This web includes a complete copy of the 1916 publication by Thos. Cook & Son Baguio and Northern Luzon, which gives a very interesting insight into Baguio and Northern Luzon just after the turn of the 20th century - from a tourist traveler's point of view. Included are contemporary photos and map of Baguio, as well as historical, cultural and economic information. Also included are pictures from travels in Northern Luzon almost ninety years later. The pictures are from three trips to Nothern Luzon:

o Manila-Vigan-Ilocos Norte-Cagayan-Nueva Vizcaya-Aritao-Baguio-Manila on bike (Yamaha Tenere 650)
o Manila-Dalton Pass-Banaue-Sagada-Baguio-Manila with car (Mitsubishi Montero 2500)
o Manila-Cabanatuan-Baler-Cabanatuan-Manila on bike (Yamaha Tenere 650)

as well as a rafting trip to Chico River via Tabuk and several trips to Baguio.


Hans Fay

I found the Thomas Cook publication in a house I bought in Norway just after returning from five years in the Philippines. The house had formerly (some 15 years earlier), belonged to a retired Norwegian diplomat, Mr. Hans Fay (picture), one of the pioneers of Norwegian foreign service. Mr. Faye started as an attache in Paris in 1905 (the same year Norway's union with Sweden was dissolved), and later served in Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, India, United States and Mexico. In his memoirs (På Post i Fem Verdensdeler), he mentions arriving in Manila in January 1919 en route to Calcutta from Valparaiso. However, it seems he sailed on to Saigon shortly after, and it is doubtful that he visited Northern Luzon.


It is surprising to note that the mountains appear largely deforested - it raises the question whether the area's steep mountain-sides ever had a good forest cover. See Camp Four and Naguilian Road.


Among the more colorful pieces are the description of Baguio Market, the "so-called wild tribes" of Cordilleras and of Bontoc. Senor Sanchez refers to a climate in the Cordilleras as having occasional frosts. This is most likely an exaggeration as snow and ice are unknown at present times. Read the beautiful description of the breathtaking view from summit of Sto. Thomas (today the site of a radar station - Cabuyao, Tuba, Benguet).

Road conditions (2003)

Road Conditions

Manila - Tarlac - Pangasinan - La Union - Ilocos - Cagayan - Isabela -  Nueva Vizcaya - Nueva Ecija - Manila OK OK OK
Kennon Road (Rosario, La Union) - Baguio OK OK OK
Marcos Road (Agoo, La Union) - Baguio OK OK OK
Naguilian Road (Bauaung, La Union) - Baguio OK OK OK
Laoag (Ilocos Norte) - Kabguago (Kalinga) [this road is drawn on some maps - the road was started, but never completed - it ends before crossing into Kalinga as far as I can judge] Impossible! Impossible! Impossible!
Bayombong (Nueva Vizcaya) - Banaue OK OK OK
Banaue - Bontoc [the main problem is the rough road surface and a few difficult areas requiring good ground clearance] NO! Difficult! OK
Bontoc - Sagada - Mt. Data - Baguio [Bontoc - Mt Data: the main problem is the rough road surface and a few difficult areas requiring good ground clearance. Mt. Data - Baguio has been much improved (2005) and is now drivable for all types of vehicles] NO! Difficult! OK
Aritao (Nueva Vizcaya) - Baguio [the main problem is the rough road surface and a few difficult areas requiring good ground clearance including two river crossings about 20 meters long and two feet deep] NO! Difficult! OK
Cervantes (Ilocos Sur) - Bontoc [I have not tried this road - I would expect it to be very rough] ? ? ?
Tuguegarao (Cagayan) - Tabuk - Bontoc [reportedly OK, but I have not tried it] ? ? OK
Pampanga - Subic - Zambales - Pangasinan OK OK OK
Cabanatuan (Nueva Ecija) - Baler [quite rough road surface] Difficult! OK OK
Manila - Cabanatuan (Nueva Ecija) [expect heavy traffic in several towns] OK OK OK

Road maps can be surprisingly unreliable, and sometimes misrepresent the road condition/class, or show roads that do not exist at all. The E-Z maps and travel guides appear to be the best, and the maps and advices are generally very reliable. The E-Z Map Road Atlas Luzon Edition does however show the non-existing Laoag-Kabugao, Kalinga road.