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Nowadays, beaches are the most favorite destinations in the Philippines. Travelers rarely visit the highlands for a hiatus anymore. For whatever reason, people have somewhat lost their attraction to the mountains, choosing instead to frolic in the sea for their vacation. This is why in the summer, if you hit the beach (Boracay, Palawan, or Batangas), you should bid goodbye to the concept of personal space. Everybody is there that it’s pretty hard to move. It seems that they have forgotten that the summer capital of the country is Baguio City.

But we haven’t. How could we?

When the rest of the country is unbearably hot, it’s where we go to cool down. Of course, the usual famous spots are added perks; a trip to Baguio will not be complete without visiting the famous Burnham Park, Baguio Cathedral, Camp John Hay, The Mansion, Wright Park, Mines View Park, Botanical Garden, and the Strawberry Farm. And if you haven’t visited recently, you probably wouldn’t know that it is home to the coolest art place yet: the BenCab Museum.

Photo by Robx of
Photo by Robx of

The BenCab Museum is named after the gallery’s main artist, painter, and printmaker Benedicto Cabrera. He’s a National Artist who has shared his works in his museum so we can all marvel at them. If you’re coming from the city it’s going to take about twenty minutes to drive to Asin Road in Tuba, Benguet where the museum is located. The downside: the parking area holds very few cars, so if there’s a sudden influx of tourists it’s going to be hard to find space. This kind of problem makes us long for, where we can get the luxury of a meet & greet parking and are met by a valet chauffeur who’ll park our car for us so we need not worry. Wishful thinking, I know. But aside from the parking space, there’s nothing else to complain about.

The museum is divided into galleries: the BenCab Gallery, Maestro Gallery, Patio Salvador, Cordillera Gallery, Erotica Gallery, Larawan Hall, Philippine Contemporary Art Galleries, Print Gallery, and Sepia Gallery. There’s an amazing showcase of ancient tribal statues and figures. Some of the tribal things and weapons they used from the past are also on display. In the BenCab Gallery one will realize how great the artist is, and why he is worthy to be one of the country’s National Artists. Even Paul McCartney recognized his talent and bought one of his paintings.

You may have scratched off Baguio on your Go To list during the summer (or any other time for that matter), but with this new museum, you might want to reconsider visiting the place. After your photo-ops at the usual stops, drop by BenCab to experience the rush that comes when appreciating the finest pieces of artwork, and you’ll tell yourself that the long drive to Baguio in order to see this is worth it.

Posted: 2013 • 1 • 11

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