I have this love affair with art spaces. My recent favorite is the very relaxed Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo. I just can’t get over the slacken vibe in here. Moving on, my very recent trip to Baguio City gave me the chance to visit the famed museum of no less than BenCab (Benedicto Reyes Cabrera), National Artist of the Philippines for Visual Arts (Painting, 2006). I’ve attended some of his symposia before but never got the chance to know him better through his art pieces.
The BenCab Museum is located along Asin Road in Tuba, Benguet. Me and my buddy went to the Baguio public market from Baguio Holiday Villas and searched for the jeepney that will be heading that way. An 11-peso ride away and then we were at the doors of the museum. It was my first time there (and my buddy’s fourth). This comprehensive Baguio travel guide is a great help for Baguio slackers like me.
I must admit that writing about art spaces stresses me a lot. I just couldn’t put everything I experienced into words. It’s like asking me to list down my top 10 beaches in the country, I just couldn’t do it.
Apparently, it was in 1986 when BenCab settled in this part of the country and built his studio which then became a huge art space. The museum houses every art piece you could think of by BenCab; drawings, studies, paintings, sculptures, installations, assemblages and all other art pieces not included in those categories - all of which are committed to culture preservation and promotion of arts. There are nine galleries and one function room for workshops, seminars and other art-related endeavours. And then they also have a café and garden at the bottom part of the structure.
We shelled out 100 pesos (80 pesos for me – student's fee) for the entrance fee and then we’re on our own, you can ask for a museum guide though.
The first thing I noticed was the structure’s modern design of glass and steel that contradicts with the natural beauty of the place. It pretty much worked for me. It’s clean and nice, perfect for the art pieces installed inside with a great view of nature outside.
And then I got lost inside it. Numerous bul-uls and carved articles greeted me. And as I scanned through all of the artworks, I noticed that some galleries are dedicated to emerging and renowned artists of the country. Ang Kiukok, Abdulmari Imao, Ramon Orlina, Jun Yee, Arturo Luz and many others; my eyes and heart feasted on their artworks.
I love the simplicity of the art spaces, I just wished there’s lounging area on each space so viewers could spend much time inside one.
Reaching the bottom part of the structure, we found ourselves lounging on one of the stools in Café Sabel, the museum’s café. I wanted to try some coffee but traveling on a very tight budget prevented me to do so. Sayang. Sipping some homegrown coffee from their organic farm overlooking the nice view outside would’ve completed my BenCab Museum experience. Next time I will.
We then went to this gazebo in the middle of a man-made pond with ducks smoothly paddling around. With a lovely garden and landscape on sight, we took a few minutes and chilled on the gazebo. And that was my favorite part, the lounging part. That moment when the mist and the haze enveloped the whole scenery; some pleasant background music would’ve been perfect for that scene. I forgot the chills and was just in awe with this wonder. And I’m so going back just for this view, and the coffee from the café. For sure.
Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet
Emai Addressl: email@example.com
Contact Number: (+63) 74.442.7165
Tuesdays - Sundays (except Christmas Day and New Year's Day)
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
General - 100 pesos
Students and Senior Citizens - 80 pesos
Check Baguio accommodations here
Check Baguio accommodations here