SM City Baguio

Satellite view image of SM City Baguio.

We’ve featured an SM mall and a Robinsons mall before and our next shopping mall is the tented SM City Baguio. In many respects, this is probably the first non-traditional SM Mall ever. It’s the first SM mall to not have air-conditioning (due to the cool Baguio air). It’s also the first SM mall to avoid the typical boxy feel of other SM malls by having balconies overlooking the city in every floor, and to feature a tent-like architecture that serves as the mall’s primary roofing. (It’s probably miserable in this mall during typhoons, because of the architecture.)

SM City Baguio opened in November 2003 and is located at the southwestern end of Baguio’s famous Session Road. The mall is on top of the highest hill in the immediate area and this give the mall-goers a majestic view of Baguio City. Burnham Park, Session Road, and the Baguio Cathedral are all easily seen from the mall’s balconies. And because of its high position, some people are saying that the mall disrupts the pine-lined Baguio City skyline.

You might say that the grandiose SM Mall of Asia has borrowed many architectural details from SM Baguio, like the open-air shops and halls.

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Posted on
March 31, 2007
Filed under
CordillerasMalls / Commercial Centers
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  1. Jhun wrote on November 5, 2007 @ 06:58AM

    Fifty years ago, Baguio is truly a paradise city. However, looking at it now, it is now over crowded, very filthy, polluted and totally very different from what it was envisioned it to be by Arch. Burnham (he designed the master plan for the city—he also designed some of America’s enduring architecture landmarks in Washington, Chicago, etc.). Just go down Session Road and you’ll see how filty Baguio is! Try to ride a jeepney going up Bokawkan Road, Kennon Road (near Camp 8), or Rimando Road (going to Aurora Hill) and you’ll chocked with smoke coming from the vehicles! Look at the mountains and you’ll see houses sprouting, instead of pine trees! Go check out the different rivers (especially the river that passes below Brookside Barangay) and you’ll see human wastes and garbage! Check out the unsightly buildings along General Luna Road and other structures sprouting along the city’s major thoroughfares! They are so ugly that they ruin the city’s beauty (is there still beauty to speak of?)! Check out the billboards that are blocking the city’s sky line! Check out the graffitis in the different waiting sheds! Slowly, Baguio is dying!!! It is a city filled with human filth!

  2. Eugene wrote on November 8, 2007 @ 01:10AM

    @Jhun, well, I think Baguio is still a very fine place to visit. I don’t think it’s as bad as you paint it to be, especially compared to Metro Manila. The pollution is reversible and just ranting about how dirty Baguio is won’t help solve the problem.

  3. lee wrote on February 14, 2008 @ 11:53AM

    baguio is still the cleanest city in the philippines, compared to other big urban centers. if you hate the city for all the changes it is undergoing now, you actually have two options, to stay and make a difference by being a responsible citizen, or, to leave it (and good luck, hope you’ll be able to find a place as nice and as clean as baguio here in the philippines). No matter what other people will say,baguio remains to be the unbeatable cleanest city in the country.

  4. gracie wrote on May 14, 2008 @ 03:31PM

    hey Jhun? are you from Baguio?

    If you are not, shut up. You have no right to rant cause you are not from the city I call home. People like you are the reason why there’s filth and waste everywhere! You visit the vacation spot and act as though you’re of high class when in fact back in your own city, you are just plain old jologs!

    If you are, shame on you. The last thing you could do is see and utterly display your disgust for your own hometown. I hope you’ve found a better city to live in and I hope it loves you back! Cause Baguio definitely wants people like you out!

  5. salie wrote on July 7, 2008 @ 06:48AM

    …i left baguio for a greener pasture and for a better career opportunity..yes indeed i succedded for my plan BUT even if i’m in s clean and organized country outside the Philippines, my fondness to Baguio never dies instead it grow even stronger…i really loved Baguio..eventhough what Jhun stated is partly true (matter of fact) the love i have for Baguio is still there….and i definitely agree with lee that if you want BAguio to remain its cleanliness, we should participate or give contributions on how to make the city back to its good condition…

  6. joyce wrote on August 16, 2008 @ 11:11AM

    “The U.S. study also confirmed a previous environmental report by the World Bank that found Baguio as one of the most-polluted cities in the world, as it is the most polluted city in the Philippines.”

  7. DAVE wrote on August 17, 2008 @ 10:01AM

    I have never been to baguio, but plan on moving there in 5 years.

  8. jcm wrote on August 19, 2008 @ 04:51AM

    hello everyone

    Jed Madela is having a concert @ baguio city this december 12 (hopefully) …. if we can find a place for that date…..

    pls pls help
    any suggestions : venues ??????

    pls email me at


  9. sebastian wrote on September 3, 2008 @ 07:51PM

    Yup, Baguio’s getting sadly dirty. I’m from down south and had climbed to Baguio twice and for me, it is still the Paradise here in our country. How I love Baguio!

  10. Cha wrote on October 24, 2008 @ 01:01PM

    I am a born Baguio resident 40 years now and I have seen the other SM branches mostly in Manila-NCR and I envy Southmall since they have Storyland.. This SM Baguio does not cater to children as per its facilities… since it only has a mutli-purpose event center area or atrium only which caters to portable slides and the like. The amenities in the NCR as I hope can likewise be included in this nation’s summer tourism hub like that of Trinoma’s or Ayala’s children’s activity center… since SM Baguio enjoys the energy cost saving from its open air and ventilation, why not consider venturing into an open space for kids center…the mall shall not be only for shopping, dining but also an indoor park for both kids and adults… invest on weatherproof kiddie play pens and rubber floor maybe at the view deck area at lower basement or dining area overlooking Cathedral where most of the whole opening day these spaces are left idle and soon will be an open invitation for the public to move around the complex.

    More power.

  11. Andrew wrote on November 12, 2008 @ 10:07PM

    Jhun is free to express his criticism in which I agree on some points. I wouldn’t call my city of youth as filthy, ugly and polluted, as he claims but I admit it is fast sliding as one of the cleanest. As the Summer Capital, we owe it to our countrymen to put it back on top. To thousands who were not as lucky to grow up in Baguio or have not been to Baguio, it is a dream to come and enjoy what the city offers. Let us not spoil their dream. To the city leadership, work harder to bring back the swagger of The City of Pines. You have my support I am sure others will follow.

  12. lee wrote on November 17, 2008 @ 09:14AM

    there are just two types of cities in the philippines, the well known ones and the ones trying hard to be recognized . If you are well known , the thing is people from unknown places will do anything to bring you down, Baguio is damn too famous that people from other cities are just too jealous to the point of making bad comments about it. Ifyou are not from Baguio, you have no idea what sets this place apart from the rest of the country. If you dont like our place, we dont need you people to come up here, we can be independent as we have always been. Stay to your filthy places and drool to the adorations and prosperity our city is receiving at the moment. No place can and will ever replace Baguio. Its a fact that you people have to get used to the rest of your lives.

  13. ben wrote on December 7, 2008 @ 07:50AM

    i lyk baguio, its a place that i really lyke go over and over, but once we had our fildtrip of our skul and we r staying overnyt in maryherst in lucnab, as we were walking our students to the place a couple of guys in a car r shouting “Get the Hell out of the road! P_tang Ina Niyo!, Tiga dito kami!!!” And waiving his middle finger in the air, and he’s really proud of that. I lyk to beat him but i cant i just ignored him, im so disappointed coz i did nothing the students were scared, just bcoz were tourists there he can humiliate us, such an arrogant lowlife, i say bguio is a nice place and the people arent, how i wish they fell in a cliff or had an head on collision and they both die someday

  14. houie wrote on January 17, 2009 @ 04:54AM

    yeah it’s true that Baguio is becoming polluted and coming dirty, and we have to be open with that changes, any city would have this problems, and it’s actually a sign of growth and improvement, what may we do is to b a helpful citizen not to worsen the situation.

    I love and May God bless Baguio!!!

  15. Skip wrote on February 3, 2009 @ 06:19AM

    Baguio has become a shithole. I was there 35 years ago and then again just recently (Sept ’08) and it was a heartbreaking experience.

    Hotels and new houses! Wait 5 years and you can buy them for a fraction of what they are selling for now.

    The City Fathers should be ashamed at what they have allowed Baguio to become. Disgusting!

  16. Fred wrote on March 26, 2009 @ 03:38AM

    I’d just like to say no place is like it was 10, 20 or 50 years ago. Also every place I visited in the Phils had it’s share of pollution so no fault on Baguio for that. Not that the Phils. are alone when it comes to pollution.
    I’ve been lucky enough to visit Baguio many times(from Canada via Tubao)and can’t get enough. I tend to look at the positive so I appreciate the cooler temperatures the physical beauty and the interesting urban setting that is Baguio. And the ride up is pretty spectacular, too.
    So I say great place to visit and probably nice place to live.

  17. May wrote on May 10, 2009 @ 12:47PM

    I was there during the Holy Week and weeks after that. I was away for 30 years and this was my 10th visit. The city has changed so much. Change is good, so they say, aand I agree; but with it come some sense of responsibility. Baguio has become a bustling metropolis and it was inevitable. The student population from the neighboring provinces has made the city a melting pot and consequently, businesses of all shapes and forms have sprouted like mushrooms. It seemed to me that every facade of every home has become extensions of the city marketplace: sari-sari stores everywhere!Public transportation grew exponentially with no reason or need. Baguio was designed by the Americans to be a walking city. and now there is traffice everywhere coupled with pollution. Parks have been neglected,there is uncollected garvage everywhere. The former beauty of the surroundings have fallen into states of disprepair and neglect. Let our local givernment start caring and save the city. Let us bring back the glory that was Baguio City!

  18. john rose wrote on September 12, 2009 @ 09:09AM

    this is so beautiful

  19. mark wrote on January 31, 2010 @ 08:43AM

    hey Jhune, if you don’t have anything good to say about Baguio, better shut up! If youre complaining about the filth and pollution in that place, well let me tell you that its because of people like you who made that city in such a sorry condition. Irresponsible tourists, who doesnt care about Baguios fragile surroundings has made it a sorry place. Perhaps your envy is so big that u cant help yourself but rant about the citys condition. Do you have any good contribution as a citizen to Baguio or to your place for that matter? I bet youre not even responsible enough to wrap your spit or hold your urge to pee when youre in public places…

  20. dave mavis wrote on March 14, 2010 @ 09:53AM

    you know! that the Sm Baguio was the most well-designed mall here in the philippines! take a look in other malls , are they have roofing designs and features! just that sm is really good in design conceptualization of Spaces that configures the primary principles in designing such character that associates in cultural and traditional people of baguio ,,,observed the strategy on how the designer considers the marketing flow of people not having waste spaces due to radial configuration of accessible paths of the designed alteration of each spaces that answers the call of functional grouping and zoning of areas such similarity of spaces, the adjacency, the need for view, need for vents and exhaust, and many more that will help then now the baguioers in their daily life of spending time inshoping, striping, strolling, and loving each stalls they would go for! When i will become also an Architect i will build something that will now encompass all the functional areas needed to help the people to face their challenges in life! Mavis if you are reading this message, i am saying the truth that i really LOVE YOU ! even though that we are stil studying now i will wait for you untill you are ready to accept my loVe for you! Mahal na mahal kita aking Mavis,, hindi ko hangad na mahalin mo rin ako,,ang tanging sumamo ko lang sau ay sana mapansin mo ang wagas kong pag ibig para sau! Sana balang araw ay tayo ay mag ka usap at nang masabi ko na ang tunay kong pag sinta para sau!! Mavis Mahal kita! I LOVE YOU! ako si dave Ocnat! ang nagmamahal sau nag lubos nung una pa tayong nagkita sa UB! I LOVE YOU MAVIS

  21. Angelita wrote on January 6, 2011 @ 03:22PM

    I was born in Baguio and used to love and so very proud of my hometown (I still am I guess but not as much as it used to) unfortunately as stated by Jhun, our city is becoming overly populated and getting really old and dirty. I was really shocked myself when I went back after 5 years from abroad to see Baguio in this condition. It broke my heart to see this wonderful place deteriorating so fast. I am not here to criticize my beloved Baguio but I am here to state the fact that we truly need one another to bring back it’s natural beauty. We can help by not littering everywhere you go. Pick up some garbage if you could as this is one of the top reasons why our city is fastly deteriorating. We don’t seem to have discipline to pick up our own trash, we rely on people who’s job is to clean our city, people, wake up it is our job and we owe it big time to our good Lord who bless us with this wonderful gift that we should all be caring about. Lastly, Kudos to all who are already doing their part to bring back it’s beauty!

  22. azil wrote on March 16, 2011 @ 05:03PM

    i love baguio so much,,, i love the ambiance…so no bad comments…

  23. Danilo galut San Mateo wrote on March 16, 2011 @ 05:07PM

    ooopssss…I love Baguio this a place where a family must spend their vacation, scenic spots and many more, just try it…

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