Camp John Hay
Camp John Hay (CJH) is Baguio City's most popular visitor attraction.
A beautiful resort in the mountains it features a world class competition Jack Niclaus-designed golf course (said to be the only course in the Philippines to have bentgrass greens) as well as hotels, a shopping center & a convention center, among other attractions.
Located on the south eastern side of the Summer Capital of the Philippines, its Main Gate is now located on Loakan Road, a 5-minute drive from its old location at the Upper Session Road-Loakan Road-South Drive rotunda.
Camp John Hay has a second entrance accessible via the Baguio Country Club road, which is closer to the other major tourist attractions of the City of Pines.
This former rest & recreation facility for American soldiers in Asia is a tourist destination in itself.
Much has changed since it was converted into a privately-run resort, as the private developer chose to remove all the favorite haunts and landmarks and substitute them with modern structures instead (for example, the old world Main Club used to be where Camp John Hay Manor now stands) although there are many areas still accessible to the public for free.
And yet Camp John Hay's charm remains the same with its pine tree-lined roads, beautiful landscaping, quaint cottages and wide open spaces. The place remains a "must visit" for tourists.
For Camp John Hay is what makes Baguio, Baguio.
A Short History of Camp John Hay
This former rest and recreation facility of the U.S. Armed Forces is older than the city itself. For almost the whole of
the 20th century it is what made Baguio City in the Philippines "Little America."
In 1903 Camp John Hay was designed for the exclusive use of the US Military and Department of Defense in the Far East. This U.S. base, named after U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of State, was used by the Japanese as a concentration camp for American and British soldiers during WWII. It was also used as their military headquarters when General Yamashita moved up north from Manila towards the end of the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines.
This 690-hectare property was finally turned over to the Philippines 1991 upon the expiration of the R.P.-U.S. Bases Agreement. From 1991 to 1997, Filipinos ran the former U.S. Air Force recreational facility for the first time as a resort, operating all the popular and familiar spots as close to the originals as possible: 19th Tee, Halfway House, Mile-Hi, Lone Star, Main Club, the Scout Hill Snack Bar and the Bakery.
Since 1997 it has been in the hands of a private developer on a long term lease. It boasts of private vacation houses, hotels and lodging facilities, including most popular Baguio hotels, Camp John Hay Manor and Forest Lodge, a shopping center called Mile-Hi Center with numerous restaurants and stores, and CAP Convention Center. Jack Niclaus redesigned what is literally the coolest golf course in the Philippines into a competition golf course that continues to co-host the hugely popular annual Fil-Am Golf Tournament. The Philippine government has retained a portion of the property and maintains the Historical Core featuring a museum at the Commander's Cottage, Bell Ampitheater, a Butterfly Sanctuary. The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) runs Igorot Lodge and recently top Philippine real estate developer Ayala Land, Inc acquired a portion of the property for the Ayala TechnoPark, a shopping, dining and business complex.
Recreational activities include an Golf, of course, an EcoTrail, Picnic Grounds,
Mini Golf, Pony Rentals with a Trail Ride, Paintball & Wall Climbing.
"My first visit to Camp John Hay was in the early 1970s as a guest of Joe Montemayor, who was then a Filipino immigrant to the United States. We had formal dinner at the Main Club where my brother and I were told to be on our best behavior as ... "
The Butterfly Sanctuary at Camp John Hay was built around the Little Mermaid Garden that was built by American soldiers decades ago when this premier Baguio attraction was still a U.S. Armed Forces recreational facility in the Philippines...
©2012. All Rights Reserved. GoBaguio! Your Complete Guide to Baguio City, Philippines
Did you enjoy this page and find it useful?