Did you know that the area presently known as Mines View park was originally called Binanga, from the local term banga, or cooking pot? Local legend has it that in the early days, mountain settlers in this area found a mysterious cooking pot of unknown origin, and thus named the area after it. It was also said that in the early 1900’s a certain Kidpalos from Balingway, Itogon, relocated to this area after marrying Kanya, a beautiful lass from La Trinidad. He was originally from the area now known as Burnham Park, the legend said.

Barangay residents of Aurora Hill and La Trinidad, including their women clad in native attire, contribute in the clearing and construction of Ambiong Road in October 1955. Legacy photo.

Barangay residents of Aurora Hill and La Trinidad, including their women clad in native attire, contribute in the clearing and construction of Ambiong Road in October 1955. Legacy photo.

This same area, including what are now called Session Road and the City Market, was also referred to as Bagew by the early Kankanaeys.  They refer to the area bordering the Tuba and Itogon municipalities as Dapon and Ullat, which was later used as a major trail by American miners of Atok and Balatoc, thus the present name Atok Trail.

Barangay Pucsusan derives its name from the Ibaloi term pucsu nan shanum – meaning flow or path of spring water. Indeed, the barangay has a brook that divides its area from Mines View barangay.

Barangay Pinget, meantime, got its name from wild animals or livestock that engaged in, or were made to engage in bullfights. Its early settlers werenatives who owned vast tracts of land used as pasturelands for cattle, and occasionally for recreation, the animals were brought to fight in this area called pinget.

Barangay Hillside was originally called sipsipnget –meaning dark area by the natives. Its name was changed to adapt to the stature of its neighboring area, Camp John Hay.

Barangay Balsigan was originally a relocation site chosen by the Amtadaos, Kilongs, and Tetep-ans of Sagada. These tribes reportedly ventured into Baguio after World War II, hiking the full 120 kilometers stretch from their hometown  in search for greener pastures here. They initially built temporary huts made of pine tree branches and cogon grass for their shelter, and sold chopped pine wood to prominent families for use in their fireplaces. Eventually, most of them were able to land jobs in construction or ventured into the city market. This led to improvements in their temporary abodes and encouraged others from various ethnic origins to relocate in this area, which literally means a place for chopping wood.

Barangay Padre Burgos was originally called Baugao by its native settlers. It initially formed part of the Camp Allen military reservation until it was declared a separate barangay under the term of Mayor Luis Lardizabal.

New Lucban, on the other hand, formed part of a wide valley district known for the citrus fruit trees, called lukban (suwa, or suha) that grew in profusion in the area.

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After the Americans completed the Benguet Road (Kennon Road) in 1905, it became evident that there was still a need to develop another route to Baguio City, preferably as an access to the north. Naguilian Road was thus considered, in fact as a railroad route to the city from the lowlands. Considering its gently sloping terrain, Naguilian road could accommodate steam powered trains into Baguio following a route that passed through Kisad Road, Military Cut-Off, and ending at the old Philippine National Railway station where the Baguio Water District now houses its main office.

To implement the Naguilian road project, the Americans enlisted a great number of workers. The Igorots, Pangasinenses, Kapampangans, and the Chinese composed majority of the work force. However, because of cultural differences, this heterogenous group would often engage in verbal and physical scuffles. The American administrators thus devised a system to segregate the groups according to their ethnic and cultural roots.

The Igorots were encamped at Campo Sioco, named after a son of Mateo Carino, whose clan is recognized as original settlers in Baguio. American servicemen and engineers reported back to Camp John Hay at the end of the day, while Philippine military personnel were billeted at Camp Allen. All the rest of the workforce remained encamped along Naguilian Road, in what was later called Campo Filipino. It is said that the Chinese eventually left the camp to settle in different areas, including what is presently known as Lakandula Street and Magsaysay Avenue where the Chinese Bell Church now stands.

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