B A G U I O C I T Y
V A C A T I O N
Whenever I visited Baguio City in Benguet, I never missed to drop by the former American hill station and now tourist destination, Camp John Hay.
My most recent trip to the city was special to me because I was able to bring with me two family members who have not visited the place. They only know the city to be about pine trees and having a cold climate. And since I remember visiting Camp John Hay as a kid countless of times but not remembering any specific spot in the area that, the opportunity became generally fresh for all of us.
It was late in the afternoon one Saturday. The temperature was starting to drop. We could have just stayed indoors at the Microtel Suites-Baguio but I reminded my family that we were in Baguio City to discover new places that we could not see in Metro Manila. I told them to suck up the 6-hour bus commute experience earlier in the day and get excited to see Camp John Hay.
The Bell Amphitheater
My mom and auntie became ecstatic when they finally saw the Bell Amphitheater, a structure that was built in honor of General James Franklin Bell who served as Brigadier General in the Philippines in the early 1900s. The structure was filled with a terrace of flowers to their fascination.
Dean Conant Worcester, an American zoologist and authority in the early 19th century Philippines, wrote about the amphitheater:
Man has added to what nature left undone and the result is an imposing and beautiful auditorium, capable of seating four thousand people throughout which a whisper can be heard. It is utilized for religious services, concerts, lectures, theatrical performances and other forms of public entertainment.
The Bell House
The rustic but well-maintained house looked regal from its location where one can view the distant Benguet mountain range and Mt. Pulag on its sprawling wooden veranda.
My mom, dad, and auntie did not waste any time checking out each room in the house which is now a museum for colonial architecture and lifestyle. The high ceiling was remarkable and really made the place huge inside.
Souvenirs and More Landmarks
An hour after, we had to leave The Bell House and head on to Choco-Late' de Batirol for a quick merienda.
On our way out of the property, we had the chance to buy some souvenirs, view a few more landmarks, and be fascinated with the famous military resort that was named after the famous US Secretary of State, John Milton Hay.
M Y B A G U I O C I T Y V A C A T I O N P O S T S
- My Stay at the Microtel Suites-Baguio
- Mines View Park: Then and Now
- Baguio City Stopover Before Sagada
- The Two Faces of Baguio City
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