Benedicto Cabrera, or more popularly known as Bencab, is one of the Philippines’ National Artist for Visual Arts. When I was recently in Baguio, I did not miss the chance of not visiting his museum.
Aside from his own art works, there were also art works that were created by different Filipino artists. While roaming around the museum, I noticed the beautiful view of mountain ranges at the veranda. Another one that caught my attention was the lady seated on the floor at the veranda and weaving plastic straws.
We had a little chitchat with her while she’s doing her thing. She told us that originated from Mindanao and was selling cigarettes on the street. During her idle moments back in Mindanao, she would weave the plastic straws that she collects from the garbage. Plastic straw weaving was just a hobby and was just doing it for her grandchildren’s school projects. According to her, Bencab saw her on the street weaving and was asked if she wanted to do it on a normal basis. Because of Bencab, she was able to go to different parts of the Philippines just to show her craft and of course accept orders. The reason that she’s in Baguio at that time because there were a couple of orders that needed to be completed.
We were curious cats and kept on asking her questions because we got fascinated with the kind of art work that she does. I remember doing this kind of project when I was young but didn’t really have the patience to do it. According to her, it takes her 3 – 4 weeks to complete an entire banig (sleeping mat).
See the mat below underneath the sculpture? That’s one of her masterpieces! Isn’t it wonderful and colorful? 🙂