Issue of January 14, 2018
     
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Dr. Mary Anne’s talk on urban planning strategies (Part 2)

Following Dr. Mary Anne Alabanza-Akers’ thought on creative cities, cultural experiment, and innovation, she then asked, “Are you prepared for disruption?” Allowing a certain level of change based on new ideas and experiments, embracing diversity of thought and ethnicity. An idea also expounded by her famous father, Architect Jody Alabanza.

In allowing cultural experiment and innovation, we should not lose the authenticity of our culture. Nonnette Bennett cited that street performances must always project its cultural significance and be authentic. The idea is not to reduce cultural performances into some form of begging or show for the audience or just for tourist photo opportunities.

Architect Raffy Chan stated, “Millennials, a very important component of our society, should be asked where they would like to interface. In a living museum, everyone should participate and contribute their ideas and initiatives.” Exactly what a creative city should be.

“The Baguio Arts Guild founded in the 1980’s was to reframe or focus on Baguio’s indigenous culture,” explained Kidlat Tahimik, a renowned Baguio-born independent film artist, considered the “father of independent films.” “Baguio has such a rich mix of indigenous cultures. We must not be subordinated by other cultures. Baguio is stuck in an American enclave. Allow Baguio to be a disruptive city.”

“Qualifying where I am coming from, my ‘lens’ is different,” answered Baguio-born Mary Anne who is now based in Baltimore, Maryland as dean of the School of Architecture and Planning of the Morgan State University. “We have to preserve the American layer but have to add our indigenous heritage.”

Bobot Fongwan, a councilor from La Trinidad agreed. “We must innovate on how to show our culture, but do not experiment on authenticity. Do not experiment on our dances.”

“Yes, millennials need to know authenti-city, but let them innovate,” Akers cited hip-hop tinikling where Filipino millennials embrace their heritage by bridging their innovations.

Hidenobu Oguni, president of the Japanese Association in North Luzon, mentioned Japanese authentic presentation of culture is now presented in a new style but based on traditions in Japan.

Rep. Mark Go, one of the proponents of the Baguio Creative City with the Department of Tourism-CAR, the University of the Philippines, the Baguio Heritage Foundation, and the city government, added, “We must define the parameters of development. And this can probably be done in a summit.”

The talk of Dr. Mary Anne at the Baguio Museum on “Urban planning strategies to enhance creative cities” was a productive interface of ideas. It brought to fore that development takes a lot of political will.

The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which she illustrated with the participation of Art Tibaldo, Raffy Kapuno, and Chi Gutierrez, brought out the dimensions of innovation, creativity, diversity, and homogeneity. The test demonstrated their individual interpretations based on their life experiences and where they were coming from.

By and large, consulting the community, especially the artists, the architects, the academe, and the local stakeholders is an important ingredient in the planning. The proponents and the stakeholders can join forces in the planning now and not after. Significant is how this creative concept can help all, especially the artists community.

* * * * * * * * * *

SLUGHS Batch ‘68, the dates are getting nearer. Please join the rehearsals and preparations if you have time. Everyone is encouraged to join all, if not most of the activities.

The final schedule is listed for the Batch ‘68 golden anniversary activities (data from Carmencita Dionisio): Jan. 31 – 10:30 a.m., meeting and practice at Megatower; 6 p.m. – dinner dance at Hardin, Leonard Wood Road. Guests will pay P600 at the entrance. There will be dances, games, raffle, and plenty of surprises;

Feb. 1 – 9 a.m., assembly, Girl’s High Campus, the Baguio Tour will start at the Baguio Museum. At 1 p.m. – Megatower – practice of presentations;

Feb. 2 – assembly – 8:30 a.m. at the Baguio Midland Courier office at Kisad Road. Outreach and Soup Kitchen at the Baguio Country Club Elementary School. Please wear your golden/yellow T-shirt; Lunch – KKB. At 1:30 p.m. – Megatower – practice of presentations. At 6 p.m. – bonfire at the Ibaloy Park.

Grand Alumni Homecoming is on Feb. 3, Girl’s High campus. At 7:30 a.m. – Registration of P500. Attire – tunic. Time schedule for the rest of the day: 11 a.m. – motorcade. Attire: gold/yellow T-shirt. Back to Girl’s High campus for lunch; 1 to 3 p.m., free time, 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. – holy mass, 6 p.m. – shindig (presentation of the different batches and later dance for all).

Feb. 4 – bonding/happy time at Bauang beach, La Union.

For those interested to join, please notify our Batch ‘68 secretary, Rowena De Jesus (0917-412-3357). For clarifications, please contact president Beng Murillo Afuang (0999-774-6645) or send a message to any of the officers. Practices for the presentations are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. at Toto Jonson’s place or at Megatower.

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