Heritage Sites

How Baguio's Biggest Church Saved Thousands of Lives


Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Mar 31, 2015

The pink church with twin spires, the Baguio Cathedral,  is one of the most photographed landmarks in Baguio City. 

The first phase of the cathedral on its present location was finished in 1924 without the two spiral towers. The hill on which it stands was originally referred to as "Kampo" by the native Ibalois and was later called  Mount Mary by then parish priest Fr. Florimund Carlu, CICM. Twenty five Igorot carpenters were part of the construction along with the CICM priests and brothers. 


It was finally consecrated in 1936 and dedicated to Our Lady of the Atonement, the first in the world, after generous contributions from Baguio and from Manila to complete its construction. It became an evacuation center during the bombing of the city in 1945, thus saving thousands of lives. The cathedral has undergone extensive renovations especially after the July 1990 earthquake and was opened to the public four months later during the celebration of "Christ the King."

Also known as the biggest Catholic Church in Baguio, it provides a panoramic view of the downtown commercial area, Burnham Park, and City Hall. It is accessible by pedestrians through a long concrete stairway of more than a hundred stops from Session Road — a must-experience for first timers. Otherwise, there's an access road for vehicles via the nearby post office building.


(Photos by Christa I. De La Cruz, information from cityofpines.com and baguiocathedral.com)


Where on Earth is Baguio City?

It is located in the province of Benguet in Northern Luzon.
(Courtesy of Google Maps.)

How to Get There

Baguio is a 4 to 7-hour bus ride from Manila, with the travel time depending on the schedule of the trip you’ll take from Cubao, Quezon City or Pasay City. It is best to leave around midnight to arrive just in time for the sunrise at Mines View Park.

Option 1: Victory Liner - First Class

  • has no stops
  • 4-5 hours
  • 10:15am / 12:20pm / 8:15pm / 11:15pm
  • PhP 750

Option 2: Victory Liner - Regular A/C Bus

  • has two stops
  • 6-7 hours
  • leaves every hour, 24 hours
  • PhP 450


Where to Stay: Five Accommodations in the City of Pines

Photo used with permission from Guest Haven.


Where to Eat: 9 Places for #TakawDates in Baguio City


Choose Baguio: 10 Reasons of Love and More Love


Explore the rest of Baguio:

9 Ways to Take Your Lover to Cloud 9: Baguio Escape

4 Cool Art Centers to Make Your Trip Stand Out

Camp John Hay's Funny Cemetery of Negativism

Laperal White House

Hunting the Haunted: Diplomat Hotel

Make Baguio City your jump-off point to nearby places in the Cordillera Region:

The Philippines' Museum in the Clouds is One of the World's Best
Photo credit: Grace M
La Presa of Forevermore (ABS-CBN Teleserye)
Photo credit: http://instagram.com/forevermoreofficial/
From Laguna to Cordillera: A Mountaineer’s Tale

Use our Pasalubong Map as guide and take home some Baguio treats:


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