Our next trip was to Baguio – the summer capital of the Philippines. Baguio is located up in the mountains where it is always a little cooler – perfect for a vacation during the summer time! We stayed at a lovely place recommended by a friend – some hotel/apartments – where we could have 2 bedrooms a living space and kitchen for a reasonable price. It was so great! Here’s a pic of the view outside our apartment one morning.
We met new friends from church and they offered to show us around the city. Our first stop was the Ben Cab Museum. Ben Cab, or Benedicto Cabrera, is a local artist who has built a beautiful complex (museum, farm, garden, cafe, studio, etc) for himself in the Baguio mountains. His work has been shown internationally and he is considered somewhat of an art celebrity in the Philippines. I was quite impressed by his work and the facility he has built in Baguio. It was a great experience.
Here we are outside!
This is a collection of rice gods traditionally used by the mountain people to protect the rice crops.
Here is Mark and Mildred having a deep philosophical conversation about a Ben Cab piece…
This is Ben Cab himself taping an interview in one of the galleries featuring his work!
Afterwards we stopped by the Philippines Military Academy. This is like the Philippines West Point where all the top military men and women are trained. It is said that the bonds formed between members of each PMA class are stronger than family. In fact, when the dictator of 1965-1986 was ousted in the People Power revolution, there was a tense standoff where soldiers with guns drawn and military tanks faced citizens, nuns, and military people who had separated to support the revolution. The standoff had a peaceful resolution where ultimately the tanks were abandoned, the soldiers put down their guns, and the Marcos’ fled the country. One theory as to why the standoff ended peacefully is that there were members of the same PMA class on either side of the line and they wouldn’t actually turn on each other due to the bond they formed during their education. I don’t know if it’s true – no one does – but it gives context to the strength of the relationships formed.
Although it was threatening to rain, it was a beautiful campus and we enjoyed wandering around. One cool thing we found was this sundial! Doesn’t it look neat with the rain clouds?
That evening we fixed dinner at our apartment. Our driver, Naro, helped considerably – sharing some great recipes for stuffed fish, rice and vegetable preparation. We had a feast!