Baguio Teachers Camp History
BAGUIO TEACHERS CAMP
As I intend to head to the Baguio teacher’s camp this weekend I have done some background research into the camp as I was curious as to how old it really is and as a fledgling historian I wanted to know a bit about its background. Here is what I found. The link to the full article is below I have just picked out the important parts.
- Teachers’ Camp opened its doors for its first season on April 6, and closed on May 30, 1908.
- A total of 217 adults and 24 children attended the camp.
- Lecturers were invited from universities and government offices from both the Philippines and the United States.
There were regular lectures on
- General Anthropology
- General Ethnology
- Genetic Psychology
- Present Day
- Government of the United States and Contemporaneous Problems in
From reading this they had a variety of higher-level courses offered at the beginning of the 20th Century in a transitional period for the Filipino people.
Teacher’s Camp Fortunately, it was not all academic in Teachers’ Camp. Teachers’ Camp was also a vacation resort for teachers.
The Camp successfully addressed a problem most American educators had
while working in the Philippines: American educators did not have an easy time working here in the country.
In most cases, these foreigners were assigned to schools where there weren’t any other Americans for miles.
When the American teacher was bored, lonely, depressed, or in need
of any assistance, they had to rely on foreign people to assist them. Of course, there was nothing wrong with this.
However, these Americans would sometimes miss the company of their friends and colleagues. Teachers’ Camp gave those Americans the opportunity to “socialize with people of their own race.”
There were costume parties and dances at the Pines Hotel. There were various performances and shows to be watched, and the teachers even had the opportunity to perform in some.
Believing that physical activity was important for the well-being of the person, Camp organizers made sure that there were outdoor activities for all visitors in the camp regardless of age, size, or sex.
- Tug of war
- ball passing relay
- potato relay
- three jumps relay
is just some of the sports and games played at camp.
Interestingly enough, there were even inter-institution competitions like Teachers’ Camp vs. the Camp John Hay team, Manila vs. the Government Center team.
These competitions allowed teachers to meet even more people.
This was the beginning of the promotion of sports in the Philippines; I will link an earlier article soon on how the Americans introduced sports to civilize the people of Benguet to prevent them from practicing head-hunting and cannibalism.
Through the years, it became clear that Teachers’ Camp remained a priority of both the Department of Public Instruction and the Philippine Commission.
While during the early years participants used to live, eat and work in tents, the evident importance of Teachers’ Camp led the Department of Public Instruction and the Colonial Government to allocate funds for the Camp’s
improvement. Dormitories, cottages, a social and mess hall were built.
*In my next article on ghosts this will mention about the tent city of the teachers.
Roads and paths within the camp were improved, and an athletic field was built. When it was completed, it was one of the most modern of its kind in the country.
Important Americans like
- William Howard Taft
- Paul Monroe
- Cameron Forbes
- Bishop Brent
- Dean Worcester
as well as important Filipinos. Among them
- Gregorio Araneta
- Camilio Osias
- Rafael Palma
- Juan Sumulong
recognizing the importance of Teachers’ Camp, walked its grounds.
Due to the limitation of sources, the core of our research ends in 1913. After 1913, hardly anything is written about Teachers’ Camp in the Bureau of Public Instruction reports.
The Teachers’ Assembly Herald also disappears after 1913.
What is the exact reason for this?
The authors of this paper are still exploring the answer, However, in 1913; Harrison replaced Forbes as Governor General of the Philippines.
One of the first changes he made was to stop moving the government to Baguio for the summer.
As a result, Baguio for a while faded into the background as a priority. Other government offices probably followed Harrison’s example, preferring to focus on other matters.
Of course, without the source, one can only speculate what happened to Teachers’ Camp thru theyears.
Was it because the number of American teachers was declining?
Was the role of the Camp as a vacation destination changing as well?
What is certain are the following facts: from 1936-1941, Teachers’ Camp became the PMA Campus; during the war, it was the hospital for injured Japanese soldiers.
Today, Teachers’ Camp continues to become an important vacation destination for Filipino educators.
The camp bonfires and dances may be gone, but its role as host for various
conferences and seminars continues.
How big a role does Teachers’ Camp play in the history of the Filipino people and this nation?
There are perhaps two important points to be addressed. First, Teachers’ Camp nurtured the intellectual, physical, and social well-being of American educators.
Americans really laid the foundations for our modern education system. Without American teachers, where would we be today?
Certainly, education in the Philippines would have taken a very different route. Second, it was in Teachers’ Camp that some of the policies and regulations that were to affect all the students in the entire country were introduced and discussed.
Everything the teacher learned from Baguio would be applied to his/her students. You may be a student in the remotest part of the country, but you would still benefit from what was done in the Camp.
Because of the Teachers’ Camp, an entire nation was educated and shaped. It is the greatest role an institution could hope for, and this little corner of Baguio has that honor.
(Karina Garilao, Jeric Albela, Jonathan Balsamo and Rior Santos)
*Next Writeups Baguio History of Sport & Ghosts of Baguio
Andrew is an ATFS Statiscian in Athletics with a wide range of knowledge in measurable sports. He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And is current editor and chief of Pinoyathletics.info, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program. Currently, he is coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is working towards his Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles.
He can be contacted on [email protected]