio. Many of the residents of Baguio lost their homes and took shelter for about two months at the Baguio Cathedral. All the three major access roads leading to the mountain resort were closed and many visitors and residents leaving or coming back to the city were stranded. There were no commercial flights available and the city was left with no means of transportation for getting in or out of Baguio. Yamashita eventually allowed thousands of Baguio residents to leave the city. The More Recent Baguio A major earthquake devastated Baguio City on July 16. the Americans waited several days before their final assault of Baguio. The city is now a self-governing member of the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR). When the Japanese defensive positions started to fall. It was about five months later that the Japanese lost the war in the Philippines. However. Today. the City of Baguio steadily grew into the commercial.. 1990. people still continued referring to it as the summer capital of the Philippines. There was continued fear among the residents when the earthquake aftershocks persisted. the people of Baguio were running low on food. On September 3. if not even better. Baguio is once again a bustling and vibrant city. Since there was an acute food shortage. supplies. Yamashita came back to Baguio to sign the unconditional surrender of the Japanese Army.The city was destroyed as the liberating forces were flushing out Gen.000-strong army made good their retreat from the city. the people worked hard to put their city back into what it was before . Throughout the difficult months that followed.

It still is an important focal point for commerce. . trade. and education north of Metro Manila. There is no doubt that a better Baguio has emerged from the ruins of the great earthquake of center.