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Burnham Park Baguio
The sight of many things to do while you are visiting Baguio, Burnham Park is rich in old tales from the local folks as well as in history. It has become part of our culture that says and depicts how close we have become to the Americans because fact is, the name of Baguio’s most popular destination and park came from the name of an American architect who designed the attraction many years ago in the pre-war era. (photo credits to www.mypilipinas.com)
Since its construction, the park has become sight to memorable historical events, enough to make it the center of attraction to countless parades of Baguio’s most popular festival, the Panagbenga Festival alongside with a pathwalk of life - the Session Road.
The name Burnham Park actually came from the architect who designed it – Daniel Hudson Burnham. The leisure area was first intended to be a recreation center for American soldiers where a large lagoon was built in the middle and on the Easternmost part, a skating rink is where you can play around with your skate. Large enough today, it accommodates a biking area and it is where you can find Baguio Orchidarium and the jogger’s circle and tai chi venue.
As we went there just this year, May 2013, the large portion of the park is being reconstructed but back in 2012 when me and my husband went there of the same month, the flooring was already renovated and you can see the flower boxes filled with beautiful American roses and assorted flowering plants and trees ideal for picture taking and a walk around the park for some fresh air and cool breeze.
If you want to witness the tai chi session, it is absolutely free to do so early in the morning. Most of the students were Chinese and senior citizens and the old guys won’t actually bother if you go along and follow dancing and swaying with a couple of routines.
The park side streets does not allow cars or vehicles inside so if you want to bring your own car, you’ll have to be content to park along the outer side streets where it is allowed. Police visibility is regular and strict “no parking” laws are being implemented.
There is a fastfood nearby – Chowking for those who would like to have early breakfast and wouldn’t want to eat something cozy or fancy and want to feel a bit like Manila.
The orchidarium is just beside the park, near Chowking overlooking street and biking area. You can ask local folks and vendors where it is and how you can get there. SM Mall Baguio is also withing a kilometer far and is visible by sight above the large tall pine trees by the park lagoon. By taxi ride, SM is probably just Php 40-50 pesos or you can take a brisk walk exercise if you like and view the fog in the terrace at the 2nd or 3rd floor.
Countless cheap transient house and hotels are abound in the area where it is near the park so you won’t have a hard time trying to look for a place to stay for the night or for your tour vacation visit in the City of Pines.
Biking area on the side street of Burnham is very large and it is an idea picture taking arena for Pinoys who love to get a shot of the lagoon by the side while riding single bikes and those with sidecar for couples and kids.
The large lagoon nurses the boating area where romantic scene of couple taking a row of the swam boat can be seen. This is the best attraction of the park and to tip you off to get the best of your visit to the city, go find the swan boat. They’ve got the most beautiful boats available but be ready to row you way around the lagoon and break into sweat even if it’s cold in the afternoon. The picture will surely be worth it for your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or any social media account to share with friends. You can ask the boat rent personnel to take a souvenir photo of you and your girlfriend or boyfriend or your friends and family.
The boat rent I think would cost you Php 30-60 pesos depending on the type of bicycle you want to rent (single or with sidecar). On the other hand, you can visit John Hay which is just a couple of minutes away where you can find the city zipline in the treetop adventure.
Burnham Park is absolutely full of life whether you visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon for a view of the fog and cold breeze. For the city dweller Manilenyo, it is best in the morning to see people in action. After your tour, go to Session Road where the market is. You can shop there for fresh vegetables good for salad. Don’t buy pasalubong yet. It is best to do that before you go home. If you ask me how much the tour costs, I was luck to ask the tourism center near Victory Liner bus terminal, its about Php 2,500 pesos all in all including the taxi service transport. You can ask the folks at the bus terminal to point you to the tourism office (or is it one?) which is just a “bangketa pwesto”. More in our Travel Page.
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