As I bid summer goodbye, I decided to visit one of the major attractions in Baguio, the BenCab museum. Benedicto Reyes Cabrera – more popularly known as BenCab, is considered as the most popular master of contemporary Philippine art. An esteemed National Artist for Visual Arts, he has won various major art awards and has exhibited in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Philippines. Baguio is his home.
The museum is easy to find. It is situated on Asin road (asin also means salt in Tagalog) and the building is made of concrete and glass amidst houses and small woodcraft stores. Inside, the lobby is spacious, clean and looks very modern. Huge art works are hanged on the wall facing the entrance as if greeting the visitors.
Inside, we were able to catch an exhibit entitled Salo-Salo (referring to a collection of various guest artists work : painting to wood carving to photographs. The word also means a feast or celebration).
Below are some of the fascinating works of art featured in the exhibition
The museum has 3 levels after the entrance floor. Level 2 features the BenCab gallery (all his works), Cordillera gallery, Print gallery and Bulol Installation. It is amazing to have both indigenous artifacts mixed with other art expressions making all the entries larger than life.
Level 3 features the Phil. Contemporary Art Gallery I & II and the Maestro Gallery.
At the Farm and Garden level, we found a charming Cafe Sabel, a pond (the white ducks made my son very happy) and small cabanas.
At the Cafe, I spied on the master himself chatting with some friends. He’s not touring! Starstruck but quick to realize a chance for a souvenir photo, I introduced myself and asked him to pose with me! A summer to remember! Thank you BenCab!
The BenCab museum is open Tuesdays-Sundays, 9am-6pm (except for major holidays). Entrance fee is P100 per person. Check out http://www.bencabmuseum.org for more details.