Artistry shines in Baguio City

As Baguio City gradually reopens its doors to tourists, the City of Pines highlights its vibrant art and culture that proves it is also the city of creativity in the region. 

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat visits the exhibit at Baguio Convention Center with National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik. (Photo courtesy of Denison G. Manuel)
The city is celebrating Ibagiw 2020, a month-long festival that showcases its rich culture and history. 

“Baguio is more than just its natural wonders, and we want more Filipinos to rediscover what UNESCO designated as a Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts. Initiatives like Ibagiw will certainly help revive tourism in the region and jumpstart the local economy,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said during her recent visit to Baguio.

The northern region’s artistry shines in the lineup of creative crawls and events happening during the month-long festival. 

National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto 'BenCab' Cabrera spearheads the Wood Carving Competition at BenCab Museum.
Over at the newly refurbished Baguio Convention Center, Kidlat Tahimik showcases pieces that explore themes of “community, collective memory, personal and cultural identity, environmental activism, social commentary, contemporary society, humor, and local color” together with local artists in the exhibit dubbed “Interlinked.”

Local visual artists, meanwhile, are conducting spot painting at Art in the Park at Sunshine Park. Local artisans are likewise demonstrating textile weaving and wood carving at the venue. A photo exhibit of native plants in the Philippines is also ongoing.   

Meanwhile, those who want to participate in the creative crawl can explore the Mirador Hill, a nine-hectare Jesuit property that offers breathtaking views of Baguio and Benguet. This is followed by a trip to the BenCab Museum where works of National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, other Filipino masters, and rising contemporary creatives are on display.

Local artists showcase their works while on the spot weaving by a local artisan (photo below) is happening at the Sunshine Park for the Art in the Park opening ceremony
Another itinerary that is part of the creative crawl is Ili-Likha Artists Village, the brainchild of Tahimik. Built around trees redesigned with recycled materials, the village showcases artistic works, and serves as an inspiration hub for local and emerging artists. 

Next stop is at Mandeko Kito Artisanal Market, an arts and crafts fair organized by the University of the Philippines Baguio to feature local talent in the Cordillera Region. Lastly, guests will visit the Museo Kordilyera, the first ethnographic museum in the northern part of the country. 

“The pandemic has brought on challenges for everyone, especially those working in the tourism industry. Creative crawls bring guests to places they may not have visited before, thus supporting more locals,” noted Puyat.

To visit Ibagiw 2020 and the city’s other destinations, Baguio City requires tourists to show proof of a negative swab test, go through various health checks, and follow protocols such as wearing of face mask and face shield. Go to for more information.

Topics: Ibagiw 2020 , Baguio City , Bernadette Romulo-Puyat , UNESCO , Mandeko Kito Artisanal Market , Museo Kordilyera , Kidlat Tahimik

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