The Ibagiw Exhibits

                OPEN CALL                 

In a festival that aimed to be as inclusive as possible, providing for exhibition opportunities for Baguio’s visual artists was a challenge due to their sheer number. Individually sending out invitations to persons and groups ran the risk of leaving out some. So in lieu of invitations, the festival instead open calls for submissions and publicly invited groups and individuals to participate as exhibiting artists in Ibagiw.

The response was overwhelming, and the result was a festival with one of the biggest artist participation in recent years.

Nona Garcia and Kawayan de Guia setting up and artwork
                CURATING IBAGIW                 

Due to concerns on the venue’s structural integrity, it was decided early on that the activities for the festival would be limited to the old Diplomat Hotel’s ground floor. This had its pros and cons - having all the events on one floor allowed for more interactivity among the participants, but also limited the spaces available for exhibits, performances and other activities of the festival.

Curating hundreds of artworks was a daunting task and the limited timeframe to stage the exhibits contributed to that challenge. The festival secretariat had to rely on the participating artist’s sense of community and initiative in preparing the exhibits.

For the group exhibits, we allowed the different artist collectives who were given spaces to curate their respective shows. And for the main group show, “Salubong,” which featured the works of visiting artists from Angono, Rizal and selected Baguio artists, Kawayan de Guia and Nona Garcia took the lead for the local artists works while the visitors curated their own section of the exhibit hall.

As for the individual submissions, the festival secretariat took on the responsibility of choosing from among the submissions which would go on exhibit. This mainly involved choosing one or two from an individual artist’s submission of three or more artworks to accommodate as many artists as possible. We then requested members of the group, PasaKalye, to help curate the works since majority of the submissions came from their group.

    a group exhibit featuring works by selected Angono and Baguio artists     

During one of the meetings with the board and executive committee of BACCI, the idea of collaborating with other cities was brought up by Dr. Raymundo Rovillos, Chancellor of UP Baguio. The two Venuses in the meeting forwarded possibilities: Ms. Tan, among the lead personalities in the designation of Baguio as a UNESCO Creative City, suggested partnering with Davao and Ms. Navalta, then the newest member of the BACCI board, offered to coordinate with Angono artists. The latter suggestion was the one that was pursued because with the limited resources available to BACCI, and given the support that its own local government could provide, added to Ms. Navalta and her husband, Egay’s commitment to help make it happen, it was the more feasible of the two. 

On October 6, 2019, Ms. Venus Navalta took the first steps by connecting the festival creative director with Aaron Bautista, artist and curator of Ankla Gallery and Joy Vocalan-Cruz, artist and owner of the said gallery and head of Angono’s Tourism Office.

We replied to the email thread providing the Angono representatives with basic information about the festival:

Dear Aaron:

Thank you very much for your group's interest in a collaborative effort with Baguio's creative community for this year's Ibagiw: The Baguio Creative City Festival. Although we have explored certain basic ideas for this, such as a "Salubong" group exhibit between Baguio and Angono artists, may I ask exactly what you have in mind?

Here are some basic info that might be of help to you:

1. The festival's main venue is the Heritage Hill and Nature Park (also known as the Diplomat Hotel). It is basically what remains of a former Dominican retreat house that was turned into a hotel which after it ceased operations left he structure largely abandoned.

2. There re three floors, but we're only mainly utilizing the ground level. Although there's a huge hall a at the second floor that we are keeping in reserve should the need for it arises.

3. After an opening ceremony in the afternoon of Nov. 16, the rest of the planned activities and events will run until the closing on November 24.

4. We have a lot of wall spaces along the corridors where the creative marketplace will be.

5. The grounds of the park offer great spaces for outdoor installations.

I will be waiting for word from you re: your group's proposed activity and we will do our best to provide whatever we can to make it happen.



After a few weeks of correspondence, the Angono contingent finally sent their final program which included: 
  • Participation in a group exhibit with Baguio artists entitled, “Salubong.”
  • Proposed screening of a video depicting the Salubong Easter Celebration in Angono.
  • Exhibition of two “Higantes” representing two National Artists – Botong Francisco and Lucio San Pedro, both Angono natives. 
  • A performance by the Angono Chorale Ensemble. 
  • Proposed Installation Art and Screen Printing Workshop by KUTA Group of Artists. 

The visiting artists from Angono, Rizal

While the Angono group initially requested for BACCI to provide accommodation arrangements for the visiting artists, Ms. Navalta, aside from making arrangements for the collaboration to happen, eventually also took care of hosting the them, for which the festival expresses its sincerest gratitude for. 

Meanwhile, even before the final confirmation of the Angono participation, the festival secretariat started putting together a list of artists from Baguio who would be included in “Salubong.” For this, local veteran artists were consulted, and invitations were sent.


Responses to the invitations to local artists were encouraging. Among the first two confirm their participation were Kawayan de Guia and Nona Garcia. By the first week of November, we’ve finalized the list of Baguio artists for the “Salubong” exhibit: 

Ged Alangui
Leonard Aguinaldo 
Roland Bay-an 
Randy Gawwi Bulayo 
Salvador Cabrera 
Nona Garcia 
Kawayan de Guia 
Kidlat de Guia 
Jordan Mang-osan 
John Frank Sabado 
Mark Tandoyog 
Bumbo Villanueva 

Their Angono counterparts were:

Dolpee Alcantara
Jovito Andres 
Bernardo Balagtas 
Aaron Villamayor Bautista 
Dino Blanco
Michael Blanco 
Norman Francis Juban Blanco 
Manong Jon 
Mark Francisco 
Totong Francisco II 
Siefred Tayag Guilaran 
Ebok Sausa Pinpino 
Rene Tolentino 
Franz Mario Vocalan
Joy Vocalan-Cruz 

For the exhibit, we had to open the main exhibit room at the 2nd floor despite earlier plans to just utilize the ground floor due to space constraints. To capture the spirit of community, the venue was named Dap-ayan Hall.

The collaborative effort turned out to be the most viewed exhibit of the festival. Every day, throngs would gather at the exhibit hall that the staff had to deploy more personnel to control the crowd and ensure the safety of artworks.

Because of incidences of viewers touching the artworks despite signs that say not to, a system was devised wherein a maximum of 20 people would be allowed in the hall at a time. After being guided by the festival staff through all the artworks, that group would be requested to vacate the hall before the next 20 people would be let in.

Although they weren’t able to do all of the proposed activities, the participation of the Angono artists in Ibagiw: The Baguio Creative City Festival 2019 added so much color and substance to the festival.

                THE EXHIBITS                

As the opening of the festival neared, more and more individual artists and groups signified their intention to mount an exhibit. The secretariat had to re-organize the exhibit areas to accommodate as many artists as possible.

The result was wonderful: practically all available wall space at the ground floor was adorned by artworks. Aside from “Salubong,” the following are the list of exhibits that Ibagiw: The Baguio Creative City Festival 2019 featured:

Pidaoan Room

Chanum Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1998 and began reconstructing Ifugao huts in Pinsao to establish the Tam-awan Village. Founders, Ben Cabrera, Jordan Mang-osan, Chit Asignation, Atty. Nestor Mondok, Anne Camdas-Micheal and Jackson Bryan III worked together to envision an ideal and unique organization for culture and the arts. 

With the aim of making Tam-awan Village the premier venue for the ultimate cultural and artistic experience, Chanum also established its group of artists called the “Tam-awan Village Artist Group.” This artist group began with members Ben Cabrera and Jordan Mang-osan at the helm. More artists were recruited who had impressive talent and shared the same mission and vision as Chanum Foundation, Inc.. The purpose was to create a group of visual artists who would promote the diversity and richness of the Cordilleran culture and lifestyles through their artworks. With the sponsorship of the foundation and under the mentorship of topnotch artists, the dream came true.

The Tam-awan Village Artist Group now boasts 27 active artists who incorporate Igorot culture and ideals into their works. A prospective member’s artwork portfolio is first reviewed by the board of officers and senior artists before undergoing probation for one year. Each new member has to prove his or her worth and dedication to art and culture through annual art exhibits, art workshops, and many more. Each and every member is sponsored by Chanum Foundation,Inc. and given the chance to flourish and realize his or her potential. Now, the Tam-awan Village Artist Group has expanded its focus and has embraced different forms of art. The group has begun conceptualizing and organizing recruitment and membership under performing arts, literature, and has included film and photography under visual arts.

Oligueg Room 

Pasa-Kalye started when Bookends Bookshop made a call for an art for a cause to expand her fund-raising activity supporting several patients suffering from kidney diseases. The sketch-for-a-cause dubbed “sketch mo, buhay ko” was successful that it was followed by several same events. 

The artists wanting to do more suggested to do another art for a cause where they will sell their artworks at discounted prices to support the cause. Without a gallery, the group started a street exhibit. They called this street exhibit “Pasa-Kalye” from the tagalog word meaning introduction. This new concept is the “pasakalye” or introduction of a new concept to make an idle street busy with art. It is also an introduction of new artists to grow. The word was divided into two to give a different meaning. The prefix ‘pasa,’ means "to pass" and can also mean ‘into’ thus ‘pasa-kalye’ could mean ‘into the street.” Into the streets with arts and, like the pasakalye in music, this is a harmonious beginning among artists, journalists and a business entrepreneur. 

Senior artist Roland Bay-an said it is a good beginning where no politicking is involved. He believes as long as it remains this way, the group will continue to grow. Many of the artists who joined the call have no groups or came from groups that were inactive. When the time came to make a decision to name the group, they have chosen to use the name of the first exhibit they did giving birth to the Pasa-Kalye Group of Artists. 

Many activities are being done for a cause. Art auctions, art exhibits, sketching and workshops being showcased have designated beneficiaries. Several sick patients have already received assistance. It is also meant to help member artists for their livelihood. Artists with disabilities found way to earn through the events created by the group. Although many of the beginning artists are yet to find recognition for their work, they are still willing to share their time and talents to help other artists and people in need.

Suello Room

A group of local women artists who share a passion for the arts. Their primary aim is to introduce budding women artists into the city’s thriving art community. While the composition of the group is mostly women, they welcome and embrace all genders. There is no hierarchy in the group. There are no leaders. All their initiatives are collaborative efforts of all its members.

Molintas Room 

Solid Line is a group of artists who are helping other individuals who want to try to take a shot in various forms of pop art and help them build confidence, their portfolio and become capable and professional in their selected field of creative expression.

PËNGSASAN - Drawings and prints by Geoffrey M. Carantes

As a noted Ibaloy historian and visual artist in Baguio and Benguet Province, Geoffrey Carantes rendered his time and talent to further promote, explore and document Cordilleran culture and history through his visual arts and writings. As a descendant of one of the original settlers or families in Baguio and Benguet, Carantes was a proud son of his tribe: Ibaloy. 

However, knowledge of his contributions to Cordillera Art have been limited to the confines of local individuals and certain institutions in the province. After graduating from the University of the Philippines Diliman Fine Arts, Carantes dedicated his private and public life as an educator, an advocate for the rights of the indigenous peoples in Baguio City and as a public servant of La Trinidad. In June of 2015, Carantes was posthumously awarded the Golden Kayabang Award to honor his contribution to the preservation and promotion of culture and the arts during his stint as Municipal Legislator. 

He is also credited for coining the term “Panaspulan,” which has now evolved as the Strawberry Festival. 

This collection of works are prints of existing artworks and literature by Geoffrey Carantes, the originals of which are in possession of different individuals and institutions. 

Apni Room

Russel Ariola is one of the few who still practice the art. He was born in Baguio City but was raised in Queens, New York. Self-taught and having practiced wet plate photography for 8 years, his
experience lends well to his craft. His process of using wet plate for photos is a challenge, but he believes that the process adds a layer of depth alongside the basic rules of photography such as composition and exposure. As experienced as Russel is in wet plate photography, he believes there is still much to share and learn regarding the process. At the end of every photo developed, he still feels the same pride and satisfaction he felt the first time he developed his first photo.

(Baguio Photographers Club) 
Cavaljuerza Room 

The Baguio Photographers Club (BPC) is a non-profit organization of both professional and hobbyist photographers in Baguio City. BPC was formed more than 10 years ago by Baguio based photographers who share the love of photography and of Baguio City. The group met for photowalks and gathered to talk about gears, techniques and genres. From these meetings, we were able to hold several group exhibits around the city, workshops and even outreaches to the community via lectures, coverages and photo contributions. With the advent of internet and social media, BPC has now shifted to Facebook for easier posting of photos and accepts members on per approval basis. 

We actually started with the social networking site Multiply. BPC welcomes membership of beginner and veteran photographers alike, to foster learning and sharing of skills. 

Our theme for the exhibit is of the Cordilleras, with its endless list of subjects for telling stories in still images. Armed with our cameras, we aim to capture the beauty of our landscape and culture, and proudly share it with the world. This year, we are thankful for the opportunity to display our photographs outside the computer screen. In real print.

Orengao Hall 

In one of the exhibits that presented commissioned works, Culture Bearers of Baguio featured photographic portraits of some of city’s artists and artisans taken by local photographers.

The intention of the exhibition is to start a collection that could eventually be published as a coffee
table book.

The photographers featured in this exhibit are as follows:

Eliza Consul
Ompong Tan
Dave Leprozo Jr.
Eros Goze
Syl Soriano
Ric Maniquis
Ren Munoz
Mark Perez
Karlo Marko Altomonte


The hallways surrounding the courtyard that we have named “Kafagway Garden” were originally reserved for the “Salubong” exhibit. But after an ocular inspection by artists Kawayan de Guia and Nona Garcia, they expressed their concern with the limited viewing distance that the hallways allowed, particularly since the works they intended to exhibit were huge. It was then that we had to open up the exhibit hall at the 2nd floor. This opened up the walls of the hallways at the ground floor to smaller works, allowing us to accommodate the individual artists who were not part of any of the group exhibits to be featured in the festival.

The individual artists who shared their works in this exhibit were:

Ronnel F. Apilado 

Albert Jay M. Lab-oyan 

Leandro Magtibay 

Nikkole Sabado 

Resty C. Lopez 
Joey Quinto 
Ella Picazo Pinder 
Anna Marie Angelica C. Rosalin 
KC Ventanilla 
Heidi Rodriguez 
Edmund C. Andrada 
Jonathan P. Villalobos 
Gab Talicuad 
Justice Kerry C. Laigo 
Iya Martinez 
Domiel May R. Ocampo 
Elizabeth Rafanan Magno 
Roel Salvador R. Mercado 
William Matawaran 
Elizardo Ituriaga Jr. 
Aquino Lopez 
Joeben Disu 
Bayard Aquitana 
Jonathan Villalobos 

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