Tam-Awan Village

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Tam-awan Village is a model Cordillera village and a center of local arts and culture located in Baguio City in the Philippines. The name Tam-awan is from an indigenous word meaning “vantage point.” The village was established by National Artist of the Philippines Benedicto Cabrera (Bencab) in order to promote the local art scene. The village consists of authentic Ifugao and Kalinga huts on hilly terrain. Visitors to Tam-awan may watch artists at work, attend art workshops, have their portraits done, view exhibits, watch cultural events, and purchase artworks. There is also a coffee shop and accommodations are available in the complex.
Tam-awan art gallery by ericlucky290

Contents

Location

The village may be found in the Naguilan area on the outskirts of Baguio City, close to La Trinidad. Lying along Tacay Road, it is across Arko ni Apo, the studio and gallery of sculptor Ben-Hur Villanueva.

History

The village was established in 1998 by the local government in cooperation with Chanum Foundation, Inc., a group of artists headed by Bencab. Tam-awan Village was originally conceived as a model Cordillera village that would preserve and develop appreciation for the culture of the Cordillera region. In view of this objective, the foundation transplanted 3 authentic Ifugao huts from Banga-an to the site. By 2008, a total of 8 huts had been transplanted to Tam-awan, including some Kalinga huts as well as Ifugao structures. To attract more interest to the model village, the founders decided to make Tam-awan a cultural center. The model village now consists of 9 authentic huts which house artist studios, a gallery-café, and a souvenir shop. Some of the huts provide tourist accommodations while others serve as venues for seminars, conferences, or cultural events.

Description

The huts of Tam-awan are authentic, made by traditional Cordillera methods using no nails. Each one was taken directly from the highlands and refurbished using authentic materials. The roofs are thatched with dried cogon grass. The Ifugao huts are made of hard wood. The Kalinga structures have a distinctive octagonal shape which is a symbol of royalty and have a dap-ay or an outdoor gathering venue with a fireplace. Perched on stilts on different hills, each of the huts has a ladder carved from a single tree trunk. Traditional tribal motifs are carved on the structures and some of the trees.

Facilities

The main hut serves as an information center and souvenir shop. In the center of the compound is a gallery-café serving native Ifugao coffee and meals with red upland rice. Works by local artists are displayed in the gallery and available for purchase. Artists are stationed in an area near the coffee shop, ready to sketch portraits of visitors. There is a permanent exhibit of artworks by Baguio artists such as Jordan Mangosan, Jojo Elmeda, Rishab, Roland Bay-an, Ged Alangui, Mark Tandoyog,, and John Frank Sabado. Art workshops are also held for minimal fees. Various cultural events frequently take place in the area.

Tam-awan Village offers accommodations packages at low prices, which may include breakfast and lunch. The larger huts may be rented for seminars, conferences, or cultural presentations for as low as 5,000 pesos a day.

Visitors are charged a minimal entrance fee: currently 20 pesos for children, 30 pesos for senior citizens, and 50 pesos for adults. Picnics and bonfires are permitted in the compound with the payment of an additional fee of 150 pesos.

References

  • Algarme, Claire. “The Way of the Tam-awan Village.” In Our Asia that Travels. [1]
  • “The Baguio Art Scene.” In Go Baguio. [2]
  • Baguio Board. “Sightseeing.” [http://www.baguioboard.com/baguio-sightseeing.php
  • Baguio Board. “Tam-awan Village.” [3]
  • Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation. “Baguio/Banaue.” [4]
  • Tolentino, Delfin L. "Reclaiming a Vanishing Heritage." In Living in the Philippines. [5]

Citation

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