History and Culture

Remembering the “Three Witches” of Baguio

Leonora San Agustin, Cecile Afable, and Virginia De Guia are three of the most remarkable women who bravely fought for the beauty of the City of Pines and contributed a lot to the people of Baguio during their time. Now, to give respect to these memorable women, local artist Wigan carved the images of the three witches to the pine tree standing in front of the Baguio Museum. Remembering the deeds of San Agustin, Afable, and De Guia are important especially to the youth because they will be responsible for the City of Baguio in the future. The three women are dubbed as the “three witches of Baguio” because they became vocal critics of some government projects such as the Marcos Highway flyover.


Leonora San Agustin

Leonora San Agustin is remembered as one of the first  Filipina chemical engineers. A truly remarkable achievement that inspired multiple women to venture into engineering. In addition, San Agustin was also a teacher and she operated the Baguio Museum until her death. Her thoughts on the “uglification” of the City of Pines expresses her disappointment of the poor maintenance of the City of Pines.

Cecile Afable

Cecile Afable was once Baguio Midland Courier’s long time editor-in-chief. As a descendant of Mateo Carino, the former owner of what we know today as Baguio City, Afable innately has the love for the City of Pines. Thus, she became one of the advocates of environment protection especially during the maintenance of the Busol watershed and other forested areas in Baguio City.

Virginia De Guia

Virginia De Guia was awarded as one of the Outstanding Centennial Women Leaders of the city especially in the field of public service. She was also once an actress under the screen name Lydia Leynes. One of the highlights of her career was becoming the first acting Lady Mayor of the City of Pines. Truly, De Guia was an epitome of empowered women, a model for environmental advocates, and overall an inspiration to the people of Baguio.


The Sculpture of the Three Witches of Baguio if found at the Baguio Museum

These women are an inspiration for everyone to take care and preserve the beauty of Baguio City. Their genuine love for Baguio City and their courage is an inspiration to all. 

The “three witches” of Baguio showed their genuine love for the City of Pines. How about you? How do you show your love for Baguio City? Share your them via the comment section below. 

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