“January opens the box of the year and brings out the days that are bright and clear.” -- Leland Jacobs
January comes from the name of the ancient god Janus, a “two-faced” or “two-headed” Roman god. It symbolizes new beginnings, doorways, openings, or emergence interplayed with hibernation and reclusion of the past. While one faces the future with optimism, one also looks reflectively on past events and how it will influence our decisions. It is the planting of seeds of what lies ahead. January is also associated with the semi-precious jewel garnet and carnation the “flower of the gods and love.”
So what is in store for us in the last two weeks of January?
To start with, the Baguio City High School in cooperation with the Baguio Museum will open an exhibit on Jan. 17 at 3 p.m. at the Baguio Museum entitled “Binhing Sining” (Seeds of Arts). According to Estelito Mendoza, one of the advisers of City High, “the exhibit is a testament to the quality service of the institution to its clientele. The students of City High are like seeds that are being nurtured by the warmth and care of the mentors who have served City High as a bastion of education of the north.”
The exhibit will feature paintings and art installations by visual arts students, photographs by media arts students, and poetry reading and short stories by the literary arts students of the Special Program of the Arts of the Baguio City High School from grades 7 to 10.
Next is the “Integrated participatory-community building orientation program” on Jan. 19 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. spearheaded by the City of Baguio through the City Social Welfare and Development Office. This orientation will converge about a thousand people at the Baguio Convention Center. It will be composed of drug surrenderers, the CSWDO, the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils and City Anti-Drug Abuse Council, the Baguio City police, local government units and GLAs, and the civil society and its partners who will implement the program, as contained in the mayor’s administrative order.
The Baguio General Hospital Advisory Board has identified drug recovery programs as one of its priority outreach programs.
On Jan. 25, the University of the Philippines College Baguio Educational Foundation, Inc. will conduct a whole-day “Capability building on heritage conservation-phase I” as part of the Baguio Heritage Mapping Project at El Cielito Inn. This is in coordination with the Pine Cone Movement and the Baguio Heritage Foundation, Inc.
According to historian Rowena Boquiren, project leader, the stocktaking started in November 2016 with voluntary leaders composed of anthropologist June Prill-Brett, historian Charita de los Reyes, and herself. The stocktaking has already consolidated a list and related data on heritage sites and looked into the city’s draft ordinance on declaration of heritage sites; reviewed the status of the sites; and prioritized team discussions. In progress are recommendations for the next steps, hopefully to be validated on Jan. 25.