Here is your complete DIY travel guide to The Mansion House Baguio, one of the city’s historical attractions.
I and my travel buddy Neo just finished touring around Botanical Garden Baguio when he suggested we go see Wrights Park and The Mansion. It was only then I learned that these are just a walking distance from each other. With swelling eagerness and excitement, I immediately said yes!
There’s something about The Mansion House Baguio that made me agree so easily. Although I’ve been there during the previous year, I never really paid attention to it. I guess my mind that time was preoccupied with a lot of things.
But this time, I wanted to know more about it.
Anyways, from Botanical Garden, it took us about 15 minutes to reach The Mansion.
How to Get to the Mansion Baguio
Getting to The Mansion House Baguio is pretty much easy wherever you are in Baguio City.
Here are the options you can take:
Ride any of the jeeps bound to Mines View Park. The station is at the Central Business District, near the Igorot Park and Burnham Park. Fare is Php 10 per person and travel time takes 15-20 minutes depending on road conditions. Every jeep leaves once filled to capacity.
Ride a taxi cab or Grab and just tell the driver to take you to The Mansion. Every driver knows where it is. The fare should be around Php 100 to Php 150 or even less.
If you have a car, head to the Leonard Wood, passing alongside Teacher’s Camp and Botanical Garden. Upon reaching Pacdal Circle, follow the road that is right of the Wright Park Riding Circle. It gently climbs uphill until it reaches the front of The Mansion. To guide you, you can always make use of Google Maps or Waze.
I’ve never done this but I would like to give it a try in the future. Walk to The Mansion! I got this idea when I saw signage at Wrights Park showing the level of calories you can lose when you walk to the different destinations in Baguio City.
Based on the signage, it could take you more or less an hour of trekking to reach The Mansion from Session Road or Burnham Park.
If you’ve been hiking to the mountains, that’s actually an easy thing to do. Besides, you’ll be walking on a concrete road. Plus, you’ll glimpse of different attractions which I’ll cite in the latter part of this article.
Behold the Mansion Baguio
From the road, you can already see The Mansion House Baguio. It looked to me like the White House of the United States in Washington- a mini version though.
Well, that’s no surprise because it’s the Americans who built it in 1908 and improved by the Philippine government after World War II.
It is one of the structures which survived the carpet bombing during the war, such that left Baguio City severely devastated.
When we visited, it was already past 5 PM and so, we were not allowed to enter the building itself though we were allowed to take pictures just past the gate.
I like how the management was able to preserve the lush view of The Mansion. The lawn and the surrounding pine trees are really reminiscent of an American landscape. It’s a refreshing sight indeed.
According to one of the guards, The Mansion serves as the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines. I would have hoped Pres. Rodrigo Duterte arrived when we visited.
There is also a museum inside showcasing memorabilia and artworks collected during the occupancy of previous presidents.
The gate of The Mansion Baguio is an attraction itself. In the past, it was thought that it is a replica of one of the gates at Buckingham Palace in London but this was later proven to be false. But don’t worry. You’ll surely love seeing the elaborate design of the gate.
In addition, you can check out an amphitheater at the back of the Mansion. It is adjacent to a two-story building which is the actual residence of Philippine presidents.
The Mansion Baguio History
It’s a long story but here is an overview to at least, make you appreciate the historical importance of The Mansion Baguio.
It was during the American regime when The Mansion was constructed to serve as the summer residences of U.S. Governors-General. Following the completion, several historical events were conducted here. Among these include the Second Philippine Legislature in 1910 which ran for 21 days.
The carpet bombing during World War II caused serious damage to the building, thus, it had to be renovated in 1947. From then on, it served as the holiday residence of Philippine presidents as the USA granted the country its independence.
In the succeeding years, The Mansion hosted various milestones in Philippine history. These include the second session of the United Nations Economic Concession for Asia and the Far East (ESCAFE), and the 1st meeting of the Southeast Asian Union (SEAU) in 1948.
Nearby Sights to See
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Mansion Baguio is just a walking distance from other prominent Baguio tourist spots.
Among these are Botanical Garden, Teacher’s Camp, The White House, and the Wrights Park. If you’re an adventurer like me, you can actually visit all these in less than half a day. After, you can proceed to other destinations in town.
It’s up to you if you decide to visit The Mansion House Baguio first or set it aside as your final destination.
Let’s say you first drop by The White House, and later, hike your way to Teacher’s Camp. That will take you more or less 15 minutes. From Teacher’s Camp, you then inch your way to Botanical Garden for more or less 30 minutes.
From Botanical Garden, trek your way to Wrights Park for 10-15 minutes. Done seeing the sights here? You can finally proceed with your hike to The Mansion Baguio. Believe me, they are just neighbors.
For Your Information
If you need more information to help in setting up your itinerary to The Mansion Baguio, do contact the City Tourism Office via the following:
- Contact Number: (074) 446 2009
- Website: http://www.baguio.gov.ph
Other Travel Guides
- Baguio Market (UPDATED): Your Best Stop for Souvenir
- Botanical Garden Baguio (UPDATED): Complete DIY Guide
- Burnham Park: Your Complete Travel Guide, Things to See
- Lions Head (UPDATED DIY GUIDE): How to Go, What to Expect
- Stobosa (Complete DIY Guide): How to Get There, What to See
- Wright Park (Your Complete DIY Travel Guide)
- Mines View Park (DIY Guide) How to Get There, Sights
- Baguio Cathedral (DIY Guide): How to Get There + Mass Schedule
Photos Courtesy of my Friends: Robert Domoguen, Carl Batnag