The Tam-awan Heritage Village is a living museum found at the Pinsao area of Baguio City. I don’t know the way by public transport but most taxi drivers know where it can be found.
From the website of the village:
Tam-awan Village as an ideal venue for art and cultural activities aimed to enhance the appreciation of Cordillera life, its culture and its history. This is by raising awareness and appreciation of Cordillera culture, preserving Cordillera heritage and promoting cultural and economic empowerment in the Cordilleras.
It was a very good intention because most of the people forget about our siblings from the mountains of Cordilleras. The closest we can get to them is through Baguio or the, rising to fame, Sagada.
Tam-awan features a cafe, an artist center, an art museum, different art installations, and a lot of replica of the Cordillera houses and infrastructure. And, as they have informed us, Tam-awan is the mixture of Ifugao aesthetics and Cordillera craftsmanship adapting to the Baguio landscape. This is as real as it gets.
The Alang is a rice granary. The Ifugaos also put an anito named bul-ul who is the Rice God to protect the stored rice and to hope for a bountiful harvest.
There are a lot of steep climbs so this is not recommended for the older ones. The younger ones need supervision for they may fall. The place has a lot of cliffs and very mountainous in terrain.
We find ourselves at the first viewing deck. You can see the rest of Baguio from here. There’s another viewing deck for the sunset however, that’s a longer trek and we didn’t want the kids to be tired before they should be.
This is probably one of the reasons why it’s called a Garden in the Sky. There are a lot greens and flowers around. And they say, this isn’t yet the greenest it could be.
This is a luccong. It is the house of upper class people in Ifugao communities. Sad that I didn’t have a photo of the Dukligan. The Dukligan is a place for newly wed couples who couldn’t bear a child. They stay in the house for month and if they aren’t successful, they are allowed to have sexual intercourse with another man and woman. This is to check whom of the couple is impotent.
These houses are not for display only. The village allows people to sleep in them for a fee. It’s like a hotel with just limited amenities.
The village also has an art museum that depicts the life in the Cordilleras. They also have art workshops.
I didn’t have a photo of the cafe but it does offer meals for both locals and foreigners.
The village also has a souvenir shop that offers shirts, mini anitos (local dieties), magnets, keychains and the usual gift shop items.
There were a lot of items related to Cordillera culture but it would have been better if there were explanations as to what they are or why they are used.
Additional items found are art installations done by artists who conduct workshops in the village grounds.
It was a very good learning experience! I would like to try living in one of the huts next time.