Issue of January 19, 2014
     
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Baguio’s chilly weather, unique landscape charm US diplomat
by Harley F. Palangchao

Baguio’s chilly weather and unique landscape charmed United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, who appreciated his stay in his first ever visit to this mountain resort last week.

Goldberg lauded the city’s tourism sector when he paid courtesy call to Baguio officials led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan at City Hall last week where they discussed light and serious matters about the city.

Like what he told Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan in his earlier visit to the province, Goldberg told Domogan the city’s cold weather is its biggest tourism asset although much has to be done on traffic congestion.

Domogan explained to the US envoy traffic congestion is inevitable in Baguio considering that its population has ballooned over the past decades while thousands want to experience the cool weather.

Baguio’s temperature dropped to its lowest at 9.6 degrees Celsius early Sunday morning after the mercury recorded  an average of 12 degrees Celsius for several days.

Goldberg also praised efforts to promote culture and arts while he shared his experience when he met with top Filipino artists in his visit at the BenCab museum at Asin Road in Tuba, Benguet.

The two officials likewise discussed golf and the envoy was informed Baguio has been the long-time host of the world’s biggest amateur golf tournament held at the Camp John Hay and Baguio Country Club fairways.

Domogan, an ardent golfer, invited the ambassador to play golf with him the next time he visits the city.

Baguio residents and visitors alike, meanwhile, were advised to wear appropriate clothing and improved their immune system to counter the ill effects of cold weather.

Cold weather is expected to be experienced until the coming weeks due to northeast monsoon or amihan.

It was on Jan. 4, 2011 that the mercury level dropped to its lowest eight degrees Celsius while higher elevated areas in Benguet province were colder by two degrees Celsius.

On Jan. 15, 2009, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration also reported the temperature dipped to 7.5 degrees Celsius, which was the lowest 23 years after it reported the temperature here dropped to 6.8 degrees Celsius in 1986.

Baguio, over the past decades, recorded a drop in the mercury level in January and February or even up to March. The lowest temperature recorded in Baguio was 6.3 degrees Celsius on Jan. 18, 1961.

In March 1986, the city’s temperature was recorded at 9.1 degrees Celsius at 9.3 degrees Celsius in March 1972 and even dipped to 7.4 in March 1963. The highest temperature recorded in Baguio was 30.4 degrees Celsius on March 15, 1988.


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