Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Baguio Backpackers: Ben Cab Museum

For a more relaxing activity, try visiting Ben Cab museum!

Admission to the museum
General: Php 100
Student: Php 80

How to get there? Below is the map from BenCab. If you plan to commute, hire a cab. I don't think there are a lot of taxis passing by that area without a passenger.

Tip: When you plan to hire a cab, group the places that are near each other so you can take your time and not rush.

You can also take a jeep to Asin road from the jeepney terminal near Baguio market.

There's not much to say but... visit the place! It's really interesting. If you enjoy looking at artworks and paintings, or you want some quiet time, you should check it out.

Tin seemed to have enjoyed going around the museum, playing around with the statues:

"Whistle Blower" by Orley Ypon
Oil on canvas, 24x36in

I, too, played around with the statues:

But the paintings really fascinated me:

"Back Side" by BenCab
Acrylic on canvas, 2014, 32x24in

"Chinamoy" by Cawaon Cablog

"Huwag Mo Damdamin Ang Mga Bagay Dahil Ang
Bagay Walang Damdamin" by Lynyrd Paras

Some of the other paintings I liked:

" Sleepwell" by Yao Sampana
Oil on canvas, 2014, 24x36in

"Nowhere" by Olan Ventura
Acrylic on canvas, 2014, 36x24in

"Benguet Houses" by stevesantos
Water color on paper, 2010, 55 x 76 cms

It was about lunch time when we finished going around the museum so we decided to grab a bite at Cafe Sabel.We had Chicken Pesto Panini and Hungarian Sausage Pasta.

The cafe was pretty cozy. It was quaint and colorful, with a couple of paintings on the wall.

Lemongrass Iced Tea (Php 70)
Chicken Pesto Panini (Php 100)

Honestly, I don't know much about Benedicto Cabrera (Ben Cab). There was one thing I was curious about: Who is Sabel in Ben Cab's life? There were paintings of her or were named after her, the restaurant was named Cafe Sabel, it made me wonder who she was. His wife, his first love, his only love, his inspiration... his muse? Found the answer here.
[In 1964] Observes and sketches from his window in Bambang a bag lady/madwoman/scavenger named Sabel. To him she is a symbol of dislocation, despair& isolation – the personification of human dignity threatened by circumstances. Undergoing numerous transformations over the coming years, she becomes a landmark for every stylistic painting transition.
During his first solo exhibit of oil and acrylic paintings at Indigo Gallery in Mabini in 1966, he introduced the character of Sabel.


I'm definitely going back to check out the Farm and Garden.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Baguio Backpackers: Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet

I must say, this is one of the highlights of our trip. It was actually my first time to go to the Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet. Even though most of the cab drivers we had during our trip asked if we plan to go to La Presa Farms, which is now famous because of "Forevermore" on ABS-CBN, we still chose to go pick strawberries!

Baguio Buddies: Jenny, Tin, Nini
How to get there? From Burnham Park, it takes 15-30 minutes (15 minutes per Google Maps, but then again, you will be crossing mountains).  We rented a taxi for half a day. Per hour, they charged us Php 300.

When's the best time to go? Be there as early as 8am. Since it is quite far, it's better to start your day early. It's still popular with tourists since they can pick and buy, not just fresh strawberries, but also vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, string beans.

You know you're in La Trinidad when there are trucks full of green leafy vegetables passing by.

And you know you're in the strawberry farm when there are lots of ice cream and taho vendors offering their products in strawberry flavor.

The market. There are many stalls outside the Strawberry Farm. It's actually similar to Mines View Park but with fruit and vegetable stands. You can buy pasalubong in La Trinidad as they also have delicacies such as strawberry jam, lengua, crinkles, just to name a few. Didn't check the prices anymore since I was done with pasalubong shopping.

Some items that can only be found in La Trinidad are strawberry-designed pouch (which I got 3 for Php 50) and bonnet, Ilocos blankets (which my friend bought at Php 160, I think).

The farm. Every plot has a different vegetable planted on it. We didn't know where to go but we just walked to where the people are.

To get started, just ask around if they are open for strawberry picking.  The first place we asked charged us Php 500/kilo. We went further into the field and found one that charged a little less at Php 450/kilo. The trick in picking strawberries is cutting somewhere in the middle of the stem.   Don't remove the crown as this will expose the inside of the strawberry.

Unfortunately, there was not much to pick.

Hi kuya!

Buying strawberries. There are types of strawberries to choose from: big or small, will last for 3 days or 7 days. Be careful where to buy your berries. Wag magpadala sa sales talk. Ask if YOU can choose the strawberries you wish to buy. Sellers tend to just grab and get whatever strawberry is easy to get from their pile.

We got the strawberries for Php 250/kilo.

Our trip to La Trinidad would have been sulit if we had our own car. We would have picked not only strawberries but also vegetables. We would have gone crazy shopping for souvenirs, even walis, from the surrounding market.