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Landmark Legends: A Foreigner’s Query

Legends and myths are not just simple stories; they contain lessons and morals passed on from generation to generation. These tales may also include valuable historical facts and data about the culture and lifestyle of people or race involved.

Story Behind the Landmark:

Before it was transformed into a hill station and became known as a top tourist destination, Baguio was home to the indigenous Ibaloi tribe of the Philippine Cordilleras. The Ibalois were industrious, kind and silent tribe of agriculturists.

These natives originally named this land as Kafagway, a word which means “wide open space”. This vast land was used by the Ibaloi tribe primarily for the grazing of their herds of cattle; mostly water buffaloes or simply carabaos. The terrain where carabaos pastured was composed of gently rolling hills with a lot of natural springs where the cattle used to cool themselves.

When the Americans came and reached Kafagway, the Ibaloi tribe were surprised. A general asked a native for the name of the place. Since the Ibalois can not understand the American language, the native who was asked was not able to answer. It took him minutes to ponder what the American was talking about. Few minutes passed, the American general pointed to the ground and asked again. Unsure of what was being asked, the Ibaloi native gave the name of the mossy flowering plant that covered the ground. It was “bag-iw”. The Americans pronounced it as “bag-i-yo” which became popular and later on evolved into Baguio.

Meet the natives and rekindle this legend with our Baguio Tour Packages.