Tam Awan Village – artist village

Tam-awan is an indigenous Ibaloi term  ” Tan- Aw” which means ” vantage point” or ” to see”  – there are several vantage points within the village where one can see – South China Sea on clear days.

It is located in a higly elevated area in the northwestern part of the city. The road to Tam-awan village is also a well known shortcut to La Trinidad Benguet. One can take a short trek and a cultural immersion while discovering Cordilleras colorful past.

Igorot goddesses- guardians of the village

Tam-Awan is an Ifugao village created by an artist (BenCab) for artists and aficionados. The traditional layout and the dozen or so re-constructed huts made of original materials make for a replica of an Ifugao village that almost makes one feel as if being in an actual one in the Cordilleras . Tam-Awan has regular exhibits by artists in its very own art gallery. There are cultural shows which is held every weekend.

Workshops, livelihood and crafts demonstrations are also held there by the artists themselves. One that particularly caught the groups fancy was the sun artists – their  sun- burned art works use magnifying glasses with the help of sun rays .

sun arts

(the “canvas” needs to be one of the paler woods, like pine or fir . . . so etching lines will stand out by contrast),hold a three- to four-inch-diameter enlargin’ lens above your wood piece so that all the sun’s rays which pass through the glass disc get focused on one part of the  sketch. Before long, a faint trail of smoke will begin to rise . . . as the concentrated beams burn a smoldering “dent” in the wood block . The  pinpointed spot has been “carved”  . . . WOW an art made from sun rays!!!!

The garden in the sky is located at Pinsao Proper, just about 20 minutes drive from the Session Road. This cultural hub is home to many works of art from famous artists of Benguet. You can buy different cultural books, paintings in various mediums; rice and strawberry wines, native handicrafts and souvenir items for sale in village souvenir shop. Some of the huts are available for sleeping. You can even arrange for a bonfire, probably at the dap-ay (a traditional meeting place for the village elders)

The village also offers unique Ifugao accommodation by offering vernacular architecture and lifestyles  of the Cordilleras. It has coffee shop called Tam-awan Cafe which also serves as the tourist information office for visitors. Make sure to try out Tam-awan’s Benguet Coffee , Tam-Awan’s fresh ice tea made from organically grown leaves of mountain tea.  There is also an organic lunch package which may consists of upland rice , vegetable salad, adobo meat  ( But reservations must be made several days beforehand)

Tam-awan Village is managed and maintained by Chanum Foundation, Inc., – a non stock , non profit organization that aims to promote the sights, wonders  and culture  of the cordillera region.

A small entrance fee to the village include a short eco-tour. There are wild orchids, ferns which dotted the village. Try to ask discount for big groups.

For reservations and tours:

Address: 366 –C Pinsao Proper

2600 Baguio City

Telephone (074) 446-2949

Fax              (074)442-5553

Benguet State University

Benguet State University history dates back to the time when the Baguio-La Trinidad road was only a rough trail in  1916.  Back then , La Trinidad Experiment Station of the Bureau of Agriculture was turned over to the Bureau of Education. By this turn of events, the La Trinidad Farm School served 30  grade 5 students.

the institution was planned ultimately to develop into a large normal and farm school, where the best  pupils  from the region will be given special training for the service as teachers among their own people with emphasis on agricultural education.

Rapid growth in agricultural education led to the construction of new structures and courses being offered . However , most of the structures were either partially destroyed and school records were lost during the second world war.

Benguet State University entrance arch

In 1946, the school became the La Trinidad Agricultural High School. Four years later, a provincial normal curriculum was added to its agricultural education program. The  curriculum was abolished in 1953 and a two-year post high school certificate in agricultural education was offered.

The school was renamed La Trinidad National Agricultural School (LTNAS). Four months later, it was nationalized and named the Mountain National Agricultural School (MNAS). It was soon converted into the Mountain National College (MNAC); Mountain Agricultural College ( MAC ); and eventually, Mountain State Agricultural College (MSAC) in 1969 through RA 5923.

Benguet State University – Food Processing Center

On January 12, 1986 , the college was converted to a state university by virtue of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 2010 signed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Initiatives for this development started in the 70’s when former Assemblyman Andres A. Cosalan filed a bill for the elevation of the Mountain State Agricultural College to a University.

The tour group was  greeted by Dr. Jane K. Avila and personally conducted a short lecture on basics of food preservation.

According to Dr. Avila the center helps in research and development for the farmers in the Mountain province and Benguet areas . When there is an oversupply of  fresh strawberries in the market the tendency is that most of the produced are just thrown away. Ube , Chayote , Camote and other roots crops are just some of the products that are used by the center.

At the end of the tour , the POS board of directors gave Dr. Avila and Benguet State University  a certificate of appreciation and a copy of the Philippine Orchid Review.

University Contact Numbers

Trunk lines (connecting all offices & Deparments) (063)(74) 422-2127; 422-2402

Office of the President (063)(74) 422-2401;
Fax: (063)(74) 422-2281

Research, Development & Extension

(063)(74) 422-6505

Planning, Development & Business Affairs (063)(74) 309-3545

Information Technology Division (063)(74) 422-6285/ 309-3547

Supply & Property Management Office (063)(74) 422-7731

Baguio Orchidarium

Baguio Orchidarium is located within Burnham Park  .

Dendrobium nobile hybrids

At its center lies an orchid house and different kinds of orchids, other flowers, gardening tools , equipment ,  which appeal to both guests and businessmen alike.

Sellers at the Orchidarium say the Cymbidium orchids  is one of the most popular varieties.

There are cattleyas, dendrobiums, native orchids which are sold in the place.

The chairman of the place is Mr. Aquilino Aromin . He served the group hot coffee, cold soft drinks,  pancit bihon, cinnamon bread , fresh mango slices.

The place had about 50 tenants selling different array of sub-tropical plants, upland cymbidium orchids, cactus, succulents, roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, hydrangea , potteries, fertilizers,wood carvings , soil composts etc…

Amianan Motors Center

This is the family business  of Ms. Mylene Quiñones a lifetime member of the Philippine Orchid Society and board of director.

group shot

The family is a dealer of various multi-cab,  auto sales, auto servicing, trucks, buses, insurance , garage center.

The family also owned Boating World Resort and Amianan Water Purifying station. Amianan is an Ilocano term for north.

The gracious host personally welcomed the group and served an early buffet lunch meal which consists of lumpiang shanghai na bangus ( milk fish spring rolls),  quail egg salad, chicken and pork adobo, dinendeng , fresh papaya fruits and pineapple juice.

the group saw some of  the host personal collection of mugs, figurines . The tour group visited the 4th and 5th floor and gladly posed for a souvenir shots in the upper balcony were surrounding hills and mountain side.

For contact:
Address: Km.218 National Highway, Rosario, La Union 2506

Branch Head :

Engineer Edward M. Quiñones

SALES: (072) 712-8888 / 8880
PARTS: (072) 712-8889
SERVICE: (072) 712-8887 / 7777
CRM: (072) 712-8890
ADMIN: (072) 712-8881
FAX NO.: (072) 712-8888 / 8881

SALES: 0922-8992716 / 0922-8982290
PARTS: 0922-8982292
SERVICE: 0922-8992715 / 0922-8101695
CRM: 0922-8992882 / 0922-8992735
ADMIN.: 0922-8992740

Good Shepherd Convent and Pasalubong Center

Good Shepherd Convent is within the Mines View Barangay. Its main entrance is along Gibraltar Road and it is within walking distance from the souvenir shops at Mines View Park.

the property  lays a pasture in God’s plan which was named Good Shepherd Sisters in 1952. The place was (and still is) administered by solicitous nuns.

A statue of Jesus Christ was erected near the main entrance. This served as a focal point to the people visiting the place.

Their passionate caring for the people , particularly poor kids, has driven their hearts to build a genuine foundation that would assist the poor in reaching their dreams. Organizationally, the Good Shepherd Sisters ( Philippines)  were part of the Los Angeles Foreign Mission Province with its base in the United States. At that time, the Provincial Superior was Mother Mary de Lourdes. The area was renovated and furnished to serve as a summer vacation and retreat house for all of the sisters living or vacationing in the country.

One of the  greatest contributions of the sisters  is education. Providing education would mean opening a window of opportunity for the unfortunate children.

Being located in the same general area, the convent is usually the next stop for most visitors coming from Mines View Park. This is the center of the compound where you will usually find people wait in line to be served by the sales personnel  of the  store. There is also a small coffee shop were visitors can buy snacks.

The store is popularly known for the different products made by the Good Shepherd nuns and visitors coming up to the city who are familiar with items sold in the store always make it a point buy something to take back home. Among the most sought items are fruit preserves, strawberry and ube jams, cashew and peanut brittle, and coco jam.

Most of their products are also sold by different stalls in the Baguio Public Market and at various other outlets within the city. The money generated from the sale of their products is used for the different charities sponsored by the Good Shepherd nuns and also for the maintenance and upkeep of the convent.

Within the convent compound  there are other buildings and facilities . Aside from being a convent, it is also a place where school students from Catholic institutions spend their retreats. At one portion  of the parking lot is an observation deck where one gets to see the distant Cordillera mountains and a valley below which are similarly visible from the Mines View Park.
Baguio historians related that the Good Shepherd property was owned by Governor General  William Cameron Forbes ( 1870 -1959) .  He served as was the governor general from 1909 to 1913.  He was known as the father and one of the builders of Baguio for his countless contributions to the city’s development. He named the property Topside. After his term expired, the property was sold to the Gaches family. The nuns bought the property for P45,000 in 1948.

panoramic view of the city – viewed from the observation deck

Three nuns, headed by Sr. Mary Victory Walsh with a thousand pesos in cash and a few cartons of canned goods, started their life-saving mission.

In December 1952, two months after the opening of the hill, six Igorot girls from Mines View came and confessed that they wanted their catechism. The Sisters wholeheartedly welcomed the girls and that was actually the start of catechism classes to the community of Mines View.

The Sisters were glad that the number of children joining the classes doubled though many came from poor and broken families or were neglected and abandoned. With the growing number of children in the foundation, food became a necessity. Despite the lack of food, the gate remained wide open for anyone who needed shelter. Aspirants recalled the times when Sr. Mary John Eudes Heredia went to market daily to beg for peelings and cuttings of vegetables. They relished and appreciated those rejected veggies in their meals. They enjoyed the spare ribs, bread from donated flour, and cheese from Catholic Relief Services. The people of Baguio lived poorly although they worked very hard in order to bring food to the table. Those donations nourished the children for a few months, however, it was not enough for their growing number.

The Sisters and those under their care worked harder to sustain their increasing needs and those of the other incoming homeless girls. They engaged in arts and crafts as well as in making chocolate candies. They soon included cooking ham and bacon, making flowers, and baking bread in their activities. In 1963 they tried out poultry, organic farming, and piggery. It did help increase their income and even bought food for their table. The Sisters’ and girls’ creativeness and skills have provided them their necessities. They were no longer running out of food and shelter as their number increased. The Sisters expanded the income-generating projects which included cooking various jams, oatmeal cookies, doughnuts, and even butter. Aside from those were handicrafts made by indigenous youth. With their hard work, education was never set aside. They still took classes such as piano lessons and catechism.

With the stable income, they were able to develop educational tools and teaching strategies at Pelletier Hills School located within the foundation. Elementary and high school classes shifted to a higher phase of education. Some buildings were built for the expansion of classrooms and residences with the help of generous benefactors but the hostels were exclusively for poor girls recommended by the Bishop.

In 1968, Pelletier Hills Training School for Girls was accredited as a child caring agency by the social welfare office.

In the late 1970s, the Baguio Sisters proclaimed they should have missions not only within the foundation but also in the outside community which needed serious attention. Together with their acquaintances, the Sisters served the poor in Pangasinan when severe floods struck. They supported movements and other foundations which had missions parallel to theirs. Their service has extended to the victims of disasters all over Luzon even with much sacrifice on their part.

Mountain Maid Training Center were established in 1994 for student workers. The completion of the bakeshop created additional jobs for the students. Later, the employment of boys was also considered as the gender of those who are in need didn’t matter.