My BenCab Museum Experience

In my recent trip to Baguio City, I didn’t have any other place in my itinerary other than BenCab Museum, which is actually located in Asin Road, approximately 15-20 minutes away from the city proper. I’ve long been wanting to visit this museum but in my previous trips to the city, it was either my companions were too bored to visit a museum or too tired to travel farther than Burnham Park and SM Baguio or the P100 entrance fee to the museum just couldn’t fit my travel budget (that’s how kuripot I could get most of the times!). And since I already have P100 saved especially for the museum trip, I was able to finally have a glimpse of paradise tucked in the hidden mountain of Baguio.

HOW TO GET THERE: 

If you’re not on the spending mode and riding a cab is really your last option, you can take a jeepney going to Kilometer 6 which is stationed at Kayang Street near Baguio City’s public market. Fare is only P10 as compared to taxi fares which could approximately cost you P100 already. It was not really a long and boring at all since the weather is very cool and you can feast your eyes on the beauty of nature along the way.

When we reached the mini market of Asin Road, the driver told me and my cousin that the museum is only less than 10 minutes walk from the market. I think if there are passengers going to the Asin Hot Springs which is few minutes away from the museum, jeepneys could really drive you there, but since it was just me and my cousin who were left in the jeep, the driver told us to just walk so he could already park and lineup his jeep for the next trip to the city proper.

THE MUSEUM EXPERIENCE

When we finally reached the entrance of the museum, I couldn’t say it’s already breath-taking as the building’s facade is just like any of the modern-ish buildings or houses in the city. It was actually like seeing a piece of Makati City atop a cliff off Asin Road.

As mentioned earlier, entrance is P100 but for students and senior citizens with valid IDs, it’s P80. Since I’m a student again, I presented my ID and got my discount☺ Now I know my UP ID is my best armor to fight poverty when traveling☺

There was an on-going art exhibit during the time of our visit but I accidentally deleted the photos from the cam while I was browsing the photos:-( It’s sad and I can’t still move on from that incident:-( Yet, I know that too much drama could kill so  better stop this☺

I remember having a photo taken beside an image in the gallery which says SALVATION IS FREE. I’m not really an art gallery-fanatic and I don’t know how to really appreciate paintings the way they should be so I’m not really good at interpreting them. I’m not sure what the artist of that image would want to convey in the way he/she presented the context of the title but the title captured me enough and I strongly believe in it so I had to have my photo taken beside that image☺

There are a total of 10 art galleries and/or halls inside BenCab Museum and most of them showed the collections of the National Artist Benedicto Cabrera. The museum also houses artworks by some Filipino artists and I was even excited to see the artwork of one of my crushes from my weirdo days–Igan D’ Bayan. While all the other galleries were very much open for public viewing for all ages, one gallery was left closed behind doors and could only be open for adults–the Erotica Gallery. The said gallery holds paintings, drawings, sculpture and other artworks made by various artists with an erotic subject or theme.

OF ENDLESS INSPIRATION AND CAFE SABEL

Located at the lower level of the museum is Cafe Sabel where you can have a sip of hot coffee or tea while having a majestic view of the museum’s mini forest, duck pond, and the mountains surrounding it. My cousin ordered Cafe Latte while I had Sabel Green Tea. The tea is good and invigorating enough with its minty and a bit of organic taste.

If only we had the luxury of time to just sit and relax there, we definitely would. With the enchanting view of the greens around you and clear glimpse of the sky above, Cafe Sabel for me is a perfect equation of relaxing+rejuvenating+cheapo experience. A good book is a must if you want a fresh from the paperback story feel of relaxation. Or if you’re a writer, make sure to bring your journal as you can’t help but be inspired of the place and I tell you, you’ll never run out of words to weave together when you’re there. Ideas and imaginations just seem to flow graciously. I’m not exaggerating. That’s just exactly what I felt when I set my foot inside Cafe Sabel.

My BenCab Museum experience was definitely something worth keeping in my memory box and looking back at during stressful times. Just the thought of the place could already simmer you down. The experience made me even more proud to be a Filipino with all the artists showcasing their talents there, and grateful for the abundance of nature that God has blessed the Philippines with☺

The museum is open daily from 9am-6pm except Mondays, Christmas Day and Yew Year’s Day. You can also check their website at http://bencabmuseum.org

Note: All the photos in this post were taken from the net but were courteously credited for by linking them back to their corresponding sites. Thank you☺

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Happy Thoughts + Happy Memories = My Consistent Favorite Destination

No matter how many times I’ve been to Baguio City, I would still feel super excited and kindled every time I schedule a visit to that lovely place. If there’s a place that’ll forever be my comfort pill, without batting an eyelash, I would say that would be the City of Pines.

Baguio brings a lot of wonderful, happy memories to me. It reminds me of that very first time I set my foot on this place, which was then a lot colder. I think I was only 5 or 6 that time. I went there with my Papa, his 4 siblings, and my two cousins. The image of the city was very vivid to me now. All I could remember was that we didn’t rent a transient house and just spent the entire time walking around the city and just sitting by the benches of the parks when our folks would feel the soreness of their feet. I believe that was a very tiring trip, but I know that it was also one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever had. From that same traveling experience I had as a child, I learned the beauty of ‘traveling on a budget’ and ‘backpacking.’ And did I say, I also learned to embrace the beauty of walking long miles because of that experience? Now, that ‘walking’ thing has become my trademark. My cousins would think twice now whenever I ask them to go with me to a certain place because they already know it involves a lot of walking.

My very first out-of-town trip with the Lopez clan also happened in Baguio. I was around 7 or 8 that time. It was a very remarkable and fun-filled vacation with my family. My Tito and his family who’s been living in the US for such a long time came to visit us and spent time with us in a house we rented in the said place. I think that was the only time that we were ever complete, ’cause the reunions after that saw us losing some of the members of the family one by one to death, including Papa. And that Baguio sojourn with the Lopez clan never happened again.

I was already in my teenage years when I once again set foot in the beautiful and chilly place of Baguio. My Tito from my Mama’s side happened to marry a local from the said city and there they built their family and home together. Since then, I saw myself visiting the City of Pines as often as I could, sometimes yearly or if I’m blessed enough, I could get to travel to Baguio twice a year.

Time and time again, no matter how many rants I’ll hear about it saying it’s no longer cold there, so populated, etc., Baguio City will always remain as my favorite destination of all–Sagada comes very close in the second place. The northern part of the Philippines really has a special spot in my heart. I could think of a number of reasons why but I’d rather save that for another post.

The city never lose its charm in my eyes. It has changed a lot since the first time I came here, especially that it was deeply ruined during the earthquake in 1990, but it still never fails to captivate me. More than the cool weather, I love that traveling to Baguio always gives me a glimpse of how God so love the Philippines to bless our country with abundance of nature. The zigzag road is scary enough but I always make sure that I’m awake when we pass through it because I want to just feast my eyes on the bellowing of God’s favor to the Philippines as shown in the fields of green surrounding us. In all honesty, I’m always teary-eyed every time I pass by that road because of so much gratefulness to the Father for letting me be born in this land which I know He holds dear in His heart–the Philippines.

Baguio City is certainly an equation of happy thoughts + remarkable memories for me☺