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

Maryknoll Ecological Sactuary

The Maryknoll Sisters arrived in Baguio in 1928 and in 1934 started the Maryknoll Convent School. The first school building was built in local pinewood lumber .

peace bell

In 1977 the name of the school was changed to Marishan, a name that incorporates the word “shontoug” or “shan” for short, an Ibaloi word that means “mountain” to reflect the indigenous nature of the location and help the school develop its own self identity.

A powerful  magnitude 7.8 on the ritcher scale earthquake on July 16, 1990 hit a large portion of Northern Luzon and Baguio was one of the cities  which suffered a great destruction .  The powerful earthquake destroyed a large portion of  the  convent .

collection of old photographs

In light of a growing awareness of earth’s fragility, an integrated program in the context of earth-based values became imperative, compelling the Maryknoll Sisters to make a radical decision to dedicate their resources in Baguio to alternative environmental education.  The grade school was phased out by 1999.  In its place the Maryknoll Sisters’ Center for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, popularly known as Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, began.

wild orchids

The ecological sanctuary boast of a man made cave, peace bell, an art gallery  and a gift-shop   . The place is home of at least 6 species of native orchids , native ferns  growing on pine trees. The center also offers short art courses, a summer camp , environmental learning advocacy, art exhibits and is an ideal place to hold meetings and retreat .

tour guide

Rugged pathways and walkways is ideal for hiking. There is also a retreat house were colorful paintings and native crafts collection from Baguio and elsewhere were displayed.

top view of the retreat house

The Cosmic Journey at Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary is a story of how everything came to be. It is the main educational tool; an eco-trail that celebrates the unfolding story of the universe.  There are 14 stations that celebrate the emergence of the universe.

Walk-in visitors as well as groups who reserve ahead of time for guided tours and other amenities .

For more information :

ph: +63 74 442 4602
email: MESBaguio@gmail.com
fax: +63 74 442 4926
Mailing address: PO Box 41, 2600 Baguio City, Philippines

Location

25 Nth Sto Tomas Road
Campo Sioco, Baguio City, Philippines

Directions

By jeepney: Take the Santo Rosario – Campo Sioco jeepney parked beside the Harrison Road overpass stairway.
Alight outside Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary.

By taxi: Give directions to proceed to Campo Sioco.
At the rotunda across from Baguio General Hospital (BGH), take the road to the right, towards Marcos Highway.
Look out for the “Agua Vida” sign, where you will turn right and follow Sto Tomas Road for approximately 300m, until you reach the Maryknoll gate on the left.

%d bloggers like this: