Friday, May 28, 2010

BenCab Museum

I've been looking forward to visiting the BenCab museum in Tuba, Benguet ever since it opened last year. Aside from National Artist Ben Cab's works, the museum also has an impressive collection of indigenous art and works from other notable Filipino artists.
It took us a while to get there since most of the cabs in Baguio had no idea where the musuem is. The website indicated that it was just a 15-minute drive from the city but I think it took us almost 30-45 minutes to get there since we kept stopping to ask for directions. Once you get to Asin road, keep your eyes peeled for the signages. They are quite small and can be easily missed when the car is going fast.
Yay! Finally here :) Entrance to the musuem is P100 for adults and P80 for students and senior citizens. The museum is open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (except Mondays)
One of the first artworks I noticed was this beautiful Ben Cab portrait in the middle painted by my fellow UP Collegian artist and friend, Winner Jumalon :) I belive this artwork was a part of the Asian International Art Exhibition in Singapore in 2006.
32 Variations of Sabel
“Sabel is a major subject that recurs through BenCab’s works through the decades, inspired by a real-life scavenger, he photographed and sketched in 1965, the Sabel image has become the artists vehicle for the transmission of intensely emotional moods. When pushed to the limits of abstraction, the Sabel image serves as a fertile ground for the investigation of shape and structure." from
Up close. This work reminded me of Sumi-e (ink and wash painting) and calligraphy combined.
The Cordillera gallery showcases the indigenous artworks from Northern Philippines. I think this is my first time to see so many variations on the Bulol (Ifugao rice god carving).
The Erotica gallery. There is an advisory posted on the door: "May contain works with imagegery which may be ffensive to minors and certain individuals"
I didn't find anything offensive here :)
Ramon Orlina's "Cordillera" glass sculrpture
More interesting works
and my favorite artwork in the musuem! A ceramic cat sculpture by Aba Dalena :)
After going through the wonderful artworks, we headed to Café Sabel downstairs. I think this is run by the same group that handles Café by the Ruins.
I ordered the Sabel Iced Tea (P100) and the White cheese quesadilla (P120). The Iced tea was great but sadly I can't say the same about the quesadilla. The whole wheat bread was so bland and it was burnt too. Next time I will try something more exiting like the Korean Squid Crepe or the Mountain Trail Tilapia Rice :)
Beautiful view of the duck pond and the forest at the back.
The museum
Organic farm and garden
We spotted Ben Cab but we were too shy to say hi... Maybe next time :)

BenCab Museum
Km. 6 Asin Road
Tuba, Benguet

map and more info can be found at their website


  1. wow...didn't know there's a BenCab museum. if i remember right, his cartoons used to be featured on the Phil. Daily Inquirer; am i right? thank you for sharing. i'll visit this next time i'll be in Baguio.

    thank you for visiting my blog. be following yours.

  2. That looks like it was a rewarding trip! Very interesting work. I had not seen Sabel's earlier, but I love it. And the erotic art - and the duck pond was a real beauty :-)

  3. That's a nice museum. I would like to go there on my next trip to Baguio.

  4. It's nice to know that they allow photography inside the museum.

    Sayang yung photo-op with Ben Cab, I'm sure he would've been happy to pose with art fans who came all the way from Manila. =)



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