Officially known as STOBOSA Hillside Homes Artwork, the 200 colorful houses clinging on the side of stone hill of Km.3, La Tinindad, Benguet is the largest community artwork in the country. The artwork covers sitios of Stonehill, Botiwtiw and Sadjap, thus the name STOBOSA. The project started on January 2016 and was launched on June 23, 2016.
An unexpected travel to Baguio City tempted me to visit the artwork, which truly fascinated me in pictures. On a rainy afternoon, while taking hike in a cool misty city, I got to ask a local how to visit the place. I was appropriately guided then. A 10-minute ride from Magsaysay Street, Baguio City brought me to Km. 3, La Trinidad.
When I dismounted, I saw colorful houses. Expecting more, I asked the locals where else could I see other mural houses. A bit disappointed, that was all they've got. So ordinary.
|Colorful homes above Balili River|
Pictures are truly deceiving. I didn't find the artwork so beautiful as showcased in social media. I asked permission from locals to trespass their properties just to look for other angles, but the view is still the same.
I was not impressed, I found nothing in it...
BUT I WAS SO WRONG by just looking at the outer beauty of the artwork. Captioned "There's nothing in it really", I posted an ordinary selfie on FB. In no time, it got more than hundred likes. Many appreciated it.
I was moved by few comments like "that is a product of volunteerism and concerted effort of the community to make it a tourist destination and thereby creating some livelihood for the residents." by Judy Tolentino Pazon and "Artwork dude. And teamwork." by Journeying Heiz Ramos.
I then realized people see what I don't see--- its real beauty.
Looking beyond the colorful houses, you can see the effort of 520 residents and volunteers to transform the so-called eyesore into attraction. Working together, the residents vowed to sustain the beatification project, which inspired them to beautify the place further, keeping it clean and making it also green.
Now, there's really something in it. The colorful artwork possesses a more meaningful beauty which our naked eyes can't see. It is also a concrete symbol of Filipino Bayanihan spirit which still exists up to now.
HOW TO GET THERE:
From Magsaysay Street, Baguio City, take a jeepney with signboard TOMAY. Alight at Km.3 of La Trinidad, just a few meters after La Trinidad welcome arch.
Fare is only P8.50