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Winaca Eco Cultural Village
Province:  Benguet
16° 29.088N   120° 37.869E
Listed in Gallery:   Eco Village
Artist's Workshop

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As written on the Winaca brochure ...

Some 35 minutes from Baguio City on the way to Sagada, a left turn just before the toll gate at Halsema Road leads you to Winaca Eco Cultural Village.

This Village is slowly and quietly emerging as a serene haven that nourish and refresh tired bodies and worn-out souls. It is meant to be a community that is keenly aware of cultural heritage preservation and environmental sensitivities while enjoying the comforts of home.

Some six clusters of country style cottages to be rented out is scattered in the village far enough to ensure privacy, but near enough to provide a sense of security and community.

A hundred metrs away is a cafe and an open air restaurant/conference hall that can also serve as venue foer small to big social events like weddings and retreats.

Below the open air restaurant is the cordillera village composed of authentic old houses like the Sagada-Bontoc house, the Bakun-Benguet house and the Ifugao house. They feature living craftsment at work in the immediate area of the houses.

Continuing beyond the heritage houses is the Nature Trail where you walk under the canopy of centuries old indiginous trees, giant ferns, narra and pine forest.

A thriving organic and anthurium gardens now produce fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Waypoint narrative by: 2010

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Historical data

established by Wilson & Narda Capuyan from Baguio to offer an alternative site to frequent Baguio trippers. The roots of the Capuyans are from Sagada.
the Capuyans acquired the area in 1984 from a bank foreclosed property
In December last year, Wilson transported to the village the grass-thatched hut, where he was born 62 years ago in Sagada town in Mountain Province. He and his workers reconstructed the dap-ay, where, as a boy, he listened to stories and advice from elders.
He bought other native huts from Benguet, Ifugao and Kalinga. He seeks to complete a representation of the traditional houses from each of the Cordillera provinces, including Abra and Apayao.

Basic Data

25 minutes away from Baguio designed with cultural heritage and environmental preservation in mind
31-hectare forested enclave in Tublay town in Benguet province, which mixes ecology, healthy dining, Cordillera culture, adventure and pure, clean fun.
Terraced and flat areas are devoted to organic gardens, which teem with lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and herbs, such as coriander, parsley, mint and wheat grass.
Interspersed with some of the trees are fruit-bearing ones, such as lemons and oranges
These gardens and orchards supply the ingredients of organic recipes served fresh at a restaurant within the eco-cultural village.
Products from the gardens are also sold at the couple’s other business outlets, such as Narda’s Trading Centre in Baguio. The centre also has a restaurant, which sources its vegetables from the eco-cultural village.
Elderly visitors may just want to relax and chat over cups of Arabica coffee or glasses of wheat grass or carrot juice after a meal at the village’s cafe and restaurant.
But the Capuyans made sure the young would enjoy some adventure at the hiking trail, hanging bridge and cove.
Both young and old guests can also be treated to, if not participate in, cultural shows at a natural amphitheatre.
Guests can learn to sing or chant Cordillera tunes and dance to the beat and rhythm of drums and gong
The village has a place for those who want to stargaze before they retire at their tents, which they can install at a camping ground.
Or they can share poems, puzzles, prayers and promises with an Igorot elder around an evening bonfire at a dap-ay (a circular meeting venue where people can sit on stones) in the yard of a traditional Sagada hut.


"Winaca" is an Igorot term which means: made from "waca" (Kankanaey term for vine).
Winaca also binds the first syllables of the Capuyans’ first names and surname.
Elsewhere, WINACA means "Winning Against Cancer" --- a U.S. movement and cause-oriented group
The eco-cultural village is also a real estate business so portions of the area are up for sale for those who wish to build their homes or rest houses within the forested enclave.

But there are conditions and terms for those seeking to build their homes here. One is that Winaca management takes care of the construction so it ensures that “green architecture and engineering” are followed, says Wilson.

This means avoiding cutting trees and moving earth when building a house. A lot must be at least 750sq m and a house must be built only on a small portion. The bigger portion must be allotted to trees and other vegetation, says Wilson.

Houses cannot also be built in portions with steep slopes. These are instead reserved as part of the enclave’s forest area.

As part of his ‘green architecture’, Wilson incorporates indigenous materials, such as rono reeds for ceiling and as accents for walls and cabinets and other furniture.

Narda, a native of Besao town, also in Mountain Province, seeks to continue promoting Igorot weaving and other crafts by employing weavers right in the village.

This initiative continues the success story of Narda’s Handwoven Arts and Crafts, which started in 1970 in La Trinidad, Benguet. From weaving blankets from recycled acrylic yarns, Narda moved on to weaving items for home furnishing, fashion and accessories.

By: JDCGumpal 2010



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