Baguio City National High School History
Baguio City National High School is the premier secondary school in the Cordillera Administrative Region. It has the biggest student population, offers the most number of curricular programs, and is a regional leader and a pilot school.
The school was established in 1919 by the American colonial government and was named Mountain Province High School. It accommodated the growing number of elementary graduates in the City of Baguio and from nearby towns. Classes at that time were held at Teachers’ Camp and the teachers were a combination of Americans and Filipinos. The school in its early years was headed by Americans like Jess L. Gains. Some of the pioneer teachers were Juan Balagot, Servillano Tumaneng, Pedro Balagot, Genoveva Llamas, Esperanza Ver, Donato Guerzon, Grace H. Miller, Petra Ramirez, Pilar Tan and Domingo T. Kasarta.
In 1937, the financial responsibility of maintaining the school was transferred to the City Government of Baguio; hence, the name was changed to Baguio City High School. From 1919 to 1954, the school did not have a permanent site, such that classes were held at different venues: from Teachers’ Camp to Baguio Government Center, to Quezon Elementary School, to Vallejo Hotel, then back to Teachers’ Camp.
The need for a permanent site for this institution prompted the school administration and faculty, the Parents-Teachers Association and the Baguio City Government to work out the acquisition of a site and the construction of a school building. So, after much hard work, 11, 840 square meters of land was segregated from the Burnham Park reservation on June 27, 1953 under Presidential Proclamation No. 401 and was awarded to Baguio City High School. Consequently, the school’s first and main building began construction on September 16, 1953 and finished on January 21, 1956. Although only half of the building was completed in 1954, the edifice was turned over to Principal Gregorio Ariz on October 24 that year and the classes from Teachers’ Camp were transferred to the new building. The turnover day has since been celebrated as the school’s Foundation Day.
The school steadily grew which necessitated the creation of annexes. In 1967, the first annex was opened at the elementary campus of Fort del Pilar. In 1968, other annexes were opened: Rizal, Doña Aurora, Loakan, Roxas, Baguio Central School and Bonifacio. In later years, more annexes were put up: Quirino (1969), Quezon Hill (1970) and Sto. Tomas (1971). The number of students kept on growing so that by 1980, BCHS-Baguio Central School Annex had to be separated as Pines City National High School which absorbed Bonifacio, Quirino (later became Irisan National High School) and Quezon Hill as its own annex campuses. As the population grew and the demand to bring the educational services to the community were met, BCNHS accommodated the creation of new annexes: Bakakeng (1993), San Vicente (1994), Happy Hallow (2000) and Lindawan (2002).
On July 1, 1989, Baguio City High School was nationalized and is now called Baguio City National High School.
From the time the school was turned over to the administration of Filipinos, Baguio City National High School has been ably headed by the following principals: Buela Head (1936), Pablo Reyes (1937-1938), Anselmo Patacsil (1938-1939), Antonio Alba (1939-1940), Bernardino Rebaya (1941-1948), Gregorio Ariz Sr. (1949-1969), Florencio Buen (1969-1974), Dolores Valdez (1974-1976); Feliciana Penera (1976-1979), Josefina Sarmenta (1979-1982), Lolita B. Florendo (1982-1991), Philip M. Flores (1991-1997), Priscilla Bautista (February-September 1997), and Elma D. Donaal (October 1997-Present).