The Kennon Pavilion Park is located about seven kilometers south of Baguio City and about one kilometer due west of Loakan Airport. It is beside the Kennon Road Police Checkpoint at Camp 7.
In 1959 the place was then known as the Zigzag Look-out Point during Baguio's Golden Anniversary celebration, during which time a Memorial Plaque was dedicated and unveiled by then Mayor Alfonso Tabora.
When the 80th Anniversary of the Viewpoint was celebrated on February 20, 1983, the Memorial Plaque was renewed by past Mayor Ernesto N. Bueno. Then on September 7, 1988, Mr. Oseo C. Hamada, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc., sent a proposal to the Baguio City Council of an architect's plan for a project to build a new view deck, estimated to cost no less than P300, 000.00.
The Baguio City Council Committee on Public Works (vertical structures), in its 2nd endorsement dated September 26, 1988, recommended the approval of the benevolent gesture of the Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc. The City Council under Resolution No. 276-88 on October 12, 1988, unanimously approved the construction of a view deck (Observation Pavilion or Kennon Viewpoint rest house). It was signed and approved officially by then City Mayor Ramon L. Labo Jr.
During the inauguration of the completed Kennon Road Viewing Pavilion on Nonevember 1989, the city officials and officers of the Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc. mutually agreed to improve further the view that could be seen from the pavilion. The Filipino-Japanese Foundation offered to develop further the immediate vicinity of the viewing Pavilion to make it a tourist attaction.
Thus, on motion of Hon. Virgilio Bautista and seconded by Hon. Clemente Calpotura and Hon. Elmo M. Nevada, the City Council approved Resolution No. 28 on Janauary 24, 1990, declaring the entire panorama visible from the Kennon Road Viewing Pavilion as a park. It was further resolved to request the land identification team of the Office of the City Planning and Development Staff to undertake a survey of the area to support an official proclamation by the President of the Philippines declaring the area as a park. The Baguio Regreening Movement was also requested to include the proposed park in its regreening program.
On March 14, 1990, the City Council through Mayor Jaime R. Bugnosen approved Resolution No. 77, approving the request of Mr. Oseo C. Hamada, dated March 5, 1990, for authority to proceed with Phase II of the Kennon Pavilion Project. The additional improvement would include beautification, rip-rapping, planting of trees and other ornamental plants, and general landscaping of the surrounding areas of the Pavilion at no expense on the part of the city government.
The development work in the park was going on smoothly when the earthquake of July 16, 1990 struck. Due to damages, repair work on the damage Pavilion took priority in the program of the Filipino-Japanese Foundation. Everything else stopped since then.
It took almost 11 years before any attempt was made to pursue the dream of making another park for Baguio City. On July 3, 2001 Mayor Bernardo M. Vergara endorsed and approved the request of the Filipino-Japanese Foundation under its new Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Carlos B. Teraoka, to proceed with Phase II of the Kennon Road Pavilion Project. Thus on March 20, 2002 a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc., represented by Mr. Carlos B. Teraoka, and the city government of Baguio, represented by its mayor, Hon. Bernardo M. Vergara.
Thus far, the work completed includes the four ethnic huts or houses (Bontoc, Ifugao, Benguet and Kalinga), a 450-meter long eco-trail or walk with 2-inch diameter G.I. pipe hand railing, 10 electric posts, a comfort room for men and women, three picnic areas, and general landscaping plus planting of various flowering plants and fruit trees.
In general, the Foundation has thus far nearly attained the objectives of the project, namely:
1. To develop and improve the environmental ecology of a part of Kennon Road, which remained undevelop for nearly 100 years.
2. To build a new and different kind of park by promoting and depicting the Cordillera culture and concept.
3. To promote and enhance tourism for Baguio City.
4. To encourage schools, colleges and universities to conduct environmental eco-walks, picnics and outings in the Park due to its mountainous and beautiful terrain and natural features.
Having done our job, it pleases us to invite everyone to come to Baguio City to enjoy and experience the beauty and serenity of the Park as well as hurdle the challenge of the eco-walk trail. - lse