At ten in the morning, it took more than half an hour to fill up that jeepney. Enough time to agitate an infant with a one-minute attention span. I heaved a sigh of relief when we finally drove out of Baguio's city center. Luna calmed down. Vehicular motion hushed her to a shuteye.
Our ride rolled toward the winding Asin Road in Barangay Tadiangan of Tuba, Benguet. Though we descended to roughly 1,200 meters above sea level (from 1,500), the nippy climate showed no variance for dark clouds hovered above this side of the mountainous Cordillera region. My husband, daughter and I alighted after about a twenty-minute drive.
The destination for that day, National Artist BenCab's (Benedicto Reyes Cabrera) museum. This museum housed in a modern structure is a sight to behold. Perched atop a cliff just off the road, the facade's black and gray hues pop out of the nature-toned background.
We passed through its huge doors, and stepped into deafening silence. The guard called out to the receptionist who was missing from her desk. His voice reverberated across the hall. We paid P100 each for admission and didn't ask for a guide. After which I browsed the merchandise at the museum shop near the entrance, and left soon after realizing I won't be able to buy anything with my measly budget.
The various galleries are segmented by floors, rooms and halls. Collections of artworks made not only by BenCab, but also by other Filipino artists using different media are showcased. Among my faves are: BenCab Gallery, Cordillera Gallery and the provocative Erotica Gallery.
An hour, give or take, I reckon is enough to peruse everything. If you come by on a weekday, there's a high probability that you'll have the entire museum to yourself. Spare another hour to drink a pot of tea at Cafe Sabel and stroll around the adjacent farm which the artist and other locals tend. Well, that's what we did.
And we would have stayed longer had it not started drizzling. Though the museum could easily be the perfect refuge from an impending storm, we were not thrilled with the possibility of being stranded because Luna was with us. We drearily left as soon as the drizzle turned faint.
After waiting for fifteen minutes in front of the museum for a jeep, we agreed to start walking toward the city center. We already expected that we'd have a difficult time going home for jeeps here are deficient. Heck, we were even mentally (not so much physically) prepared to
The mountain gods have been kind to us.
Trip's Nitty Gritty
1. How to get there: Jeeps to Kilometer 6 are stationed along Kayang Street near Baguio City's public market. Fare is P10.
To get there via car/private transport, read the directions here.
2. Museum hours 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Cameras are allowed, no flash however.
For more info, visit their website.
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