Back to Baguio

I recently went up to Baguio City with my sister. We took a Victory Liner bus at 7 in the morning and travelled 7 hours to Baguio City. It has been close to a decade since I last went up to the City of Pines. The SM Mall hadn’t been built yet and I suppose there were fewer taxis than there are now.

We arrived at around 3pm and walked along the congested lanes of Session Road, the city’s main thoroughfare. I happened to snap a little fender bender along the way.

After a late lunch, I decided to go to the University of the Philippines Baguio and visit my friend Jhoan Medrano. Jhoan teaches at the college’s fine arts program and is also part of the artist group weewilldoodle.

up baguio fine arts

Here’s Jhoan. Lifted from her FB page. 😛

The following day, we dropped by the boarding house she shares with other artist/teachers. The house sits just beside Camp John Hay. 

Terra cotta sculptures from artist Roberto Acosta

After spaghetti and wonderful mug of steaming tsokolate de batirol, we headed for the Bencab Museum.

The museum is the brainchild of National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, more commonly known as Bencab. It houses a substantial amount of art from the highland region of northern Philippines (known as the Cordilleras), specifically the bulol or rice granary gods that are venerated through rituals ensuring abundant harvests and protection against natural calamities.

Aside from Cordillera art, the museum also houses various artworks from Philippine contemporary artists. A lot of the artists are some of my favorites, so the trip was a treat.

The rear of the museum opens to a view of the mountains. By the time we left at 5pm, the fog had started to roll in.

For art lovers passing by Baguio City, the Bencab Museum is a must-see. With so very few adequate museums in Metro Manila (or even the entire Philippines), it’s great to find a lovely place that pays tribute to indigenous Philippine art.


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