Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BenCab Museum

A sack of rice, boxes of groceries, and baskets of farm produce queued along the jeepney aisle. Passengers reshaped shifted every time a new one squeezed in, like tetrominoes in a Tetris game. My legs were devoid of sensation and my arms tried to position themselves comfortably but to no avail. I was, after all, holding our then four-month old Luna who was about to throw a tantrum.

BenCab Museum's facade.

At ten in the morning, it took more than half an hour to fill up that jeepney. Enough time to agitate an infant with a one-minute attention span. I heaved a sigh of relief when we finally drove out of Baguio's city center. Luna calmed down. Vehicular motion hushed her to a shuteye.

"BenCab's 32 Variations On Sabel", glaze on mariwasa tiles.

Our ride rolled toward the winding Asin Road in Barangay Tadiangan of Tuba, Benguet. Though we descended to roughly 1,200 meters above sea level (from 1,500), the nippy climate showed no variance for dark clouds hovered above this side of the mountainous Cordillera region. My husband, daughter and I alighted after about a twenty-minute drive.

Gallery Indigo. Showcases different artworks every month.

The destination for that day, National Artist BenCab's (Benedicto Reyes Cabrera) museum. This museum housed in a modern structure is a sight to behold. Perched atop a cliff just off the road, the facade's black and gray hues pop out of the nature-toned background.

A plentitude of rice granary gods, locally called bulul/bulol, seemingly suspended in air.

We passed through its huge doors, and stepped into deafening silence. The guard called out to the receptionist who was missing from her desk. His voice reverberated across the hall. We paid P100 each for admission and didn't ask for a guide. After which I browsed the merchandise at the museum shop near the entrance, and left soon after realizing I won't be able to buy anything with my measly budget.

Cordillera Gallery.

The various galleries are segmented by floors, rooms and halls. Collections of artworks made not only by BenCab, but also by other Filipino artists using different media are showcased. Among my faves are: BenCab Gallery, Cordillera Gallery and the provocative Erotica Gallery.

BenCab's "Woman with Fan". For my friend and fellow travel blogger Christine, who totally looks like her.

An hour, give or take, I reckon is enough to peruse everything. If you come by on a weekday, there's a high probability that you'll have the entire museum to yourself. Spare another hour to drink a pot of tea at Cafe Sabel and stroll around the adjacent farm which the artist and other locals tend. Well, that's what we did.

Cafe Sabel. So who is Sabel? That's for you guys to find out.

And we would have stayed longer had it not started drizzling. Though the museum could easily be the perfect refuge from an impending storm, we were not thrilled with the possibility of being stranded because Luna was with us. We drearily left as soon as the drizzle turned faint.

Gazebo, sitting in the middle of the duck pond.

After waiting for fifteen minutes in front of the museum for a jeep, we agreed to start walking toward the city center. We already expected that we'd have a difficult time going home for jeeps here are deficient. Heck, we were even mentally (not so much physically) prepared to trek walk six kilometers. But lo and behold, a jeepney emerged out of a side street, just as we passed the Wood Carver's Village and picked us up.

The mountain gods have been kind to us.

Trip's Nitty Gritty

1. How to get there: Jeeps to Kilometer 6 are stationed along Kayang Street near Baguio City's public market. Fare is P10.

To get there via car/private transport, read the directions here.

2. Museum hours 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Cameras are allowed, no flash however.

For more info, visit their website.


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Batang Lakwatsero said...
August 25, 2011 at 1:04 AM

napakagandang puntahan.. sana pwede mag-take out ng art work..

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 25, 2011 at 1:08 AM

Yeah! If it is allowed, I will take Leonard Aguinaldo's artworks home. And LOTS of 'bulols'.

RM Bulseco said...
August 25, 2011 at 1:57 AM

Wow ganda ng museum, and buti pwedeng kumuha ng litrato. ;)

lakwatsera de primera said...
August 25, 2011 at 6:17 AM

It has been a productive blonking :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 25, 2011 at 8:59 AM

RM, yes! Some museums are too uptight :( BenCab's rocks!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 25, 2011 at 9:03 AM

Claire, I should do it more often. See you tomorrow!

The Nomadic Pinoy said...
August 25, 2011 at 9:33 AM

While I may not be able to afford a BenCab masterpiece, visiting this on a side trip to Baguio would suffice for me - I love art and museums (there's plenty of them in NYC!!!)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 25, 2011 at 9:48 AM

I would love to visit the concrete jungle that is NYC one day. Will definitely check out as much museums as I can.

Ed said...
August 25, 2011 at 12:37 PM

wow - serious look sa 2nd photo! ganda ng museo. dapat makadaan ako dito pagbalik ko ng Baguio!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 25, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I think I realized that time na nakalimutan ko jacket ko. Malamig pa rin pala! Haha!

Markyramone said...
August 25, 2011 at 5:30 PM

blonking with a cause. I regret missing this during our trip there last Feb. di ka kasi sumama hehe

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 25, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Marky, was that when we met up? You guys got your own IT set up eh ;p

Anonymous said...
August 25, 2011 at 6:56 PM

nice. first to read about that place here. =)

Micamyx|Senyorita said...
August 25, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Love the second photo. Miss na kita and i wanna take emo shots with you, teh! :D

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 25, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Thanks Mica! Hope we could travel together someday, then we could take heaps of 'em shots :)

killrfillr said...
August 26, 2011 at 4:25 PM

thanks for the tip, we'll be going to Baguio this September. It's been 19 years!:p

crazy sexy fun traveler said...
August 26, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Looks really nice, especially the duck pond :D

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 27, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Killrfillr, 19 years?! Whoa! Enjoy your upcoming trip then :)

dong ho said...
August 27, 2011 at 10:21 AM

ive been longing to see this. wordl class nga talaga.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 27, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Schedule it on your next Baguio trip, Dong :)

rdsean said...
August 27, 2011 at 1:25 PM

ganda ng place.. panalo.. gusto ko rin tong puntahan... nice post ;)

Tripper10 said...
September 13, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Gandang Museum..:)
Mapuntahan nga...hehehe...

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