December 10, 2022

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – An event for-a-cause that highlighted local artisans and their works as a way of helping people has paved the way to a new tourist spot in this town’s Barangay Shilan.
The Ayonnas Ethnic Crafts and Souvenirs was launched on Jan. 31 at the home of renowned Cordilleran painter Eden Cawang, which presents literally a house of artworks.
The house has turned into a small melting pot of culture that boasts of the works of Cawang, Gustavo Montero “The Cordilleras Blade Shogun,” and other famous local artisans, since Dr. Anabelle Anod-Bawang spearheaded a fund-raising intended to benefit those with biliary atresia, a liver complication.
In a turn of events, the locality has acknowledged the venue and its purpose to be a prospective tourist destination spot for Barangay Shilan.
“If you ask me about finances I only have little. But we have a big heart. This is the heart that collaborates with other people for activities like this,” Anod-Bawang said.
Initially, the “Takday: An art exhibit for a cause” was conceptualized to display and sell local artworks, the proceeds of which will be for biliary atresia patients. It also advocates developing the talents of youths through simple workshops and collaborations.
It featured proud Ibaloi craftswoman Cawang, a painter for the past 10 years who made around 200 paintings and joined a hundred exhibits from international to local viewings.
The event was well received by the public, from influencers, locals, to local officials through overwhelming support pledged to the cause and for Cordilleran artists.
“One of the advocacies of the provincial government is to develop or promote all the tourism destinations in Benguet,” said Provincial Board Member Robert Namoro, chair of the sangguniang panlalawigan committee on tourism, culture, and arts.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the municipal government of La Trinidad strictly imposed health protocols and guidelines in activities within the town the town including tourism and crowd-drawing events. It has recently cancelled the annual Strawberry Festival and rescheduled the Coffee Festival. – Reign Keryao