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This Charming Baguio Destination Mixes Cozy Spaces With Culture

You might want to drive up this summer weekend!

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Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: Sunshine Funa and Dairy Darilag (Main Photos) Styling: Dagny Madamba & Tala Singson

Baguio, arguably the country’s most popular summer destination, may be riddled with traffic at times, but there are still many pockets of peace and quiet. If you want to have a peaceful escape and at get a glimpse of Cordilleran art and culture, Arca’s Yard is the place to go.


Owner Ninja Sabado explains that Arca’s is named after her father, but it also stands for “Activities and Renaissance for Culture and the Arts.” Ninja says she promotes the Cordillera in her mini-library/mini-museum/café, because the artifacts are sourced all over the region.

Paintings by Baguio-based artists Michael Parsons, Roland Bay-an, and Roger “Rishab” Tibon, and photographs taken by Cordillera photographer Tommy Hafalla can be seen around the café. Their latest venture, Galleria de Potenciana by Arca’s Yard—a venue for art—has opened within walking distance of the café.


Many Cordilleran treasures are featured or even used as furniture in the public spaces of Arca’s. Ninja’s husband, the collector Greg Sabado, owns Sabado’s Handicrafts, a furniture and antiques shop nearby at Outlook Drive near Camp John Hay.


This main living area has wonderful views of pine trees and rest of the city.


Arca’s is peppered with wooden spoons, wooden bowls, figures of rice gods (bulol); most of which are antique.


A mini-library can be found on the second level, where guests can plop down on floor pillows and read books from Ninja’s personal collection, the titles of which range from fiction to coffee table books on art, and local tomes about the Cordilleras.


This cozy seating area near the second-floor window is the perfect spot to curl up and drink a cup of coffee and eat a slice of their famous camote pie.

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Visit Arca’s at 777 Tip-top City Limit, Ambuclao Road, Baguio City; tel. (074) 442-9706, mobile 0929-325-1868, or follow them on their Facebook page.

This article originally appeared in the December-January 2015-16 issue of Real Living magazine

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