May 28, 2023

In the whole process of shifting to the new normal, it is suggested that to achieve sustainable development, the focus should be redirected to empowering community-based enterprises and innovative industries.

An artisans market dubbed, “Mandëko Kito!” is now open at the Oblation Grounds of the University of the Philippines Baguio, showcasing and offering for sale to the public innovative crafts, paintings, abel, woven and wood products, silver craft, and other world-class accessories made by local artists such as Narda’s, Dye Indigo of Abra, Ifugao, and Baguio’s Pasakalye.

The activity, in partnership with the Baguio Arts and Craft Collective Inc. (Bacci) and partners and the private sector, is part of the latest wave of the university administration’s efforts to support hard-hit sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes the arts industry of Baguio City and the Cordillera.

The school earlier set up the “UP Ikot: Talipapa sa Oble” farmers’ market, conceived together with the UP Alumni Association Northern Luzon Chapter, to generate income for local growers who are unable to sell their harvest due to the lockdowns on their regular trade routes.     

Mandëko Kito, an Ibaloy for “let’s sell,” aims to help local artists cope with the impacts of the current crisis caused by the pandemic, UP Baguio Chancellor Raymundo Rovillos said.

“Motivated by the success of Talipapa sa Oble, we thought why not also help the crafts people and artists, because this has been our advocacy even before. It’s also a way of making our presence felt as a creative city amidst this pandemic,” Rovillos said.

He added enterprises such as the local crafts industry should be among those that deserve support especially during these difficult times and even beyond the current crisis because this kind of endeavor is creative, innovative, and it is supporting local enterprises not only in Baguio but also in the neighboring towns.

“We want to deliver the message that in the whole paradigm shifting to the new normal, we go for sustainable development where it is no longer only growth oriented or thinking of big festivals but it should already be community-based and anchored on creativity and innovation,” Rovillos added.

To assure compliance with health protocols, only 10 customers at a time are allowed within the artisans market premises.

Arvin Molintas of the Bacci said the activity is also aimed as a semi-honesty store where clients may choose items they want to buy from each participating booth or table and are issued a slip containing their order. A centralized cashier has been installed within the premises where all items are paid to minimize physical transaction between the buyer and the seller.

The artisans’ market is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon until July 15. – Hanna C. Lacsamana