Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Baguio City: Glimpses of Kennon Road and the Lion's Head

After a filling lunch at Good Taste, we asked the taxi driver we hired for our Baguio City day tour to take us to the Lion's Head along Kennon Road. I would have wanted to go further down to the Bridal Veil Falls but weeks of continuous rain in this part of Benguet caused landslide in some portions of Kennon. In fact it was just a week before this trip when a huge rock from the landslide hit a passing van and killed one of its passengers.

Though our driver was not so sure if the road going to the Lion's Head is already passable, we pushed our luck in the desire to see one of Baguio's most iconic attraction. It was still raining as the cab weaved in and out of the city proper's traffic and after about fifteen minutes, we started our descent along Kennon Road.

Kennon Road connects Baguio City to the lowland town of Rosarion, La Union. It has a total length of 41.2 kilometers and was first opened on January 29, 1905. It was formerly called Benguet Road and later renamed in honor of its builder  Col. Lyman Walter Vere Kennon of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Most part of this roadway is already part of the Municipality of Tuba, Benguet.


Along the way we were stalled for a few minutes due to the road clearing done on the portion hit by landslide.


As we descend further, we were treated to the picturesque view of green mountains enveloped by mist. Three weeks of continuous rain carved cascades on the slopes, creating temporary waterfalls which made the view even more awesome.



Finally we reached the Lion's Head at Camp 6. Even though it was still raining, we got out of the cab and went to its base. The Lion's Head proudly stood at the roadside with a height of 12 meters or 40 feet, welcoming those coming from the lowlands to the mountain City of Pines.



It was first conceptualized by the Lions Club members of Baguio City during the term of former club president Luis Lardizabal who was also the mayor of Baguio City from 1969 to 1970. Construction started in 1968 and was finished and unveiled in 1972 by another Lions Club president Robert Webber. Since then, the Lion's Head has gone several coloration changes and presently it is painted in gold (or is it yellow?)


After a quick photoshoot we ascend the road back to Baguio City. But before proceeding to the city proper we made a stop at the Kennon Road Viewpoint.


At the view deck, we got awed by the overlooking view of Kennon Road, snaking down to the lowland with the misty mountains on its backdrop. Here one can see that the road is actually cut above the winding Bued River below. Because of this terrain the construction of this road is considered as one of the most difficult and expensive civil engineering project of its time. More than 2,300 local and foreign workers were hired and expenditures reached more than US$2.7 million.


I would have wanted to stay longer but it was already getting very windy and cold so we headed back to the cab and started moving on to our next destination. The bad weather cut short our Kennon Road exploration and I hope that someday I could go back and see more of this famous zigzag road and its nearby natural attractions.


3 comments :

  1. This is the precise weblog for anybody who needs to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its almost arduous to argue with you. You positively put a brand new spin on a subject that's been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would like to ask what are the best months to travel to Baguio? Are the roads safe? Any itenerary suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Avoid rainy season since landslide usually occurs along the road.

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