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BenCab Museum Tuba Benguet, Philippines- An Art Lover's Paradise
Let me share with you my experience when me and my girlfriend went to BenCab museum(pre Covid19).
BenCab museum is a famous tourist destination whenever people visit Baguio City. Benedicto Cabrera, populary known as BenCab is one of our National Artists here in the Philippines. He is known for his contemporary Philippine Art.
BenCab is actually not in Baguio City but it's in the outskirts. BenCab Museum is located at Km. 6 Asin Rd, Tuba, 2600 Benguet. You can either take a Private vehicle, Taxi or a Jeepney( Take a Jeep that goes to Asin)
As soon as we entered the museum, there's a reception area where we had to pay 150 Php per person.
Admission and Price
General admission 150 Php
Students with valid Philippine school issued 120 Php
Seniors/ PWD with valid Philippine government issued ID 100 Php
We also got this leaflet that shows a summary of the visitors guidelines of the Museum and it also shows the levels of the museum. There are 4 Levels in this museum.
Street Level- This is where the museum entrance, lobby, shop and reception area is located. There's also the Edison t. Coseteng Patio.
Level 3- Philippine contemporary art gallery 1 and 2, maestro gallery and a bulol installation
Farm and Garden level- Cafe Sabel
We went to Edison t. Coseteng Patio. And this is what we saw the 32 Variations of Sabel by BenCab(2008). According to their website "Sabel" is a major subject of BenCab’s works which is inspired by a real-life scavenger. She became his vehicle for carrying out his emotional moods.
We decided to go to the lowest level where the Farm and Garden is located because of the weather, we thought that it would rain because of the sky and the fog. Usually the fog is what draws some tourists to come to Baguio because there would be days were it would be very thick. I remember some tourists saying "Nasa Langit ako" or in English "I'm in Heaven". But what they love the most is the cold weather that we have. People just come up to Baguio to experience it, especially during the months of December- February.
If you look at the photo below, that's the whole museum showing all it's floors.
This is the Duck pond in the museum. You would see a lot of Koi Fishes. Unfortunately, we were not able to see a duck. But the design of this place was really nice. In the middle of the pond is a hut. If you want to go to that hut there's a bridge connecting that and the island. And if you around the pond, you could see some of the plants that they were propagating.
It would be nice to have a campfire here with your friends/ family listening to each others stories.
We entered the museum and we saw the Biography of Ben Cabrera and some of his accomplishments.
I wasn't able to take photos of most of the artworks here because I just wanted to enjoy the artworks and let my brain think and wonder. The sculpture below is called Gaze and it was made by BenCab last 2012. It had a Nickel finish. I don't know why but this piece sculpture reminded me of my past and the computer games that I played. They looked like some monsters that I slayed to level up. I think they did a great job placing it near the window as the fog fills up the empty spaces in its face.
This painting is called "Sabel" by BenCab(2004). It was painted on Canvas using Acrylic. It must have been so tough for that woman to live a life of scavenging thinking of what you should do in order to live.
We went to the Cordillera gallery. The photos below depicts a Bulul. A bulul is a Rice Deity. The Ifugao people usually put them in their granaries to protect and and multiply their crops. They also believe that it would bring them abundant harvest. This was carved out of Narra.
Here are some other carvings. Just look at all those ladles. The on in the middle is a Filipino Native Handmade Walis Tambo(broom).
I'm surprised that they had a lot of Bululs present and preserved in this museum.
I really found this amusing to look at. I wonder how our ancestors would think of this.
This just reminds me of our arteries in our Body. Just imagine getting this clogged could restrict the blood flow that would go to your heart and it could lead into serious complications such as aneurysm, stroke or heart attacks.
This was the view from the Viewing Terrace. The fog cleared up when we were there. You really couldn't understand the mood of the weather, it would just randomly fog up and then clear up. The pond just looked superb from on top. You could even see part of their farm. I think you could go to the huts that are seen in the picture in the right but you have to pay extra just to hike it.
The house in the right is BenCabs. If the skies were clear, they said that you could see the view of West Philippines Sea from here. It really looks like a peaceful place to stay here and just enjoy nature.
This is the Promised Land(2018) by Francis Commeyne. It just reminded me of some of the houses because of they way it's setup. He also did a great job recycling that bottle and making it into a tree.
Though I wasn't able to look for the artist of this painting. I just feel all the emotion from it, maybe it's because of the background of people living in the shanties. This must be a very traumatizing environment for a kid to live in. It made me reflect how blessed I am and that I should share my blessings to others.
This art museum has a Cafe called Cafe Sabel. It overlooks the duck pond and forest. Some of the ingredients that they use comes from their farm.These were the food that was available during our visit. They had soups, appetizers, salad, panini, rice meals, pasta, different kinds of beverages and desserts.
As we sat down while waiting for what we ordered. It started to fog up again.
Looking around was very entertaining because there were a lot of artworks. The chairs were colorful and the walls were full of publications. It just had a very relaxing vibe.
Here's my camera shy girlfriend.
We were not that hungry when we went here so she just ordered a cup of cofffe and a blueberry Cheesecake. I just loved the taste of the cheesecake.
I really recommend going to this place if you like to look at art and learn more about the Cordilleran Culture. I checked their page and here are their current operating hours.
BenCab Museum and Café Sabel:
9am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday.
Closed on Mondays.