Baguio City: Tam-awan Village

Tam-awan Village has already been in my radar for years now. i saw it on the boob tube many times over and in publications a couple more. It has always tickled my curiousity bones and so i wouldn't pass up this chance of visiting this artist haven in Baguio.

Not many people know that Baguio is an artist's haven. The more popular ones who called Baguio home are of course BenCab and Kidlat Tahimik. Another artist, with performance as medium, was Rolando Villanueva or more popularly known as the Showman Shaman. I remember watching him over Living Asia Channel performing some weird dance that my mind can't really grasp but i also remember tuning in till the program finished. maybe that's what made him an artist, even when one can't grasp on his performance he still got your attention.

Anyway, the village is referred to as the Garden in the Sky and for good reason. the entire vicinity of the village is surrounded by lots of greeneries. To describe it really is it's more like a mini-jungle out there.

There's an entrance fee to the village. Adults P50 and children around half of that. Upon entering get ready to climb a flight of stairs of around 30 steps. it kinda get the blood pumping for a leisurely tour.

the village has a hanging bridge of some sort which was really hard to navigate. it is narrow enough to allow only a single direction traffic. i thought the bridge isn't stable enough for a big group as i noticed it to be leaning a little forward. the bridge might just give in should a group of people decide to have their photos taken from below. scary thought.

the village features several ifugao huts for rent. during our visit i believe some of which were occupied so we weren't able to get a peek inside.

i thought of staying overnight here coz the rates were really cheap. but i decided against it in the end for fear of the bugs bugging us in the middle of the night.

you don't believe how artistic these guys are? here's their office written or formed by what appears to be scrap or junk metals from who knows where it comes from. only artists can think of that, right? i have the same junk and more at home, but i can't even spell CAT or DOG with it.

this painting was inked by coffee. i'm just not sure if it was the decaffeinated ones.

i was looking for the works of the artist who used his magnifying lens as his pen. didn't we experiment from our elementary days to expose the magnifying lens under the sun and place a piece of paper underneath it then the paper will burn. well, they have such an artist here. i'm imagining is artwork is really painstaking, it must take him several days to finish one. and for his patience, maybe that makes him an ARTIST.

we tried out their cordillera coffee. with a couple teaspoon of muscovado, i'm enjoying the coffee the locals enjoy. it tastes very basic, very raw not your average 3-in-1 instant which i describe as very commercial in taste.

this is what they call a Dreamcatcher. i think this originated from the native american indians. those people from the movie Dances With Wolves, those indians. Was there such a movie? yes there was, ask your kuya or ate or mom or dad. I think i might just have hinted on my age.

of course, leave it to the artists to think of a unique or artistic way to present their menu.

imagine me and jaden. then imagine all my cousins with us having this photo op. then imagine the bridge giving in. scary thought? well good thing below this is a pond where the wishing well is located. haha at least we'd be falling on water ... on a 2-foot deep water.

i think the highlight of our trip here in Tam-awan Village is the portrait sketching done on my wife Marie. It cost Php100 per head and Php 300 per couple.

here's the maestro of all the artists there being the most senior. he's El Kapitan. El Supremo. from the way he's holding his pencil and paper i'm sure it's going to be a masterpiece.

good thing we arrived early. the advantage of which was, all the other artists who didn't have models tried sketching Marie too. was it the beauty perhaps? naks.

of course El Maestro's headpiece was also done and tied in an artistic way. :)

the sketch slowsly taking shape and form, of course artistically.

another artist's rendition of my wife.
El Supremo finishing up. her clothes on the sketch looks more expensive than the actual.

below are the finished sketches. El Kapitan's sketch is the upper left one, which i think was the best one of course.

Ultimately, Tam-awan Village is a unique place to visit. If you're artistically inclined then it really is a must. if you want your sketch done, come early. It may be a little far from the city proper but it's worth the trip. The roadside going there is scenic, you could even see the South China Sea La Union part.

Tam-awan Village is located at 366-C Pinsao Proper, Baguio City with telephone numbers (074) 4462949 or (074) 4425551.

The village is by Baguio's standards moderately far. But living in Manila for majority of my life, it was pretty manageable. I'd rather travel moderately far here in Baguio than waste away my never-cheap fuel in traffic along Edsa in the metro. Never-cheap i say because even if the Big Three cartel drop the fuel prices to Php10 to a liter, for us it will always be expensive. Coz even at that price, the fair price based on international prices would have been Php5 by then. You know what i'm getting at here, they will always steal us blind these damn three.

Ooops sorry got carried away there. i just happened to receive my credit card statement from Citibank, majority of which were spent on these damn fuel. i wonder what's taking those scientists too long in producing hydrofuel, maybe they're in Baguio vacationing.


the donG said...

masaya nga dyan. pumunta kami dyan last year.

bing said...

this can be on our list when we decided one day to go to Baguio.

nice shots.c

jan celiz-magtoto said...

i have lost count of the many times we went to baguio. but we haven't been to tam-awan, ever. i hope to be there next time! :)