Saturday, October 26, 2013

Photo of the government center at Baguio from The Mentor

This large (9½ inches by 7 inches) sepia photograph was part of a set that was "prepared by the editorial staff of The Mentor Association" in 1915. It is "Monograph Number Three in The Mentor Reading Course."1

Pictured is the government center in Baguio, Philippines, which is nicknamed the country's "summer capitol."

This is how Baguio was described in a long passage on the back of this photograph:

"The Philippines are very fortunate in having Baguio, near Manila, a wonderful highland country with an average height of 5,000 feet above the sea. In this favored region 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the usual maximum during the hottest weather of the year. ...

"Forests of pine and oak cover the gently rolling hills, and wild roses, huckleberries, raspberries, 'Jack-in-the-pulpits,' and violets, make one imagine oneself in New England."

"The Spaniards, after careful investigation, had decided to establish a health resort in this wonderful region, but did not carry out their plans. The American government has made it accessible to the people of the Philippines. Naturally, Americans were better able to appreciate its possibilities at the outset than were the Filipinos; but the latter soon discovered that they profited greatly by the change, and many of them have built summer homes there, while many others go there annually for vacations."

"After careful investigation it was decided to transfer most of the insular government offices to Baguio during the hot season, and the several bureaus were housed in the larger building here shown.

"At the left are tennis courts for Filipino employees. On the hilltop at the right may be seen the great government mess hall. Employees were at first glad to live in tents, but were later given quarters in dormitories or in modest cottages.

"An athletic field at the Teachers' Camp, golf links at the Country Club, a polo field and numerous baseball fields, tennis courts and volley ball courts, afford abundant opportunity for invigorating outdoor sports.

"An army post, a government hospital, a great observatory, schools, churches, rest houses, and numerous simple but comfortable private residences scattered along twenty-one miles of fine road make a rapidly growing little city. ...

"The grip to Baguio is made by rail and automobile, and now takes about eight hours. In 1916 it will probably be possible to make the whole trip by train. Baguio should then become the great health resort of the Far Eastern tropics."

1. The Mentor magazine, the brainchild of William David Moffat, was described in detail in this January 2011 post on the website Inherited Values. The magazine's creators described their overall goal as follows in 1913, in this excerpt taken from the Inherited Values article:
"The purpose of The Mentor Association is to give people, in an interesting and attractive way, the information in various fields of knowledge that they all want and ought to have. The information is imparted by interesting reading matter, prepared under the direction of leading authors, and by beautiful pictures, produced by the most highly perfected modern processes.

"The object of The Mentor Association is to enable people to acquire useful knowledge without effort, so that they may come easily and agreeably to know the world s great men and women, the great achievements, and the permanently interesting things in art, literature, science, history, nature and travel."

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