The Ibagiw Competitions

The competitions aimed to encourage innovations in the city’s major crafts and folk art sector, and inspire a new generation of craftsmen & women and folk artists in the following categories:

Back-strap Weaving 

Prizes were as follows:

1st Prize – P50,000.00 plus trophy and certificate 
2nd Prize – P30,000.00 plus trophy and certificate 
3rd Prize – P20,000.00 plus trophy and certificate 

  1. Open to artists/designers and artisans of Baguio and the rest of the Cordilleras.
  2. Participants may enter as an individual or a collaborative effort between two or more individuals. 
        AUDITION PROCESS         

All interested participants must audition to enter the competition by:
  1. Submitting a concept paper for their proposed entry which must include a description and visual rendition/sketch. October 18, 2019 was set as the deadline for submissions. 
  2. If necessary, performing a skills demonstration which was scheduled October on October 26-27, 209. Applicants who could not personally come to the secretariat for the skills demonstration were allowed to submit a video of themselves performing the necessary skills to execute their proposed design. 
The primary considerations in choosing the finalists were as follows:

Originality and innovativeness of design/concept. 
Aesthetic value 
Design feasibility 

The secretariat received the following number of proposals of each of the categories:
  1. BACK-STRAP WEAVING – 14 submissions including two each from Ifugao and Mt. Province
  2. BASKETRY – 13 submissions 
  3. WOODCARVING – 8 submissions 
  4. METALCRAFT – 10 submissions 

A total of eight (8) finalists per category were to be chosen. The following were the competitions finalists:

Tapestry with dimensions of at least 14” in width and 3 yds. in length. Introducing other materials to enhance the entries is allowed as enhancements, but the weave shall remain the dominant component of the tapestry. 
  1. Antonia Dagoyen in collaboration with The Conquerors Association of Middle Quirino Hill, Baguio City - Proposed design: a decorative piece weaved with an old view of Baguio 
  2. Benita Naces - Proposed design: a traditional lagteb with stripes and circular patterns 
  3. Carina Amsiwen - Proposed design: a traditional lagteb with diamond patterns
  4. Catherine Domigyay - Proposed design: a tapestry that contain images of mountains/terrain of the Cordilleras, trees, butterflies, flowers and lizard
  5. Divina Calingayan & Benita Balangto - Proposed design: an ikat with both contemporary and traditional patterns
  6. John Rae Guimbungan & Maria Kinggingan - Proposed design: an Ifugao allumhing pattern that depicted images of baleh, himbaleh, lingling-o, lizards, rice fields and the bulul
  7. Lily Bimuyag - Proposed design: a piece that could serve as a decorative table runner, placemat, ubban (baby carrier) or doormat which included images of a Christmas tree, am-amulilit (lizard), tagtaggo (man), innulog (snake) and kulibangbang (butterfly)
  8. Montanosa Weavers Association - Proposed design: combining the applai weaving patterns with the Philippine flag

A bag or storage basket inspired by any of the traditional Cordilleran designs such as the pasiking, sangi, inabnutan, kayabang, etc. with dimensions of at least 12” (w) x 12” in (h) x 12” in thickness, or for circular designs, a diameter of at least 12” x 6” in height. Introducing other materials is allowed, but the main raw material for this category, bamboo, must be the dominant raw material of the finished product.
  1. Jason Domling - Proposed design: a basket used as a steamed rice container that could be converted to a pasiking, attache case and a shoulder bag.
  2. Henedina Lota Bacani and Eric Arguelles - Proposed design: a basket handbag.
  3. Johnny Bangao and Mason Maleptey - Proposed design: a lupao used as a salted meat container.
  4. Marie Joy Tabanda proposed design: an octagonal framed clutch bag. 
  5. Minda Catong Ciano proposed design: a kayabang innovated with a cover for storage that could also serve as a picnic bag. 
  6. Pelin Ekin Contales proposed design: a kampit innovated with a cover for storage and can be used as a picnic bag. 
  7. Randy Gawwi Bulayo proposed design: a back-pack baby carrier that could also be used as a portable seat and vegetable carrier. 
  8. Rovilyn Mayat-an & Romeo Mayat-an proposed design: a tampipi that included individual smaller pieces inside that could be carried over the shoulder or as a back-pack
A decorative piece that must be at least 24” in height. Introducing other materials is allowed, but the main raw material, bamboo, must remain the dominant material.

  1. Adriano Binwag Mahiwo - Proposed design: depiction of the tayaw, the Ibaloi courtship dance involving a pair each of dancers, solibao and gong players and the imbayah, in Ifugao dance with a pair of dancers and gong players and a bul-ul.
  2. Alex Ognayon - Proposed design: People praying as the spirit from heaven/supernatural being pour blessings upon them amidst a background of rice terraces.
  3. Charles Aliguyon Gano - Proposed design: a tableau depicting the Cordilleran people’s struggle to survive and provide for their families, the building of the rice terraces, and a thanksgiving scene. 
  4. Christopher Atiwon - Proposed design: a carving of a back-strap weaver as her woven piece morphs into her imagination of gong players, a wedding dance and a “bulul,” showing how her people’s way of life inspires her creation.
  5. Clinton Aniversario - Proposed design: a carving inspired by an Ibaloi single mother with a kayabang strapped on her head with children hanging from it, her right hand holding a cane with a child clinging and holding a mask whole more children swing from her skirt.
  6. Edralin Galuten Matchok - Proposed design: depiction of Baguio’s cultural symbols on the front of the piece including a gangsa with the image of a jar on its surface, two knives below the gangsa and an image of a bul-ul with a face. On the back, a shield with spears, two knives on the shield and nipa hut below the shield.
  7. Randy Lang-udan - Proposed design: a gacaw bamboo guitar, with a face/mask to drive away bad elements.
*For the Woodcarving category, while there were exactly eight (8) submissions, only seven (7) made it as finalists because one of the entries primarily involved etching and therefore did not qualify as a woodcarving piece.

Entries must be a set consisting of any three (3) of the following pieces: Neckwear (necklace), Wrist-wear (bracelet), Ring, Headwear (tiara, etc.), Earrings, Nose Ring. Introducing other materials is allowed such as precious stones, gems, and the like but metal should be the most dominant material.
  1. Bong Sanchez - Proposed design: a set composed of a tiara, a statement neck piece and a bracelet made out of keys, car metal slate and bronze.
  2. Clinton Aniversario - Proposed design: a set composed of a necklace, a bracelet and a ring made out of bronze, alloy, seeds, semi-precious stones, snake bone and carabao horn beads.
  3. Jenny Timbol and Sahrens Albuera - Proposed design: a lingling-o jewelry set composed of a necklace, a bracelet connected to a ring and ear cuffs made out of copper wires.
  4. Lito Malaggay - Proposed design: a set composed of a tiara, a forearm/arm bracelet and ear cuffs formed into a male gong player and a woman dancing made out of copper wires.
  5. Maria Sylvannia Navida Soriano - Proposed design: upcycled parts of soda cans. Her set would include two necklaces out of soda can bottoms and soda can tabs, a bracelet out of the soda bottoms and the earrings out of the soda tabs attached to the lid.
  6. Pamela Lefeber - Proposed design: a set composed of a neck piece, a bracelet and earrings made out of woven bare copper wires with rose quartz or lapis lazuli. The final product will be oxidized to give it a distinct shade.
  7. Pilak Silvershop - Proposed design: a set composed of a necklace, a bangle and earrings inspired by the sunflower. The centerpiece is the necklace which would be made out of Britannia silver using filigree standard composition.
  8. Tara Lalaine Natividad and Ayna Luisa Galang with Danilo Berdal, Joshua Marinas, Joseph Sneed - Proposed design: a set composed of a woven necklace, two arm bands and a woven belt made out of brass wires and plates. The set is inspired by the textile design, tattoo motifs and accessories of the six provinces of the Cordilleras.

The finalists were to be awarded a grant of P5,000.00 each as honorarium and provided raw materials to create their entry. But due to the unique circumstances of each of the categories, in a meeting with the finalists, the secretariat proposed the following which the participants approved of:

BACK-STRAP WEAVING - Finalists to receive P5,000.00 as honoraria and provided with a back-strap loom and frame plus assorted threads courtesy of HABI – The Philippine Textile Council which was the primary sponsor of the category.

The back-strap looms were ordered from and fabricated by Ms. Rovilyn Mayat-an, while the frames were fabricated by Mr. Tommy Tayao-tao.

BASKETRY - Finalists to receive P5,000.00 as honoraria and provided with at least eight (8) pieces of anes, a type of bamboo plus an additional P2,500 for their tools.

Anes, the type of bamboo preferred by the finalists, were sourced by Ms. Pelin Contales and Ms. Minda Ciano from Atok, Benguet. The secretariat ordered a total of 250 pieces of this bamboo measuring at least 6 feet each.

WOODCARVING - Finalists to receive P5,000.00 as honoraria and provided with giant bamboos plus an additional P2,500 for their tools.

METALCRAFT - Finalists to receive P5,000.00 as honoraria and an additional P2,500 for their materials and tools.

Participants were given a total of seven (7) days with eight hours per day from November 11 to 17, 2019 to complete their entries, on-site and under supervision of the secretariat-designated supervisor.


The exhibition of the competition finalists’ entries opened to the public on Monday, November 18, 2019 and immediately became one of the most viewed exhibits during the festival.

The secretariat then finalized the composition of the panel of judges, as follows:

Mr. Benedicto Cabrera
National Artist for Visual Arts

The Hon. Vladimir Cayabas
Baguio City Councilor - Committee on Education, Culture, Creativity, and Historical Research

Ms. Adelaida Lim
Chair and President, Baguio Arts & Crafts Collective Inc.

Ms. Arlene Magalong
First Lady of Baguio City

Engr. Alec Mapalo
Baguio City Tourism Officer

Mr. Peter Pinder

The Hon. Elaine Sembrano
Baguio City Councilor - Committee on Tourism, Special Events, Parks, and Playgrounds 

Mr. Kidlat Tahimik
National Artist for Film 

Mr. Bumbo Villanueva

Ms. Gayle Zialcita
Member, HABI - The Philippine Textile Council 

After a total of eight days, the finalists’ entries were completed and exhibited and judged wherein a simple ranking system was used: each of the judges ranked their preference from one to eight, with one being their choice for the winning entry. After the scores were tallied, the entries were ranked with the entry with the lowest number as the winner, the second lowest winning 2nd prize and the third lowest winning 3rd prize.

The judges were accompanied by members of the festival staff during the judging to ensure that they are informed about the mechanics for each of the categories. Minor violations/deviations from the competition mechanics were pointed out such as some entries’ dimensions not meeting the minimum requirements, etc., and although these entries were not disqualified, the festival secretariat gave the judges the prerogative to determine such violations’/deviations’ effect on their ranking. The festival staff also answered their inquiries on the production process undertaken for each of the entries.

Below are the final entries and their ranking after the individual judges’ ranking sheets were tallied, a task undertaken by Ms. Dana Cosio-Mercado together with members of the festival secretariat:


"Odon Ya Kapya" 
by Divina Calingayan and Benita Balangto

Dimensions: approx. 15” x 120.5”

"Kinadangyan" by 
John Ray Guimbungan 
and Maria Kinggingan
Dimensions: approx. 14” x 109”

“Inammata” by Carina Amsiwen
3rd Prize

Dimensions: 14” x 106”
"Kinabaknang Isnan Ili 
Ay Kabilbiligan" 
by Montanosa 
Weavers Association

Dimensions: approx. 14” x 106”
"Panang-aywan iti 
Nabatbati nga Kapintas 
iti Kaigorotan"
by Catherine Domigyay

Dimensions: approx. 13” x 116”

"Tawid Ti Kaputotan"
by Antonia Dagoyen, 
Conquerors Association 
of Middle Quirino 
approx. 14.5” x 108”

“Lagteb” by Benita Naces

Dimensions: approx. 13” x 106”


“Tuper-Treasure Box” 
by Rovilyn Mayat-an and Romeo Mayat-an
1st Prize


approx. 12” x 11” x 12”

“Hucop” by Jason Domling
2nd Prize
approx. 12” x 16” x 5”

by Randy Gawwi Bulayo 
3rd Prize 

approx. 18” x 34” x 16"

by Johnny Bangao 
and Mason Maleptey

approx. 18.5” x 19.5” 18.5”

by Henedina Lota A. Bacani 

and Eric M. Arguelles 


approx. 19” x 20.5” x 7”
by Pelin Ekin Contales 

17” x 12” x 13”

“Basket of Dreams” 
by Marie Joy Tabanda 


approx. 5” x 10.5” x 5”


“Single Parent” 
by Clinton Anniversario 
1st Prize 

Dimensions: (D) 21” x (H) 21”

“Wagah Maknongan” 
by Alex Ognayon
2nd Prize
Dimensions: (D) 14" x (H) 41”

“Backstrap Weaver” 
by Christopher Atiwon
3rd Prize 
Dimensions: (D) 23” x (H) 45”

"Gacaw Bamboo Guitar” 
by Randy Lang-udan
(D.) : 12” x (H) 31”

“Benguet and Ifugao 
Festival Dance” by 
Adriano Binwag Mahiwo 
Dimensions: : 
(D) 9.5” x (H) 34”

“Building the Rice Terraces 
of the Cordilleras” 
by Charles Gano

(D) 14.5” x (H) 36”


“Whayyu “Beauty” 
by Danilo Berdal, Luisa Galang,
Joshua Marinas, 
Tara Lalaine Natividad
 and Joshua Sneed
1st Prize 

Set includes: Necklace, Bangle, Belt

“Hiwaga” by Pamela Lefeber
2nd Prize 

Set includes: 
Necklace, Bracelet, Earring

“Mirasol, Bulaklak ng Araw” 
by Pilak Silvercrafts
3rd Prize 

Set includes: 

Necklace, Earrings, Bracelet 

“A Tree Key of 
Live Reading 
Between the 
Curved Lines” 
by Bong Sanchez

Set includes:
Crown/tiara, Necklace,
Bracelet, Arm cuff
“Take Me Home, 
by Jenny Timbol 
and Sahrens Albuera 

Set includes: 
Bracelet with ring, 

“Fertility and Wealth" 
by Clinton Anniversario

Set includes: Necklace, Bangle, Ring

“Senang Odom-The Past” 
by Lito Malaggay 

Set includes: 
Crown/tiara, Bracelet, 

"Stories of Baguio" 
by Maria Sylvanna Navida Soriano
Set includes: Two Necklaces, Bracelet,


The competition proper started on schedule on November 11, 2019. The excitement was palpable among the competitors. And while it was a competition, the sense of community and camaraderie among the participants was evident. The following are observations and footnotes submitted by the stage manager in charge of the activity, Mr. Joselito Baleta:

  • Ms. Lily Bimuyag, a back-strap weaving finalist sent a text message later that first day that she would not be able to continue with her participation due to the flu. After consulting with a doctor earlier that morning, she was advised to take a rest for a few days so she backed out of the competition. The category was left with seven finalists.

  • Four of the back-strap weaving finalists from outside of Baguio needed lodging in Baguio: two finalists from ifugao were accommodated by basketry competition participant Ms. Rovilyn Mayat-an while Mr. Jowel Sevilla, a member of the festival staff helped two other finalists from Paracelis, Mountain Province look for suitable accommodation near the venue, the cost of which was sponsored by the mayor of Paracelis.

  • Mr. Alex Ognayon, a woodcarving finalist did not show up on the first day of the competition. The secretariat attempted to reach him by phone all morning. Finally, when the secretariat got hold of him, we learned that he was in a remote village in Ifugao because he mistakenly thought that the competition would not be starting until the opening day of the festival on November 16, 2019. He immediately made travel arrangements and started working on his piece only on November 13.

  • The woodcarving finalists had issues with the giant bamboos initially provided by the festival. The first set of bamboos were to be sourced from the Philippine Bamboo Foundation, which through its president, Mr. Ed Manda, volunteered to provide the raw materials. But the number of bamboos that were eventually sent were not enough for all the finalists and the diameter did not meet the competition’s minimum requirements.

  • The secretariat sent staff members to Pugo, La Union to purchase giant bamboos. But the finalists said that the bamboos from Pugo were untreated or have not been dried properly, and therefore not suitable for woodcarving. They suggested sourcing the bamboos from artist Peter Pinder. The secretariat immediately got in touch with Mr. Pinder who agreed to provide the required raw materials. Two of the finalists, Mr. Christopher Atiwon and Mr. Charles Gano, volunteered to personally pick up the bamboos from Mr. Pinder who donated seven pieces of treated giant bamboos.

  • Some of the competitors requested to be permitted to work outside the competition hall due to various reasons: lack of space, their use of power tools may disturb the other competitors, or in the case of the carvers, they didn’t want other competitors to see how they’re executing their respective designs. For this, as with all other competition issues that needed to be resolved, the secretariat asked for the approval of all competitors.

  • As per the Baguio City Budget Office, the grants, which fell under the budget of the city government, will only be released to the finalists on the last day of the festival, or November 24. Most of the competitors needed cash for their daily needs and were asking for an advance. The festival secretariat provided them with cash advances in the amount of P2,000.00 each on November 12-14 with the understanding that these advances will be reimbursed upon the release of their grants by the City Budget Office on November 24.

  • On November 13, Mr. Edralin Matchok, a woodcarving finalist requested to excuse himself for the day because his left ear bled due to his wounded eardrum. He went back to the competition on the next day, however, in the afternoon he backed out of the competition because he could not tolerate the pain anymore. Only six wood carving finalists pushed through with the competition.

  • On November 16, the competitors requested a one day extension, and it was agreed upon by all competitors, it was granted by the secretariat. So the competition ended on November 18, 2019 instead.

  • A number of the winners expressed displeasure with the deduction of taxes from the prizes. The same sentiment was also expressed by some of the featured performers and commissioned artists for the other festival events. The secretariat took note of this sentiment and responsibility for not anticipating such deduction, while at the same time explaining to the concerned persons and groups that such deductions are part and parcel of being a professional in their respective fields of expertise.
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