99th Baguio Charter Day Anniversary Issue
99 thoughts on Baguio's Centennial
Esther someone else like her?
A tribute to those who care for Baguio
A pasture of hope:
Good Shepherd Convent
Through the barriers of silence & isolation
They're loved because they care
The man called morris
Teacher volunteers:
Pathways to Higher Education
My best teacher
Indigenous women and a cooperative
Two Baguio families are local visionaries
Top 10 reasons why getting a Baguio education is worth it
Conversations with Gaia
Winning Photos
99th Baguio Charter Day Cartoon

by: Jovey De los Reyes

I hate it when people from the lowlands think that Baguio City is just a tourist destination. They have to know that this city is also the home of the finest lawyers, doctors, nurses, and other professionals in the country and in the world.

From a sleepy town more than a century ago, the city has grown to be one big community of learning. Thus, it was dubbed as the educational hub of the North.

Being a transient student here 11 years ago (who decided to stay and work right after), I can say that leaving my province and snubbing Manila schools was all worth it. I got the best education here.

Let me tell you why. Here are the reasons why getting a Baguio education is all worth it.

1. The weather. No doubt, Baguio is the favorite summer getaway of people who are trying to skip the searing hot sun of the low-lying provinces. This blessing of the city has more value to students. Here are the following advantages: they can concentrate more on their studies since they feel fresh all day; they save money for air-con; and they can walk to school without soaking wet with perspiration.

2. The people. Next to the temperate Baguio weather, the people are the city’s main assets. One (stranger or returnee) will surely feel comfortable since the city has the most honest population. The locals exude a very warm personality that will make a new soul feel welcome.

3. The unique study area. A student who wants to commune with nature can study under the shade of ancient pine trees at Camp John Hay and other parks. You can even take a nap when your eyes get tired from too much reading without having to worry about your personal stuff.

4. The natural environment. Despite the worldwide problem pertaining to the environment, Baguio City is somehow able to maintain a good state of cleanliness and greenery. If you’ve been to Baguio several times or lived here all throughout your life, you’ll know that the piles of rubbish seen in the street are not thrown by locals. No real Baguio person will throw trash just anywhere. Well, this is practical learning. When transient students go back to their hometowns, they bring with them such positive attitude.

5. The walk at Session Road. It doesn’t matter whether you are in your PE uniform or your business formal. A walk through the city’s central business district is surely a great way to end the day. (This holds true for working people, too). Walking is helpful to one’s blood circulation and helps one become physically and mentally ready for the next day. Also, this is where you’ll meet your former classmates who may now be enrolled in other institutions of learning. Plus, nobody cares about what you wear. No real Baguio person will ridicule fashion choices of other people.

6. The cheap food. No kidding. Food here in the city is relatively cheap. Where else can you get a student meal for P25? A round of applause for the Cordilleran farmers who never fail to produce fresh vegetables at very reasonable prices. Eating lots of veggies is good for the health and in nourishing the student’s busy minds.

7. The English language. This might sound strange to the newcomers but the city is full of people who can speak good English in this multi-lingual community. Having been a teacher here, it always amazes me how good the Cordillerans are with the English language (err, minus the enunciation). No wonder Koreans troop to this mountain resort to practice their English.

8. The best schools. As of today, all major fields of discipline are being offered by various schools in the City of Baguio. Paying only a quarter of the tuition rate of most schools in the metropolis, enrolling in any Baguio school will also give you an advantage — most of the universities and colleges are accredited, thus, they are at par with more popular schools in the big Manila cities (at a cheaper cost). Education here is indeed of quality.

9. The community of learners. Since this is a small city, most students and teachers alike frequently share their ideas, making collaborative works more productive and practical. Competition among schools is usually a healthy one since students get to bump into each other almost every day in the city’s main thoroughfares or even at malls. “Everyone knows everybody” might be an understatement.

10. The tuition. Tuition here is just a quarter of what students in the big cities are paying to get the same kind of education. Do I need to explain more?

If you are one of the more than 50,000 students who make up the students/transient statistics, be glad you are in the right place. You have made the right choice. If you are like me who fell under the spell of this enchanted city and decided to stay right after college, be gracious and love the city more. Happy 99th anniversary to the City of Pines.

The author taught for five years in two universities in the City of Baguio: University of Baguio and University of the Cordilleras.

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