February 9, 2023

The Baguio Creative City Council (BCCC) and the city government have opened the 3rd Ibagiw Festival on Nov. 6 with the event highlighting the Ibaloy language and emerging and reinvigorated tourist spots of Baguio.

Bannering the “Breathe in Baguio,” theme, festival director Marie Venus Tan said this year’s Ibagiw Festival aims to give the community time to “breathe in” a fresh perspective after months of “suffocation” due to restricted movement and stress due to loss of livelihood, among other troubles that the public has and is still facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organizers have spread out the venues of events and have limited the time of operation of each activity to ensure that there will be no crowding. 

BCCC member and National Artist  for Film Kidlat Tahimik said despite the limited number of people who are expected to attend the activities and visit the venues, the BCCC and the city government decided to hold the festival to show the public that even in the middle of a health crisis, there are events that are worth celebrating. 

The festival is also meant to give the public a sense of normalcy, Tahimik added.

The nature and creative crawls will be held at known tourist spots of Baguio.

Each crawl or hub is designed for each viewer to “breathe in” (jasjas in Ibaloy) or admire the beauty of the artworks and crafts on display and of nature.

The first crawl or khawa (center) is at the Baguio Convention Center, Mandeko Kito artisanal market and Museo Kordilyera both located at the University of the Philippines Baguio, and at Sunshine Park.  

The second crawl or sedong (north) is at the Botanical-Centennial Park, Pilak silvercraft shop along Leonard Wood Road, forest bathing at the Camp John Hay trails, and Ili-Likha artists village at Assumption Road.

The third crawl or bedalan (east) is at Easter Weaving, Guisad, Tam-awan Village, and Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary.

The fourth crawl or ditop (west) is at the Mirador Jesuit Villa at Dominican Hill; BenCab Museum in Tuba, Benguet; and at the Venus Garden.

Tan said the 3rd Ibagiw Festival will maximize use of online platforms to reach out to people who may not be able to personally visit the different venues where activities are set.

Events that may be viewed via live streaming are Pecha Kucha on Nov. 19 from 6 to 9 p.m., art in the park opening on Nov. 20 from 9 to 10 a.m., and launching of children’s storybooks on Cordillera weaving and learning tool kits from 3 to 4 p.m., and the anido (bonfire) closing ceremonies on Nov. 30 from 4 to 6 p.m.

A website displaying the art works for sale will also be created to help artists sell their works.

For event details, log on to ibagiw.baguioartsandcrafts.org. – Rimaliza A. Opiña