Baguio City doesn’t just offer its visitors cool weather, beautiful scenery, and plenty of restaurants. If you’re looking for a more culturally enriching experience or maybe just to see something different, you’re in luck!
Just 6 kilometers away from the city, in the municipality of Tuba, lies a serene place that tastefully combines art, nature, and even food in just one spot.
Definitely one of Baguio City’s most interesting tourist attractions, here are 5 reasons why the BenCab Museum should be on your list of places to visit in Baguio.
1. It houses the works of a master of contemporary Philippine art.
BenCab stands for Benedicto Cabrera. Hailed as a master of contemporary Philippine art, BenCab, now 72 years old, has been painting for almost 50 years. In 2006, he was conferred the Order of National Artist for Visual Arts in Malacañang Palace by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He’s also said to be the best-selling painter of his generation of Filipino artists.
Here’s a fun fact: Even Paul McCartney owns a BenCab painting!
But more than his awards and exhibitions all over the world, what’s truly fascinating about BenCab is how he’s made contemporary art accessible to more Filipinos and foreign visitors by building this private museum.
2. It’s a beautiful museum.
The BenCab Museum’s structure alone is a fine work of art. It’s a four-level museum that features modern architecture with high ceiling, glass walls, and windows that allow natural light to come in. The street level is where the entrance to the museum is. The 2nd and 3rd levels are where the galleries and other art installations can be found while the 4th level is where the cafe is located.
There’s a man-made duck pond connected by a wooden bridge to a gazebo where you could rest and savor the fresh air and cool Baguio weather.
Daydreamers and photographers will be happy to find that every level has its own balcony where you could appreciate the gorgeous landscape and the beauty of nature outside.
3.It features tribal Cordilleran art.
BenCab Museum showcases the Cordillera region with many carvings and artifacts related to the rich Cordillera culture, traditions, and practices. One of the highlights of the museum is the bul’ul (rice gods) installation against one big white wall.
Bul’uls are believed to be powerful guardians of the crops responsible for a plentiful harvest. They are treated with respect and praise both because it is said that dead ancestors reside in it and that if not properly cared for, can bring pestilence and even sickness.
Other examples of indigenous arts and crafts of the northern Philippine highlands such as tabayag (lime containers), hagabi (wooden bench), tribal weapons and native pieces of equipment.
4. Its café serves good food.
End your tour by sipping on some homegrown coffee and delectable food from Café Sabel located at the museum’s lowest level. The restaurant offers a homey ambiance with its colorful, lovely interiors and a stunning view of the garden with seemingly never-ending array of trees and plants.
They offer a variety of dishes from breakfast meals, pasta, and salads that use fresh ingredients from their farm. These dishes can be perfectly partnered with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea, perfect for the cool Baguio weather.
5. It’s near Baguio City.
Bencab Museum is a good place to experience art and culture. Located along Asin Road in Tuba, Benguet, it is a short 20-minute drive from the heart of Baguio City. BenCab Museum is every “art junkies’ haven.”
It houses an exquisite collection of art pieces – from drawings to sketches, paintings, sculptures, art installations and artifacts, among many others. Aside from BenCab’s works, they also regularly showcase exhibits of different artists.
Some Tips And Reminders
- The museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Last entry is at 5:30 PM. It is closed on Mondays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
- Guided tours of the museum and gardens can be arranged at the reception. It is recommended that you have a guide with you so he/she can explain the art pieces as you go along with the tour.
- Food and drinks are not permitted in the museum’s galleries. If you get hungry after the tour, you can visit Café Sabel which serves good food and coffee at the 4th level of the museum.
- Photography is permitted for personal use only. Flash photography and tripods are not allowed. Video recording is permitted only in the lobby area. No photographs or videos may be reproduced, distributed, or sold without permission from the museum.
- Souvenir items, books, paper products, wood carvings, and textiles are for sale at the Museum Shop located at the 1st level.
- General admission fee is ₱100. Students and senior citizens with valid ID is at ₱80. Special rates for student groups can also be arranged.
How To Get There
Bencab Museum is located six kilometers away from the center of Baguio City. From Baguio City, just take a jeepney bound for Asin road. The museum is located at KM 6 and the jeepney will stop right in front of the museum. Fare is about ₱12 and travel time is around 30 minutes by public jeepney. You may also take a taxi for less than ₱100 from Baguio City. Travel time is about 15-20 minutes.
Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet, Philippines
Open daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily (except Mondays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)
+63 74 442-7165 | +63 920 530-1954