May 24, 2024

‘Tis the season to give for the Chanum Foundation which operates the Tam-awan Village.

Since 1997, this replica of a typical Cordillera village set on a 2.5-hectare property of the Camdas family at Pinsao Proper in Baguio, has been the destination of tourists for many reasons.

Today, the ecological hike, experience of sleeping in a typical Ifugao hut, the art and craft workshops and exhibits, participation in the Cordillera dance, sampling of mountain food fare, or getting a portrait are just a few of the activities and experiences that tourists have enjoyed. The many faces and hands that serve the tourists have contributed to the popularity of the venue. They are the family of families who make the best reason for giving generously.

Dec. 18 brought a hundred or more friends and family friends together to celebrate another year of excellent service to visitors of Tam-awan Village. Artists and artisans, all converged for the exchange gifts, games, and food for the evening. Some visual artists added their artworks to the lot of gifts.

Tam-awan Village Chief Operations Officer Rachelle Magarso said the more than 20 years of the tradition of giving is because the foundation doesn’t make profits and zeros the ledgers through celebrating with the staff, family, and friends.

Ann Camdas, who was present for the Christmas party, welcomed everyone and greeted them a Merry Christmas.

Chanum Foundation president and pyrography artist, Jordan Mang-osan, also greeted the growing family and friends of the foundation in the informal gathering while Arvin Molintas was master of ceremonies who led the activities.

The warm fellowship showed that the children who grew up in the tradition looked forward to the annual occasion and the games. The children now with children themselves show how the village has nurtured the family feeling. This is how art can nourish the spirit and make it flourish into brighter and better prospects.

The Christmas carols of the children from the Children Joy Foundation brought music to the gathering. They are invited almost yearly to join the merriment. According to Mayumi Andiso, volunteer, the CJF assists the children of indigent and disabled parents so they can attend school.

Some orphans are given temporary shelter and are placed in foster homes to change their lives. She says that some of the parents are given livelihood trainings and taught skills so they may better support their children. “It’s just like a family,” Andiso describes the CJF.

The children who performed demonstrated how CJF equips the children with skills to play musical instruments and nurture their musical talents. According to Andiso, the feeling of family goes beyond the age of 18 for some CJF beneficiaries who have become the social workers themselves for the CJF. The CJF main home is in Pampanga but there are local centers in Baguio. They are a member of the Chanum Foundation family.

Tam-awan Village has evolved with the times. Only some of the original seven Ifugao huts remain. Activity centers for workshops by local and visiting artists fill the slate in summer. Many former resident artists have earned their niches in the art world and art map.

Younger talented artists have made this village their hub. It shows the changing facets of art. This city tourist destination of the Chanum Foundation serves as the catalyst in promoting what is truly the Cordillera custom, tradition and culture as it embraces the contemporary trends in art.

In truth, Chanum Foundation gives all-year round. This time is just a special day to share the laughter, fun and food with the warm bodies that make the family in this village.