Camp John Hay
Camp John Hay was originally a recreational facility for the U.S. Armed Forces and was named after US President Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of State. Established in 1903, Camp John Hay is actually older than Baguio City itself, which was incorporated as a city only in 1909.
During the Japanese occupation in World War II, Camp John Hay was used as a concentration camp for American and British soldiers and as a military headquarters for General Tomoyuki Yamashita when he had to leave Manila towards the end of the war.
When the Philippines-US Bases Agreement expired in 1991, Camp John Hay was turned over to the Philippine government. From then until 1997, it was run by Filipinos in much the same way as it was run by the Americans, maintaining the popular features and facilities. The maintenance of Camp John Hay was tasked to the Department of Tourism by President Corazon C. Aquino under Memorandum Order 346.
Since 1997, most of the property has been handed over to a private developer which utilized it for private vacation houses, lodging facilities and other innovations.
Camp John Hay has many features that used to cater exclusively to Americans and the privileged few who were able to get passes from the US Administration.
Before its turnover to the local government, Camp John Hay had 290 fully-furnished rooms spread across the many cottages, duplexes, apartments and lodges spread throughout the property, including popular “Honeymoon Cottages” that cater specifically to newlyweds who make the journey to the Camp after their wedding. Many of these units offer comforts that, during that time, were rare, expensive or otherwise available only to the rich, such as color television sets. The units are also furnished with fireplaces, a feature that is inapplicable to most other parts of the tropical Philippines. Even so, these fireplaces were usually utilized in the colder months of December, January and February.
Up to the present, Camp John Hay is the site for one of the best golf courses in the country, with 18 holes across 5,330 square yards. The course is also supplemented by a clubhouse with restaurants and function rooms that cater to golfers, other visitors and the residents. The course is surrounded by gardens, picnic spots, parks, a skating circle and an amphitheater. Visitors can also explore the property by hiking through trails that wind around the hills and forestry.
- Camp John Hay official website. (Accessed 18 June 2010).
- Camp John Hay at GoBaguio.com. (Accessed 18 June 2010).
- Camp John Hay at TheCityofPines.com. (Accessed 6 July 2010).