Thursday, September 02, 2010

Teachers' Camp (Baguio City)

Teachers Camp, founded in 1908 by the US colonial government as a mountain retreat for the first group of American teachers, the Thomasites, needing a respite from lowland tropical heat, has a unique heritage. Since its early Thomasite days, generations of Filipino teachers and students have gone to Teachers Camp for educational training, conferences and seminars.

It is a place intrinsic to the history of the Department of Education and has become part of the educational ethos of many Filipinos. It is a nationally recognized teaching facility, also one of the nationally recognized Baguio City icons along with Session Road, Burnham Park, Mansion House, Wright Park and Camp John Hay. It is the last of the large, open, undeveloped parcels of government-owned land remaining in Baguio. The other large parcel, Camp John Hay, is now privatized as a mixed-use real-estate development.

Founded as a rest and recreation facility for teachers and also as a venue for summer training programs for teachers, education is the primary legacy of Teachers Camp. Its secondary legacy is that it is one of the few surviving Baguio environments today, a wide-open area still relatively forested with pine trees and landscaped in the typical but vanishing flowered Baguio garden style, where original green-and-white wooden architecture, once a Baguio City hallmark, still survives. (Augusto F. Villalon)

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