Tam-awan Village—a treasure trove of culture and artworks

​​Baguio City became my second home for nine months. When I decided to go back to Manila and start anew, I realized there was one more thing to do before leaving the Summer Capitalvisit Tam-awan Village.

Dubbed as “Garden in the Sky,” Tam-awan is a village of art galleries built by Chanum Foundation on a roadside hill in Baguio Citya 10-minute drive from the city proper.

The trails found in the village were built around the natural terrain of the place, making it a bit difficult to traverse if you’re not one who loves hiking.

Not everyone loves art (or the other way around), but visiting galleries is a good hobby to practice. In particular, here are the reasons why you must visit Tam-awan Village.

It presents in a nutshell the culture of the people of the Cordilleras and the Mountain Province. To fully understand their culture means to immerse in the community. Circumstances don’t always permit that, so we look for another avenue through which we can get snippets. We won’t get the whole picture through the gallery but at least we’ll learn from fragments of the story by rummaging through their works of art and replicas of their houses. These masterpieces give us a glimpse of a life we’re not living in a place we’re not dwelling on.

We get to see the world through the artists’ eyes. Every once in a while, we need to look at the world from a different point of view, sometimes to eliminate the negativity, and other times to simply look at the brighter side. From an artist’s perspective, the world is a large canvass on which we can paint our dreams, aspirations and realities, be they good, or bad. Looking at their artworks opens a door in our minds leading to a colorful reverie. And then we get their wisdom and apply it in our lives, or at least try to understand it.

It inspires other artists to continue honing their skills. And maybe, it even makes them dream of putting up their own exhibit.

It also rekindles the fire of a lost interest in art. Some were born with the talent, butperhaps because of things they consider more important, or practicallost interest in art along the way. Sometimes, it’s also because they’re thinking they’re not good or will never be good at it. I believe there’s superior art and mediocre art; a brilliant idea and a trashy idea. But constantly doing something improves our skills. And to constantly improve, we need inspiration which we can draw from a myriad of brilliant ideas expressed through artworks.

It gives travelling (or living in a place) a deeper sense of purpose. Oftentimes we travel for the sights to see and the foods to eat. And there are those who travel to fill their social media accounts with panoramic photos of scenic spots. I hope our purpose for travelling is not limited to these. By visiting art galleries, we learn a lot, or at least get an overview of the stories our forefathers lived, and of the present realities that people, whom we don’t speak to every day, live.
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