Issue of February 4, 2018
Mt. Province

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Creative City

Many would agree with this near-sighted Ibaloy writer that the biggest feather in the cap of Baguio last year was its inclusion in Unesco’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN), particularly in crafts and folk art. As a haven of artistic endeavors where most, if not all, of its artists were born or trace their roots outside the City of Pines, this unity in diversity truly makes it more creative and cooler in Baguio.

During the recent launching of Baguio’s UCCN program at City Hall, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said, “I have a strong belief that creativity and innovation are the crucial building blocks that paved the way for Baguio City to garner awards in various areas of social development like health, nutrition, social welfare, education, and recently on the environment.”

“Today, as we launch our creative cities program, we open the opportunity for local art to flourish and our very own artists to shine once again. Despite a highly diversified cultural arena, as a city we look forward to the evolution of a seamless and dynamic harmonization that will help develop a unique and distinct art for our city. Along this line, we will pursue a more creative collaboration following the perspective that we have launched today,” he added.

Domogan pointed out that creativity put into practice is an innovative process to engage all sectors of the community and break barriers within the bounds of law, with the end view of continuously improving local governance.

“Yes, we all know that everything will not be smooth sailing as we will encounter a divergence in opinions, time constraints, who does what, and especially timely allocation of resources. Be that as it may, this is exactly where we can apply creativity and innovation to their highest degree,” he said.

The mayor added that the city’s inclusion requires commitment translated into action to realize the purpose and showcase the principles of being a creative city, focused on crafts and folk art.

He said that the city’s present cultural landscape is a fusion of its historical past and the harmonization of the highly divergent cultural mix, both from the highlands and lowlands, resulting from Baguio’s strategic position as the only highly urbanized city in the region that provides excellent urban services in education, health, trade; and information and communication technology.

“We are now bound by a common commitment. Let us allow dialogue and open mindedness to prevail as we all move towards a flawless fusion of energies and achieve teamwork, all for a creative Baguio City,” Domogan stressed.

For her part, City Budget Officer Leticia Clemente said that Baguio’s UCCN membership provides the city with strategic opportunities to stimulate and innovate its local policies towards creativity and strengthen international outreach.

“More than the international accolade, the city’s membership in the UCCN is a commitment to place the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, notably making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable; putting the new urban agenda at the heart of its future development strategies and plans; as well as joining the international community in the fast growing momentum for sustainable development,” she added.

Clemente stressed that Baguio’s designation as a Unesco Creative City represents the starting point of a long-term journey to move the city along a more sustainable development path through culture and creativity.

“Along this framework, as our budget has just been authorized and approved, we may implement our programs taking into consideration our commitment to sustainable development. Our designation is anchored on the action plans specified in our application and will be reviewed and evaluated every four years,” she said.

“Thus come 2019 budget preparation and onwards, we will include in our departmental budget proposals programs that will support our commitment to the UCCN,” she added. Cheers!

We are on air Wednesdays, 8 am, over K-Lite 96.7 FM, with Hillary Johnson. In this beautiful archipelago of delicious coconuts and smiling carabaos, it’s more fun and cooler in Baguio!

Here’s “Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost: “Some say the world will end in fire,/ Some say in ice./ From what I’ve tasted of desire/ I hold with those who favor fire./ But if it had to perish twice,/ I think I know enough of hate/ To say that for destruction ice/ Is also great/ And would suffice.”

Until next week and may Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.

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