Why Baguio City?

My name is Juny P. La Putt. Among my cyberspace friends and acquaintances I am also known as the "Hawaiian WebMaster". I have been a resident of the State of Hawaii since March of 1987 when my family and I immigrated to the United States from the Philippines. Honolulu is now my hometown and I currently work for the City and County of Honolulu as a civil engineer - a job I held since 1989.

Why Baguio City?

Probably you might want to know why I decided to put up this Web site. There is really no other special reason except that I just love the City of Baguio. I was formerly a resident of the city. I like the kind of people who live and work there and I am at home in Baguio. I even met my beautiful wife in Baguio and we raised our five kids there too.

Although I was born in Cebu City which is in the central part of the Philippines, it was in Baguio where I stayed longest during my entire residence in the country ... a total of 23 years. This started with my assignment to the Philippine Military Academy in 1963 as a member of the academic faculty. I was then a young 2nd lieutenant, single, and full of dreams and ambitions.

I have met many friends and very warm, hospitable and peace-loving people in Baguio. It is sad to note though that only a few of them are still around. Many have already moved out of Baguio and there are some of them who have passed away. Whenever I visit Baguio I now see new and unfamiliar faces ... but still friendly. It wasn't like before when I knew almost everyone I would encounter while walking up and down Session Road. The familiar faces of traffic policemen I used to see in the streets are nowhere now. The waiters in the coffee shops, taxi drivers, the pretty bank tellers, vendors in the market, and the postal clerks are all new faces too ... even the MPs at Fort Del Pilar and Camp Allen don't know me anymore unlike before when they would snap to attention and render a salute whenever I drove past the gate and guardhouse.

With its cool weather, clean environment, scenic mountain views, and pine-scented air, Baguio was to me the best place to live in. I have since then considered Baguio as my hometown and it will always remain this way. There is just nothing like it elsewhere in the country to work for a living and start a family of your own.

Interruptions To My Stay

The entire duration of my residence in Baguio was interrupted in many occasions but somehow I just kept coming back. The first time was in 1966 when I left for South Vietnam. I was just newly married at that time and my first child was only 6 months old. My family remained in Baguio during my two-year stint with the Philippine contingent that participated in the Vietnam War. The second time was when I was sent to train for over a year at the University of the Philippines in 1973. This training introduced me into the fields of cartography, geodesy and Photogrammetry. It also opened my eyes to the realities of martial law when it was declared during the period of my stay at the university.

In 1975 I pursued my graduate studies at the Ohio State University on a Fulbright scholarship and was again away for two years. We already had four small kids at that time and I had to leave my family behind in Baguio for the duration of my course work. Although I left Baguio in 1981 for a new assignment in Manila with the National Cartography Authority, my family continued to reside in Baguio City. My wife and I realized that there was no other better place for us to raise our young children, except in Baguio.

At that time my eldest daughter was already entering college and knowing that there are also good and reputable schools and universities in Baguio, we decided that our daughter pursue her studies in the city instead of going to Manila. Ultimately, I returned to the city after optionally retiring as a colonel from military service in 1983.

Another opportunity for travel again came about in 1984 when I was sent to the University of Maine as a Visiting Fulbright Professor. It lasted for only a semester and I was back to Baguio early in 1985 to resume my teaching at the University of Baguio. I was at that time designated head of the department of surveying and the university computer center. This was also when I started publishing my books in surveying and computer science.

Saying Goodbye

My final departure from Baguio City came when I immigrated to the United States in 1987. It was no doubt difficult to leave a place that you have grown so accustomed to and loved so much. Leaving the city permanently was not that easy for me to do but, new challenges had to be met. Ever since I immigrated, I have visited the Philippines in a number of occasions and have always seen to it that a trip to Baguio was always in my itinerary. Coming to Baguio was always for me a sentimental journey back home. It was something that I just could not afford to miss.

There are many fond and nostalgic memories of our stay in this city. It has for me and my family been a very fruitful and memorable experience. I am most thankful that at one time we had the opportunity to live in Baguio. It is for this reason that I have taken it upon myself to create this Web site as a way of expressing my appreciation and deep gratitude.

Enjoy Your Visit

I hope you will enjoy your visit to this Web site and also learn more about the City of Baguio. Please let your friends know about it as well and do come back and visit as often as you want. And if you have any comments or suggestions, kindly share this with me by way of electronic mail. "Bumalik kayo muli at maraming salamat po."


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