Baguio Teachers Camp Is 100 Years Old

For those who do not know, Teachers Camp, the Baguio icon built by American Thomasites April 6, 1908 is now 100 years old.

BY ACE ALEGRE
Northern Dispatch
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 10, April 13-19, 2008

BAGUIO CITY (246 kms. North of Manila) – For those who do not know, Teachers Camp, the Baguio icon built by American Thomasites April 6, 1908 is now 100 years old.

Celebrating its centennial anniversary starting April 6, Baguio Teachers Camp is now undergoing a P144 billion restoration and rehabilitation work on its 23-hectare camp along Leonard Wood road “to meet the teacher training demands of the 21st century,” Dep-ed Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said.

Teacher’s Camp, which Pres.Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited during the Holy Week to oversee the restoration work, has served for the past 100 years as the Dep-ed’s premier training and recreation center for teachers and students and is home to the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP), the training arm of Dep-Ed.

Malaya said, the past century has taken its toll on the facilities in the camp, thus a Special Task Force to oversee conservation and rehabilitation to meet the demands of the new century is dreaming of Teachers Camp renewal “to ensure that it continues to meet its original objective and create a well-managed and equipped training and conference venue to address the training needs of teachers in support of Education For All efforts.

Pres. Arroyo earlier proclaimed 2008 as “Visit Teachers Camp Year” and she is expected to come back to the BTC on May 10 to lead the formal launching of the “Visit Teachers Camp Year” and inaugurate the newly-rehabilitated camp.

With the theme “BTC-Celebrating 100 Years of Educating the Nation, the official kick-off the BTC centenary will also be on May 10, a fully-packed and busy schedule for everyone in the camp. This includes a grand parade, a re-enactment ceremony, inauguration of the BTC Museum, A concert for teachers, an academic conference and many more.

Going even beyond its service to the teachers, BTC, “envisions to position itself as the ideal training and recreation venue not only for teachers but also for the general public,” according to Malaya..

It will be “our home by the clouds”, the DepEd official said as he sees BTC in the coming years as a haven for flowers where people can enjoy the floral scenery the whole year round. A museum and art gallery is already being constructed to become a center for culture and the arts and continuing tourist site, he added.

The camp began in 1908, old Baguio residents recall, as a series of tents when the Thomasites first colonized the area. Some 150 public school teachers first pitched tents on April 6, one hundred years back to begin a glorious tradition of training teachers.

From 19-12-1927, more permanent lodgings such as halls and cottages were constructed.

It was also in the BTC where the Philippine Military Academy was founded in May 1936 while World War II saw some of the buildings being destroyed during the carpet bombings of Baguio by American fighter planes which were then targeting retreating Japanese occupation forces.

The War Damage Commission provided for the Camp’s restoration.

“The Teachers Camp, a scenic landmark, a tradition and part of Baguio’s life, has endured the test of time and will continue to be so in the next century,” Malaya said. Nordis/posted by (Bulatlat.com)

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