Issue of January 7, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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‘Embracing diversity key to enhancing creativity tag’
by Jane B. Cadalig

Political will to address overdevelopment and involvement of all sectors in the city are needed.

These were among the recommendations of Dr. Mary Anne Alabanza-Akers, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning of the Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, for Baguio to enhance its declaration as a creative city.

Akers said that Baguio is way advanced than a lot of American cities in terms of establishing an identity as a creative capital, but problems brought about by overdevelopment must also be addressed.

“A lot of American cities are still trying to come up with their identity to attract people. Baguio does not need to do that, but we need to be careful about how we present ourselves because with what is happening now, a creative city cannot have a suffocating context due to overdevelopment, traffic, and pollution,” she said.

She added addressing these concerns need political will, progressive leadership, and involvement of every stakeholder in coming up with out-of-the box solutions.

“We need a lot of inputs and creative ideas to address concerns brought about by overdevelopment. This is why we need people to collectively work. The power lies in all of us if we want to stop overdevelopment,” Akers said.

Akers delivered the lecture before architects, artists, urban planners, and local government units and non-government organizations as her contribution in helping Baguio enhance its designation as the country’s first Unesco creative city in folk arts category.

She said the city should also allow a certain level of “disruption” and be open to the millennials who are among the forces to be involved in enhancing Baguio’s creative capital designation.

“As a creative city, our leaders need to be more open to the millennials. If they want to do things that are not traditional, let us embrace their ideas. Let us allow a certain level of disruption to come out with new ideas,” Akers said.

Citing a study by Richard Florida about creative capitals, Akers said cities that scored high in the creativity index are those where diversity is high.

“Embracing diversity of thought, ethnicity, have ways of doing things will help us cultivate our creative culture and enhance our creative city designation,” she said.

Akers is the daughter of Baguio’s first architect Joseph “Jody” Alabanza.

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Baguio Country Club
Department of Tourism – CAR
University of Baguio
Venus Parkview Hotel

Congressman Mark O. Go
Department of Health – CAR
Kings College of the Philippines
Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan
Narda’s Handwoven Arts & Crafts Inc.
Philex Mining Corporation
Pines City Colleges
Province of Benguet
Sangguniang Panlungsod
SM City Baguio
Social Security System

Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center
Baguio Center Mall
Baguio Central University
Baguio Heart and Lung Diagnostic Center Inc.
Baguio Memorial Chapels Incorporated
Baguio Water District
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – CAR
C & Triple A Supermart
Congressman Ronald M. Cosalan
Curamed Pharmacy
Data Center College of the Philippines of Baguio City Inc.
Department of Agriculture – CAR
Department of Environment and Natural Resources – CAR
Department of Trade and Industry – CAR
Department of Transportation – CAR
Easter College Incorporated
Fabulo Beauty and Image Salon
Fast East Pacific Commercial
Filipino–Japanese Friendship Association of Northern Luzon, Inc.
GMS Technology
Immigration Network Services, Inc.
La Funeraria Paz, Inc.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda
MMS Development Training Center Corporation
Mother Earth Deli Basket
National Economic & Development Authority–CAR
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
Philippine Science High School – CARC
R.A. Gapuz Review Center
Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board – CAR
Solibao – Ganza Restaurant
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
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