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Beautiful Spots in Baguio City That Celebrate Arts and Culture

Make the scene in this creative city’s art spots!

By: Liezl Formilleza-Dunuan | July 07, 2020

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contemporary art in Baguio
Image: Liezl Magnaye

In November 2017, Baguio City was finally recognized as a center for local arts and crafts when it was named one of 66 Creative Cities designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Baguio City is the first city in the country to join the international Creative Cities Network, and rightly so.

The Summer Capital’s local arts and crafts scene is a manifestation of the rich culture of the Cordilleras, from its hand-woven fabrics to its silver craft and wood sculptures. The city is also home to an eclectic group of visual artists who mesh together traditional and contemporary styles. For a better appreciation of Baguio as a creative city, here is a guide to essential art spots you can visit.


1. BenCab Museum



contemporary art in Baguio

Collection of rice granary gods (bulul) of the Ifugao

Image from Writer

Whether you are an art aficionado or one who casually appreciates works of art, a visit to Baguio won’t be complete without including BenCab Museum in your itinerary. The museum houses the permanent collection of National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries and exhibit areas. Art shows and exhibits of up and coming artists are also held here.




contemporary art in Baguio

The museum also has a farm and gardens.

Image: BenCab Museum’s Facebook Page

Aside from contemporary art, BenCab also has an extensive collection of indigenous artifacts and crafts such as rice granary gods (bulul), carved objects, furniture, and weapons used by Cordillera’s headhunting tribes which can be found in the Cordillera Gallery. The museum also has an outdoor collection of native houses surrounded by a small organic farm.

July 2020 Update: BenCab Museum is temporarily closed.


2. Ililikha Artist Village

Address: Assumption Road, Central Business District


contemporary art in Baguio

Ililikha’s interiors are a sight to behold and are Instagram-worthy.

Image: Kathrina Ferrer

The brainchild of renowned independent filmmaker and Baguio resident Kidlat Tahimik, Ililikha Artist Village is a literally a hodgepodge of different artistic styles. Built like a treehouse, it houses several small food establishments which serve healthy and affordable snacks and meals. The artistry can be seen all around, from the one-of-a-kind décor of mosaic tiles on the stairs and broken bottles on the walls, to the display of local artworks, and even the food.


contemporary art in Baguio

A one-of-a-kind movie house at Ililikha Artist Village.

Image: Ray Jordan Bastian Montes

Indie films have also found a new haven in Ililikha with the new cinematheque called Balanghai ni Ikeng. The new movie house follows the same design philosophy of the artist village.



3. Tam-Awan Village

Address: Long Long Benguet Road, Pinsao Proper


contemporary art in Baguio

Works of art by Jordan Mang-osan, who is famous for his pyrography which makes use of the sun’s rays to etch onto bamboo.

Image: Tam-Awan Village Website

Even before BenCab Museum was established, Tam-Awan Village has already become some sort of a center for the arts and local artists; thus it is also called an artists’ village. Authentic Ifugao huts were relocated here to recreate the atmosphere of a small village. There is an art gallery and a coffee shop inside the premises, and visitors can also stay in one of the huts for that village experience.


4. Pasa-Kalye Artists: Street Art at Its Best

Where: Bookends Bookshop along Tomas Claudio Street


contemporary art in Baguio

Pasa-Kalye artists can do on-the-spot pencil sketches for you.

Image from Writer

For a closer encounter with Baguio artists, head to Bookends Bookshop where Pasa-Kalye artists hold fort. You can have your portrait drawn for a minimal fee or buy a one-of-a-kind painting or other works of art. Most of the time, their sketching sessions are dedicated to raise funds for beneficiaries and communities, so you get to help out as well.


5. Easter Weaving Room

Where: 2 Easter Road, Guisad


contemporary art in Baguio

Expert women weavers at work at the Easter Weaving Room.

Image: Easter Weaving Room, Inc. Facebook Page

Easter Weaving Room is a century-old institution established by Episcopal missionaries. Initially established as a school where young Igorot girls received education, it also taught the traditional art of loom weaving among the girls. To this day, loom weaving is kept alive by the Easter Weaving Room. Visitors can see how women who have become experts in the art weave the colorful clothes that reflect Cordilleran culture. If you want to bring home some of the weaves, there is also an extensive store with different kinds of products made of handwoven cloth.



6. PILAK Silvercraft and Gift Shoppe

Where: 37 Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City (across Botanical Garden)


contemporary art in Baguio

Different kinds of silver craft on display and for sale

Image: Seer Gee

Silver craft became a thriving business in Baguio right after the boom of mining in nearby Benguet province. PILAK is one of the first stores established in Baguio in 1977. Even during its early days, silver craft was already in demand in the international market. Throughout the years, PILAK has retained its classic designs but has introduced new designs as well in line with current fashion trends.


With a culture steeped in history and the arts, it’s not surprising that Baguio reflects the creativity of its residents and their love for their traditions. When you visit, carve out time from your itinerary to learn about the city’s culture and arts!


Discover more art spots in Baguio by visiting Yoorekka!


This article was originally published in Yoorekka on February 23, 2018.

contemporary art in Baguio
Image: Liezl Magnaye

In November 2017, Baguio City was finally recognized as a center for local arts and crafts when it was named one of 66 Creative Cities designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Baguio City is the first city in the country to join the international Creative Cities Network, and rightly so.

The Summer Capital’s local arts and crafts scene is a manifestation of the rich culture of the Cordilleras, from its hand-woven fabrics to its silver craft and wood sculptures. The city is also home to an eclectic group of visual artists who mesh together traditional and contemporary styles. For a better appreciation of Baguio as a creative city, here is a guide to essential art spots you can visit.


1. BenCab Museum



contemporary art in Baguio

Collection of rice granary gods (bulul) of the Ifugao

Image from Writer

Whether you are an art aficionado or one who casually appreciates works of art, a visit to Baguio won’t be complete without including BenCab Museum in your itinerary. The museum houses the permanent collection of National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries and exhibit areas. Art shows and exhibits of up and coming artists are also held here.




contemporary art in Baguio

The museum also has a farm and gardens.

Image: BenCab Museum’s Facebook Page

Aside from contemporary art, BenCab also has an extensive collection of indigenous artifacts and crafts such as rice granary gods (bulul), carved objects, furniture, and weapons used by Cordillera’s headhunting tribes which can be found in the Cordillera Gallery. The museum also has an outdoor collection of native houses surrounded by a small organic farm.

July 2020 Update: BenCab Museum is temporarily closed.


2. Ililikha Artist Village

Address: Assumption Road, Central Business District


contemporary art in Baguio

Ililikha’s interiors are a sight to behold and are Instagram-worthy.

Image: Kathrina Ferrer

The brainchild of renowned independent filmmaker and Baguio resident Kidlat Tahimik, Ililikha Artist Village is a literally a hodgepodge of different artistic styles. Built like a treehouse, it houses several small food establishments which serve healthy and affordable snacks and meals. The artistry can be seen all around, from the one-of-a-kind décor of mosaic tiles on the stairs and broken bottles on the walls, to the display of local artworks, and even the food.


contemporary art in Baguio

A one-of-a-kind movie house at Ililikha Artist Village.

Image: Ray Jordan Bastian Montes

Indie films have also found a new haven in Ililikha with the new cinematheque called Balanghai ni Ikeng. The new movie house follows the same design philosophy of the artist village.



3. Tam-Awan Village

Address: Long Long Benguet Road, Pinsao Proper


contemporary art in Baguio

Works of art by Jordan Mang-osan, who is famous for his pyrography which makes use of the sun’s rays to etch onto bamboo.

Image: Tam-Awan Village Website

Even before BenCab Museum was established, Tam-Awan Village has already become some sort of a center for the arts and local artists; thus it is also called an artists’ village. Authentic Ifugao huts were relocated here to recreate the atmosphere of a small village. There is an art gallery and a coffee shop inside the premises, and visitors can also stay in one of the huts for that village experience.


4. Pasa-Kalye Artists: Street Art at Its Best

Where: Bookends Bookshop along Tomas Claudio Street


contemporary art in Baguio

Pasa-Kalye artists can do on-the-spot pencil sketches for you.

Image from Writer

For a closer encounter with Baguio artists, head to Bookends Bookshop where Pasa-Kalye artists hold fort. You can have your portrait drawn for a minimal fee or buy a one-of-a-kind painting or other works of art. Most of the time, their sketching sessions are dedicated to raise funds for beneficiaries and communities, so you get to help out as well.


5. Easter Weaving Room

Where: 2 Easter Road, Guisad


contemporary art in Baguio

Expert women weavers at work at the Easter Weaving Room.

Image: Easter Weaving Room, Inc. Facebook Page

Easter Weaving Room is a century-old institution established by Episcopal missionaries. Initially established as a school where young Igorot girls received education, it also taught the traditional art of loom weaving among the girls. To this day, loom weaving is kept alive by the Easter Weaving Room. Visitors can see how women who have become experts in the art weave the colorful clothes that reflect Cordilleran culture. If you want to bring home some of the weaves, there is also an extensive store with different kinds of products made of handwoven cloth.



6. PILAK Silvercraft and Gift Shoppe

Where: 37 Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City (across Botanical Garden)


contemporary art in Baguio

Different kinds of silver craft on display and for sale

Image: Seer Gee

Silver craft became a thriving business in Baguio right after the boom of mining in nearby Benguet province. PILAK is one of the first stores established in Baguio in 1977. Even during its early days, silver craft was already in demand in the international market. Throughout the years, PILAK has retained its classic designs but has introduced new designs as well in line with current fashion trends.


With a culture steeped in history and the arts, it’s not surprising that Baguio reflects the creativity of its residents and their love for their traditions. When you visit, carve out time from your itinerary to learn about the city’s culture and arts!


Discover more art spots in Baguio by visiting Yoorekka!


This article was originally published in Yoorekka on February 23, 2018.

author

Liezl is a freelance writer based in Baguio. With a background in Journalism, her love for the written word goes beyond news and feature writing, as she writes for several online lifestyle publications. Local culture, food, and travel are her favorite themes.

museums tourist spots Baguio City

Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.

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