Issue of September 29, 2019
Mt. Province
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Ibagiw contests urge new ideas in crafts and folk art
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

IBAGIW -- The city government and the Baguio Art and Craft Collectives launched the Ibagiw - “Made in Baguio: the competitions on craft and folk art” as offering for this year’s Baguio Creative City Festival in line with the city’s Unesco creative city designation. The event aims to come up and showcase the best weaving, basketry, woodcarving and metalcraft of homegrown artists, carvers, and weavers regionwide. -- Hanna Lacsamana

The best of the four of Baguio and the Cordillera’s major cultural products – back-strap weaving, basketry, woodcar-ving, and metal craft – will take center stage during the second year of Baguio as a Unesco Creative City for Crafts and Folk Art.

After last year’s captivating Entacool festivities, the city government of Baguio and the Baguio Arts and Crafts Collective, Inc. this time will present a regionwide competition dubbed “Made in Baguio: The Ibagiw competitions in arts and folk art” as a way of celebrating the Baguio Creative City Festival for the second year since the city’s inclusion in the exclusive Unesco Creative Cities Network in November 2017.

The competitions aim to encourage innovations in the city’s major craft and folk art traditions and inspire a new generation of craftspeople and folk artists.

During the launching of the mechanics on Sept. 25, festival creative director Karlo Altomonte said the competitions are open to residents of Baguio and the Cordillera who may join as an individual or a collaborative effort of two or more persons.

Contestants may now start applying and submit their concept papers for their entries which shall undergo an audition process until Oct. 24.

Part of the audition is a skills demonstration, which may also be done by submitting a video of the contestant/creator performing their craft.

Eight finalists will be chosen among the entries for each category and they will be working on their final entries on the spot and before the public from Nov. 11 to 17 at Session Road.

The finished entries will be featured in an exhibit and silent auction at Diplomat Hotel, now officially called Baguio Heritage Hill and Nature Park Garden, from Nov. 18 to 24 during which the winners will be determined by a panel of judges.

RL Altomonte, the festival’s production manager, explained the weaving competition sponsored by the HABI: The Philippine Textile Council will have contestants creating tapestries using traditional back-strap looms.

Participants in woodcarving and basketry will be required to use bamboo as the main raw material while those joining the metal craft category are expected to create wearable jewelry using metals of their choice.

Winners from each category will receive P50,000 for the first place; P30,000 for the first runner-up; and P20,000 for the second runner-up.

“This is very nice because the event would show sense of ownership about this creative city concept. Our creative economy is really a big ecosystem, which includes not only the mainstream artists but also the craftsmen and women who are weavers, woodcarvers, and local smiths, among others. We are all involved,” Karlo Altomonte said.

More details and the complete mechanics of the competitions are available at the festival website and inquiries may be sent to the secretariat via email at

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