My Baguio Weekend Getaway
Last weekend, my office sent me to Baguio to conduct a product orientation… that was the last pitstop of my series of orientations! Woohoo, I’m done at last!
I decided to stay for another day in Baguio as I tagged my mom along with me. Baguio is not a new place for us as we frequent the place at least once or twice a year. I almost feel it’s my second home.
I usually go to Baguio if I want to experience the cool atmosphere the place brings. Not to mention the endless stroll along Session Road and visit to my favorite spots like Minesview, Camp John Hay and PMA. I also make time to hear mass at Baguio Cathedral and spend some silent moments at the Pink Sister’s Convent. And of course, my usual activities like Ukay-ukay session for some good finds, pasalubong shopping in palengke, and pasta-and-buffalo-wings indulgence at Don Henrico’s.
But my last visit was kinda different. I discovered a new place… thanks to my good ol’ friend Jopet for the reco! (Bes, luv you more for this!) I went to this place called "Tam-awan Village". It is located in Pinsao, some 20 minutes away from Session Road.
My mom and I arrived in Tam-Awan Village around 8 a.m. There were no visitors yet except for a couple of guys having an al-fresco breakfast. Ronnie, a Tam-Awan staff member, was kind enough to accommodate us. He advised us to visit two cottages. I really do not know what to expect… but we headed to the cottage anyways! The room was filled with paintings… great paintings! I was overly amazed. I hurriedly took out my digicam to take some souvenir photos. Water color, charcoal and oil paintings were hanging all over the walls! Every artwork has a story to tell… emotions to share. The artists’ talents were all over the place!
The second cottage was even better! More paintings on the walls. Ronnie was kind enough to take a picture of my mom and me. He pointed to an arwork entitled "Mother and Child", told us that it’s a solar painting. And so I learned that Solar Painting is done using sunlight and magnifying glass as mediums. Just by looking at it, I can almost feel the artist’s passion while making the artwork. The details were very exquisite… close to perfection!
My mom and I further explored the place. Took some more pictures and bought souvenir items at the cafeteria-con-souvenir shop. As we were about to leave, we met two artists, Sir Roland and Sir Buddy. They encouraged us to stay a little longer. But time was of the essence to us as we need to meet up with our other companions in a couple of hours. And so, we left.
On our way to Minesview, I noticed that something was missing. I left my digicam case in Tam-Awan. I know it wasn’t that important but I really felt the urge to go back to get it. And so I did!
One of the artists, Sir Roland saw me and said, "O, nagbalik ka!" I replied, "May naiwan lang po ako." Then he told me, "Pinabalik ka talaga para magpa-portrait." Well, I have the same thing in mind. I felt that my digicam case was left there for a reason. And so I gave in… and had my portrait taken. Eh hindi rin naman kasi ako mahirap i-convince… minsan! Hehehe!
They advised me to sit on a monoblock chair. Seven artists sat in front of me. I was kinda nervous at first since this is not a usual 2×2-picture-taking session. I was asked to sit still and maintain a steady, relaxed pose. But it wasn’t that easy! There were 7 sets of artists’ eyes passionately looking at me… trying to capture every single detail for my face. Grabe, ganun pala feeling ng painting subject! Nakakangawit! I jokingly said, "Pagandahin nyo na lang po ako sa painting ha!" Sir Roland commented, "Sana ma-capture namin ang mata mo. Ang ganda kasi!" Ged, another artist, seconded, "Yes Ma’am, asset mo yang mata mo!" (O walang dagdag-bawas yan ha! Actual comments po uli yan! Wag na kumontra! Hehehe!)
One by one, the artists stood up as they finished their respective work. I was too eager to see the results but I was requested to remain seated until the last artist, Ged, was finished. And when he did, I immediately approached the counter to check my portraits. Every artist has a different interpretation. Some have resemblance of actresses Eula Valdez, Rufa Mae Quinto and Gladys Reyes… others captured the loneliness of my eyes. But I instantly liked Alfonso Dato’s work for it was the nearest resemblance of me… sa palagay ko lang ha! I really liked how he captured my eyes… it looked kinda tired. The imperfections of my face were likewise displayed in his artwork. It was me… definitely the ‘Winkie’ I see everytime I look in the mirror. So I had it framed!
The portrait session was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. What’s even more amazing is I’ve got to keep all the 7 portraits for just P100! Ang saya, di ba?! I told them, "Babalik ako dito… next session, nude naman, ha!" Hehehe! Eh teka, P100 pa rin kaya yun???
Tam-Awan Village is really overflowing with so much talent. The place has so much more to offer aside from that portrait session. The Cordilleran culture is truly alive and preserved in that place. The richness of its culture is expressed not only in its structure but also in every painting displayed all over the place. People from all walks of life who truly appreciate nature will surely love this place for it offers serenity and tranquility… truly, heaven on earth!
Too bad, we had to go back to Manila on that day. I would really love to stay a little longer to at least experience more of the Cordilleran culture. Well, I promised myself that I’ll stay there on my next Baguio visit… so nature-nature naman ang drama ko next time! Hehehe!
I invite you to visit their site so you’ll get more glimpse of my Tam-Awan experience: www.tamawanvillage.com. Happy browsing!
And to the Tam-Awan artists and staff, thank you for the wonderful experience! Kudos and more power to all of you! See you all soon!