'Adapting to new normal': Local artists return for Baguio's Ibag’iw 2021


Posted at Oct 22 2021 05:52 PM

A woman weaves a basket using traditional techniques in Dominican Hill and Nature Park in Baguio on November 13, 2019, in preparation for the week-long Ibag’iw Festival on November 16. The festival aims to highlight the city’s rich cultural heritage which was recognized by UNESCO in 2017 and named it a UNESCO Creative City for Crafts and Folk Art. Jong Gasmeña, ABS-CBN News
A woman weaves a basket using traditional techniques in Dominican Hill and Nature Park in Baguio on November 13, 2019, in preparation for the week-long Ibag’iw Festival on November 16. The festival aims to highlight the city’s rich cultural heritage which was recognized by UNESCO in 2017 and named it a UNESCO Creative City for Crafts and Folk Art. Jong Gasmeña, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — As COVID cases decline in the Philippines, familiar faces in the local art scene will return for the month-long creative festival, Ibag’iw, this November, the Baguio Tourism Council said Tuesday.

"The previous year has taken a toll on most Filipinos, especially Ibag’iws. It is a year when most people spend their time in isolation — completely disrupting routines and making us see the world from a whole new perspective. As we long for company and connection, and with plenty of extra time in our hands, most of us have turned to creatives and the arts to keep our souls sane and the Ibag’iw spirit alive," the Baguio Tourism Council said in a media brief. 

The council said that more people are expected to come compared to last year as they adapt to the new normal. 

"Crafts, music, and artworks have uplifted the Baguio community and opened innovative opportunities for livelihood for some in the form of weaving, woodcarving, metal crafts, and visual arts," the council said.

"Now that we are gradually adapting to the new normal — with establishments reopening and mobility returning — and are finally able to see familiar faces and experience the crowd we have been longing for, there is no better way to come together once again other than celebrating the creativity of Baguio City." 


In Baguio's case bulletin this October 20, the tourist-favorite tallied 103 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total to 28, 556. There is at least 1,210 active cases in the city. 

Four new fatalities were added along with 194 new recoveries bringing the total to 601 and 26,745, respectively.

This year’s theme is “Ibag'iw 2021: Create. Integrate. Elevate” which "aims to inspire and drive the people of Baguio to discover and build, to unite and come together, and to move forward and rise from our situation," it added.

“Ibag’iw Festival is a staple of Baguio that places its artistic gems in the spotlight and provides avenues for local artisans to showcase their creativity in various crafts,” it said. 

“But more than showcasing the arts, what the celebration truly embodies is the identity of Baguio as a home to cultural heritage and communal unity that can confidently shine hope even in the midst of crisis. This is the message that should transpire throughout the celebration.” 

The grand opening will commence on November 12 but there are events lined up starting this October till November 30.

Here are some events to look forward to in Ibag’iw 2021:

Coded: Queue R. Here: Is No Contact Good Contact?
October 14 - November 14

QR coded attempts to show life after the onset of the pandemic and how the forced disconnect with society affected our way of life, a solo visual art exhibit by Olie Olivete, supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts

Agaramid Tayo!: Reconnecting Museum Collections to Artisans
October 21 onwards

A series of short documentaries featuring the collections of the Museo Kordilyera, and reconnecting it to the local artisans to teach us the meaning, and technology of production: basketry, metal craft, tattooing, weaving, and woodcarving

Creative Fridays: Innovate to Elevate Series
November 5 - 27

A series of talks, workshops, webinars on harnessing and enabling creative ideas to scalable enterprises and livelihood, with the launching of the Creative Baguio Website, an e-commerce platform for the creatives of Baguio and the Cordillera

Maki Arts Tayu Manen: Book Art Exhibit
November 6 - 30

An art challenge to transform old bound books into a creative decorative or a sculptural piece, as the appreciation of and interest in reading books have succumbed to digital means using e-books.

Grand Opening Ceremonies
November 12

Starts with a traditional Ibaloi ritual to invoke divine and spiritual blessings (6:00 AM), and will continue with the lighting of the creativity flame early evening (5:30 PM).

Impakabsat Trade Fair
November 12-21
A showcase of Cordillera’s unique crafts and products featuring a physical trade expo outside of Baguio and a virtual store through the Creative Baguio website

Batok: Tattoos of the Cordillera
November 12 to 30 (limited physical viewing)
Dec 1 onwards (virtual online exhibition)

A cultural expo focusing on traditional tattoos of the Cordillera, featuring a display of historical and contemporary photographs and tattoo implements, online lecture series on the ethics and politics of tattooing, and actual tattoo demonstrations by local artisans, supported by E. Zobel Foundation

Alimuom: Contemporary Art Exhibition
November 12 to December 12

A contemporary art exhibit curated by Prof. Fara Manuel, featuring the works of Baguio artists on the theme of "Alimuom," an earthy scent that evokes nostalgia, and reminds us of our interconnectedness even as we are separated by the pandemic

Daniw ti IBagiw: a Cultural Show
November 13

A collaborative effort from the performing arts groups of academic institutions on how we know our city through creative performances of dance, song, music, and drama, from the perspective of a poet, anchored on the 12 Haiku pieces of Professor Junley Lorenzana Lazaga

Art Twinning in the Park
November 15 to 28

A twin installation sculpture, one would be a huge sculpture using discarded face shields and the other a small stage meant to symbolize the struggle of a Cordilleran artist in the time of crisis, to be installed by the Ibagtit Art Collective

Hand-woven Tales: The Warp and Weft of the Cordillera Textiles
November 15 to 31 (limited physical viewing)

An exhibition of traditional and contemporary textiles from the Cordillera region that includes the process of weaving, weaving implements, the role of textiles in different communities, archival photographs, and vintage textiles from the museum collections

Art in the Park
November 19 to 21

Open-air art expo featuring Plein air, street mural art, street performances, art demonstrations, and street food showcase.

Mandëko Kito: Baguio Artisans Fair
November 19 to December 13 (Every Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon)

A smorgasbord of all creative in the city, featuring not only craft and arts for sale, but with busking, crafts making demo, artisanal food, and VIVITA workspace experience, all in support for sustainable livelihood and growth of the creative industry

Memories of Baguio: Dulthe’s Homecoming
November 19 to December 13 (Every Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon)

Solo exhibit of unique artwork by Architect Dulthe Carlo Munar on local and small-scale materials, turning the ordinary into the eccentric and by experimenting with domestic objects

Pëngsasan: Art Works by Geoffrey M. Carantes
November 20 to 28

Exhibit tribute to a pioneering Ibaloy artist whose works chronicle the journey and heritage of the Ibaloy people, and whose passion for the cordillera culture has found expression in his art.

Sining Eskinita
November 21 to 28

Unveiling of street mural art, with street performances celebrating the Ibagiw's urban art movement, serving as a way of championing graffiti artists, muralists, and street performance artists, spearheaded by 23 Sampaguita Creative Space

Annual IBAGIW Crafts Design Competition

Display of Entries: November 22 to December 12
Announcement of Winners: November 30
Elevating concept and design in crafts in five categories:
- textile weaving
- basket weaving
- wood/bamboo carving
- metal craft
- yarn craft (new)

Cordillera Weaves Exhibit and Village Bazaar
November 24 to 28

A showcase of Cordillera textile (indoor and outdoor exhibit) and woven products for sale to the public, supported by the Tourism Promotions Board

Baguio Wall of Heroes
November 30

Unveiling of a massive art mural around the BGH rotonda as a tribute to the city’s pandemic frontliners

ANIDO Night: Closing Ceremonies
November 30

The finale for the festivities, featuring awarding ceremonies, congratulatory messages, and a night of entertainment.


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