Monday, May 30, 2011

ben-hur villanueva

A spontaneous trip to Baguio City led my boyfriend Paolo and I to the studio of renowned sculptor Ben-Hur Villanueva.

We were drawn to the place because of the huge metal figures resting atop the roof of the gallery Arko ni Apo. Upon entering the gallery, a small cafe with newspaper clippings welcomed visitors. At the second floor, intricate metal sculptures were on display. We heard music and smelled incense coming from the balcony so we curiously peeked outside, and there he was... the artist at work! Lucky us! :)

I asked if I could photograph his work area. I was careful not to take too many photos of the artworks because of their "no picture taking" policy. We ended up having coffee with sir Ben-Hur and his cool family, talking about art & life for two hours. I learned so much from that serendipitous meeting, "simplify and maximize" he said. Simplify your life and maximize your talents. We left Arko ni Apo with a bottle of soy coffee and a pocket-full of wisdom. :) 

Ben-Hur Villanueva
(Baguio City, Philippines)

Occupation: sculptor, educator


Since I wasn't able to ask Sir Ben-Hur the usual set of questions for Anik-Anik Love, here is a really good video I found online that captures him perfectly. :)

*video from


  1. A spontaneous trip to Baguio City? Wow! And a chance meeting with a sculptor, in the setting of a quaint cafe - that must have been amazing.

  2. I watched the video, he is really wise.

  3. This is awesome! I grew up in Baguio City makes me nostalgic for home. His parents must have liked General Lew Wallace's book (Ben-Hur) or the movie :)

  4. It was only recently that I was able to connect with the senior Villanueva thru one of his sons. I was then in junior high school...often at the artist's residence not as a guest but as "one-of-the-Villanueva's kid-school buddy-who-refuses-to-go-home." After viewing the video "The Life and Art of Ben-Hur Villanueva", My senses were immediatelly immersed, back to the many enriching Pelbel nights, as we sat around the senior Villanueva, not as guests, but as "one-of-the-Villanueva's kid-school buddy-who-refuses-to-go-home.

    Salamat po.



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