If there’s one thing I hate about Baguio City, it’s the row upon rows of houses that sit along its hills. Indeed, they look pretty at night, with their lights all glimmering, but come daytime, they look very drab and more precise to the point, they look very garbagey. I love this city, but that’s how I really see it.
|THE STOBOSA MURAL AS SEEN FROM HANSELMA HIGHWAY|
About a few steps away from the border of Baguio City and La Trinidad, they have similar settlements built on hills. What differentiates it from its more modern counterpart is that people actually stop, get out from their cars and take pictures of them.
The Stobosa mural is the newest tourist destination that has Baguio-goers going gaga on their Instagram.
|A JUMBLE OF COLORS|
Stobosa, a combination of three sitios, Stonehill, Botiw-tiw and Sadjap, at Barangay Balili in La Trinidad has been made over by Tam-Awan Village Artists, Jordan Mang-osan, Clinton Aniversaryo, Ged Alangui, and Jenny Lorenzo with the help from the Department of Tourism and the Cordillera Administrative Region as part of their RevBloom (revitalize and bloom) campaign.
|UP CLOSE, EACH HOUSES A DIFFERENT COLOR|
Their concept, a gargantuan mural of colorful sunflowers covering 18,000 square meters of 180 homes using 2,800 gallons of eco-friendly paint. The whole thing took almost half a year to finish, with residents pitching in in painting each and every square meter of their houses.
|DEFINITELY LOOKS BETTER THAN BEFORE|
The end product is a stunning menagerie of colors that literally pops across the hillside of La Trinidad. Passing through the Hanselma Highway en route to the La Trinidad Strawberry Farm, one can’t help but stop and alight. The thing just begs to be Instagrammed.
|A HANGING BRIDGE CONNECTS THE VILLAGE TO THE ROAD|
The project was inspired by Brazil’s Favela Paintings, an urban mural project over the slum quarters of Rio De Janiero by Dutch artists Haas&Hahn. Stobosa’s version, while not really perfect, achieves its goals quite well. Even the hanging laundry from the residents complements the design well!
|STOBOSA AS SEEN FROM THE BELL CHURCH|
We visited the Stobosa mural right after a quick tour of the Baguio Bell Church, which was just a minute by foot away from the place. Indeed, we were quite awestruck with the immensity and the vibrancy it has brought to what was once a depressing urban sight.
|YOU WON’T SEE THE SUNFLOWERS FROM THE ROADSIDE|
From a billboard along the highway, we saw that the whole thing actually really represents sunflowers when viewed at a certain angle. Where that angle was, we have absolutely no idea. So we made do with what we can see from the street level and from the higher vantage across the street.
|REVITALIZING LA TRINIDAD’S HILLSIDE|
I heard there are plans to build an actual viewpoint and parking lot for Stobosa visitors in the future. A good idea, since stopping vehicles can really jam the highway and tourists taking photos of the place risk getting hit by passing cars or worse, fall down several meters below the Balili River which separates the hill from the road. And while they’re at it, maybe they can also do something about the power lines obstructing our view, Snapseed can only go so far, lol.
Another upcoming plan is to replicate the mural on parts of Baguio City itself, particularly Quirino Hill. Now that’s one plan I’m really quite excited to see into fruition.
The Colors of Stobosa Mural
Address: KM 3, Hanselma Highway, Brgy. Balili
La Trinidad, Benguet
Open Hours: Open 24 Hours Everyday
Entrance Fee: None
GPS Coordinates Map: 16.434633, 120.597003
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