Arcas Art Gallery (Benguet, PH)

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. — Pablo Picasso

During my formative years, I found myself to have an inclination towards the arts. I always enjoy my art classes and would usually spend some time doing anything that requires creativity. This appreciation became more reflective to me as I grew up. Visiting art centers and museums is one thing I enjoy whenever I get to travel. I find every piece of work (whether it is a sculpture, a painting and the like) inspiring.

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My most recent visit to my favorite Baguio café, Arca’s Yard, gave me a chance to see their art gallery. It is located a few meters away from the actual café. Upon entering the gallery’s premises, I was immediately drawn into some of their creative displays. My friends and I were then greeted by the gallery’s pretty and friendly owner, Valerie, the daughter of Arcas Yard’s owner.

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After paying a very reasonable Php30 entrance fee, we were gladly ushered inside and Valerie enthusiastically shared some interesting and amazing information about the art pieces featured in their gallery, which are mostly made up of pinya (pineapple) paper.

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The gallery just opened up this December of 2015 and the owner isn’t really certain (as of yet) if they’ll fully develop the place as an established art gallery. My friends and I unanimously and encouragingly said that they should because it is very promising. She shared us essential information about Mr. Asao Shimura’s works of art which is basically pinya (pineapple) and saba (banana) paper making and the many creative outputs one can create using these materials. My friends and I also love the spectacular origami art made by Mr. Leo Natividad. 

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Every piece inside the gallery are just really amazing. I personally love the paper cranes dangling at the center of the gallery. We were even given the chance to showcase our painting skills by trying out their pinya paper and some naturally derived pigments to use. Ms. Valerie also invited us (and now, I am inviting you too my dear readers) to attend their Christmas BazArt happening on December 12 and 13. Please check the image below for details. Got the poster from http://baguiology.com/2015/12/three-kings-arcas-yard-gallery/

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I really do hope Arcas Yard management will keep this gallery for good. This would be another awesome reason to visit Baguio (even if the place is already a part of La Trinidad) over and over again! Thank you so much Valerie.

Arca’s Art Gallery is at Tiptop, Ambuklao, Bekel, La Trinidad. If you are coming from Arcas Yard Cafe, just take a few meters walk towards your right and you’ll see the gallery. 

You can also check out the blog I wrote about Arca’s Yard Cafe and its awesome menu at https://roamulofied.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/arcas-yard-baguio-city-philippines/

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’lust. Take it easy ebri’juan”…

EREHWON: An Art Center (Quezon City, PH)

As a child, I was described by my mom as someone who is artistic. I like singing, I like dancing, I like the art per se. My creative side was not only limited to doing these forms of art but is extended to my admiration for museums and the like. And I thank my mom for this “love of the arts” and for exposing me to art at a young age.

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As I grew older, I found myself being more fascinated with various forms of art. I found myself visiting more museums and art centers more often. So when an invitation to visit Quezon City’s premier spots which includes art centers, parks and business centers, I immediately signed myself up. This activity is part of the 75th Founding Anniversary of the city where bloggers are given the opportunity to get to know Quezon City attraction drawers. The bloggers who were part of this “blogventure” were grouped and assigned with various destinations.

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One of the 3 destinations our group (Van #7) visited is Erehwon, an art center. Honestly, it was my first time to hear of this art center. I know the other museums in QC but Erehwon really is foreign sounding to me. As we entered the gate of the center, we were greeted by a group of their staff together with the owner, Mr. Rafael Benitez and this awesome and humongous piece of art at their lobby. (see the photo below)

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EREHWON, as a center, is dedicated to being a living hub in the Philippines. As such, it intends to bring together the Filipino artistry and talents. The building will serve as an avenue for these artists who are keen in developing art to a higher level.

Erehwon (when read backwards, it is actually Nowhere), is a four-storey building. Looking from the outside, it seems to be simple and really discreet. But, once you step into the building, you will will be impressed as it houses an array of art galleries, painting and sculpture rooms, a simple art residency dormitory, a dance studio, a mini-orchestra room, a café, a print production area and a spacious roof deck.

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After a quick tour on all 4 floors, the owner gave us further insights about Erehwon. Sir Raffy said that the building used to be a bakery, but they had to close it down for some reasons. In 2012, they turned it into an art center. He was quick to point out that they prefer to call it as an arts center and not a commercial gallery nor a museum. The exhibits come from various artists and people are not forced to buy the artists’ work. Moreover, the center is not limited to visual art (just like most galleries and museums are).

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As we have seen during the tour, the center is the home of the Philippine Daloy Dance Company (that is why they have a dance studio). Also, the very enthusiastic owner said that there is also a room for the Metro Manila Music Orchestra. Prominent artists like David Pomeranz even used that room for his practices when he had his concert in Manila.

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They also have a café conceptualized by artist Ben Cervantez. According to Sir Raffy, the café was put up for 3 reasons: for one, it serves as an area for artists to converge, second is for them to collaborate their projects, and of course, to be a center for living art.

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We really had a great time listening to Sir Raffy’s stories. He even mentioned that plans of expanding is already on its way. They will soon develop an Erehwon Art Center in Baguio City, and hopefully 2 more centers in Davao and Cebu.

The Center and the people behind it really hopes to inspire and strengthen art-making in the country and be a helping hand to artists and other aspirants. Kudos to the entire team of Erehwon! Thank you for this very informative and moving experience.

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The very energetic and accommodating owner of Erehwon, Sir Raffy.

FYI: “Tagaligtas 44,” an acrylic on oil painting honoring the 44 elite police commandos killed in the Jan. 25 Mamasapano clash, was actually an output of the artists of the Erehwon Center for the Arts in honor of the SAF 44.

The EREHWON Center for the Arts

#1 Don Francisco Street, Villa Beatriz Subdivision, Barangay Old Balara, Quezon City

Contact Information: (+63) 927 5753 531 or (02) 218 2618; events@erehwonartworld.com.

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For your reference on how to go to Erehwon. Credits to rappler.

***My visit to Erehwon Center is one of the 3 destinations (and write-up I made) I was fortunate to visit during Quezon City’s 75th anniversary celebration.

with my fellow QCblogventurers and staff of Erehwon.
with my fellow QCblogventurers and staff of Erehwon.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust’. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Ben Cab: Cloud-Kissed Museum (Tuba, Benguet PH)

Are you in search of a culturally-inspiring experience? Or you just want to satiate the art junkie in you? Or maybe, you just want to feel at one with nature and breathe in unsullied, pine-scented air… All of these you can achieve, with a visit at the cloud-kissed Ben Cab Museum.

DSC_1227Located close to the Philippines’ summer capital and city of pines, (Baguio), in the nearby town of Tuba (Benguet), BenCab Museum shows off national artist Benedicto Cabrera’s widespread art collection.

This magnanimous art hub has been recognized by TripAdvisor as a 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awardee and it now ranks among the best art and cultural centers and is part of Asia’s top 25 museums list. (http://www.balitangtrending.com/bencab-museum-top-25-asias-best-museums/)

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The museum, just like most buildings in Baguio and nearby areas, starts at street-level then goes down. Ben Cab is a 4-level building housing Cabrera’s anthology of indigenous objects from the Cordilleras, art pieces from the maestros of Philippine art, and his personal works.

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The main features of the museum include the following:

A wide display of Ben Cab’s contemporary Philippine art pieces. Ben Cab is called as a master of contemporary Philippine art and was conferred the Order of National Artist for Visual Arts in Malacañang. Moreover, he is also regarded as the best-selling painter of his generation of Filipino artists.

DSC09349Tribal Cordilleran art. The museum also houses an extensive show of  home-made objects from the Cordilleras like his bul-ul (rice gods) installations. (Bul’uls are believed to be powerful guardians of the crops responsible for a plentiful harvest).

DSC09407There is a Maestro Gallery that serves as quarters for the works of other recognized Filipino artists like Araceli Lincaco Dans , Victorio Edades , Jose Joya, Ang Kiukok, Cesar Legaspi, Arturo Luz, and Juvenal Sanso.

PicMonkey CollageInterestingly, there is an Erotica Gallery which houses art pieces (paintings, drawings, sculptures) by BenCab and other artists that undertake the erotic subject. Make sure to keep an eye on your child.

aThere is also a Print Gallery which showcases vintage prints, photographs and postcards of the Philippines. An  Gallery Indigo and Sepia Gallery that may serves as venues for changing exhibitions.

bGoing down the museum is “Sabel,” – a café where guests can take time to dine and marvel at the garden of the museum before exploring the garden and the eco-trail. The cafe serves good and healthy food and drinks.

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My favourite part is the garden with a man-made duck pond that also features a wooden bridge connected to a gazebo where one can take pleasure in the cool weather and even be hugged by mists hovering the area.

DSC_1225Tips & 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.

General admission fee is ₱100. Students and senior citizens with valid ID is at ₱80. Special rates for student groups can also be arranged.

If it is your first time, it would be good to have a guide who can explain the art pieces as you go along with the tour.

Flash photography and tripods are not allowed. Video recording is limited only at the lobby area. No photographs or videos may be reproduced, distributed, or sold without permission from the museum.

Food and drinks are not allowed.

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Posing with some of my favorite art pieces.

How to Get There:

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This colorful wall will greet you upon arriving and say goodbye when you leave Ben Cab. This is near the entrance.

Bencab Museum is located 6 kilometers away from the center of Baguio City. From Baguio City, go to Hilltop and take a jeepney bound for Asin Road. Jeepneys will stop right in front of the museum. The 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.

Contact #: +63 74 442-7165 | +63 920 530-1954

Website: http://www.bencabmuseum.org/

Art in Island: Largest 3D Museum in Asia

Are you an art-slash-photography aficionado who likes to put into test some of your hidden theatrical skills?  Then, this Interactive 3D Art Museum is a perfect place for you. For a price of P500, the museum can take you to Rome to Egypt, ride a flying carpet or a horse-drawn carriage, and up-close encounter with Vincent Van Gogh and more!IMG_20150503_153335

Art in Island is said to be the largest 3D museum in Asia in terms of the number of 3D paintings available (around 200 masterpieces). It was founded by Yun Jae Kyoung together with his other Korean partners. This two-storey museum is about 3,800 square-meters, with 14 3D artists from Korea who worked on the paintings in just four months.

The museum encourages everyone to be a “part of art” hence the term interactive. Unlike many museums, where touching the paintings nor taking pictures of it is not allowed, Art in Island allows visitors to interact and have fun and be creative with the art pieces.IMG_20150503_153605

So, before we begin this virtual tour, here are some reminders/tips and other essential information about this very artistic hub.

  • Art in Island is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm.
  • Entrance fees: P500 for regular ticket; P400 for students; free for children below 3 years old.
  • No food or pets are allowed. Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the museum.
  • No flash photography. Use of tripods are not also allowed.
  • Upon entering, you will be asked to leave your shoes at the counter. This is to preserve the paintings because some can be found in the floor. Better wear socks or bring one.
  • There are markers that will guide you where to properly stand and take photos. There are also sample pictures displayed on the wall to give you an idea on how to properly pose.
  • Respect: Wait for your turn and do not interfere when there are people posing and taking pictures at a certain art.
  • BE CREATIVE! Think outside the box and display your artistic side.
  • Make sure your camera is fully charged with plenty of memory space.

Now What Will You See Inside Art is Island?

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Art of Optical Illusion: Upon entering, you will be greeted by a few framed optical illusion art hanging in the walls. Here are some of them:

Themed Zones: As you go further, you will find yourself be amazed with the different themed zones which include the following:

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Animal Zone12 122

Masterpiece Zone (where one gets to interact with the famous paintings around the world).21

A huge Central Hall (where one can explore the dungeons of the ancient times. This is my personal favourite).456IMG_20150503_1652150132

Religious Zone2134

Fantasy Zone748

Christmas Zone0000

Plus, the museum’s cafe – Cafe Minou – which is a sight to behold itself.0006

How To Get There:

Address: 175 15th Ave. Brgy. Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City

*** Art in Island is roughly a 15-minute walk from Araneta Center Cubao. When commuting, the nearest stops are MRT Cubao and the Cubao bus stops along EDSA..

Contact No.: (02) 421-1356

E-mail: artinisland@gmail.com

Website: www.facebook.com/artinisland

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