My first being of Sabel was in the dance production directed and choreographed by Agnes Locsin which had regional tours and excerpt during the 2010 National Artists Award that included Ben Cabrera. Before then, my notion of Sabel was that she was merely BenCab’s muse, sometimes naked, sometimes otherwise.
To see her portraits at the BenCab Museum myself is to discover her deeper character: a woman who loves, sacrifices, laughs, cries, labors, walks in silence, observes, questions, and fights. She plays a protagonist, sometimes a protagonist-antagonist. She is ordinary, sometimes extra-ordinary. She plays at the foreground, sometimes background. She is fair but most of the times brown. She has eyes that know there are two kinds of people who may approach her: one who respects or one who rapes. Summing up, Sabel is a Filipino in the Philippines and anywhere else in the globe.
Anyone on a vacation at Baguio City should visit BenCab Museum instead of SM malling. You may allot one full day to appreciate all artworks in the patios and galleries and to engage in an eco-trail of organic and animal produce wherein you may rest at indigenous and ages-old Ifugao, Kalinga and Bontoc houses or by the river and falls.