There are a number of attractions located outside the city of Baguio. One of which is BenCab museum in Tuba, Benguet which houses contemporary Filipino arts and cultural heritage of the Cordilleras.
Many travelers love to visit Baguio City not just because of its cold and comforting climate but also its accessibility to a number of tourist destinations. The city is surrounded with other municipalities of Benguet and going beyond the highly-urbanized city will let you explore and discover new attractions that are once unknown to the masses. We took a jeep from Baguio City and bolted our way to Asin Road in Tuba, Benguet wherein we visited a museum positioned on a promontory of forests and mountains.
Asin road is a continuous descending street tracing the mountain edges of Benguet. While riding the jeep, I was amazed on the beautiful landscape and scenery with houses scattered along these boondocks and it felt like I was in a heavenly place because of the clouds shrouding the high altitude municipality. Alighting from the stop, we walked a few meters going to the museum. It was really cold amid past noon and the wind kept on drying our skin and misting our breath.
The House of Modern Contemporary Arts
This is BenCab museum. One of its main founder is Mr. Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, declared as one of the national artist in the Philippines. He is known as a master of Filipino contemporary arts and has been in the industry for four decades. This museum houses modern contemporary art with the will to preserve the environment and the cultural heritage of the Cordilleras.
Upon entering the main hall of the museum, we were greeted with a group portrait depicting random faces of the people in Cordillera. It simply reflects their way of life presented in their sun-kissed skin and strength in their facial expression. The people of Cordillera were known warriors during the time of Spanish colonialism.
Here we paid for the entrance ticket and it will not cost you that much. It is also beneficial because the proceeds of the tickets will be donated to their own foundation. After paying for the ticket, we sauntered towards the heart of the museum.
The whole museum is undoubtedly clean, white and pristine. Since the place is located on a high-altitude municipality, it only needs natural ventilation. The interior design is modern in structure and most doorways, walls and windows are made up of glass.
Exploring the Galleries
The museum is divided to a number of galleries with a specific theme. Most artworks in this museum are created by BenCab himself with some art pieces made by other artists in the Philippines.
An example of the galleries we visited is the Cordillera Gallery which highlights native items and tools indigenous to the people of Cordilleras. It also represents their culture and heritage. There were also a number of paintings displayed on the other sections of the museum.
We explored the museum easily because of its organized interior design and the arrangements of each art pieces are well planned. It is also relaxing due to the cool mountain winds circulating the whole place. We also discovered a lot about the culture and heritage of the Cordilleras and I was able to learn more about their history as well.
The Heavens and the Mountains
I found this museum somehow similar to Pinto Art in Antipolo City. Likewise, Pinto Art museum is also located on a mountaintop and its structures and buildings are starkingly comparable. On the other hand, BenCab museum is quite different because of its location highlighting the forest and mountains. The museum is around three-storeys in height and each floors has a balcony which enabled us in appreciating the wonders of nature.
The clouds were touching us when we visited BenCab museum. It is transformational. It’s like nature’s way of covering the mountains and forests into something heavenly. The beautiful artworks and the breathtaking view are memorable which makes BenCab museum unique among the other museums in the country.
The museum also has a cafe located at the ground floor and it has a garden in it. This will be featured on a separate post. For now, I highly recommend visiting this museum. Appreciate and support Filipino arts and learn more about the culture and heritage of the Cordilleras.
Address: Km 6 , Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet, Philippines.