A City of cul­ture and cre­ativ­ity

Sun.Star Baguio - - OPINION -

Iat­tended the re­cent gath­er­ing of stake­hold­ers and mem­bers of the com­mit­tee who were in­stru­men­tal in draft­ing and sub­mit­ting the UN­ESCO re­quire­ments needed in the se­lec­tion of Baguio as “Cre­ative City”. It was a for­ward­look­ing shar­ing of op­ti­mism with high re­gard to Baguio’s un­ques­tion­able sta­tus as a city of arts and cul­ture. I looked around and the only per­son who I think be­longs the cre­ative sec­tor are Maricar Do­cyo­gen who rep­re­sents the Pasaka­lye Group of artists com­posed of artists and ar­ti­sans, Coun­cilor Mylen Yara­non who is an, my­self and a guy named Paolo who pro­vided tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance in the craft­ing of the doc­u­men­tary re­quire­ments of UN­ESCO.

Var­i­ous gov­ern­ment of­fices were also rep­re­sented in that gath­er­ing hosted by De­part­ment of Tourism-CAR Dir. Marie Venus Tan with UP Chan­cel­lor Ray­mundo Rovil­los from the academe. Since it was a meet­ing of minds in a tech­ni­cal-work­ing-group setup, we heard com­ments such as artists, ar­ti­sans and the cre­ative sec­tor should be in­vited to be part of the core group. Agen­cies like the De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try must be in the fore­front of re­vi­tal­iz­ing the weav­ing and wood­carv­ing in­dus­tries to boost the city’s cre­ative econ­omy. Artists and en­trepreneurs can help iden­tify sources of cre­ative rev­enue and the tourism sec­tor can like­wise pin­point in­ter­est ar­eas like a cre­ative map. Paolo said some­thing like a “beauty port­fo­lio” for Baguio that show­cases what the city can of­fer that re­flects its new sta­tus as cre­ative city. Within my­self, I en­ter­tained the idea of shar­ing copy­right and roy­alty free im­ages of Baguio’s artistry that on­line surfers can grab or copy with­out fear of any le­gal in­fringe­ment. It was also sug­gested that Baguio should now con­sider the pa­ram­e­ters on how cor­po­rate ad­ver­tise­ment must be dis­played tak­ing into ac­count ideal and al­low­able sizes only to dis­count what ob­servers no­ticed as city of tarps.

A ques­tion arose on what is the po­si­tion­ing of Baguio as a UN­ESCO Cre­ative City. In his let­ter to the Cre­ative Cities Sec­re­tariat of UN­ESCO Cre­ative Cities Net­work, Mayor Mauri­cio G. Do­mo­gan wrote; “Ladies and Gentle­men: With full sup­port of the cit­i­zenry and cre­ative sec­tor of Baguio City, it is my honor to of­fi­cially sub­mit the City of Baguio’s can­di­da­ture to the UN­ESCO Cre­ative Cities Net­work 2017 Call for Ap­pli­ca­tion under the cre­ative field of Crafts and Folk Art. Lo­cated in the north­ern por­tion of Lu­zon, Baguio City is a highly ur­ban­ized moun­tain city that func­tions as the tourism and com­mer­cial cen­ter of the Cordillera Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion – home to the many eth­nic tribes liv­ing on the Cordillera moun­tain range. Baguio City’s de­vel­op­ment as a recre­ational town has made it a melt­ing pot of var­i­ous up­land and low­land cul­tures. The Cordillera indige­nous cul­ture has how­ever per­sisted to be­come an im­por­tant com­po­nent of the city’s sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, tak­ing vis­i­ble forms par­tic­u­larly in the crafts and folk arts like tra­di­tional weav­ing, wood and ma­sonry sculpt­ing and metal craft­ing.

With a rich cul­tural her­itage, our city has wit­nessed the thriv­ing of a cre­ative com­mu­nity that not only gave birth to var­i­ous artist’s vil­lages, cre­ative spa­ces and mu­seum, but which has also formed a skilled work­force es­sen­tially en­gaged in the tra­di­tional arts and crafts. Cog­nizant of the role that cul­ture and cre­ativ­ity plays in the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of Baguio City, we strive to adopt strate­gies to con­tinue the growth of this sec­tor, and to fos­ter and broaden their par­tic­i­pa­tion in chart­ing a de­vel­op­ment for our city that is a model of in­clu­sive growth, cul­tural co­he­sive­ness and cre­ative driven econ­omy not only in the Philip­pines but also in the global arena. As such, we feel that the time is ripe for the City of Baguio to take a stride in join­ing the

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