#ShareBaguio: BenCab: Finding his muse in the highlands


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National Artist Benedicto "BenCab" Cabrera found his sanctuary in Baguio City. How does living in the highlands inspire his work as an artist?

BAGUIO, Philippines – “It’s always been my obsession to draw,” says painter Benedicto Cabrera, popularly known as BenCab. As a child, the young Cabrera was in awe of his elder brothers’ painting, fascinated with the swirls of color on a blank piece of paper. Now at 72, Cabrera is one of the country’s most prolific painters, eventually recognized as a National Artist.

Cabrera has lived in and out of the Philippines in his younger years, but decided to settle in Baguio City for good in 1985. For almost 30 years, he put together more than 4 decades of his work as an artist in a museum at the outskirts of the city – a burgeoning attraction for art connoisseurs and tourists alike. His museum, which showcases not only his own paintings and the curated work of other local artists, is home to several artifacts unearthed in the Cordillera highlands – from burial jars to hunting weapons to a wall full of bul-ol – or Ifugao rice god – carvings.

Cabrera’s museum is a collection of both art and artifact that has fascinated him over the years. But what made him find inspiration as an artist in Baguio? Watch the video to find out.

For more on Baguio, visit #SharePH– Rappler.com


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