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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tam-awan Village: Garden in the Sky in Baguio City

Last October 2011, we Travel Tripsters took a jeepney ride to Tam-awan Village: Garden in the Sky.  We were dropped off in the middle of the road and were told to follow the signs.  We did exactly as told.

It was cold and foggy that late afternoon.   Travel Tripster Kurt was just asking me what was Tam-awan Village was all about when we saw a wall covered in Graffiti.  Above the wall is the signage for Tam-awan Village: Garden in the Sky.  

We purchased two adult tickets which we kept as souvenirs since we had no idea where to present them.  The entrance fee was cheap at 50 php.  

While we Travel Tripsters were climbing up the stone staircase, we saw a tiny red crab pop out.  It was so cute.  But, before we could take a closer look, it hid itself through the holes of the stones.  We continued our way up until a native village became visible to us.

During our first visit, the wishing pond was clear with gold fishes.  However, on our last visit, we feel saddened that despite paying for the entrance fee, we found the pond to be covered by algae and plants that the water was hardly visible nor could we see the fishes.

Trekking through the stone stairs and muddy paths was a bit slippery that we wished we brought trekking sandals.   We took caution in every step and we took stops to appreciate each of the houses and trekking up as far as we can go.  Travel Tripster Kurt was fascinated at how the Ifugaos were able to create the steps with stones and boulders.

If you want to experience a bonfire, you can rent it for 120 php.

Ifugao Huts
All the Ifugao huts found in Tam-awan Village: Garden in the Sky are fully functional and are rented out for overnight stay.  Their rates include the beddings and towels. You can inquire for the rates at their website which we provided below.

According to the description,  the Alang is the Bontoc Rice Granary.  The bul-ul(s) (Rice God/s) were placed inside the Alang to guard their harvest.  

Inside the Luccong
The Luccong is an upper class Kalinga Hut aging around 1923.  It has a complex timber structure, heavy cogon roof and bamboo flooring.

The Dukligan is an Ifugao Fertility Hut.  A couple would reside at the Dukligan for one month after a year of inability to produce a child.  During this period, the shaman will perform a ritual offering to the male and female bulols.  If they still don't produce a child, the man has the right to find another would though the marriage is still valid.  To determine who is infertile, the whole cycle is repeated.  But this time, the woman can find another man.  

The Anaba is the oldest hut in the village.  It was built in 1898.  

Since it is a Garden in the Sky, we wanted to reach the top.  Unfortunately for us, the destructive Typhoon Pedring just passed a month before we came so the path was destroyed.  There was water rushing in the middle of the way so we could not continue.

But, we Travel Tripsters were very fortunate to revisit Tam-awan Village: Garden in the Sky as part of the Baguio Bliss 2012 event accompanied by our hosts Ivan Aoki and the rest of the Eurotel Team.  When we returned last February 5, 2011, we were glad that the pathways were restored so we got to trek higher with the group.  

The group got to enjoy the great scenery of the woods and the housing below.  As the fog was becoming thicker, we made our way back down through another route.

We also got the chance to visit the Bugnay Gallery.
Bugnay Gallery
Inside Bugnay Gallery
The Bugnay Gallery was full of paintings and sculptures which is better to view and appreciate personally so we chose not to divulge them in our photos.  

Aside from the Bugnay Gallery, the entire Tam-awan Village: Garden in the Sky is rich in Ifugao culture.




natives cooking their food
Overall, the Travel Tripsters loved their visit at the Tam-awan Village: Garden in the Sky.  The culture of the Ifugaos is interesting and deserve to be appreciate.  We highly recommend visiting this place.  You can get to enjoy the Cordillera specialty dishes and drinks at the Tam-awan Cafe as well.

Tam-awan Village Tam-awan VillageMap
Price Per Person Adult - 50 php
Kids - 20 php
Students and Senior (show ID) - 30 php
Payment Options Cash
Business Hours 8am-6pm
Reservation Required No
Contact (074) 446-2949
Other Website
Tam-awan Village Address
366-C Pinsao Proper, 2600 Baguio City, Philippines
Transportation to Tam-awan Village
Taxi, Jeepney 

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