June 23, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Midland Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on May 31, 2009, or a day before Baguio City celebrated its centenary on Sept. 1, 2009.)

What would Baguio be without its pine trees and cool weather?
But even without its gentle breeze and blooming flowers, what would Baguio be without its Session Road, Burnham Park, and other beautiful sceneries?
Ah, but what would Baguio be without its Philippine Military Academy and its corps of cadets?
Picture the cadets marching down Session Road in their grey and white uniforms, over a thousand of them, not just a platoon or two, or a company, but all together, cadets and cadettes.

All 100 years of Baguio will be parading before your very eyes. First the Ibaloys in their native attire, Baguio’s earliest pioneers, with all of Baguio later to follow – the other native tribes – the Kankana-eys, Kalanguyas, Ifugaos, Kalingas, and Bontocs.
We have also asked the Ilocanos, Pangalatoks, Pampangos, Tagalogs, Batangueños, Visayans, and of course, the Muslims to take part in the parade – not all but a representative portion.
The foreign communities will be joining us too – the Americans, Chinese, Japanese, the Europeans, the Koreans, and other Asian neighbors – residing in Baguio.
It will be a local affair with an international flavor.
I will miss the Baguio General Hospital nursing students in their nightingale caps, but the other nursing schools will hopefully make up for the slack.

Joining also are balikbayans from all parts of the world, Baguio boys and girls who have done their city proud by being achievers, whether here or abroad.
The sister cities will likewise be there too, courtesy of Ma’am Betty Lourdes Tabanda, only too happy to be with us in a truly wonderful celebration.
On Sept. 1, we will also launch the search for the Baguio Centennial Queen, to be crowned at the end of the Centennial Year.
This is open to only Baguio girls born or raised here, or who finished their elementary and secondary education in any of the local schools.

And speaking of schools, what would Baguio be without the University of Baguio, a two-classroom hole-in-the-wall that would later become the university of learning it is now?
And the University of the Cordilleras was the Baguio Colleges in the old days, housed in the Lopez Building, also along Session Road.
Today it is a university of Bar and Engineering topnotchers.
The Eastern Philippines Colleges is now the Baguio Central University that recently produced a first placer in the nursing board exams, said to be the university to go for your masteral or doctorate degree.
Let’s not forget my alma mater, good old Saint Louis University, the early Saint Louis School that also had a twin silver and gold shop patronized by tourists the world over.
Today, SLU is the biggest Catholic university north of Manila, with topnotchers in the Bar, engineering, and in the certified public accountant board exams.
And what would Baguio be without its Brent and Easter Schools, the Baguio Cathedral, Country Club, Club John Hay, and the Teachers Camp?
Oh yes, University of the Philippines Beloved will forever be in our hearts.
And my paper, the Baguio Midland Courier, the city’s longest operating community newspaper, a paper that can proudly boast of its contribution to the molding of Baguio.
Yes, Baguio will be 100 years old on Sept. 1, and as the commissioner in charge for the event on that wonderful and blessed day, I promise you a centennial parade and program you will forever cherish and remember – rain, shine, or storming, it will be the parade of parades, and only because the parade is Baguio itself, all 100 years of Her.