What's inside the Historical Core of Camp John Hay

Saturday, April 1, 2017

We've been in Baguio a couple of times, and never thought of exploring more of it's history.  It's always the usual itinerary list - horseback riding, pine trees, strawberry farm, and the like. I never thought that there could be so much beauty lying in a small camp without having to look for more than just the common ground. Maybe because we tend to bend away from our heritage, or wer'e just always on for newer and latest attractions, or I don't know. But one thing's for sure, I realized that it's best to look back and see things as how they were before - history & heritage all at once.

Although Baguio is on it's way to being a commercialized city, with a lot of newly opened hotels, rising mid-high condominiums and establishments, getting crowded as the days pass and traffic increasing, we can't deny that it still has a beautiful history in tact to it's heart.

Camp John Hay is a special economic zone. Named after the Secretary of State John Milton Hay, it was established during the 1903s by the executive order of President Roosevelt. Did you know that this camp was bombed by the Japanese during World War II?  It was turned into a tourist destination by the Americans after recapturing it.

Inside the Camp John Hay is it's Historical Core - it's where you can find the Bell House, the Bell Amphitheater, Liberty Loop, and the Cemetery of Negativisim. You pay a standard entrance rate of PHP60, PHP40 for residents, and PHP30 for senior citizens and students.


The Bell House was named after General Franklin Bell, the Commander General of the Philippines during 1911-1914. He especially designed this house to his liking, and turns it to his own vacation house.

As you can see, the house was preserved and turned into a museum-like place that exhibits American colonial architecture.You might see this usual interior design in a lot movies like Patch Adams, but nothing beats the feeling of being able to see and touch it actually. I always have an eye for simple, laid-back american houses like this one, so I'm really happy I got to explore the house. Back when I was a child, I always wished our house would have chimneys and fireplace in it, you know, with the snow outside the window and a mickey mouse sweatshirt.

 I'm usually a scaredy-cat and always paranoid whenever I'm in a historic place. (Hehe, haha!) So, if you're wondering why the house does not have rooms, they do have! It's just that I'm too scared to take a photo since the hallway going there is dark and creepy for me. (HAHAHAA!)

My favorite part of the Bell House is their veranda since you can really smell the pine trees surrounding you and feel the cool breeze while enjoying a cup of coffee. Did you imagined it too? :) Probably, when I grow old and have the money to build my own dream house, I'd like to have a big veranda like this one.


The Bell Amphitheater is located down, and at the back of the Bell House. It was also designed by General Bell with the Ifugao's Banaue Rice Terraces as an inspiration. To this date, the amphitheather is a popular venue for the couples who wants a garden-setting wedding. It can accommodate up to 500 guests, so it really is a perfect place to celebrate love!


Also known as the Lost Cemetery, the Cemetery of Negativism was designed by Base Commander Major John Hightower and is said to be a place where you can bury all your worries and negative vibrations away. By visiting this place, you are able to throw all the negative thoughts, attitude or memories you'd like to forget and start fresh with a positive path. I love the concept!

You might think that this place is a little creepy just because it is called a cemetery, but the thing is, there aren't any animals or living things buried anywhere in this area. Each of this tomb just symbolizes a negative characteristic or happening in our lives and no more than that.

I've never heard of this place until I saw it on my way to the Bell House. I was doubtful to enter until the guard told us it's just a conceptual place. But this place is probably one of my favorite to visit here in Baguio since it's radiating an inspiring message for all it's visitors - that at the point of experiencing all negative things in life, there will always be a place for everyone that will give us the chance to start over. It's a place symbolizing new beginnings and giving ourselves a chance to be happier than we can ever be.

And that is what's inside the Historical Core of Camp John Hay! It's not just pure history, heritage, and culture, but also a path where you can rediscover yourself over and over again.

2 comments on "What's inside the Historical Core of Camp John Hay"
  1. Wow Bagio is one of the most beautiful city of Philippines. You people have explored so many beautiful sight of this city.I fell in love with each and every photo which you have shared in your this post.

  2. Found near post Hays State University, this office includes a major parking area, pressing sheets, and TVs outfitted with link channels. The rooms likewise have hair dryers, fridges and microwaves. To appreciate the administrations offered you have to part with at least $58 every night.pet friendly hotel in hays ks


Auto Post Signature

Auto Post  Signature