One of the appeals of visiting Baguio City and its surrounding areas is the arts and culture. You can visit hip cafes, cultural villages, and art galleries and museums. BenCab Museum is located 20 minutes away from the City of Pines, in the town of Tuba, Benguet. It’s the perfect haven for those who love nature and art!
About BenCab Museum
The Bencab Museum is a privately owned contemporary art museum founded by renowned Philippine artist Benedicto Cabrera, also known as BenCab. It opened its doors to the public in 2009 and has since become one of the must-visit destinations from Baguio City.
The four-level museum features several galleries showcasing the artworks of BenCab and other contemporary artists. The mainstay galleries include the BenCab Gallery, Cordillera Gallery, Philippine Contemporary Art Gallery 1 & 2, Maestro Gallery, Erotica Gallery, Gallery Indigo, Sepia Gallery, Patio Salvador, and Larawan Hall. There is also a space for temporary exhibits.
Aside from the art, another reason to visit BenCab Museum is its beautiful, tranquil surroundings – it is surrounded by a lush mountain and the museum even offers an eco-trail for those who would like to explore the area further.
The museum also has a café called Café Isabel (named after BenCab’s muse) and a souvenir shop, where you can take home locally made handicrafts for all ages.
Our visit to BenCab Museum
I came here with a friend on a weekday during a 3-day Baguio City tour. I must say, this is one of my favorite stops along with the Northern Blossom Flower Farm in Atok, Benguet!
As it was a weekday, the museum was almost empty. I actually appreciated the quiet and the fact that we could appreciate the art without a large crowd. Seeing as BenCab Museum is one of the most popular tourist spots from Baguio City, we were fortunate to schedule our visit when we did.
We saw a lot of paintings, sculptures, installations, and several indigenous artifacts from the Cordillera Region. I am not really familiar with the artist BenCab, but I still enjoyed seeing his works.
I particularly enjoyed the Sepia Gallery, which at that time showcased prints from the 18th-19th Philippine settings. There were prints about volcanic eruptions including Mayon Volcano, Taal Volcano, and Camiguin Island. There were no modern photographs during that time so it was surreal to see how the volcanic eruptions looked like then.
There were also prints of the old Manila and several laid-back sceneries in the provinces.
Compared to the artwork in Tam-Awan Village which we’d visited earlier, the ones in BenCab Museum are more varied in style, design, and themes. I personally prefer the colorful, sometimes whimsical paintings especially of women in Tam-Awan Village, but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the artwork in BenCab Museum.
Aside from the paintings, I enjoyed hanging out at the café with the view of the Farm & Garden. I’d only seen it online before and it’s as beautiful in real life. The ponds are home to ducks and koi fishes, and I read that you can buy feed from the café for fish feeding.
The view got more surreal when the fog swept in. It was so beautiful! Although I find the weather in this region fickle (it’s sunny one moment and cloudy the next), I love the mountain chills that I rarely get to experienced at home.
The museum also has a souvenir shop. Unlike similar shops which only offer knick-knacks like keychains, the souvenir shop at the BenCab Museum stores interesting items like books about arts and culture and various locally made handicrafts. I even spotted toys from Knitting Expedition, which I’d included in our Christmas gift guide.
Overall, I loved our visit at BenCab Museum. It’s one of my favorite museums in the Philippines, alongside Tam-Awan Village and Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo. Even casual art lovers will appreciate the displays here, much more those who like dwelling into the history and lives of artists.
How to get to BenCab Museum
BenCab Museum is located in Tuba, Benguet. It’s about 20 minutes away from Baguio City, depending on traffic.
Head to the terminal in Otek Street (near Good Taste Restaurant) or Kayang Street (across Baguio City Hall) and a ride a jeep that passes by BenCab Museum. For ease and convenience, there are also taxis and Grab available around the city.
If you’re bringing your own car, take note of the limited parking at the museum.
BenCab Museum Entrance Fee
As of 2023, here are the current BenCab Museum entrance fee rates:
- Regular – P200
- Senior and PWD – P150
- Student – P120
Exploring the eco-trail requires another P200 per person and a tour guide fee of P150 (good for a group).
Click here to book a creative art tour that includes BenCab Museum, Woodcarvers Village, and Ililikha Watering Hole via Klook.
Tips for Visiting Bencab Museum
- Opening hours: The museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. It is closed on Mondays and important holidays such as Christmas and New Year.
- Photography is allowed inside the museum, but flash photography, tripods, and videos are not permitted.
- Outside food and drinks are not allowed. You can visit the café and try their delicious homemade treats and coffee while enjoying the stunning view.
- Wear your best museum fit! The museum is a nice setting for social media snaps.
After visiting BenCab Museum, you can also check out similar attractions nearby such as Tam-Awan Village, where you can view local artworks and learn about the traditional culture and practices of the indigenous people of Cordillera.
You may also want to check out Aguinaldo Shrine and Museum, Museo Kordilyera, and Baguio Museum, which are located in Baguio City.
Tips for Exploring Benguet
- The weather in Benguet can be unpredictable, so make sure to bring appropriate clothing and gears.
- Respect the culture and traditions of the indigenous people by asking for permission before taking photos of them.
- Support the local economy by purchasing souvenirs and products made by the locals.
- Don’t litter and keep the environment clean, as Benguet is known for its beautiful landscapes and natural wonders.
For inquiries, you may contact BenCab Museum via their official website.
If you’re planning to visit Baguio City, make sure to take a side trip to Bencab Museum in Tuba, Benguet for an unforgettable cultural experience!
Has this feature on BenCab Museum been helpful to you? If you have questions or comments, let us know in the comment section below!
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Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).