In Baguio, hospital garden ‘gem waiting to be developed’By Maurice Malanes
Inquirer Northern Luzon
BAGUIO CITY—Residents will be grateful to hear that some of the city’s willow, agoho and palm trees, which are nestled in a 110-year-old government hospital, won’t be cut to give way to high-rise structures.
The advisory board of Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) has instead pronounced that the trees would be maintained and even replenished to sustain what has been named the BGHMC Gardens.
On Feb. 24, Health Undersecretary Enrique Tayag joined hospital officials in planting eight cherry blossom trees to launch the Gardens. They also unveiled a marker.
“This garden will not only help patients get well but is also conducive for healthy people, as well,” said Tayag, who later recited passages from “Trees,” a poem by Joyce Kilmer.
Damaso Bangaoet Jr., the BGHMC advisory board chair, said the previously untended garden was a “gem waiting to be developed.”
He said “public-and-private partnership” had been helping tend to the Gardens, with each group sponsoring and maintaining the upkeep of little gardens, which thrive beneath the trees.
Bangaoet said the board’s efforts to raise funds for poor patients would include the Gardens among its priorities.
Once known as the 15-bed Baguio Sanitarium when it was built in 1902, BGHMC had served American colonial government officials, employees and American soldiers. Today, the hospital has 400 beds and serves patients of northern Luzon.