Sunday, September 29, 2019


The Ibagiw Competitions in Crafts & Folk Art

From the iconic Barrel Man, the pasiking, handwoven tapestries depicting traditional symbols of the Cordilleras to silver jewelry, Baguio’s crafts & folk traditions have long contributed to the city’s unique cultural identity. And with “Made in Baguio: The Competitions in Crafts & Folk Art,” this year’s staging of the Baguio Creative City Festival aims to encourage innovations in four major categories: Back-strap Weaving, Basketry, Woodcarving and Metalcraft and at the same time inspire a new breed of designers and artisans.

Sponsored by HABI: The Philippine Textile Council, the weaving competition will have contestants creating tapestries using traditional back-strap looms. For the woodcarving and basketry categories, the participants will be required to use bamboo as the main raw material, an effort of the festival to advocate the use of more sustainable and environment-friendly materials in the production of crafts. And while Baguio has been known primarily for its silver craft, in recent years local designers have been experimenting with and introducing other metals in the production of jewelry and other decorative artifacts. In the metalcraft category, local smiths will be creating wearable jewelry using metals of their choice.

Interested participants, who may enter as an individual or a collaborative effort of two or more persons, must pass an audition process which includes the submission of a concept paper detailing their proposed piece for the competition and a skills demonstration. Eight finalists shall be chosen for each category who will be working on their entries on-site and open to the public for a total of seven days, from November 11-17, 2019.

The finished entries will be featured in an exhibit and silent auction from November 18-24, 2019, during which a panel of judges will determine the winners of the competition. The top entry for each category will earn the creator/s P50,000.00, while the 1st runner-up will be awarded P30,000.00 and the 2nd runner-up, P20,000.00.

More details and the rest of the mechanics for the competitions are available HERE, or inquiries may be sent to the secretariat via email at

Monday, September 16, 2019


Up in the Cordilleran highlands, the different ethnic groups are typically referred to by attaching the prefix “i” (which means “people of” or “from”) to the name of the place from which they come such as the Ifugao (people of the earth, or “pugaw”), the Ibaloi (or people who live in houses, or baloi), or the collective name Igorot (people of the hills, from the word golot).

The word bagiw has been acknowledged as the origin of the word Baguio which is commonly known to have meant moss that according to history once grew abundantly along the banks of the Bued river. Ibagiw, therefore, means someone, or something that is from or of Baguio, and is the new title of the annual festival that celebrates the city’s creative community.

Ibagiw: The Baguio Creative City Festival 2019 shall be a showcase of the city’s vibrant and richly diverse artistic and cultural skyline. Presented by the City Government of Baguio and in line with the UNESCO designation of Baguio as a Creative City for Crafts & Folk Art, the festival also aims to inspire and encourage innovations in crafts and folk art with the festival’s main event: Made in Baguio – the competitions in woodcarving, textile weaving, basketry and metalcraft.

For nine days from November 16 to 24, 2019, the activities calendared in Ibagiw shall transform the former Diplomat Hotel, now formally known as the Heritage Hill and Nature Park, into the city’s primary creative hub with presentations such as “Jamming on a G-String,” a fashion show and concert featuring homegrown designers in collaboration with local musicians, “Culture Bearers of Baguio,” a photography exhibit featuring portraits of some of the city’s foremost artists and artisans, “Barrel Man 2.0,” an installation art exhibition, and “The Baguio Creative City Marketplace,” a fair that will showcase the city’s creative eco-system including a selection of the city’s famed crafts and folk art pieces from the traditional such as textiles, woodcarvings, basketry and silvercraft to modern creations by contemporary artisans, and other creative professionals that offer various services from event documentation and management to multimedia production.

Other events happening in various venues in Baguio include “Re-Imagining Baguio" which provides a venue for local artists to express their impressions on, visions of and aspiration for Baguio through exhibits by selected graffiti artists and muralists that will turn the historic Session Road into an outdoor art gallery and installations at the Heritage Hill and Nature Park, along with a short film competition.

Spearheaded by the Baguio Arts & Crafts Collective, Inc., the event also hopes to encourage dialogue, collaboration, cooperation and interactivity between artists, artisans and other creative economy stakeholders through the forums and demonstrations scheduled throughout the event.

With the theme, “Made in Baguio,” Ibagiw: The Baguio Creative City Festival 2019 aspires to bring art & culture closer to the people, instill in them a sense of pride in the city’s rich cultural heritage, and inspire a new generation of local artists and artisans.

But Ibagiw goes beyond the creative community, it paints a picture of all of Baguio, from its people to its rich, diverse and vibrant cultural heritage, cradled in its breathtaking landscape and thriving natural environment, all of which contribute to the beautiful life that can only be experienced in this highland paradise.

The Ibagiw Post-Production Report

In the past few days, we have been posting the exit reports for each of the events featured in Ibagiw: The Baguio Creative Festival 2019. I...