February 9, 2023

The Creative Baguio City Council (CBCC) is confident Baguio’s membership with the Unesco as a creative city for arts and crafts will be renewed, as it was able to pave the way for those in the creative industry not only popularize their work but also earn financially from their creations. 

CBCC co-chair and Baguio Arts and Crafts Collective, Inc. (Bacci) president Dr. Raymundo Rovillos said in the four years since Baguio was named a creative city, policies and programs have been crafted and activities and events have been institutionalized to ensure that the creatives and allied industries continue to benefit from being a creative city.

In terms of income, Rovillos said that while the pandemic affected artists, some were still able to earn by selling their creations, online.

“Culture-based kasi ang creations ditto. Our products have history,” Rovillos said. 

The CBCC is collating data on the total income earned from the various exhibitions staged since the city’s declaration as a creative city for submission to the Creative Ci-                             ties Network. He said the financial statement and other documents are required for the city’s renewal of membership to the Network.

For the Mandeko Kito, the artisans fair was able to earn around P10 million since its first staging, said fair organizer John Arvin Molintas.

Pasakalye Group of Artists head Maricar Docyogen added that for every major exhibit the group mounts, an estimate of P2M worth of art works are sold.

“Marami pa ring bumibili ng art work ngayong pandemic. May pera sila at hindi na kailangan bumiyahe papuntang Baguio para bumili. Bibili na lang online,” Docyogen said.

Baguio was declared by the Unesco a creative city in the field of arts and crafts in 2017. By becoming a part of the Creative Cities Network, member cities commit to initiate action plans, come up with specific projects, initiatives or policies to be executed in the next four years to implement the objectives of the Network, which are to invest in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy.

Accomplishments since the declaration include forming of policy-making bodies such as CBCC and Bacci to chart the way for the development of the creative industry in Baguio, capacity building trainings, sustained holding of events showcasing various arts and crafts such as the Ibagiw Festival, Mandeko Kito, and Montañosa Festival.

This year, the creative festival has included more activities spread out from October until this month. More venues have also been added for the showcasing of various works of art.

Among the activities lined up for this year’s Ibagiw Festival are the one-month visual art exhibit called Coded: Queue Are Here by Olie Olivete at the Baguio Convention Center which ended last Nov. 14, Agaramid Tayo: Series of documentaries posted online featuring collections of Museo Kordilyera (Oct. 21 onwards), Creative Fridays – a capacity building training for the creative industry (Nov. 5 to 27), Maki Arts Tayu Manen book art exhibit and competition (Nov. 6 to 30) at SM City Baguio.

Other events are the Impakabsat trade fair (Nov. 12 to 21), Alabang Festival Mall; Batok: Tattoos of the Cordillera, a cultural exposition on the traditional tattoos of the Cordillera (Nov. 12 to 30) at the Museo Kordilyera University of the Philippines Baguio for limited physical viewing and Dec. 1 onwards for virtual viewing; Daniw ti Ibagiw cultural show held last Nov. 13; Alimuom contemporary art exhibition (Nov. 13 to Dec.12) Baguio Convention Center basement gallery; Talastasan academic discourse on Baguio as a creative city (Nov. 15 to 19) via Zoom; Handwoven tales, an exhibition of traditional Cordillera fabric (Nov. 15 to 31) at the Museo Kordilyera; and Mandeko Kito artisans fair (Nov. 19 to Dec. 13) at Berkeley School.

Other lined-up activities are the Memories of Baguio: Dulthe’s homecoming, a solo exhibit by Arch. Dulthe Carlo Munar (Nov.13 to 19) at Berkely School; Sining Eskinita street mural art (Nov. 27 to Dec. 4) at Calderon Street; annual Ibagiw crafts design competition (Nov. 22 to Dec. 12, Convention Center lobby, Cordillera weaves exhibit and bazaar (Nov. 27 to Dec. 1), Department of Tourism compound; and unveiling of the wall of heroes (Nov. 30), BGH rotund. – Rimaliza A. Opiña