Monday, August 17, 2015

BenCab Museum: A Harmonious Blend of Art, Nature and Culture

BenCab Museum shares a distinction with Mount Kabuyao's Sitio La Presa- both are popular tourist attractions often mistakenly thought as located in Baguio City. Due to its proximity to the City of Pines,it is usually bundled in city tours offered by agencies and taxi drivers. BenCab Museum is actually located outside Baguio City and is already part of the town of Tuba. Its specific location is at Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet.

After experiencing some scary moments in Sitio La Presa, the taxi driver we hired suggested that we would next visit BenCab Museum. I knew beforehand that the museum houses the works of National Artist Benedicto "BenCab" Cabrera, recognized as a master of Contemporary Philippine Art and conferred the Order of National Artists for Visual Arts in MalacaƱang Palace by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2006.

I admit I am not too fond of paintings so I was half-excited on what we will be seeing while on our way to the museum. But aimless wandering sometimes brings pleasant realizations and little did I know that this first-time visit to BenCab museum would yield unexpected surprises.

Taking photos inside the museum is permitted but for personal use only. Flash photography and tripods are not allowed

Bul’uls or rice gods are revered in the Cordilleras and believed to be powerful guardians of the crops for a bountiful harvest

As we were dropped off at the museum's entrance along a narrow and sloping road, I noticed that the building itself is already a beautiful work of art. The museum building is comprise of four levels and features modern architecture. Among its most noticeable features are its high ceiling and glass walls and windows which allows natural light and cool air to come in. Main entrance and souvenir shop is at street level then you have to go down to the second and third level to view the galleries. The fourth and lowest level houses Cafe' Sabel and the entrance to the farm, pond and garden.




The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. It closes every Monday, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.  Admission fee is P100.00 for the general public and P80.00 for students and senior citizens with valid ID.



After paying the entrance fee, we made a quick check of the items for sale in the souvenir shop. We then descended the stairs going to lower levels and started viewing the different work of arts. I found out that the museum is actually divided into several galleries, each one with its own distinctive theme, as well as areas for art shows and exhibitions. The second level houses the BenCab Gallery, Cordillera Gallery, Print Gallery, Bulol Installation, Gallery Hall, Patio Salvador Indigo Gallery and Erotica Gallery (with an advisory that reads: this gallery contains works with imagery that may be offensive to minors and to certain individuals). The third level has BenCab's own collection of Philippine Contemporary Art and masterpieces of the country's maestro of art. These collection are divided into  Philippine Contemporary Gallery I & II and Maestro Gallery. This level also contains another Bulol Installation and Larawan Hall which is a function room.



Both the second and third floors have viewing terraces where one can have a refreshing view of the beautiful farm, pond and garden down below as well as the neighboring lush forest. A lovely hut is built at the middle of the pond which is bordered by rice terraces-like retaining walls. A hanging bridge over a river connects the farm and garden to the mountains where a guided eco-trek can be arranged for a fee. I would definitely love to have hiked this trail but unfortunately it was raining heavily the whole time we were there.



As it was already past noon time and we haven't eaten lunch yet, we initially planned to eat at Cafe' Sabel. I have read some glowing reviews of this cafe so I got interested in trying out their food. However it was full of customers so we decided to eat our lunch somewhere else.

Visiting an art museum for the very first time made me realize a few things. I thought that I would be bored but the extensive collection of drawings, sketches, paintings, sculptures, art installations and artifacts was an eye opener to a wonderful kaleidoscope world. I admit several art pieces drew some sort of emotions from my inner self and are generally thought-provoking. I also found the exhibit a great way to gain deeper understanding and appreciation of the rich Cordillera culture. And with the nearby farm, garden, pond and forest providing a beautiful backdrop, this visit to BenCab Museum is definitely one of the highlights of our recent Baguio City trip.

How to Get There:


From Baguio City center, take a jeepney bound for Asin Road and tell the driver you are going to BenCab Museum located at KM 6. Fare is about 12 pesos. You may also take a taxi and fare should be not more than P100 pesos. Travel time is about 15-20 minutes.

BenCab Museum
Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet, Philippines
Open daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily (except Mondays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)
Contact Numbers: (074)442-7165 | 09205301954
     

3 comments :

  1. I really wanna go here! When I went to Baguio, all I did was eat and sleep! ha! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lami jud itulog didto kay tugnaw. Lami pud kaayo pagkaon sa mga restaurants. hahaha!

      Delete
  2. What a beautiful place and especially the artworks displayed. So love it! Greetings from
    obras.ph

    ReplyDelete

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