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Monday, June 3

The Overlooking—Tam-awan Village

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Popular Cordilleran wood carvings in Tam-awan Village, Baguio City.

It was my second time this time to visit Tam-awan Village, another manmade park in the city of Baguio. The first time I went there was with another set of fellow bloggers. Tam-awan means a view point or an overlooking deck. It’s an uphill park with miniature of the different wooden houses in the Cordillera.

Baguio Panibago—The 2013 Baguio Trip Bloggers Edition

To be honest, I find Tam-awan Village boring and tiresome because you have to hike some parts of it only to find a series of pine trees (you can find more in Camp John Hay). For those who want more of the Cordillera culture particularly their houses, it’s a good site to visit so you know the different kinds of houses in the region. After all, you cannot get inside in some of the kubos. And some do look like cottages, but to know what really it is, you have to read its caption.

Their history tells us that it was constructed by the Chanum Foundation, which was established in 1998. Their mission is to put up a centralized park where people will be able to see the different houses in the Cordillera without getting into the interiors of the region. One has to go to Baguio City, and then he can already get a glimpse of how the Igorots live in their houses. At first it only consists of three Ifugao houses until they put in more houses to the park.
Pine tree forests over Tam-awan Village

Mango crepe inside their restaurant

Unfortunately, I don’t find the park planned into a culture hub for Cordillera region. I find the houses disorganized. Maybe the location and area is of concern, but I just wished the houses were bigger where one can get inside it to see more of it. Not just looking at the outside, where they look almost similar from one another. Besides, some of the cottages there were already not maintained. May umuuga, when we sat there.

If I would be designing a village like this, it would have been of bigger sample houses where each of them is a museum of either artworks or sculptures and historical values. The surrounding areas are landscaped, based on the region (maybe similar to the rice terraces). There will be a restaurant where it is patterned on the traditional designs of a dining area and the house itself and there will be manmade lakes available. But this will require of course more space and better planning.

Though the artworks are just simple ones of the bests, they must be well presented for people. I find the gallery “masikip”, not spacious enough to contain several paintings and people themselves. 

If you still haven’t seen any Cordillera house of its like, visiting Tam-awan Village is a good idea. If you find it boring, you can try local delicacies in their restaurant. Entrance fees are P30 and P50 for students and regular, respectively. You can reach Tam-awan Village by hiring cab from the town, or riding jeepney passing the corner near it. Ride jeepney with caption “Tam-awan”, their terminal is located at Shugem cor. Kayang Street. You can also ride jeepneys with signage “Long-long”.

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