Tuesday, March 3, 2015

BenCab Museum - Benguet

Coming from Baguio City and driving through Marcos Highway, I found it difficult to locate BenCab Museum; we were grateful for the strong cellular phone signal thus our Google Maps didn't fail us in searching for this place. Just to be on the safe side I put the automatic tranny of my car into low gear (D2) while traversing the steep and narrow roads causing my front brakes pads to burn; though we arrived safely I knew I committed a driving mistake. Surprisingly, upon arriving at BenCab Museum we noticed that other vehicles were reeking with smelly brakes and clutches as well. That how tricky for an unfamiliar driver to navigate Asin road going to Bencab Museum. Parking was another headache since we were asked to park along the road around 50 meters away from the place. Fortunately, there were several guys assisting the visitors.

The wife and I paid 100 pesos each while our three (student) kids were asked to shell 80 pesos each. We refused a guided tour since we wanted to explore the place in our own pace. However, I was reminded by one of their staff that I couldn't use my monopod inside.

BenCab stands for Benedicto Reyes Cabrera. He is a renowned and multi-awarded National Artist - this place houses not only his paintings but also his collections of Cordillera artworks and other produce of local masters and artists.

Upon entering you will be welcomed by different kinds of artworks mostly unique to Cordillera region hanging along walls, ceilings, standing on shelves while some looked like house furniture.

There are several galleries inside and among them my favorite is Erotica Gallery. I've never thought that sex can be made into an artwork without offending the public. Okay, let's stop the joke. I admit I am not an art fanboy. I just heard about this gallery before and I was elated to satisfy my curiosity.

At the back of the museum is a huge greenery with nipa hut at the middle of the pond and a stunning view of a nearby hill. Due to chilly weather we opted to trek a trail that crisscross the landscape while enjoying the warm glow of the sun.

a lonely hut

There is also a souvenir shop but we plan to buy souvenir items at Baguio City's public market where you can practice the art of haggling. That is one of the few "unique" arts where I have talent, LOL.

Cafe Isabel

Opposite side of Cafe Isabel

We had a light snack at Cafe Isabel before we drove back to Baguio City and this time we passed along Asin road; following the Jeepneys we reached Burnham Park in no time at all. Though returning back to the city proper was faster the roads were steeper in some areas. I remembered our car partially slid backward when I released the brake when the traffic light turned into green due to a very steep intersection. It was fortunate that there was no car behind us otherwise it could have been a costly visit for us to Bencab Museum. Furthermore, it seemed that it would be easier to visit BenCab Museum by taking public Jeepneys from Burnham Park.

The museum, as expected, was a great educational experience for the entire family since my kids have never been exposed to extensive collections of local artworks.

See: Road trip to Baguio

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