The Kafagway Garden, which was the main courtyard, was the original venue for the series of live performances. With a fountain at its center, lush towering trees illuminated by strings of light bulbs, a corner stage that was constructed particularly for this purpose, improvised benches set-up using the wooden posts intended for the ongoing structural reinforcement of the old Diplomat Hotel, it was a perfect venue for intimate outdoor concerts.
Other than visual arts, the local music scene is one of the biggest sectors in Baguio’s creative community. There was no actual audition process, aside from certain performances that were commissioned by the festival, the secretariat made an open call instead to musicians who wish to perform during the festival sometime in mid-October through the festival’s website and social media sites. Numerous bands and solo performers sent in their portfolios via e-mail or visited the Ibagiw secretariat at the OTOP office. There were enough slots in the schedule to accommodate performances, and all that was essentially needed was for an artist or a group to signify their intention to perform, present a demo reel or a video of past performances, commit to a schedule and a slot would be reserved for them.
All in all, there were 18 acts with nearly 60 performers who performed in this event entitled “Sunsets at the Courtyard” which ran from November 17 to 23, 2019. All performances were free and open to the public.
NOVEMBER 17, SUNDAY
EJ VIllarin, violinist and Dingdong Fiel, pianist - the two renowned classical instrumentalists opened the series of performances with a repertoire of classical pieces from around the world followed by a performance by Ivee Bongosia, folk musician and FiendFyre, flow arts expert.
NOVEMBER 18, MONDAY
Acoustic music by Jonathan ‘JJ’ Ramos and the duo, July and Jojo (July Parrocha on vocals and percussions and Jojo de Leon on guitars).
NOVEMBER 19, TUESDAY
Aeneas Altomonte, solo improvisations on the piano followed by a local group of musicians called Sibol Collective including Divino Rivera (vocals, guitars, harmonica), the founder of the group, accompanied by JP Gines (percussion), solo performer Not November (Novie Jayme), and the duo, Pepper Alley (Lin and Lia Reoma). Sibol’s set ended with Bandang Laura.
NOVEMBER 20, WEDNESDAY
Flights of Fancy led by Reuel Owat Carantes started the afternoon with familiar 80s and 90s hits followed by blues act Caesar Salcedo (vocals, guitar) and his band (Nelson on lead guitar, Marlon on bass, Wally on trumpet and Toper on drums).
An eclectic mix of music with Pugaw Laya (Lester Barrozo, Japeth Poserio, Gomer Runez, Chrysler Fernando and Ellis San Juan) playing percussion-filled all-OPM beats, Amateurish (Grey Gagarin, Sean John Caburao, Barry Ragaza, Dan Pedernal and Kyle Lee) with their progressive/math rock tunes and world music group Mantra X Makina (Sensi Onate, Oneal Albana, Lemuel Galleto, Ian Magsano, Del Torres).
NOVEMBER 23, SATURDAY
Classical and musical theater were the highlights that afternoon with renowned soprano and lawyer Kay Balajadia-Liggayu, guest performer John Glenn Gaerlan, tenor accompanied by pianist Reis Luke Aquino performing classical arias and Gershwin tunes followed by Open Space, a local theater group, which reunited past and present members, Emerald Ventura, Jessica Junio, Shirley Bognot, Lissa Romero de Guia, Eu Arcilla Caburao, Adrian Esplana, Jose Balleta, Roman Ordona and Jeff Coronado in a repertoire of Broadway songs.
* With annotations by Eunice Caburao,
stage manager in-charge of activity