The Lion’s Head in Baguio City gave us a warm welcome after a chilling ride in the steep and dizzying zigzag road of the Kennon Road. This lion’s head was carved out of a large rock by the Ifugao artist Reynaldo Lopez Nanyac who was commissioned by the Lion’s Club of Baguio City in 1968. The finished work which was unveiled in 1972 has become an iconic structure since then. I’ve seen several photos of it used to represent Baguio City.
Visiting The Lion’s Head
Everyone was very happy to see this lion because its presence means the fun tour has just begun. This lion is so loved, that several tourists are taking turns to have a picture taken with it. It took a few minutes for the other tourists to clear out before we got our chance to have a picture taken with it. This is one of those odd cases where the people are the ones chasing the lion instead of the opposite.
The statue looks very neat and freshly painted as its vivid colors were very noticeable. I’m sure that maintaining and cleaning it won’t be easy. Considering the head’s size they somehow managed to do a great job in doing so. When a devastating earthquake hit Baguio City on July 16, 1990, this statue incurred heavy damage. Thanks to the members of Lion’s Club, it was immediately restored in its glorious form after the disaster.
Lion’s Club International
Just to give you a background about the group behind this, Lion’s Club is an international organization which was founded on June 7, 1917, by Melvin Jones which aims to encourage people to serve communities without personal financial gain and to promote high ethical standards. Their main areas of service are restoring sight, providing disaster relief, supporting youth and addressing other human needs such as health and disability.
Lion statues have been used as guardians in Chinese buildings. This one clearly plays the same role in Baguio City as the group behind it is always on guard about the needs of its community. More than a statue, this gigantic lion’s head is a reminder about a great leadership trait. This king of the jungle proactively takes care of its pack without expecting anything in return.