Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bontoc: A day at the museum

It's my second foray into bontoc but it's the first time I paid the Bontoc Museum a visit on the good advice (and guidance) of my best buddy, ironwulf. Having a few hours to spare and with Sagada just over an hour's ride away, we took a side trip to this much-written about museum.We arrived during the lunch hours and found the gates closed. I was about to feel disheartened but the kind caretaker on duty gladly opened the doors and welcomed us without much of a prodding. As it was lunchbreak, we had the museum all to ourselves, marveling at the displays, reading the captions, goofing off as well.Founded by a Belgian nun, the Bontoc Museum is a treasure trove of genuine artifacts and implements of the people of the Cordillera highlands. It also has stuff unearthed from the caves. For the photographs alone, the trip was well worth it, showcasing rare images of the cordillera way of life taken by missionaries and the famous photographer, Eduardo Masfere. The photos harken back to a simpler time when the rice terraces were dotted by the thatched roofs of the Ifugao houses, not the corrugated tin roofing marring the green landscape. Photography is prohibited inside the museum but we were free to shoot the outside displays where the ato (communes) were faithfully recreated.Visitors details: Bontoc Museum is open from Mondays to Fridays, 8am-12nn, 1-5pm; on weekends, museum doors can be opened upon request • Museum fee: php50 • located near the Bontoc Catholic Church, a tricycle ride away (fare: P8/person) from the town center

15 comments:

the donG said...

galing nitong museum. yung structure native na native. galing pa ng mga kuha.

kaka enganyo pumunta kaya lang dami namang papasok na bagyo.

lagal[og] said...

ei dom, thanks for dropping by again.
onga eh, hirap gumala pag ganitong mabagyo. been feeling under the weather din lately so stay put muna rin ako, just reading and reading. ingat sa biyahe bro!

Ferdz said...

This is one, if not the best museum in the country. Katuwa din tignan yung mga artifacts dito. Everyone should take time to visit here when in Bontoc

lagal[og] said...

wulfriend, i agree with your comment. the museum pieces are really priceless beyond description. they reflect the colorful history of the cordilleras like no other museum i've seen.

RONeiluke, RN said...

bloody brilliant. minsan pa lang ako nakapunta ng museum. kakaiba ito. very ethnic and very rich in culture :)

salingPUSA said...

sana makapunta nako Sagada soon. Love the pictures. Just don't feel comfortable sa mga bungo ng kalabaw coz I love carabao's. Don't wanna see them that way I guess......

lagal[og] said...

ron, i'm kinda big on museums. kasi parang you're peeking into a portal leading to another world or another time.

salingpusa, do visit soon. the long trip can be an enjoyable experience. pardon the carabao horns. they're part of the facade display.

arlene said...

i love the second picture. the earth colors seem to jump out of the page. capture na capture talaga. parang pwede kong mahawakan..

lagal[og] said...

thanks arlene. the implements are just some of the objects of curiosity we found in the ato (communes), in the outside museum. i purposely intensified the contrast to make grains more apparent so they seem to jump off the page :-)

bertN said...

I enjoy spending time in museums, big or small, well-known or barely known but I've never been to one where flashless photography is not allowed; at least, not yet. What's their reason for the ban?

lagal[og] said...

bert, i'm not so sure of the reasons why in this case. at times, what i know is that strong light can degrade the displays (in the case of murals, paintings, etc.). it can also be to safeguard the items against possible theft, physical or intellectual. in these times when almost everybody has a digital camera, it becomes very easy to post things on the internet which can be beneficial or detrimental as well.

Allan Barredo said...

been here before pero sandali lang kasi kapos na sa oras. next time I'll make sure to spend some time dun sa museum...

lagal[og] said...

oo bai allan. very worth your while yung mga pieces. actually priceless sila considering their historical value.

nina said...

I never knew about this :) I would love to see this...

lagal[og] said...

do visit the museum nina. it's got over a century worth of stories and curiosities :-)

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