Young Roots

A breath of fresh air in Malasiqui

Johanne R. Macob

By Johanne Margarette R. Macob


IT’S 3 in the afternoon. The scorching sun was enough to burn our skin. Or at least, that’s how my friend and I described it. The three-wheeled vehicles have filled the corners, the laterals, practically, much of the spaces in the town’s poblacion.  As soon as the boyfriend arrived from his work shift- without much ado- we decided we had to go somewhere.

I then remembered this article written by Sir Gabriel Cardinoza of the Philippine Daily Inquirer with an accompanying photo by our very own Sir Willie Lomibao. It featured a “new artists’ hub” in the province located in that part of the province where we strolled and commented on almost every corner we set our eyes on. So, we decided to go there.

It took us about 15 minutes to reach our destination from the town proper. We were lucky the place was near the boyfriend’s house so we didn’t waste time getting lost. Getting to the place was a breeze. No traffic jams, not a lot of vehicles. Perhaps, the downside:  there are not many public transports available from the place, so one would need to rent a tricycle from the town proper. For those travelling there with own transport, the slope’s paved a smooth ride.

My two lovely companions were as enthusiastic as I was soon as we saw the haven’s entrance sign, “Sagur Malasiqui.” Eureka, and something felt and looked familiar.

From a distance, the Sagur Artists’ Village in Lareg-Lareg- Nancapian village looked like a typical, traditional rural compound with several houses built from bamboos, the ‘bahay kubo’ style. The ‘gate’ or perhaps, the fence, was made from bamboos, as well. ‘Lush’ was the most appropriate word I could think of to describe the place’s surroundings. Different trees occupied a big portion of the lot, even the lot that somehow served as parking space was in full-green. It was a breath of fresh air.

As we entered the main ‘kubo,’ a number of artworks welcomed us. The house felt really homey even to visitors like us. One would enjoy seating on the couch with the view of paintings and sculptures hung around.

We did not meet the village’s owner, Sir Chit Asignacion, as he was in Baguio City. Nonetheless, our hosts (the former owners of the land where the artist’s village was put up and the occasional caretaker of the property- were very hospitable. I also learned that the owner of the Sagur Artists’ Village is one of the owners of the Tam-awan Artists’ Village in Baguio City. So that was the familiarity I sensed as I have been to Tam-awan at least three times. The former has fewer kubos and artworks than the latter, but I guess the plan is to develop the place with Tam-awan as a model.

Spending half an hour in the place made me conclude that the village was both warm and cool. It felt warm because it felt like home yet it felt cool with the breeze from the trees. I hope more artists will choose to have their works displayed in the area so that the artsy ambiance would be further enhanced. So, to those who love nature and the arts, and those who just want to have a breath of fresh air, Sagur Artists’ Village in Malasiqui will serve you these.

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